THE ARTS ADVANCE IN NORTH TEXAS: DESOTO CITY COUNCIL ACCEPTS FRAMEWORK FOR CULTURAL ARTS MASTER PLAN

DeSoto, TX - DeSoto, Texas, has always been welcoming to the arts, and on Tuesday, August 17th, its City Council took a critical step towards making DeSoto a bastion for the arts in North Texas by formally accepting the Arts Policy and Guiding Principles to accompany a Cultural Arts Master Plan which was approved by the Council on January 5th.

This policy outlines priorities, mission and vision for the arts in the city and also establishes grant programs to develop new works of art across the city through public art, performances and artist-led community arts projects.

“If you have an eye for arts and culture, keep looking to DeSoto,” noted Mayor Rachel L. Proctor. “Adopting a Cultural Arts Master Plan and the policies to implement that plan are the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that the arts, culture and heritage of DeSoto is more visible in our city and the region. From the Grow DeSoto Marketplace to Nance Farm we are dedicated strengthening the arts as an economic and community development effort.”

James Adams, who serves as Chair of DeSoto’s Arts Commission said the policy and guidelines formalize DeSoto’s commitment to the arts. Adams added, “We want to make sure that we bring more arts experiences to our residents and visitors and that we focus on supporting DeSoto based artists.”

“Having a formal cultural arts policy marks a significant milestone for the arts in our city” said DeSoto Councilmember Nicole Raphiel, who serves as the Council liaison to the Arts Commission. “As cities across the country use the arts to rebuild and recover from the recent period of isolation, DeSoto has also taken this time to consider how the arts can be a stronger element in contributing to the vibrancy of our community.”

The policy not only describes how funds for the arts will be managed and distributed, but includes several ways that citizens interested in getting involved in the arts can serve as panelists and advisors to the Arts Commission.

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DeSoto Artist Rolanda Brigham

Local artist Rolanda Brigham considers this to be a “welcomed” development for DeSoto creatives. “I’ve lived in DeSoto for a long time, and I wear many hats – preforming artist, arts educator and arts advocate. I’m ready to jump in and help in any way that I can to bring these plans to life.”

The DeSoto Artists Lab (DAL) is a new initiative of the City of DeSoto Arts Commission designed to invest in the development and visibility of artists living and working in our community.”

The DAL will allow up to six artists to work as Artists in Residence in various spaces in our community, working primarily with a designated organization, city agency or in a commercial space where the public has open access to interact with the artist. The stipendbased residencies have mutual benefits for the artist and for the community – providing time and space for artists and other creative individuals to work; and involving residents and visitors in a variety of visual and performing art forms.

Artists interested in applying to this program, or for more information about the Arts Master Plan and the Cultural Policy, visit our webpage at www.ArtsDeSoto.com. The deadline for submission of the application packet is Friday September 17, 2021. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.

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DeSoto Cultural Arts Master Plan Consultant Margie Reese

Consultant Margie Reese will be interviewed live on the City of DeSoto’s news and information broadcast “DeSoto: In-depth” by City Communications Manager Matt Smith on Thursday morning, September 2, 2021, at 9 AM on Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/desototx or via the City of DeSoto’s Cable Channel. You can also view the broadcast on the City’s website http://www.desototexas.gov/desototownhall . It will be broadcast live on cable in DeSoto, depending upon your cable provider that carries City TV programming, on either Spectrum (Channel 16), or AT&T Uverse (Channel 99).

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Contacts: Matt Smith/DeSoto Coms Manager/

Kathy Jones/Community Relations Manager/Arts Commission/