AUSTIN, Texas – September 8, 2023 – The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) has approved the designation of two new cultural districts. Cultural districts are special zones that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community vitality. These districts can be focal points for generating business, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride. The new cultural districts are Garland’s Bankhead Arts District and the Granbury Cultural District. This designation brings the total number of cultural districts in Texas to 54.
The Texas Commission on the Arts is the only body able to officially designate cultural districts on behalf of the State. Cultural districts are marketable tourism assets that highlight the distinct identity of a community and encourage in-state, out-of-state, and international visitors. Cultural district development helps a community boost its economy while realizing other cultural and civic benefits. The outcomes of cultural districts extend beyond the arts and benefit all members of a community. Official designation allows cultural districts and qualifying resident arts organizations to be eligible to apply for significant Cultural District Project funding through TCA.
Through tourism, the historic Bankhead Highway’s cultural and economic impacts were significant to Garland’s development starting in the 1920s. Now, Garland’s Bankhead Cultural Arts District includes signature cultural institutions such as the Granville Arts Center, the Landmark Museum and The Plaza Theatre. The district features two culturally noteworthy parks, industrial space repurposed as artist studios, and a historic neighborhood. The heart of the district is downtown Garland, filled with independently-owned businesses featuring investments in infrastructure and amenities to attract visitors and residents for arts and culture programs. Garland celebrates a vast array of shopping, arts, outdoor activities and special events.
The Granbury Cultural District is centered around Granbury’s historic downtown square and is the home of many of Granbury’s best amenities, including museums, restaurants, wineries, live theater, live music venues, retail shopping, art galleries, art studios and pop-up art spaces, parks, the trolley and Segway rides, the public beach with lake access, deluxe and affordable accommodations, Lake Granbury Conference Center, Granbury’s Visitor Center, and abundant free public parking. The Cultural District is the hub of virtually all of the festivals and major events in Granbury. Granbury has been voted the Best Historic Small Town in America three separate times by USA Today as its Readers Choice.
“We are pleased to highlight the wonderful work these cultural districts are already doing to attract visitors to their communities, and to enhance the quality of life in our great state,” said Gary Gibbs, executive director of TCA. “Their applications to the designation process provided extensive information on their qualifications, and were considered through a highly rigorous review process. We congratulate them on this achievement.” For complete information on the Cultural Districts Designation Program, please visit https://www.arts.texas.gov/initiatives/cultural-districts/.
In the future, the new cultural districts will host an event where TCA representatives will provide a proclamation marking the official designation.
About the Texas Commission on the Arts
The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is to advance our state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives. For more information on TCA and its programs, please visit www.arts.texas.gov.
Anina Moore, Texas Commission on the Arts