The East End Houston team took a field trip to Austin last week to eavesdrop on a meeting of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and we came back with a souvenir. We are pleased to announce that Houston’s East End has officially been designated as a cultural district of the great state of Texas!
What does this mean?
The Texas Commission on the Arts describes “cultural districts” as “special zones that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. These districts can become focal points for generating businesses, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride.”
To local artists like Jesse Sifuentes, the designation means more opportunities for tourists and local residents to know the artistic value present in the East End community. When he got the news he commented, “I think this is great for our local community. This officially validates that the East End is a neighborhood that values its history and art. We want to be known for something more than just an industrial area of Houston.”
The East End Houston Cultural District expands past our beautiful murals, however. Your senses are stimulated when you’re in the East End – what we eat, we hear, we see – it all represents the cultural richness of our community.
Thanks to endorsements of the community, we are absolutely thrilled to earn the designation and honored to join the elite group of 25 other districts in the state. To give you just a taste of what the East End has to offer, we made a short video that we’re certain you’ll love.
Along with the designation as a cultural district comes several goals for Houston’s East End. While the TCA provides examples, we’ve made a plan suited to the unique cultural identity of the East End.
- Attract people and improve experiences and perceptions of the East End.
- Strengthen the community and economic development through the support of arts and cultural organizations and local artists.
- Create a culturally-rich environment in the East End that attracts tourism, residents, and businesses.
- Create a vibrant “livable center” connected to the new East End Light Rail, where people can have easy access to transit and where they feel safe to walk, bike, and enjoy the East End.
Celebrate with us?
From September 1 – November 30, 2014, Houston’s East End will be infused with a series of concerts, performances, visual arts installations and more as part of Transported + Renewed. Come explore the East End with us at one of the many events! All events are free.