The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) approved funding of 43 Arts Respond Cultural District Project grants for 2020. The grants total over $4.6 million and go to arts’ nonprofits and local government in 20 cultural districts.

The Rockport Cultural Arts District received designation in 2016. Cultural districts are special zones designated by TCA that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community vitalization. There are 43 official cultural districts in Texas.

“We are pleased to be able to provide strong support for so many high-profile arts activities across the state,” said Executive Director of TCA Gary Gibbs. “The substantial work that our grantees are doing not only advances the Arts in Texas, but it attracts visitors and additional dollars to our state and local economies.”

The Arts Respond Cultural District Project grants are offered to eligible arts organizations in designated cultural districts for projects that focus on significant cultural tourism efforts through activities such as marketing, infrastructure, and major events. The projects use the arts to diversify local economies, generate revenue, and attract visitors and investment. The grant for the Rockport Center for the Arts is one of 43 approved grants from 59 applications reviewed and scored by a panel of evaluators.

The grants range in amount from $5,500 to $250,000. Rockport Center for the Arts’ (RCA) award of $9,000 per year for the biennium will support a robust marketing and advertising plan to promote the Rockport Art Loop.

“We are very thankful to the State of Texas for recognizing the value that the Rockport Art Loop, which has been gaining momentum since its inception in February of this year, brings to our lively cultural district. The response we have received from the participating art spaces along the Austin Street corridor has been extremely positive. The activity is generating tourism, and economic activity all based around the Arts,” said Executive Director of RCA Luis Purón. “We immediately thought about the Rockport Art Loop when the opportunity for this grant was presented in June. We are committed to work with our neighbors to recover economically through the many events we host annually.”

RCA Curator of Exhibitions Elena Rodriguez, a brainchild of the event, said, “It’s wonderful to see the art galleries in Rockport come together to participate in the Rockport Art Loop. The strength of the art community is in the way we support each other and continuously build each other up.”

Cultural district awards are the first given through the Arts Respond Cultural District Project grant program in two years, the result of renewed support of the program by the 2019 Texas Legislature.

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