LONGVIEW, Texas — Just last year, part of Longview was designated a "cultural arts district" by the Texas Arts Commission. A grant awarded to the city is allowing the district to complete some much needed projects.
"Well, our goal really is to spark a love of the arts and history and just the culture of Longview inside with the people who live here and work here and play here, but then outside to bring people in from other places to see what we've got available here in Longview," Cynthia Hellen, executive director of Arts!Longview, said. "And we're really excited about these opportunities."
Thanks to the designation from the state, organizations throughout Longview are eligible for these grants for the first time.
"Not everybody qualified for the grants, but the groups that did qualify for the grants, they got money that had never been available to them before," Hellen said.
The ArtsView Children's Theater will receive $16,850 for future projects. The Longview Symphony is receiving $24,000 that will be used to put on concerts, such as the Harry Potter themed event planned for 2021.
Arts!Longview will receive a $70,000 matching grant, for a $140,000 project that will include monuments and murals around the arts district.
"There will be colorful banners on all the street light poles," Hellen said. "There will be art wraps on all of the traffic utility boxes in the in the region. And then one thing that we're really excited about is some entryway monuments that we'll be designing, at some of the key entrances into the cultural district. So that you really know you're there, whether it's day or night, you're going to know you're going into a special district in our region."
The Longview Fine Arts will receive $95,000 that will be used to upgrade their facility.