The Ensemble Theatre joins a roster of 43 Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) fiscal year 2020 grant recipients across the state and will receive an award of more than $62,000. 

“We are excited to receive this award and look forward to using it to kick off our world premiere holiday musical More Than Christmas,” says Eileen J. Morris, Artistic Director of The Ensemble Theatre. “Grants, sponsors, and individual donors truly make a difference in how arts organizations can approach and develop works that benefit everyone and sustain institutions that in turn make great contributions to the creative economy.”

The grants total over $4.6 million and will go to arts nonprofits and local government agencies in 20 cultural districts in Abilene, Amarillo, Arlington, Canadian, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, Lubbock, McKinney, Rockport, San Angelo, San Antonio, Waco and Wimberley. The grants ranged in amount from $5,500 to $250,000.

“We are pleased to be able to provide strong support for so many high-profile arts activities across the state,” said Gary Gibbs, executive director of TCA. “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 43 approved grants were among 59 applications reviewed and scored by a panel of evaluators with expertise in the arts, cultural districts, marketing, tourism and economics. Cultural districts are special zones designated by TCA that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community vitalization. These districts can become focal points for generating business, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride. Currently, there are 43 official cultural districts in Texas.

These 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. The Arts Respond Cultural District Projects are funded through a $10 million legislative increase for cultural tourism grants in TCA’s budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.