Texas Commission on the Arts Approves Cultural District
Georgetown’s cultural district designation was approved by the board of the Texas Commission on the Arts at their meeting on Thursday in Austin. Georgetown’s was one of five new cultural districts in cities across Texas approved by the commission.
The Georgetown cultural district includes the 40-block area of downtown included in the Downtown Historic Overlay, centered by the Williamson County Courthouse Town Square. Arts and cultural attractions in the district include the Palace Theatre, Williamson Museum, Georgetown Public Library, Grace Heritage Center, downtown art galleries, and shops with hand-crafted items. Other artistic and cultural elements in the district include the Victorian-era architecture around the Square and outdoor public art. The Georgetown Art Center is under construction in the district and will open this month.
Georgetown’s cultural district application earned 930 out of 1,000 possible points from the TCA evaluation panel. Only one other city—Houston—earned a higher score. Evaluators commented that, “Georgetown’s cultural assets are very rich and seem to be growing regularly. The city is building a great public art program, and this will be important in attracting visitors and citizens to the cultural district. The community has a reinvestment zone in place, and this is a key component for development and investment.”
Pictured in the photo taken at TCA board meeting are (left to right) Eric Lashley, Jim Bob McMillan, and Dr. Gary Gibbs. Lashley is the director of the Georgetown Public Library and staff liaison to the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board. Jim Bob McMillan is the deputy director of the Texas Commission on the Arts. Dr. Gary Gibbs is the executive director of the Texas Commission on the Arts.
The cultural district designation will allow Georgetown to apply for grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts. The designation also will be a marketing and tourism tool for Georgetown businesses, nonprofits, and local government.
The TCA has approved 24 cultural district designations in Texas cities, including the five districts approved on Thursday and 19 existing districts. For details, go to www.arts.texas.gov/initiatives/cultural-districts.
This video provides an overview of the Georgetown cultural district.