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Posted on: September 7, 2023

Texas Commission on the Arts Designates Garland’s Bankhead Cultural Arts District

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The City of Garland is proud to announce its new designation as an official cultural district. Garland is one of just two cities to receive this prestigious distinction from the Texas Commission on the Arts in 2023.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as an official cultural district by the Texas Commission on the Arts as Garland’s Bankhead Cultural Arts District,” said Garland Cultural Arts Director Amy Rosenthal. “This designation represents Garland’s long commitment to arts and culture initiatives as well as highlights the significance of the Bankhead Highway and its impact on Garland.”

Garland boasts a vast array of shopping, arts, outdoor activities and special events. Thanks to tourism, the historic Bankhead Highway’s cultural and economic impacts were significant to Garland’s development starting in the 1920s. Now, Garland’s Bankhead Cultural Arts District includes signature cultural institutions like the Granville Arts Center, the Landmark Museum and the Plaza Theatre. The district features two culturally noteworthy parks, industrial space repurposed as artist studios and a historic neighborhood.

The heart of the district is Downtown Garland, filled with independently owned businesses featuring investments in infrastructure and amenities to attract visitors and residents for arts and culture programs. Garland will celebrate the grand opening of its newly renovated Downtown Square on Saturday, Oct. 14, with all-day festivities featuring the city’s own LeAnn Rimes.

“I am delighted that Garland is being recognized for our noteworthy arts and cultural contributions,” said Garland Mayor Scott LeMay. “We have worked hard to retain our rich history while incorporating modern advancements and new perspectives. We look forward to sharing our many gems with new and longtime visitors and residents alike.”

Cultural districts are special zones that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community vitality. These districts can be focal points for generating business, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride.

Official designation allows cultural districts and qualifying resident arts organizations to be eligible to apply for significant cultural district funding through TCA.

“We are pleased to highlight the wonderful work these cultural districts are already doing to attract visitors to their communities, and to enhance the quality of life in our great state,” said Gary Gibbs, executive director of TCA. “Their applications to the designation process provided extensive information on their qualifications, and were considered through a highly rigorous review process. We congratulate them on this achievement.”

Along with Garland’s Bankhead Cultural District, TCA also designated the Granbury Cultural District. Just 54 designations have been awarded across the entire state. To learn more about TCA and the Cultural Districts Designation Program, visit arts.texas.gov/initiatives/cultural-districts/.

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