SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
STEPHENVILLE (May 14, 2019) – “Stilettos & Spurs” is the theme of Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council’s (CTFAC) 39th annual Membership Meeting and BBQ. The event also kicks-off a new season of art exhibits, free concerts and shows, and a plethora of classes and workshops at CTFAC. Festivities begin Friday, June 7 at the Tarleton State University Ballrooms from 6-9pm. Entertainment this year is provided by CB Sutton and The Outcast Band. The meal is provided by Natty Flats Smokehouse. Admission is $40 per ticket or free with your up-to-date CTFAC membership.
Founded in 1980, the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council is a non-profit fine arts presenter organization. Each year CTFAC sponsors or co-sponsors a variety of events that include music, theater, dance and art exhibits. CTFAC also sponsors ballet, youth concerts, and art camps, many of which serve rural schools in the eight-county area of Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hood, Palo Pinto and Somervell.
The last year brought the departure of long-time executive director Julie Smith and welcomed former board member Whitney Lee to the helm in June 2018. As CTFAC approaches the 40th anniversary, Lee said the organization is hoping to expand its impact on local communities.
“CTFAC was originally created by the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce Cultural Affairs Committee as a way to help Tarleton State University reach the entire Cross Timbers area through the then-new Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center,” Lee said. “We had an extraordinary group of dedicated founders who worked tirelessly to get CTFAC up and running, and we’ve weathered some storms over the last 39 years and we’ve also accomplished some amazing things.”
Program highlights from 2018 include: support of Accessible Arts Clubhouse in partnership with the Stephenville Evening Lions Club and licensed music therapist Cathy Knoll; 19 visual art exhibits, all of which were presented free of charge to the public through four local galleries in partnership with the City of Stephenville; free concert experiences, including Johnny Lee and the Urban Cowboy Band as part of Rodeo Heritage Week, and a classical music concert featuring artists from the Piatigorsky Foundation; youth art classes and summer art camp programs; art classes for adults throughout the year, including watercolor, photography, pottery, oils, wreath making, and Paint the Town events; Ballet Austin school performances for area elementary children; and 10 scholarships were granted to area students to encourage involvement in the arts.
Lee said programs offered by CTFAC are often the only opportunity many of the rural communities have to experience the fine arts at a professional level.
“Even in today’s modern world, when you live ninety minutes away from the closest major art museum or gallery, it’s difficult to truly experience art in real life and in a professional setting,” Lee said. “Particularly in our partnerships with area schools, the students and teachers are just so gracious – I wish we could do more but we’re limited by funding. So we try to do the best we can for the most we can reach.”
CTFAC has been historically funded through individual memberships, corporate sponsors, individual donations, ticket proceeds, fundraising, hotel/motel tax income, federal and state grants, and foundation gifts.
“Many non profit organizations are facing changes and challenges with funding, and CTFAC is not unique in that respect,” Lee said. “Cuts to budgets at national and state levels creates a high level of competition for grants and locally there’s a lot of competition for fundraising. So we’re really trying to up our game and our value to the communities we serve and encouraging people to help support local arts by signing up for an annual membership.”
Lee said, in the coming year, memberships will not only help with established programs, but will also help bring in the National Caldecott Exhibit titled Young at Art, featuring Caldecott award winning illustrations, as well help bring aspirations of an art and film festival to fruition.
“We would really like to find more ways to be present in all the communities we serve,” Lee said. “As we work toward our 40th anniversary, we’re reaching out to those areas to find ways to work with established organizations in support of artistic opportunities.”
As in previous years, there are a variety of membership options to choose from and each comes with an exciting list of benefits. Every membership level includes advance notification of all events; discounts on most CTFAC events and classes; and opportunities for advance purchase for ticketed events. Corporate memberships even include an opportunity to be named as the sponsor of an event or exhibit. Members can also sign up to receive text alerts, email newsletters, serve on a committee, or be listed in an artist referral database.
Members also receive a number of complimentary tickets to Stilettos & Spurs, depending on the level of support selected. For more information on CTFAC programs, ways to get involved, or for details on how to become a member, visit www.ctfac.com or call 254-965-6190.