Waco Cultural Arts Fest attracts creators, hopes to help economic growth

Vendors from around Central Texas came to participate in the Waco Cultural Arts Fest to share their love of art. Molly Atchison | Editor-in-Chief

This weekend, the Waco Cultural Arts Fest took Waco by storm. From Friday to Sunday, artists from all over the central texas area set up booths in downtown Waco, and displayed pieces of their art. Art of all mediums was on display, from paper mache to digital photography to beadwork and everything in between.

However, the Waco Cultural Art Fest acted as an outlet for more than just art, it also offered a chance for the central Texas community to come together and appreciate cultural inclusivity, as well as a way for artists to present their work in a more formal way. Creative Waco was surveying the crowd in an attempt to understand their participant base further. Their questionnaire included requests for personal information such as household income, hometown and how the participant found out about the Cultural Arts Fest.

Spicewood senior Bradi Zapata was working with Creative Waco on this project, and spoke about the implications of this survey, as well as the Arts Fest itself.

“So we basically do local funding for artistic endeavors and artists in the Waco community, so we are here to support them in anyway possible,” Zapata said. “Right now I am taking surveys to document the economic impact that the Waco Cultural Arts Fest has on the Waco community, so that hopefully we can apply for grants and do funding to get more events that really showcase artists and their talents around Waco, and just really give them an additional purpose and outreach opportunity.”

The Waco Cultural Arts Fest has several components to it, that all culminate into a diverse set of performances and artistic expressions for Wacoans to enjoy. Included in the fest were several different exhibitions, titled Dancefest, Wordfest, Musicfest, Sciencefest and Artfest, all of which took place this past weekend. Each fest had a variety of vendors and performers, and plenty of exhibitions for Wacoans to see. Coppell-based artist Flo Gardner was one of the vendors in attendance at Artfest. Flo and her husband create wall art out of wood cuts and acryllic paints.

“It’s a unique eight-step process using wood, and its drawn on and then cut out and painted, and then laid on different levels,” Gardner said. Gardner traveled all the way from Dallas for the weekend just to participate in the festival, which she says she and her husband attend every year. They, along with artists from all over the central Texas area, come and display their unique creations, and meet other creators over the course of the weekend. Gardner and her husband displayed over 50 pieces of their wood-cut art, but they also work in other artistic mediums as well.

“I think its one of the best festivals, because its multi-disciplined in the arts, and we love that,” Gardner said. “I also act, and work with a theater company all over Dallas.”

The Waco Cultural Arts Fest is not the only event created in hopes of growing an art community — throughout the year, events such as Art on Elm are put on to raise awareness of the artistic community in the area. To learn more about all that Waco’s art community has to offer, check out the Creative Waco calendars online.