Waco Cultural Arts Fest displays diverse, artistic life of Waco community

The Waco Cultural Arts Fest between the Waco Convention Center and Indian Spring Park has music, art and activities to get more people interested in art. Audrey La | Photographer

By Skylla Mumana | Reporter

Cultural Arts of Waco held the Waco Cultural Arts Fest at Indian Spring Park in downtown Waco this weekend. From food trucks to art and activity tents, the three-day festival was filled with live music and art-filled events for the public to enjoy.

Vendors, artists and businesses from all over Waco showed up to the event, such as Woodlands graduate student Melissa Liesch.

Liesch said she works at the Martin Museum of Art, located on Baylor’s campus. The museum held an interactive, streamer making booth to celebrate its 40th anniversary at the festival. Liesch said this feat shows how important it is for art museums to be present within communities.

“It’s important to have fine arts museums because it’s a broad talent,” Liesch said. “Everyone has a broad talent or skill and it’s good to be exposed to different types of talents and skills within the community.”

Alongside them, other organizations had booths set up that featured real-time artistry, such as the Waco Calligraphy Guild. According to its website, the Waco Calligraphy Guild is a nonprofit organization in Waco that is dedicated to advancing and promoting calligraphy as an art form. With meetings held once every month, the Guild helps individuals interested in the calligraphic arts find their form and express themselves.

Cindy Boney, membership chair of the Waco Calligraphy Guild, said the Guild has attended the Waco Cultural Arts Fest for several years and enjoyed how the festival facilitates and promotes all kinds of art in the community.

“It’s hard to have life without art,” Boney said. “I think art brings an aesthetic to someone’s life that you can’t get any other way.”

Cultural Arts of Waco is an organization that celebrates and promotes the diverse, artistic and cultural life of the Waco community. When it was founded in 2004, the organization’s main goal was to plan and coordinate the Waco Cultural Arts Fest for the community. However, the organization has expanded and now puts on year-round programming free of charge for all to enjoy. Its goal is to engage and enrich the community by holding events and cultural activities, and to champion the economic, social and educational benefits of the arts.

Other booths, such as Renee Martinez’s, contained art with unique mediums that anyone could buy. Renee Martinez, an English lecturer at Baylor, is also the owner and founder of the art business The Passionate Crafter by Renee. Martinez is a multimedia artist who utilizes recycled materials and paper as her main medium for creating her works.

After filling up the walls of numerous friends and family, Martinez decided to start her business. Her commissions consist of recreations of personal photos of family or friends but with twists that liven up each work, and showcase its individuality.

Martinez said since starting her business, it has served as a great outlet for her sanity, and she enjoys creating things that will brighten people’s day.

“I like to make art that makes people smile,” Martinez said. “I think that everybody deserves something that, when they see it, will brighten their day or make them smile a little bit.”