Bastrop appoints members to new Cultural Arts Commission

The continued implementation of Bastrop’s cultural arts master plan took another step forward last month when the Bastrop city council confirmed the appointment of seven people to the city’s new cultural arts commission.

The city council created the Cultural Arts Commission in January as part of the process of developing and implementing the arts master plan that took several years.

At the Bastrop city council meeting on February 23, the seven commission members were officially appointed, with each appointment representing a different artistic and cultural asset of the city.

Lisa Holcomb, Phil Hurley, Michael Jones, Luis “Chico” Portillo, Kaye Sapikas, Dick Smith and Maria Montoya Stayton were appointed to the commission.

Bastrop mayor Connie Schroeder said the seven appointments were recommended by city council member Bill Ennis, who served as the council liaison with a master plan task force last year.

“I think they will do a great job taking the first step towards starting our Cultural Arts Commission,” Schroeder said of the new commission members.

During the board meeting, Ennis explained that each person appointed to the board represents a different artistic constituency in Bastrop: Holcomb for the performing arts, Hurley for musical performance, Jones for film, Portillo for the school district. de Bastrop, Sapikas for history, Smith for residents and Stayton for art and sculpture.

Portillo, the director of fine arts for the Bastrop school district, said what excites him about being appointed to the commission are the people involved, the resources in place and the potential to make art at Bastrop a big deal both locally and statewide.

“I think people sometimes forget that we’re all natural performers anyway, whether we’re singing in the shower or drawing or coloring to the younger ones,” Portillo said. “Let’s celebrate this. Let’s promote this. Let’s make it a big deal, and let’s go out and show each other the cool stuff that we tend to do. I see this as an extension of what we teach in our school district and across. our classes. ”

Portillo added that the communication, facilities, human capital and marketing provided by the school district would be able to assist the Cultural Arts Commission in its projects.

In addition to managing and implementing the cultural arts master plan, the seven-member commission will also create new committees as needed.

In January, the city council adopted the priorities of the commission in a document on themes, values ​​and priorities.

The document lists the priorities that should be followed when adopting the city’s arts master plan, such as: diversity and inclusiveness; partnerships and collaborations; political, social and economic stability of the arts; accountability and transparency; effective management of the master plan; promotion of Bastrop as an artistic destination; and tourism related to arts and culture.

“The strength and depth of cultural arts that we have at Bastrop is an asset to residents and visitors,” said Sapikas, executive director of the Bastrop County Historical Society. “I am proud to be named to a group that will work to ensure the prosperity of all sectors.

Holcomb, Executive Director of Bastrop Opera House, said: “I am honored and delighted to be appointed to the Cultural Arts Commission. I look forward to helping develop a vibrant and cohesive arts community that consists of all art forms.

The official creation earlier this year of the Cultural Arts Commission resulted in the downgrading of the Bastrop Public Places Art Council, which had overseen the master plan since 2018.

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