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April 9, 2008

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

UT Tyler Hosts Texas Commission on Arts Planning Meeting

The Texas Commission on the Arts will hold a public meeting at The University of Texas at Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center to gather information for their upcoming strategic plan, Susan Thomae-Morphew, Cowan Center director, announced.

The meeting, hosted by UT Tyler and Arts of East Texas, will be 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 14.

The goal is to collect a wide range of perspectives about how the agency can do business in the future and find the most effective ways to use public dollars to develop a receptive climate for the arts in Texas.

Every two years, TCA must write a strategic plan that responds to the Governor’s statewide vision for the future of Texas government. After writing the strategic plan, each agency develops its legislative appropriation request that forms the basis for the appropriations bill, according to Jim Bob McMillan, TCA deputy director.

Texas’ two-year budget takes roughly twice that amount of time to prepare, produce and administer. Agencies develop their appropriations requests in the first year, the Legislature approves the General Appropriations Act in the second year and the budget is implemented over the next two years, he added.

To create a framework for the strategic planning effort, Gary Gibbs, TCA executive director, and McMillan will visit 10 cities across Texas to get input from constituents.

Topics of discussion include:

  • Serving the geographically diverse areas and rural communities of Texas.
  • Serving the culturally diverse communities and organizations of Texas.
  • Creative economy and the creative workforce.
  • Texas government concerns of criminal justice, transportation, education and health care.
  • Cultural District designation with no funds from the Legislature.
  • Amount of the grant awards currently given by TCA.
  • More or fewer grant categories from TCA.
  • Two-year grant awards of the same amount from TCA.
  • Operating support or project based grant support.
  • Working with individual artists.
  • Arts disciplines with fewer opportunities for funding at TCA.
  • Showcasing economic development impact of the arts.
  • Arts impact on education and ways to demonstrate it.
  • Support for cultural tourism efforts.
  • Arts impact on the quality of life.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


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