To help showcase the talent in the community, the Flower Mound Cultural Arts Commission comes together to create ways to help spread the identity of the town through art.
The Town of Flower Mound Cultural Art Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Town Council and staff to help create services, policies and programs relating to art in public places, library services and cultural arts programs for the community.
The commission is now made up of eight members with an additional staff liaison.
The members of the board are Ron Miller (chair), Elizabeth Brannon (vice-chair), Beth Dilley, Tammie Turner, Thomas Bailey, Brenda Gribbin, Colleen Russ (alternate), Radha Sathe (alternate) and Sue Ridnour, Director of Library Services.
Before the Flower Mound Cultural Arts Commission was formed in 2014, there was previously a board dedicated for the parks, arts and library services.
“The parks had so much to do that the arts weren’t their primary focus so it needed to have its own group. And throughout my career I lived in a number of places and it was obvious to me that as any town grows and the population get bigger and bigger they're probably undefined, but there are trigger points where residents expect a town to have certain things,” said Ron Miller, Chairman of the Cultural Arts Commission. “Everybody understands a small town doesn't have a symphony orchestra or a performance hall you can go to and stay in town and see something artistic, but later as towns get bigger and bigger and more people are there, there’s some kind of critical mass where it makes sense for the town to be doing its own thing and instead of have the citizens travel other places or spend their money in other towns.”
Meetings for the commission take place every fourth Thursday of January, March, May, July, September and October at 6:30 p.m. in the Flower Mound Town Hall to accomplish the goals of the commission.
The group makes the final determination and reviews any request for the removal of library materials, guides the vision for the public art in the Town of Flower Mound, maintains the roster of artists and also solicits and recommends to the Town Council temporary and permanent displays, according to the powers and duties listed online.
“The town council can, and often does, ask for advice for things that are artistic related. We’re basically an…advisory group for the town council. If they have questions or if something comes up that they would like us to do,” said Miller. “Like a former town council brought the idea of doing the traffic box, traffic signal boxes, with artwork and among the things that we do, one of them is the town council receives annual applications for grants. Some of those grants are requested for art groups and they ask us to review and make recommendations for the requests themselves and if they should grant them and if so how much. So it's more or less advisory.”
There are several projects throughout Flower Mound that have come together from the commission.
“The biggest thing is that (the Cultural Arts Commission) helps people have an outlet where they can either participate or at least observe and see art in whatever form it might happen," Miller said. "For example, the statues in Heritage Park are artwork that people can experience. There’s murals that the townspeople actually help paint during the ‘Arts in the Park’ that’s displayed over in Parker Square. We have, before Covid, and we soon will have again, an annual thing at the library called an art party where people come and they’re afforded various opportunities to observe or participate in art or pottery.
"Doing claywork and several performing groups with that. It also helps, for example, the chalk work that the kids do when they have the ‘Chalk the Walk’ party. That helps them to participate and feel a part of the community. And it's also part of our job to help when the library needs help that we can provide. They have several different things that they need us to do for them in terms of recourse that they have to review and get permission to send forward and things like that we do that for them.”
Other projects include the Gerault Park Playground mural honoring local ball players, the recent Flower Mound Library Expansion, Signal Box Wraps and the Town Hall Art Wall which changes exhibits every two months.
Events put together by the commission include the annual Art Party at the Flower Mound Library, Art in the Park Festival, the Art Treasure Hunt Challenge and Chalk the Walk Contest.
Having a committee dedicated to showcasing the arts and culture to the community helps to make sure there is organization and continued support for the arts, Miller said.
“It's important that there be somebody whose main purpose is organizing and promoting the arts, not just small individual(s),” Miller says, “I mean small individual groups do their own things but not just them, a group that is responsible (for) helping promote them to make them become more successful.”
The commission is always working on something new for the town, with the next meeting coming up July 28, Miller said.