Flower Mound, Texas’ investment in cultural arts has led to improved quality of life
-By Julia Steege-Reimann-
Flower Mound, Texas has long had a commitment to quality of life. With excellent park and recreation opportunities and an outstanding library already in place, residents expressed a desire for more cultural arts.
Flower Mound’s leaders took this desire to heart. Today, Flower Mound’s events are “wildly successful and well-attended,” according to JP Walton, Assistant to the Town Manager.
And residents are happy.
The Town regularly conducts The National Community Survey (The NCS) to gather feedback from residents. Data from the survey show that Flower Mound’s residents have become much more pleased with the Town’s Education and Enrichment between 2017 and 2019. Specifically, they have become much more satisfied with opportunities to attend special events and festivals and cultural/arts/music activities.
“These large increases are a direct result of the Town’s focus on providing cultural arts activities and events within the Town,” said JP Walton, Assistant to the Town Manager.
“Flower Mound has put significant recent investment into cultural arts and it has paid off. They should be proud of their hard work,” said Damema Mann, Director of National Engagement for Polco.
Flower Mound’s efforts led to a 2020 Voice of the People Award for Transformation in Education and Enrichment. This is the only national award that honors local governments based on feedback from residents. The award is presented by Polco / National Research Center (NRC) and the International City & County Management Association (ICMA). This award acknowledges local governments that make significant improvements on The NCS ratings and that take the best actions on behalf of their communities.
In response to residents’ request for more arts and culture, the Town created a Cultural Arts Commission in 2014. This six-member group helps promote and advise on programs related to cultural arts programs, art in public spaces, and library services. The Commission recommended that the Town hire a consultant to create a Cultural Arts Master Plan. Leaders officially adopted the plan in 2018 after months of surveys, public meetings, and planning committees.
After adoption of the plan, it was time for implementation. The first step was hiring a Cultural Arts Program Coordinator. Since hiring the Coordinator, the Town has created several programs and events. These include the Independence Day Art Challenge, Chalk the Walk Art Contest, Visual Journal Challenge, Art Treasure Hunt, Alphabet Hunt, All Around Town Selfie Challenge, Town Hall Art Display, and Traffic Signal Box Art Project.
“As a result of the success of these programs, residents have requested to expand the current programming and incorporate more,” said Walton.
As leaders look towards the future, they are planning to build a cultural arts center. This facility will not only provide a performing arts space, but will also include workspaces to create and experience art.
Flower Mound also plans to host its first Art in the Park Festival. The Art in the Park Festival will feature live performances, local artwork, an art treasure hunt, a recycled fashion show, hands-on activities and much more. City leaders were preparing to host the first festival in 2020, but it was canceled due to COVID-19.
“We look forward to presenting the residents with a groundbreaking celebration of art to showcase the many talented residents of the Town of Flower Mound,” said Walton.
Although Flower Mound’s cultural arts expansion may be the main reason for the transformation in the Town over the last few years, the library also continues to improve.
In recent years, the Library has added on-demand streaming service to meet the digital demand. They are also focusing on an expansion project that will add 15,000 square feet to the facility. The expansion includes a dedicated children’s storytime and program area, quiet reading room, teen area, additional study rooms, and more.
“The response and attendance to our events and programs have been immensely popular and we look forward to continuing to expand them in the future,” said Walton.Related Articles