By Elizabeth Brannon
In spring 2018, the Town of Flower Mound was in the middle of a process that culminated in the creation of an Arts Master Plan for the community. It was a long and interactive process that included town employees, residents who served on boards and commissions, residents who had valuable input to share about the arts in Flower Mound, business owners, artists themselves and a vendor.
The vendor facilitated discussions and helped focus the community energy as related to creating a vibrant arts plan for Flower Mound. Preliminary findings from the 2018 meetings and conversations showed several themes emerging from resident feedback, including a comprehensive communication vehicle about arts events and happenings, the role of the town in supporting the arts, possible meeting locations for youth and a type of arts center in Flower Mound.
The participants in the discussions were of one mind about wanting to create an arts program for the town. The ultimate hope was that the Town of Flower Mound would be able to afford and sustain a facility that was dedicated to the arts. Input from the residents and artists included the desire to have a place for local artists to share their art, whether in a gallery or on stages adequate for dance, theater and choirs. There was an understanding that getting to a point that Flower Mound could have such an arts facility would take time, planning, commitment, budget, and dedicated focus.
Knowing the long-range goal of an arts facility was just that – a long range goal – discussions turned to how the town could create and support the arts as the arts vision matured and garnered resources to make the ultimate dream become reality. Long before a facility could be built, there would be numerous opportunities to support public art, create art-themed events, plan festivals and communicate with the town about the new and continuing arts programs.
Looking back on these three years, the town has seen many arts efforts and programs become real. Most of the success of the Flower Mound arts programs has been due to the hiring of Krissi Oden as the Community and Cultural Arts Program Manager. Since Krissi’s arrival in this position, the town has already experienced successes that are part of the Arts Master Plan.
We have several communication vehicles that highlight the arts programs in the town. We’ve had several murals painted, at the Community Activity Center and at Gerault Park, and painted by students, town residents and professional painters. We have traffic signal boxes throughout the town that boast works of town artists and are part of the public art in the town. There is public art at Riverwalk and in Lakeside and in Heritage Park, to name a few. We’ve had a few Chalk the Walk events in the past two years and continue to have an Art Party at the library (when COVID is not a factor). In the Flower Mound Town Hall, there is an art wall, and over the past two years several artists have displayed their works for the public to see and enjoy. And this past May we had our first Arts Festival in Flower Mound.
There were 49 artist booths at the all-day festival and four performance groups enjoyed by several hundred attendees. There were food trucks, sidewalk chalk activities, a treasure hunt, and a community mural. The community mural was designed by Flower Mound artist Beth Dilley, who was featured in this column in March. Throughout the festival, various community groups painted the large community mural, which is now showcased at Parker Square. This was the first annual festival, and plans are already underway for future art events, opportunities and festivals.
We’ve made tangible progress in our master plan, and thanks are due to Krissi, other town employees and artists and residents who continue to support our progress. The progress has been steady and noticeable and it’s great to be able to look at successes of the past three years and dream about the art possibilities for the next three years in Flower Mound.
Art thoughts: “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Elizabeth Brannon serves on the Flower Mound Cultural Arts Commission.