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A Healthy Arts Community Equals a Healthy Economy

How does Winnsboro Center for the Arts (WCA) benefit the town of Winnsboro? Other than being a place for the citizens of Winnsboro and surrounding areas to develop skills and creativity, and engage in the arts, culture, and entertainment, WCA promotes entrepreneurship and economic vitality. WCA supports local artists and small businesses, provides people special opportunities, and draws folks from all around the region as a tourist destination. WCA is known for its arts festivals, events, concerts, and exhibitions, which are all beneficial to Winnsboro. WCA is an integral part of the local economy, and it is important now more than ever to utilize the assets of our community to strengthen our economy. Although Texans continue to get vaccinated and it becomes safer to hold in-person events, it may be a while to find “normal” yet again. If you have ever studied art history, you have probably noticed that the greatest, most creative artistic movements happen during times of economic stability and growth. People have the time and money to invest in developing their own artistic skills and to patronize others’ art making. A healthy arts community means a healthy economy, and vice versa.

A great example of drawing people from around the region to Winnsboro to engage in the arts would be the Winnsboro Festival of Books that happened on May 1st. This year’s festival included over 20 authors selling and signing their books, eight authors who spoke in two literature panels, guest speaker Michael Merschel, and a live concert by Jo-El Sonnier. Market Street had a steady flow of foot traffic, and an estimate of a few hundred people visited the festival, many of them leaving with armfuls of books in tow. They did not just visit the festival. Many perused the farmers’ market, enjoyed restaurants like Celtic Table and Liefie’s, and patronized the many shops on Main Street.

John McEuen and The String Wizard Trio will be on the Bowery Stage at Winnsboro Center for the Arts on May 15th and the concert is sold out. It will be a great opportunity for concert attendees to get dinner and drinks at one of our restaurants downtown before attending the show. Coming soon to downtown Winnsboro will be the much-anticipated Sinclair Market, and Z’s Main Street Eats & Treats, which will be great places to stop by on the way to enjoying an art exhibit at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts gallery. Shirley Gordon’s debut art show will be in the gallery until June 6th, followed by Dreamscapes, an art exhibit that will be open for artist entries until May 22nd and will explore the places we visit while asleep and the places we aspire to be when awake, promising a journey through a wide range of creative experiences.

If you missed the Winnsboro Festival of Books on May 1st, WCA is also now planning for the annual Winnsboro Art & Wine Festival which will be on November 12th and 13th this year. This is always a great opportunity for artists, wineries, and other vendors to share their small businesses with Winnsboro and is always a huge draw for folks from surrounding areas.

Here is to a brighter future, and to healthy economic growth for the community of Winnsboro. WCA is here for not only the creative and spiritual growth of the community, but the economic growth as well.