An open letter from The Woodlands Arts Council

By: The Woodlands Arts Council
| Published 08/01/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – The Woodlands Arts Council (TWAC), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide regional cultural and educational enrichment opportunities that encourage, support and promote the performing and visual arts.

Board President James H. Stilwell discusses what’s ahead for the next year

Their primary goal is to create a strong and vital arts presence in the area; they believe the arts can open the doors of our minds, strengthen character, heal the body and foster an appreciation of other cultures.

Recently, TWAC Board President James H. Stilwell sent out an open letter to local residents:

As I start my second year as President of the Arts Council, I’m writing to you from “Resolute” – the Art Bench on Lake Woodlands just past Restaurant Row in Hughes Landing. Sometimes I like to sit, reflect and look back to help the way forward become clearer. Will you join me for a few minutes?

The Woodlands Arts Council ends its fiscal year and begins anew each year on August 1st. This is a time to pause, celebrate what an incredible year it has been, and rejoice over the impact we have made together. This year our featured art piece for the Festival was “Celebrating Abundance,” - and our opportunities were certainly abundant!

• Our First Art Bike Rack Was Funded: Through a Giving Tuesday campaign, we came together to raise $8,000 for the first community-funded piece of public art in The Woodlands. We hope to install the “Give Back Bike Rack” this Fall.

• Our First Microgrants Launched: Together with the Judith K. Wren Memorial Fund, we gave microgrants enabling teachers, arts organizations, and artists to expand art in our schools and county in new ways.

• We Supported Future Artists: 10 graduating high school seniors were awarded $33,000 in Scholarships, and we are proud to invest in these talented students’ futures.

• Our #1 Community Event Got Even Better: Fidelity Investments joined us as our Title Sponsor for the 17th annual Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival. We had a record 23,000 art lovers, artists, volunteers, and visitors, and I am excited by what we are planning for you in April 2023! Thank you, Fidelity Investments!

• We Made Art and Gave It Away: We had SO MUCH FUN recreating our 2022 featured art piece by Guilloume, reinventing it as a canned food art sculpture. Thank you to National Charity League: The Magnolias Chapter; to Interfaith The Woodlands, and The Woodlands Mall for helping us with our 3,333 can food sculpture that was displayed for a week and then distributed by Interfaith through its food pantry.

• Together We Reflected On How Art Makes Us Feel: Artfeel brought together the many creative voices & talents Montgomery County has to offer, helping us celebrate art in our community and to share how pieces of public art make us feel.

• We Brought Smiles (and Art Supplies) to Children: When Conroe ISD let us know about their summer school program, with your help, we built 4,320 take-home-art-kits for children in the K-6th summer school classes. When I was a kid, I loved drawing and coloring, and so did these kids!

• We Passed our Million Dollar Milestone: Since The Woodlands Arts Council was founded in 2005, our charitable distributions for Art and our mission have totaled more than $1,000,000.00.

These things would not have been possible without your support. I am thankful for Fidelity Investments, Howard Hughes, The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy, Stella Artois, and The Judith K. Wren Memorial Fund, as well as our Executive Director, Jenny Carattini-Wright, amazing staff, and incredible Board of Directors and hundreds of volunteers. Also I would like to say a special thank you to two Board Members who ended their term with us this month: thank you Chris Elmi and Amy Reardon – you are amazing people and I am grateful for you.

As I look out over Lake Woodlands, I see our way forward more clearly. Over the next 12 months, I see TWAC increasing our public art installations, using our charitable funds to create new art opportunities in our community, and adding new features to the Art Festival – including an additional day of fun making our Festival three days in April 2023.

I look forward to what we will accomplish together in the coming year!

James H. Stilwell, TWAC Board President

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