As I assume the chair of the Cultural District Alliance, I thought it might be appropriate to introduce myself to you, our members. I first want to thank the exemplary leadership of Max Holderby and of previous chairs. We have seen unprecedented growth in the Cultural District since I first began working in the district, and this organization of members and volunteer leadership has become integral in the success of our neighborhood.
Fort Worth has always been home to me, but being an Air Force brat, it wasn’t until I came to TCU that I finally moved here. Even though I lived all over the world, it was always the Cultural District that I associated with Fort Worth. When we would visit family during the holidays, we would always spend time in the museums and Botanic Gardens. So, when I began working at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, it just felt like home.
I have now been at the Modern for 17 years. In that time, I have watched well over a billion dollars of investment happen in our district (a very conservative estimate). What was once a collection of industrial warehouses, car lots, and the Acme Brick headquarters, now is one of the most vibrant and urban communities in Fort Worth. With all of that growth, we have encountered a long list of challenges, but CDA has always been at the table to ensure our members’ voices are heard.
Despite all of the growth we have experienced, I am regularly reminded that we are by no means finished. We consistently see new building permits filed every month, major transportation projects that effect traffic, mobility, and pedestrian access are being addressed all over the Cultural District, and new facilities like Dickies Arena will energize and engage the western boundaries of our area.
As we continue to grow, CDA will work with our membership on issues that arise. I hope that over the next few months, you will see more opportunities to interact with us and other members at events and public meetings, as well as see this newsletter on a more regular basis where you will find information about some of the varied projects that CDA is working on. And please let us know how we are doing. I look forward to this opportunity to work with everyone.
Dustin Van Orne