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Texas Commission on the Arts awards $225,000 for Pioneer Tower public art project

2 Oct 2020 6:30 PM | Stacy Hollingsworth (Administrator)

The Arts Council of Fort Worth received a Cultural District grant award of $225,000 from the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) for a free community event that premieres art works by internationally-recognized new media artists Quayola from Italy and Refik Anadol from Los Angeles.

These new media works will be projected on all four sides of the historic Pioneer Tower at Will Rogers Memorial Center, illuminating the 204-foot structure in the night skies of Fort Worth during the last weekend of February 2021.

Combined with City of Fort Worth and other grant funds, this $1.2 million project supports the creation and presentation of the first of four major iconic public artworks that will join the Fort Worth Public Art collection.

Two years ago, the City of Fort Worth engaged local artists to assist with planning infrastructure improvements during the Pioneer Tower rehabilitation project and the selection of a New York-based new media curator to recommend artists for the premiere project. In May, Quayola and Anadol presented proposals that involve the use of complex computer algorithms and artificial intelligence to interpret large data sets of images into vibrant composite works, which will be projected onto Pioneer Tower, evoking Fort Worth’s natural beauty, rich diversity and storied history.

The grant is part of TCA’s Cultural District program, which funds programs and activities that encourage residents and tourists to spend time in state-designated cultural districts, which in Fort Worth now includes two districts: the area south of West 7th Avenue and west of downtown that features multiple museums and performance venues, and, as of a few weeks ago, the Near Southside district. These are walkable areas with a high concentration of visual and performing arts organizations, creative industries, restaurants and other cultural offerings.

In addition to the Texas Commission on the Arts grant, the Arts Council of Fort Worth received a National Endowment for the Arts $10,000 grant for the project.

Support from local, state and national organizations is vital to the continued success of bringing great art to our community. The Arts Council of Fort Worth is seeking additional sponsorships for this groundbreaking event in February 2021. Those interested in supporting the arts in Fort Worth can contact Director of Advancement Wesley Gentle at 817-298-3029.

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