New Arts Commission in Seguin

Seguin Daily News Monday February 1, 2010

By Mary Jo Filip, Main Street Program Director

On Wednesday, Jan. 27 Mayor Betty Ann Matthies swore in the new members of the Arts Commission as required by State Law for those serving on municipal boards and commissions. New members are Stella Ozuna representing Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin, John Masterson representing the Mid Texas Symphony, Ann Leithead representing the Oakwood Art League, Sheila Bailey Lucas representing Seguin Art Center, Stephen Anderson representing Texas Lutheran University, Sharon Amman who is a Citizen representative, and Dana Overstreet who is also a Citizen representative on the Commission.
The Arts Commission will meet the week of February 1 for the purpose of adopting By-laws and electing officers. A networking gathering of artists is being planned.

The development of an Arts Commission resulted from the strategic planning process of the Main Street Advisory Board. The ordinance passed by City Council stated:
—The visual, performing, and cultural arts organizations are growing in Seguin.
—The interests of each of the various arts and cultural activities may be better coordinated and supported by an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts.
—The City Council of the City of Seguin desires to establish a Commission on the Arts for the purpose of promoting and supporting the arts.
—The purpose of the Commission on the Arts will be to encourage, stimulate, foster, and promote programs that will enrich the cultural environment of the City, thereby contributing to the quality of life in Seguin to the general attractiveness of Seguin for the purposes of economic development.
—The Commission on the Arts will work to help Seguin become an arts destination for the region in the belief that growth in the arts will enhance quality of life, economic development, and revitalization of Seguin.

The board members were appointed for staggered, two-year terms and can be reappointed for up to two additional terms.
The Commission is tasked with establishing, maintaining and publicizing a community-wide Arts Calendar; creating and maintaining an inventory of artists, arts organizations, events and available venues; communicating about and promoting the arts and artists; recommending policies to promote the arts; serve as a resource; look into establishing a volunteer network to assist artists; encourage networking; encourage the development of additional arts and cultural events and artifacts to the city; and to pursue funding for the support of arts programs.

John Masterson has spearheaded the development of the Arts Commission along with local artist and Main Street board member Marika Bordes. In a presentation to City Council, Masterson said: “The arts are a reflection of the highest and most noble aspirations of humanity. A vibrant arts scene is a sign of a culturally enlightened community. Establishing a Commission on the Arts will signal our City’s commitment to aesthetic values and how such values enrich us all.”

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