Celebrating Creativity in
This isn't just another forum; it's a portal into the beating heart of our city. Join us as we take the first step in a journey to dissect and decode the conversations, narratives, and data that paint the portrait of the who we are artistically.
Welcome to the State of the Arts Fort Worth - where the creative pulse of our city reverberates with stories of ambition, progress, and unity.
Mr. Wesley Gentle
Arts Fort Worth
Executive Director & President
Arts, Advocacy, & The Economy
Discover the hidden economic powerhouse within the arts! Join us at the State of the Arts FW as we unveil the compelling insights into how artistic endeavors breathe life into local economies. Explore the symbiotic relationship between creativity and commerce, and learn how fostering the arts not only enriches a community's cultural fabric but also drives substantial economic growth.
Fort Worth Report
Artist, Curator, and Art Consultant for Artspace 111
Fort Worth Film Commission
Brandi Waller Pace
Decolonizing the Music Room
FW Arts Sampler
Uncover the allure of the uncharted artistic realms! Join us for the FW Arts Sampler as we embark on a journey through the art forms that have shaped cultures across the globe. From the exquisite tapestry of fashion to the written worlds that ignite imagination, and the vibrant melodies of mariachi that resonate with heritage, prepare to be enchanted by the overlooked gems of creativity.
Support Fort Worth Art
Musician / Organizer
Arts, Therapy, & Education
Unlock the transformative power of art in the journey to holistic healing! Delve into the profound connection between artistic expression and the restoration of mental and physical well-being. Join us to unravel the science behind how creativity acts as a balm for our wounds, offering solace, rejuvenation, and a path to recovery.
Dr. Amanda Allison
TCU - Therapeutic Art
Kids Who Care
TCU - Early Childhood Music
The Art Station
Amon Carter Museum
Meet & Greet
10:15am - 11:00am
11:00am - 11:10am
Art Snack: Arlington Heights Dance
11:10am - 12:00pm
Arts, Advocacy, & The Economy
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lunch provided by Fresco's
1:00pm - 1:50pm
FW Art Sampler
2:00pm - 2:10pm
Art Snack: Northside Espuelas de Plata Mariachi
2:10pm - 2:50pm
Art, Education, & Therapy
3:10pm - 3:15pm
Salem Moon Performance
3:15pm - 3:45pm
Post Event Mingle
Note: Agenda subject to change to accommodate performances and panelists
Discover Your City
Ever find yourself asking why things are the way they are?
Not only do we like finding out why things are the way they are - and sharing that information - sometimes we like to help change things that just, well, are.
From the Small Business Aficionados, to our homegrown Artists, to you Public Policy Nerds, if learning about how Fort Worth works and making a meaningful impact sounds like a good way to spend your time, then you've found your people.
Wesley Gentle Arts Fort Worth Wesley Gentle, CFRE, serves as Executive Director and president for Arts Fort Worth (formerly the Arts Council of Fort Worth), where he leads the teams responsible for the nonprofit organization's arts grants, public art services, management of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, and arts advocacy efforts. He previously spearheaded advancement for Arts Fort Worth and he has held fundraising positions at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Opera. He also works throughout the Metroplex as a classically-trained singer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Texas Christian University and a Master of Music degree in opera performance from the Boston Conservatory. Gentle is currently president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Fort Worth Metro Chapter, a board member with Texans for the Arts, and an active member of the Rotary Club of Fort Worth.
PANEL 1: ARTS, ADVOCACY, & THE ECONOMY
Moderator: Marcheta Fornoff Fort Worth Report Marcheta is the Arts Culture Reporter & Editor at Fort Worth Report. For just over seven years she performed the high wire act of producing a live morning news program on Minnesota Public Radio. She led a small, but nimble team to cover everything from politics to pop culture and breaking news. Fornoff aims to make arts coverage that is accessible and is eager to hear your story ideas.
Ariel Davis Artist, Art Consultant, and Arts Advocate Ariel was born in Fort Worth, and grew up in the Near Southside of Fort Worth. She earned her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Primarily a figurative realist painter and muralist, her work reflects on women’s empowerment, current social topics, and shared experiences. Her mural works can be seen at Inspiration Alley, Mistletoe Station in the Near Southside in Fort Worth, Mariachi Band Hall at North Side High School, at Globe Life Field the new home of the Texas Rangers Baseball Organization, the Fort Worth Stock Show, and TEXRail T&P Station. Her studio works (paintings) have shown with the Fort Worth Art Collective, Art Tooth, and group shows at Arts Fort Worth (Fort Worth Community Art Center) and various galleries across the state. In 2022 her painting, Under The Texas Sky (A portrait of Paul McCartney), was given to the musician as a gift for his sold out performance at Dickies Arena. Over the past 10 years, her work has been featured in over 45 exhibitions. In 2018 she was named Best Fort Worth Artist by Fort Worth Texas Magazine. In 2020 she was awarded Fort Worthian of the month in February, and was 1 of 6 Finalists to receive The New Normal Grant, funded by Fine Line Group (the family office of Sasha and Edward P. Bass), Alice L. Walton Foundation, Donny Wiley Memorial Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation, and Kit and Charlie Moncrief. She has been a member of the Fort Worth Art Collective for ten years. And in 2022 she was awarded the Fort Worth Business Press 40 Under 40 award for her work as an artist. Additionally, her career as an arts organizer within the Fort Worth art community is extensive. Over the past 10 years she has worked to create opportunities and connections between artists, businesses, collectives, non-profits, museums and galleries, and to further awareness in the general public of the DFW art scene. Combined she has organized over 130 art events or exhibitions in the DFW area. Some highlights include: serving as one of the leaders of the non-profit Art Tooth (both staff and Chairwoman of the Board), managing Artspace111 and Art7 (a satellite gallery of Fort Worth Community Art Center/Arts Fort Worth), participating as a leading member of the Fort Worth Art Collective, bringing the General Council of the National Endowment of the Arts to Fort Worth to speak at the Kimbell, co-creator of the Collective Residency Program at Arts Fort Worth, serving as a panel member on the Exhibition Advisory Panel for Arts Fort Worth, serving as a voting panel member for the Diamond Hill Community Center Fort Worth Public Art Project, and organizing the Temporal Integral Mural Exhibition (TIME) project in partnership with Sundance Square. Furthermore, in partnership with Margery Gossett (owner of Artrspace111), she co owned and managed Love Texas Art, a gallery focusing on showing local and Texas artists in 2022 -2023. Outside of the her artist studio, she now works as an art consultant and curator at One Eleven Art Consulting, the consulting arm of Artspace111. She currently has a solo show titled Cerulean Dreams on display at the Basement Lounge through October 14. The artist reception is September 30 from 6-9pm. The show features portraits of iconic women performing artists from the 1950’s - 1970’s in monochromatic blue paintings. You can learn more and see Ariel’s work at www.ariel-Davis.com. Follow her on Instagram at @arieldavisart
Taylor Hardy Fort Worth Film Commission Taylor has always been passionate about the arts and entertainment. From a young age, she was drawn to all things dance and musical theater, which led to an appreciation for storytelling. She continued on this path as a student at Texas Christian University, studying Film, Television and Digital Media and Strategic Communication. After completing a myriad of internships in the entertainment industry, she was selected as one of the first interns at the Fort Worth Film Commission, just two months after their launch in October 2015. Now, Taylor serves as Associate Film Commissioner and Senior Marketing Manager at the Fort Worth Film Commission and Visit Fort Worth. Taylor has worked to help build the Film Commission from the ground up, including launching a local production directory and location gallery and planning events to foster a sense of community for creatives. She assisted in bringing feature films and TV shows to Fort Worth, including Miss Juneteenth, 12 Mighty Orphans and 1883, and launched a Female Filmmaker Friday initiative which kicked off with an activation at SXSW 2019 and featured over 30 local crew members. Taylor has used her film background to serve as an in-house producer on marketing videos for Visit Fort Worth and has pitched several concepts, like the Women Worth Meeting video series which showcases female leaders to meeting planners. She has also worked to promote film tourism through blogs and social media posts that provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look at filming locations. Taylor actively participates in the Fort Worth community, and is a graduate from the Steer Fort Worth Keyholder’s Program and Leadership Fort Worth’s Leading Edge. She also served as a non-voting Board member for the Texas Travel Alliance and Performing Arts Fort Worth, a non-profit organization that manages the iconic Bass Performance Hall.. Taylor is passionate about Fort Worth and strives to share the city’s story in new and innovative ways.
Megan Henderson Near Southside Megan Henderson is the Cultural Director for Near Southside, Inc. and Near Southside Arts where she works with, and advocates for, the residents, small business owners, anchor institutions, entrepreneurs and creative stakeholders of Fort Worth’s 1400-acre Near Southside cultural district. She is the producer of various events and community programs including ArtsGoggle, Open Streets, and Friday on the Green. She founded the Near Southside’s community-led public art program Art South and has helped to facilitate over 40 private and public commissions for accessible artworks that enrich the community and provide opportunity to locals to advance their careers. She takes pride in promoting the development work and artistic contributions found in the Near Southside, a diverse community where stakeholders of all perspectives are valued. Passionate about place, Megan believes that a community who is invested in each other is the most valuable catalyst for urban revitalization with equitable gentrification. A mother to Esme age 12, a partner to a glass artist Tatara Siegel, and a passionate community advocate - she hopes to read more, travel further, find joy in the pursuits of others and find peace in those of her own. She serves on the Visit Fort Worth Marketing Committee, Film Fort Worth Committee, Arts Fort Worth Board of Directors and enjoys volunteering for The Welman Project, Trinity Pride and various other non-profit partners whom she works closely with in the Near Southside. Megan attended Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, but left before graduating for both financial and personal reasons. She has enjoyed a hands-on education from generous mentors and has over 15 years of experience in community development. She is a former employee of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. where she enjoyed her first foray into community development work.
Brandi Waller Pace Decolonizing the Music Room Brandi Waller-Pace is a Fort Worth-based musician, educator, and scholar-activist. A singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter, she incorporates her proficiency on piano, banjo, guitar, and 'ukulele into her performances. Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Brandi attended Howard University in Washington, DC. where she received a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Jazz Studies. At Howard she was a member of the critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble Afro Blue, sharing the stage with jazz greats Geri Allen, Carmen Lundy, Andy Bey, Jimmy Cobb, Nnenna Freelon, and Bobby McFerrin. During an 11 year tenure as a grade school music educator, co-wrote music curriculum for the Fort Worth Independent School District, and participated in district and community racial and systemic equity work. In 2019 and 2020, Brandi served on the Texas African American Studies Course Curriculum Advisory Team, which helped formulate curriculum standards for Texas’ first state-approved African American Studies course. Brandi is the creator and organizer of the Fort Worth African American Roots Music Festival, created to highlight blackness in American roots music. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Decolonizing the Music Room, a nonprofit with a mission of centering Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian voices and experiences in music education and related fields through providing training, content, and community programming. Brandi also sits on the board of directors of Folk Alliance International.
PANEL 2: FORT WORTH ARTS SAMPLER
Moderator: Wesley Kirk Support Fort Worth Art Wesley Kirk is a filmmaker, photographer, and arts organizer. He's a co-founder of the outsider art collective House of Iconoclasts, the founder of arts advocacy organization Support Fort Worth Art, a board member of Riverside Arts District and SteerFW, and owns a film & photo production company, Vision & Verve.
Rachel Gollay Musician / Organizer Rachel (she/they) is a community organizer, songwriter, and occasional vegan challah baker based in Fort Worth, Texas. Her experience in organizing spans work across LGBTQ+ advocacy, mutual aid, harm reduction, and reproductive justice. From providing direct support to folks directly impacted, to building out advocacy campaigns, Rachel believes strongly in our interconnected power to effect change and to practice “hope as a discipline” (as Mariame Kaba says). She is motivated by vibrant queer and Jewish communities in the South, and is proud to work alongside so many inspiring folks building a better world. Rachel’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s degree in English and Radio-TV-Film from TCU, as well as a Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from Indiana University in Bloomington. They are currently a board member and song-leader at her congregation, Makom Shelanu, a board member at the reproductive justice organization Fund Texas Choice, and program leader at LGBTQ SAVES, a local youth advocacy organization.
Shasta Haubrich Art Tooth Shasta Haubrich is a Digital Account Manager at Holland Collective and the Executive Director of Art Tooth, an artist-driven nonprofit that highlights local art, brings people together to support those artists, and helps match patrons with emerging artists.
Brentom Jackson Writer Brentom "Chuck" Jackson is a poet, writer, actor and psychotherapist here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. You can catch him regularly at the Dock BookShop as one of the hosts of the Tuesday Night Open Mic. His upcoming picture book Elijah's Easter Suit with Penguin Random House is available for pre-order now. Follow him on all social media @brentomjackson.
Salem Moon Voice Actor & Performer Salem Moon is an actor, musician, director, writer, and performer based out of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Since 2014, he's been cast in various other projects including My Hero Academia, Horimiya, Genshin Impact, Fruits Basket, One Piece, Saint Seiya (2019 sentai dub), Black Clover, and many more! As a musician now, Kiba currently has one album out, titled "XO", that released in May 2016. He runs a music channel called "KibaKovers", adapting anime and video game openings into English for a broader audience, as well as regular Top 40 covers. He is also one of the champions of the hit Fort Worth Drag Competition, The 3, as Salem Moon!
PANEL 3: ARTS, THERAPY, & EDUCATION
Moderator: Dr. Amanda Allison TCU - Therapeutic Art Dr. Amanda Allison is an Associate Professor of Art Education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She regularly works in the community alongside her TCU students, providing art experiences for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to create and enjoy art.
Tracy Cliburn Kids Who Care After 18 years in Commercial Real Estate as a Transaction & Client Relations Manager, Tracy Cliburn joined the KWC staff as the Community & Public Relations Director in October 2021. She’s always had an energy and a passion for leaving this world better than she found it, which is one of the reasons she volunteered at Kids Who Care from 2011 – 2021. Tracy served on the Cookin’ For Kids committee and as a parent liaison before helping out regularly with KWC Social Media beginning in 2017. Tracy is also one of our original works script contributors with her unique style of writing compassionately with humor and power. Tracy takes an active role in the city she loves, Fort Worth, and is involved with numerous nonprofits and organizations across the community. She was on the board of SteerFW, a civic engagement organization, for four years, serving as its President in 2020. She is a proud member of Leadership Fort Worth (Class of 2020) and is currently on The Welman Project and Helping Restore Ability boards. Tracy’s goal of knowing “half of Fort Worth” is definitely in reach as she travels from community event to community event and connects people to the people they need. She recognizes the importance of listening, reading between the lines, and observing the room – skills that together create a consistent ability to stay a step ahead. Kids Who Care Champion by day, Civic Super Hero, and Volunteer by night – entirely fueled by delicious Fort Worth food. Mostly tacos. With three children who are KWC alumni,Tracy is thrilled to be part of an organization changing the world – one child and one performance at a time!
Sarah Gay TCU - Early Childhood Music Sarah is a theatre professional who you may have seen onstage here in Fort Worth or Dallas. She is the Education Manager for Stage West theatre, and a member of Actor's Equity Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is also a certified Music Together teacher and staff member at TCU where she leads their community based Intergenerational music program at James L West Centre for Dementia Care.
Whitney McLean The Art Station Whitney McLean, a Ft. Worth native, is a senior therapist and supervisor for graduate student interns at The Art Station. She is a Board-Certified Art Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor- Supervisor, and currently serves on the board for Arts Ft Worth, and as a past president of the North Texas Art Therapy Association. Since finishing her Master of Science in Art Therapy at Florida State University in 2008, her work has largely focused on serving under-resourced and often marginalized communities such as adults with developmental disabilities, teen moms, women & children experiencing trauma and homelessness.
Alli Rogers Amon Carter Museum Alli Rogers Andreen is an artist and museum educator specializing in early childhood and multigenerational (family) education. She earned a BFA in Studio Art with emphasis in Painting from Texas State University (2011) and an MA in Art Education with an Art Museum Education Graduate Certificate from the University of North Texas (2015). Rogers Andreen is currently Manager of Family Programs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas. She shows her collaborative mixed media installations with arts organizations across the DFW Metroplex and north Texas, most recently with Arts Fort Worth, SiNaCa Studios, and Amphibian Stage Productions' Neighborhood Leap Project. Instagram: @alliexplosion Website: www.alli-rogers.com
VENDORS & PERFORMERS
Sara Hiett Panther City Artists Panther City Artists was founded by Sara Hiett in 2019. Having taught art in FWISD schools for 15 years and witnessing the transformative power of art-making in her classroom, through her students, and their families, she saw the need to create an accessible art community for the people of Fort Worth. Since June 2020, Panther City Artists has been working in schools and in partnership with various non-profits and local organizations to enrich people's lives through art. We have and will continue to provide accessible opportunities to the community through collaborative murals, multi-level programming, camps, and various novel experiences. At Panther City Artists, EVERYONE is an Artist.