Context American cities are working to create expanded opportunities for residents to experience the arts as a part their everyday lives. The recent interruption of arts programs due to the onset of


COVID-19 will have a long-term effect on how audiences participate in arts activities. This reality makes it more important to project new ways of servicing the public’s interest in the arts. Moving toward the end of 2020, and still in an unresolved pandemic, civic leaders are making the necessary adjustments to provide meaningful responses to the isolation and disconnectedness that their residents are grappling with. We applaud the City of Desoto and its Arts Commission for taking the time to consider the role the arts can play in supporting the interests, needs and aspirations of this community. The City ’ s 2015 Strategic Plan refers to quality of life as the “attributes or amenities that combine to make an area a good place to live.” This planning process offered the chance to investigate how arts, culture and creativity can be a more visible component of civic life in DeSoto. "An advanced civilization must not limit its e ff orts to science and technology alone, but must give full value and support to the other great branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future.” ~ National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of l965 Background In November 1997, the DeSoto City Council passed an ordinance establishing the DeSoto Arts Commission as an advisory body to the City Council. The seven-member City-Council-appointed body oversees the Cultural Arts Grant process and makes recommendations to the City Council. The arts grants process is funded by a portion of receipts from Hotel Occupancy Tax in accordance with the State of Texas Tax Code and underwrites citywide cultural events, which have generated consistent and reliable arts programs for the public. Recommendations presented in this document challenge the City to examine its current methods of allocating arts dollars and proposes strategic approaches to realizing the Arts Commission ’ s vision to “make DeSoto the epicenter of the arts in the Best Southwest Region - DeSoto, Lancaster, Duncanville and Cedar Hill, Texas.”


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