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Fri January 23, 2009
Office of Cultural and Community Affairs sought in Commerce
By Scott Harvey
Commerce – Commerce residents are looking to establish an Office of Cultural and Community Affairs in the City.
Council members Tuesday heard a presentation by Michael Odom regarding the proposed office.
One objective; to make Commerce a place people visit and live in because they want to, not because they have to. The presentation also stressed the importance of a working accord between the City and Texas A&M University-Commerce and the ability to define a culture broadly that includes local agriculture in addition to the arts and humanities.
Another major point was the institution of a number of attractions which will benefit each other, such as further development of open spaces in the downtown area and the possibility of establishing an art gallery downtown by partnering with the University. Odom even mentioned support of existing cultural events such as the Cowhill Express Songwriter's Showcase nights and University poetry reading series.
According to Odom, about five others from the community have joined in the effort. City Manager Dion Miller says sometime in the near future a Councilmember may also be appointed to the board.
The Board's responsibilities would be to partner with existing similar efforts already underway, plus seek out funding for said initiatives by pursuing grants related to programming, infrastructure improvement and arts grants.