Springtime in Houston sees myriad festivals, few as popular as the beloved annual Bayou City Arts Festival. Each year, thousands of locals descend upon Memorial Park to meet artists, view original works, purchase one-of-a-kind art, prints, jewelry, sculptures, functional art, and more. Sadly, the festival, like so many others, was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In some bright news, The Art Colony Association, Inc., the producer of Bayou City Art Festival, announced that an anonymous donor has donated $450,000 to the festival. The funds will provide all 300 of the 2020 Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park artists with a cash grant for $1500 each, according to organizers.
The gift is personal, given in memory of the donor’s mother, a watercolor artist from Arlington, Texas. "My Mom died in August of 2019 and I was waiting for the right time and organization to honor her memory," the donor tells CultureMap. "I read an article about the artists that were affected by the cancellation of the Bayou City Art festival and decided that this was something that my Mom would have wanted to do. When I was young, my Mom was a working single mom and often struggled to make ends meet, so I can appreciate the hardships of artist."
Additionally, all artists confirmed for the canceled Memorial Park festival have been invited to exhibit in the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown, now slated for Saturday-Sunday, October 10-11.
The donation was made as a contribution to Artists for Artists, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides Emergency Recovery Grants and free medical programming to Houston-based artists.
For those who are looking forward to the fall festival: The Bayou City Art Festival Downtown will feature two music stages, a culinary arts stage with chef demonstrations, strolling live entertainment, food trucks, and a craft beer and wine garden. In the Children’s Creative Zone, sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital Specialty Care, the festival’s nonprofit partners will host art activities for all ages and include an interactive area for all attendees to enjoy
McKenzie Fisk, a painter who hails from Los Angeles, will be the featured artist for Bayou City Art Festival Downtown. All tickets purchased in advance for the Memorial Park 2020 Festival will be honored at the Downtown Festival in October 2020.