Art and Advocacy
With over 100 artists in attendance, the Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival VIP Art Dash was the perfect place for art aficionados to start the weekend.
At this festival kickoff party and fundraiser at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Friday night, partygoers with $100 lottery tickets staked out their fave WWAF artist-donated creation, then ran to grab it as their names were called. Dave and Jen Roberts came up with a $2,000 winning bid for an April 29th dinner at Jasper’s followed by the Moody Blues concert at the Pavilion.
Susan Fowler of the Texas Motion Picture Alliance was having a blast taking pics of people with their newly acquired pieces. The design behind the diversion, says festival director Jenny Wright is that all proceeds benefit student art scholarship recipients. "We have given away $126,000 in the last six years with the help of the artists who donate their art to the Art Dash,” she says.
Relative wunderkind The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival has grown into a major art event, concentrated within Montgomery County but with visitors from across the Houston area. The 15,000 people who come to the juried show this weekend will see over 200 fine artists in a kaleidoscope of mediums but also experience live music, hands-on activities for adults and children, the huge Hubbell & Hudson tent among other culinary delights, student art displays and scholarships, and local community outreach, including the new Arts In Montgomery County booth and stage.
The Festival’s growth has to do with quality, not quantity, says former festival executive director-turned-community outreach chair Brenda Gottlieb.
“If you look at the waterway, it’s a beautiful venue,” she says. But by envisioning this Fine Arts Fest as more than just a once-a-year art event, “we’re not trying to get larger; we’re just trying to keep refining the festival.”
“Though the Festival is our main event, we’re trying to grow in outreach programs, things we can do throughout the year.”
Education outreach helps supplement the fine arts in schools by donating supplies, taking school groups to museums, bringing performers into schools, and recognizing outstanding Fine Arts teachers in the CISD system. As part of community outreach programs, organizers will debut the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Above The Influence program in Houston on Saturday with performers, a teen panel discussion, and the unveiling of a mural.
The WWAF is nationally recognized as No. 59 out of 600 nationwide festivals in the fine arts category of the Art Fair Source Book.
Check out the new website with a detailed interactive festival map and dynamic scrolling art display, a Spanish translation button, directions on how to get to the festival and where to park your car.