Supporting the Creative Arts Community in McLennan County, TX

When city leaders issued the shelter-in-place order, the team at Creative Waco had an idea to help the creative community and small businesses. All products sold on their website are handmade and locally based, with 15% of each purchase going to the Make It fund, which provides grants to artists and creatives struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The creative arts scene in McLennan County, TX has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with all genres of art represented: music, photography, painting, cinema, graphic design, ceramics, literature, and jewelry. This vibrant landscape is supported by backers, local companies, art lovers, and the artists themselves.

Nicole Wynter from the Waco Foundation and attorney Mark Hobbs provided material to Arts Alliance that applies to commercial and not-for-profit arts organizations. To be eligible for their services, you must be a creative artist or a small business with a handmade or original item. Kieran and Susan Sistrunk opened a gallery on Washington Avenue to sell their own art as well as the work of other artists. They hope to foster the emerging art scene in Waco.

Sara often comes with a problem for Kieran: “I really want a piece that looks like this or I really like this style”. This gives Kieran the starting point to unleash his creativity and find a solution. The creative arts community in McLennan County is an integral part of the local economy. It provides jobs for artists and small businesses while also enriching the lives of those who appreciate art.

Local companies can support this community by buying handmade items from local artists or donating to organizations like Arts Alliance or Make It fund.