The Cove, an art studio located at 402 Tennessee St. in downtown McKinney, offers one piece of the picture that makes up the community’s Arts and Music Guild.

Several other programs operate under the nonprofit organization’s umbrella, including McKinney Art Studio Tour, McKinney Plein Air Society and Summer Music Intensives. The guild is operated and maintained by volunteers, including its co-founder and Director Annie Royer.

“This is all volunteer [work].” Royer said. “There’s no paid staff at the guild.”

As The Cove hosted a group show May 6, Royer sat with guild participant and artist Leo Malboeuf, discussing the guild’s history and purpose.

A group of artists met initially at Malboeuf and his wife’s house in 2010 to discuss how a new arts nonprofit organization could benefit the community, according to the guild’s website. Royer and co-founder L.C. Tobey worked on the legalities of building the nonprofit organization, and board members were chosen for experience in nonprofit management.

The guild received its official 501c-3 status in 2011 as a creative educational asset in North Texas.

“The whole idea was that [the guild] is an umbrella organization for good ideas and programs,” Royer said.

Those programs start organically based on the interests and needs of artists in the area. Each program has its own leadership, committee and budget. Under the guild board’s guidance, each program can develop with independence and flexibility.

Each program also has its own funding source.

“There’s no membership dues,” Royer said. “There used to be, but no more. Instead, each program has some fees to participate.”

The guild tries to pay its artists for the work they do while offering as many inexpensive opportunities as possible for creative people to get their work in front of the public, Royer said. For example, artists can pay to have a solo show at The Cove, which hosts about 40 shows a year.

“Everything’s just a little pocket change,” Royer said. “And if somebody doesn’t have the pocket change, guess what? We find a way to include them anyway.”

Malbeouf said it was very unusual for an independent gallery like The Cove to remain open after one year. The Cove opened its first show in July 2016. The gallery grew because people like seeing local artists’ work on the wall.

Before The Cove, Royer said there wasn’t a place in McKinney for artists and musicians to hang out and share ideas. The venue features a seating area for people to gather during shows.

When people ask how they can get involved with The Cove, she tells people there’s usually a waitlist to have art displayed, but a big part of being a guild member is being part of the community, she said.

“Until we find a spot for you on the wall, why don’t you just come hang out and get to know us?” Royer said.

The Arts and Music Guild umbrella

McKinney Art Studio Tour

Every year during the second week of November artists from the greater McKinney area open their studios to the public. For two days, artists create art in their studios while people can come in to get a firsthand look at the creative process.

Next event: Nov. 11-12

Location: varies

Register your own studio or learn more about the event at

McKinney Summer Music Intensives

A weeklong day camp for middle school and high school music students, the camp offers instruction in various styles of music through individualized coaching, small and large ensembles, and performance.

Next event: July 24-30

Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 Virginia Parkway, McKinney

Register or learn more about the camp at

McKinney Plein Air Society

On the first Saturday morning of each month, artists meet at locations in McKinney and the surrounding area to paint while outside. Nonmembers of the society are welcome to come to paint-outs, but they cannot participate in online contests.

Next event: June 3

Location: Bar 7 Ranch in Sherman, Texas

Register for the society or learn more at

The Cove

This art studio located at 402 Tennessee St. in McKinney hosts about 40 shows each year. Member artists contribute to monthly expenses, and their work is displayed during events. Shows are free and open to the public.

Next event: June 2-3

Location: The Cove, 402 Tennessee St. in McKinney, Texas

Learn more about The Cove at

Contact the guild

[email protected]