Nonprofit brings art to Tomball for 25 years

The Regional Arts Council in Tomball works to bring sugar plum fairies to the area in December, art education to students throughout the year and the opportunity for any area resident to paint a masterpiece.

"Art is always an enrichment for our lives," said Paula Whitaker, the art council's chairwoman. "We want to bring exposure of all types of arts to people. Statistics show a community that is rich in art has less crime, has a better family system and children that do better. Art brings more culture and a more well-rounded community."

The nonprofit group, which has been around for 25 years, has a scholarship endowment at Lone Star College–Tomball providing an annual scholarship to a student majoring in some form of the arts.

In addition, the Arts Council sponsors and coordinates with the Houston Repertoire Ballet to bring the Nutcracker to Tomball the first weekend in December.

"The tickets are very reasonable and the quality is outstanding," said Whitaker, who has been on the board of the Regional Arts Council for eight years. "You don't have to go downtown to see a professional production."

Third graders at Tomball ISD attend the performance every year, Whitaker said. It is an opportunity to gain exposure to a high quality artistic production that otherwise would not have existed for them, she said.

The Regional Arts Council has recently partnered with Tomball's DaVinci Artists Gallery to offer art classes for children with special needs and foster children. The art council offers art classes to all children, as well as private lessons with professional artists in the area.

"It's such a beautiful cause," said Shirley Skidmore, co-director of DaVinci Artists Gallery. "Anything to help children and bring out their rays of sunshine. It's an avenue for children to express themselves."

The Regional Arts Council holds an event several times each year called Margaritas and Masterpieces. Held at Cisco's Salsa Company in Tomball, the event offers art instruction and painting for an admission price of $35. The next class will be July 27. The class has been well received, Whitaker said.

"I tell them, God has put a little artist in all of us," Whitaker said. "You just watch and God shows up. He will help you have a beautiful picture."

The Regional Arts Council is considering offering art classes next year in local nursing homes.

"I love the arts, and I just feel it's so important to give back to our community and promote art any way we can," Whitaker said.

333 South Cherry Street, Tomball,