Community shows support for proposed cultural arts facility in The Woodlands

Members of several cultural arts organizations in The Woodlands and Montgomery County voiced their support for a proposed performing arts center during The Woodlands Township board of directors meeting Oct. 28.

As part of the 2016 budget, the township board approved funding for a cultural arts feasibility study. The township’s ad hoc economic development committee will review a request for proposal for the project in November, but nothing has been determined, said director Ed Robb, who also serves as committee chairman.

“It’s very complicated, but if we work together and be patient and have a process and stay with it, we can achieve something,” he said. “Can we achieve everything everyone wishes for? I don’t know. I doubt it. But can we make progress? I think we can.”

David Gottlieb, who has been involved with numerous arts organizations in The Woodlands, gave a presentation and said the Lone Star College System may be willing to explore the possibility of a partnership with the facility. Representatives from other cultural arts groups also spoke about the need for a regional facility that serves all facets of the arts—music, writing, theater, healing arts, performing arts and visual arts.

“I think all of our community arts groups look to grow and be like their counterparts in the flourishing Houston community,” said Dave Parsons, director of the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council. “We have some magnificent stadiums and athletic venues in our town, but we need to come together and add a splendid [arts] venue.”

Representatives from the Conroe Symphony, which performs five concerts annually at Conroe High School, said the symphony has a need to perform in a facility with better acoustics, adequate parking and a reception area.

“We feel that the dynamic growth we are experiencing here in Montgomery County demands it,” said Gale Laminack, president of the symphony’s board of directors. “Availability to the arts is one of the major keys to economic development. Montgomery County already has the prime attractions in place, but we are still missing the prime jewel, which is a performing arts center.”

Director Gordy Bunch said a large regional project of this magnitude needs help from other stakeholders early in the process to succeed.

“I think everyone agrees that for a community of our size and our extreme blessings that we have the opportunity here to create something great,” Bunch said. “I think we all commonly agree cultural arts are very important to a vibrant, growing community.”
By Marie Leonard
Marie came to Community Impact Newspaper in June 2011 after starting her career at a daily newspaper in East Texas. She worked as a reporter and editor for the Cy-Fair edition for nearly 5 years covering Harris County, Cy-Fair ISD, and local development and transportation news. She then moved to The Woodlands edition and covered local politics and development news in the master-planned community before being promoted to managing editor for the South Houston editions in July 2017.