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Art Blog

Stepping Back to the Roaring Twenties…
Sep 04, 2019   02:20 PM
by Jamie Highsmith, ED

The Cultural Affairs Council has the great privilege of having office space in the historic Cactus Hotel, a San Angelo landmark which opened in 1929—some 90 years ago! Many residents of our city aren’t aware that the hotel had its very own Speakeasy during those first few years and that it has been beautifully restored to its former glory.

When planning our fall events, the Council selected the Cactus Speakeasy as the venue for our first benefit event for the arts in San Angelo and the Concho Valley. On September 7, 2019,
SACAC will host an evening of celebrating a bygone era in an authentic Prohibition Speakeasy.

Our entertainment for the evening includes singer/songwriter/author Cindy Jordan on piano; RCA Records recording artist Kelli Warren, vocalist; Ellen Myer, bass; Dr. John Irish, trumpet; and Steve Goacher, saxophone. These incredibly talented musicians will be singing songs from the 1920s as well as previewing a number from Pearl the Musical. Cindy Jordan’s autographed book Pearl will be available for purchase.

Our menu for the event includes exquisite gourmet selections from Chef Tim Condon and Chef Earl Mulley. Beer, wine, and our special signature Speakeasy cocktail will round out a delightful evening!

While those in attendance will spend time reminiscing about the San Angelo of the past, those who will ultimately benefit are today’s artists, art organizations, and art projects.

Long live the arts!
Jamie Highsmith, Executive Director

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It’s Grant Time!
Jul 18, 2019   07:24 PM
by Jamie Highsmith, ED

One of the most rewarding opportunities of the year for the Cultural Affairs Council is grant time!

Since 1989, SACAC has supported San Angelo's love of the arts and strong spirit of creativity by distributing grants to other non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Funds are composed of 5% of the city's hotel tax revenue, support from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and money raised by the Council. The total of SACAC grant awards since the program’s inception exceeds $2,000,000.

The grant program is designed to provide financial assistance to

  • Increase the marketing capabilities of local arts organizations to further promote tourism. 
  • Increase the artistic quality of the applicant's activities.
  • Assist with special projects such as programming, special artistic presentations, and exhibits developed by the applicant.

Two categories of grants are available: Core Support and Project Support. Core Support grants are designed to enhance the activities of established non-profit arts organizations. Project Support grants are designed to assist non-profit organizations that primarily provide other types of community services but deliver arts programming through specific projects such as exhibits, festivals, and concerts. Project Support grants are capped at $2,500.

Grant applications are currently available. The deadline for this grant cycle is August 30, and grants will be awarded in October.

For additional information, please call the Cultural Affairs office: 325-653-6793 or email us: director@sanangeloarts.com.

Long Live the Arts! 




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Entering our 5th Decade...
Apr 01, 2019   03:04 PM
by Jamie Highsmith, ED

As the Cultural Affairs Council enters our 5th decade of supporting the arts, our board members have taken a close look at our mission statement and have made positive changes that reflect both current and future goals of our organization.

Our mission, very simply, has always been to support and enhance the arts in San Angelo and the Concho Valley. Without question, our efforts have been focused in that direction from the beginning; however, we realize a need to be even more specific in considering the goals within that mission and in making them publicly known.

Not only do we embrace existing art forms, we will also support art forms that are new to West Texas, and, particularly, to San Angelo. We want to evolve with what’s happening on the arts scene and will therefore seek ways to engage with funding and manpower.

Of great importance to SACAC is serving the under-served--who may also be the under-resourced as well--with art opportunities. Through our involvement with other arts organizations, we are seeking ways to help people of all ages and all walks of life to have enriching experiences with art—whether as artists, participants in the process, or audience members.

Promoting tourism is a great opportunity for us, for when we do that, we also promote what we as locals enjoy. Any close look at events and activities in our area will bring a realization that so much of what’s available to experience involves performing and visual arts; without question, the culinary arts are also well represented in the kitchens of our outstanding restaurants. As recipients of 5% of San Angelo’s Hotel Occupancy Tax, we strive to promote the kind of tourism that leads to overnight hotel/motel stays so that we may better share our arts-filled gem of a city with our state, our nation, and the world.

Long Live the Arts!
Jamie Highsmith, Executive Director

Greetings from the Executive Director!
Jun 29, 2018   10:32 AM
by Jamie Highsmith, ED

What a great honor it is to be the new Cultural Affairs Council Executive Director. I’m a Texan by birth, and San Angelo has been my home for the past 32 years. I hold B.A. and M.Ed. degrees from Angelo State University, and after spending four rewarding years in Concho County, I returned to this city in 1986 to live and work. Last year, I completed thirty-five years in public education. I bring a background steeped in the arts to the helm of this organization.

There is so much to love about San Angelo, but certainly one area that truly shines is our art community—every aspect of both visual and performing arts. Without a doubt, we have an abundance of incredible talent in our midst!

It’s a privilege to direct an organization whose mission is “to enhance the arts and culture in San Angelo and the Concho Valley.” Since the early days of our city, we have experienced great cultural offerings as well as distinct cultural diversity. From sheep to murals to sculpture, we enjoy an immense amount of public art. We are profoundly blessed with passionate artists who paint, draw, dance, sing, act, play, sculpt, write, direct, and, in general, CREATE in a multitude of very inspirational ways.

The Cultural Affairs Council is extremely proud to be celebrating its 40th year. What can our city expect from us during the year ahead? We will be involved in promoting the arts, in advancing arts education, in providing excellent food and wine experiences, and in filling the gaps so that a greater number of people can experience the arts in meaningful ways.

Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday living.” –Picasso

Long live the arts!
Jamie Highsmith, Executive Director

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