For a little more than a year, the Mansfield Commission for the Arts - (MCA), has been working at making the city a regionally recognized destination for cultural activities. By the looks of things, they seem to be succeeding based on the success of Music Alley, their most recent event on Sept. 9.
The MCA is gearing up again this time for its primary fundraiser, the first of its kind for the fledgling organization, referred to as ArtScapes.
"The Commission's mission is to promote, support and build the cultural arts community in Mansfield and enhance the quality of life for its residents and visitors through vibrant arts opportunities," said Rosalie Gilbert, Cultural Arts Coordinator for the Mansfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.
She said all proceeds from the event would go to support that mission.
"Specifically, money raised at ArtScapes will be made available for local artists, arts organization and art students in the form of grants and scholarships," Gilbert added.
She said those requesting grant funding through the Commission would need to submit a resume or portfolio of work to review to back up the applicant's request as a viable candidate.
"We're still working on that process," Gilbert added.
Gilbert said it’s wonderful that Mansfield is a sports centric town. However, introducing cultural tourism is also very important.
"People coming to cultural events such as festivals, museums...something arts related - stay longer," Gilbert said. That's something we want to capitalize on."
She said Mansfield was not only “growing like crazy” but at a "tipping point" where they needed to look at what makes people want to come live, stay and play in Mansfield.
"We want to attract people to Mansfield as their hub," Gilbert said. "People no longer have to go to Fort Worth for fun."
As for the event itself, Ross Romary, a member of the ArtScapes committee, said there were lots of talented people in town - both young and old - that have never been showcased before.
“That’s the idea, to give artist this forum at this function,” he said. “This is a party to raise awareness for the art that’s here, for the future for art, and potential for the City of Mansfield.”
Linda Canedy, also member of the planning committee, said she was excited to bring a featured event like it to Mansfield.
“It’s drawing attention to how many talented people we have in the area and what’s available,” she said. “I use to have to take my children to other cities for training or to just appreciate art. We have so much here in Mansfield and we’re trying to find those artistically involved we don’t even know about yet. To me that is extremely exciting.”
Committee member Sheri Wolf said she was excited about the educational opportunities the arts bring.
“Theatre, music, visual performance arts...I think the city is ready and I’m looking forward to it,” she said.
Jean Sampson, a transplant from New Jersey, said back home she could go to New York in the, “drop of a hat,” for cultural opportunities such as this.
“There is a lot of talent here in Mansfield,” she said. “I look forward to being a part of this.”
The night of the event guest attending will be greeted with a specialty cocktail - the "Art-ini" - as they arrive.
Gilbert said while you enjoy mingling, stroll through the tables and vote on your favorite because the table with the most votes at the end of the night will win a prize.
"Each table will be uniquely themed; a few of the themes already chosen are "Art Glass," "Hamilton," and "Ballet," said Gilbert.
"In addition to exquisite table displays, you'll be entertained throughout the evening by live music from the Mansfield Wind Symphony and Next Gen Chamber Players, by card magician extraordinaire Braden Daniels and by painter Doug Peak as he creates a masterpiece before your eyes."
Attendees will be able to sample delicious hors d'oeuvres and gourmet dessert creations from local bakeries and be wowed by several surprise pop-up performances.
"All the artists featured at the event are from the area, and will be available throughout the evening to talk and answer questions," Gilbert said. "In addition to the featured performers, a number of other Mansfield artists and arts organization will be represented with table displays so you can learn about all of the cultural arts opportunities available right here in Mansfield."
If you want to go
ArtScapes will be Thursday, Sept. 28th from 6-9pm at Walnut Creek Country Club.
Individual tickets as well as table sponsorships are available for this event. This select event is limited to 150 guests, and many tables are already sold. If you’re interested, it is time to purchase your tickets or table. Purchases can be made online at https://www.mansfieldtexasarts.org/calendar/events/artscapes. You may also contact the Cultural Arts Coordinator, Rosalie Gilbert, with any questions at 817-804-5768 or firstname.lastname@example.org.