Fort Worth residents gathered at a packed art space on Thursday evening to participate in discussions regarding the future of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the W.E. Scott Theatre. The Fort Worth City Council formed a task force earlier this year which was assigned the responsibility of assessing the potential uses of the building which is currently leased by Arts Fort Worth, and that includes art galleries and a theatre that were built in three phases dating back to 1954.
The task force will consider recommending repairs, earlier estimates indicate the repairs necessary total to an amount worth nearly $26 million. The recommendation will include options for renovation, redevelopment and repairs. Michelle Gutt, who is associated with the City of Fort Worth, indicated that the task force has referred to numbers, reports and documents, however, also stressed “hearing from the people who actually use the facility, the people who actually have a history with the facility, is a really important part of the process.”
Several individuals had signed up to speak at the event including Photographer and filmmaker Wesley Kirk who implored the task force to carry on investing in community-driven art, “I have seen shows here that have moved me to tears that could never be seen in a for-profit gallery”. Kirk believes that the art space is essential as it facilitates the exchange of important ideas and concepts that underpin the arts community in Fort Worth.
Another artist, Cosmo Jones, who is from Fort Worth and whose works predominantly involve painting and sculptures, stated that the art center serves as a second home to many residents, including himself. Jones further asserted that the uniqueness of this particular art space is irreplaceable and suggested it was a representation of the special qualities that the city of Fort Worth has as an arts community.
The future of the Fort Worth Community Arts Centre and the W.E. Scott Theatre will be determined based on the recommendations provided by the task force to the Fort Worth City Council on May the 2nd. The task force has only two more meetings before it is required to make a presentation of its conclusions. As such, Fort Worth residents who have not yet had the chance to participate in the discussions regarding the future of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the W.E. Scott Theatre are encouraged to attend these meetings before the final recommendations are made.