Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips on art in the time of social distancing. Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to listen to Courtney Hitt, project manager of Plano Art Walk, share her tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala.
After feeling overshadowed by other art scenes, Leadership Plano and the Plano Arts Coalition have set up a walking guide to draw attention to the city’s arts and culture community.
“I think the biggest message in all of this is that the arts reflect not only who we are but who we aspire to be, so I think just having a more engaged community in the arts makes for a better thriving community,” said Courtney Hitt, project manager for the Plano Art Walk. She also serves on the community advisory board for KERA and KXT.
The Plano Chamber of Commerce organizes Leadership Plano every year, from September through May, so participants can learn about the city and enhance leadership skills. This year, the class’s end-of-year project was an art walk. Hitt said she hadn’t seen Plano’s arts and culture scene displayed before in the leadership program.
“It was then I knew that I wanted to do an arts-related project,” Hitt said.
In a 25-stop tour, the community can see its very own art world and historical significance in the Plano Arts District and nearby areas. And, in this time of COVID-19, the tour can be done by walking or driving.
To take it one step further, there will be questions and prompts on the Plano Art Walk website for kids and families who take the tour. Questions such as: “If this sculpture could travel, where would it travel to?” and “Most of us know that many people still are not treated fairly because of the color of their skin. Can you think back to a time when you weren’t treated fairly? How did that make you feel?”
Visitors will also have the chance to learn about the Douglass Community, a historically Black neighborhood in Plano. The tour features the Douglass Community Mosaic Tracks of Our Past and Future, and the Stimpson-Drak Park, named after Mose Stimpson and Andy Drake, who were the first African American free men to be sharecroppers in Plano.
The Plano Art Walk also highlights some of the city’s more whimsical art, such as the Alien Rock and the Rhythmic Illuminations sculptures. To begin the tour, Plano Art Walk has set up an intro video on their website, along with activities for kids.
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