Board of Directors
President & Festival Producer
Board Members Rhett Dawson
Waco Cultural Arts Fest incorporated: June 2, 2004
Mission: to celebrate and promote the community’s diverse artistic and cultural life; develop and enrich its cultural capacity; and champion the economic, social, and educational benefits of the arts in the Greater Waco area and beyond.
“Doing Business As” (dba) Name: Waco Cultural Arts Fest (WCAF) dba Cultural Arts of Waco (CAW). In 2010, the Board of Directors, through a grant from the Cooper Foundation, completed extensive strategic planning with Bower & Co. Consulting LLC to begin a 10-year plan for the future. At that time it was decided that the broader name CAW better represented the organization’s mission and vision. In the last seven years, CAW’s activities have evolved from planning and conducting once-a-year festival into making arts available to the entire community (“Arts for All”) throughout the year.
CAW is rooted in the following values:
Excellence – Fostering excellence in the arts and culture.
Pride- Creating programs that our community can celebrate.
Education – Transmitting creative knowledge and skills. Integrity – Operating with clear values and sincerity.
Diversity – Bridging a variety of peoples, arts, and cultures. Commitment – Investing in the future by nurturing arts and people.
Optimism – Committing courage, energy, and hope to all we do.
CAW realizes these values through several avenues, all free to the public:
- Waco Cultural Arts Festival, a three-day festival celebrating hands-on “Arts for All”, performance art includes varied musical genres symbolizing the cross cultural power of music and dance. Attendance has risen from 3,000 to 18,000. Since 2004 the festival has placed educational outreach performances and workshops in the Waco Independent School District investing over $20,000 in school programming for K-12
- Waco National Outdoor Sculpture Invitational, which brings unique sculptures by renowned and emerging artists into Waco’s downtown in order to promote art in public places;
- Branding the Brazos “Waco Chisholm Trail Heritage” Sculpture, a series of sculptures that pay homage to Waco’s role along the historic cattle-drive trail and enable visitors to visualize Texas folklore, culture and history;
- Doris Miller Memorial Sculpture, which honors an awe-inspiring African-American hero while providing a place for reflection and learning; and
- Art at the Arc: a summer day camp for Arc of McLennan County, an organization for intellectually disabled individuals especially autism and cerebral palsy.
CAW has a nine-member volunteer governing Board of Directors and an advisory board. With no full-time paid staff, all festival and outreach activities require coordination of more than 450 volunteers, and administrative duties are conducted in donated office space. Primary funding is provided by community businesses, grants, and fundraising events.