Denison Arts Council pushes forward with culture events

Shannon Orr,
The Herald Democrat
A 1940s painting of early Denison is among the more than 30 pieces of art that are on display in Denison City Hall as its first exhibit under the Art in the Hall program.

Denison Arts and Cultural District in Downtown Denison was formerly established in early 2009 by the city of Denison. The action was the culmination of a decade-long effort by the Denison Arts Council.

The group’s mission is to promote, encourage and otherwise develop cultural activities in order to serve the needs of all citizens through participation, exposure, and educational opportunities. With the pandemic requiring new safety regulations they have reorganized their meeting structure and participate in meetings by video conference.

Restructuring events has allowed them to move forward to maximize public engagement while adhering to safety guidelines.

The Denison Arts Council helps fund a variety of art related projects including workshops, in which they partner with local retailers. Part of their budget is specifically structured for public art funding, often used for murals and sculptures.

They are well known for the Dia de Muertos Festival and their Art, Walk & Wine Event. The Dia de Muertos Festival is held in downtown Denison boasting many local artists, vendors, performers and a one of a kind puppet parade. It is currently in the planning stages for Saturday, Nov. 7.

The Art, Walk & Wine supports local artists by partnering them with small businesses and giving participants exposure to the local art scene along with wine, food and fun. The next Art, Walk & Wine is scheduled for May 15, 2021.

“Our Art in the Alley, Art in the Hall, and Film Fanatics initiatives allow us to form partnerships with those that have a similar goal. This provides the general public with a more diverse way of viewing art and culture,” said Jenna Zapata, Vice President of the Denison Arts Council.

“Denison Arts Council sponsored events are specifically designed to bring tourism to the area,” said Barb Stewart, President of the Denison Arts Council. “This year we are most proud of contracting The Color Condition from Dallas to provide Denison with several custom interactive installations. Their public art has been seen locally at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Contemporary, and Galleria Dallas. The DAC is excited about the idea of bringing a fresh and modern approach to art into public awareness. Their works are an exploration of color, pattern and movement.”

Their organization depends on their members who have a wide variety of experience and expertise. They are always actively seeking new members and are searching for individuals that have demonstrated community leadership.

“We would like them to have experience in the arts or another nonprofit organization. Prospective board members are asked to volunteer at least five hours for Arts Council projects before being appointed to the board of directors,” said Zapata

“We are a volunteer organization composed of artists, business owners, and those that are dedicated to the arts. We look forward to continued partnerships that form from a mutual love of visual, musical, performance, and literary arts in the North Texas area,” said Stewart.

Event information and applications for membership can be found at They also promote council initiatives and events through social media on Facebook and Instagram. They can be contacted via email at

Eri Torres and Aurora Nunez demonstrate large, back-mounted puppets that were on display during Denison's Dia de Muertos festival in 2017.