Presented in collaboration with Amphibian Stage, and with the Title Sponsor, North Texas Community Foundation.
The Women's Policy Forum 8th Annual Emerging Issues Symposium presented in collaboration with Amphibian Stage brought a timely and vital conversation on the role of women in the arts, and importance of arts in community building and the economy. Fort Worth is experiencing exponential growth and prosperity. Art is part of the key foundation of a healthy, productive, and inclusive city where creativity is valued.
Our keynote speaker Philippa Hughes, a noted social sculptor and cultural strategist leading creative placemaking projects across the US and overseas, spoke of her experiences in creating community through art and "creative place making." Hughes said art needs to be part of a larger solution to bring people together and can help start conversations.
The following presenter, Heidi Marquez Smith, CEO of the Texas Cultural Trust, presented information and findings from the 2021 State of the Arts Economic Impact Study, with statistical insight about our city's performance with regard to investment in the arts as an avenue for growth.
Two panel discussions followed expanding on the arts theme. In the Panel "Amplifying community voices through the arts," we heard Dr. Monica White Ndounou, Afton Battle and Jane P. Avila in conversation with artist, educator and community leader Jessica Fuentes.
The panel on "Taking Action: Setting Goals, Building Partnerships" focused on arts advocacy and what can and should be done to respond to issues raised during the symposium. We heard from Eureka Wilkey and Megan Henderson in conversation with Sharon Benge.
That evening, we enjoyed a reception hosted by Amphibian Stage prior to the world premiere perfomance of Egress!