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Cultural arts area begins to take form at The Woodlands EDC meeting

November 29, 2018

The self-designated cultural arts area in The Woodlands is taking shape.

During a Wednesday meeting of the township’s Economic Development Committee, members discussed a boundary, name and logo for the arts area.

“We recognize the importance of the arts in the community, and that’s why we’re doing this,” said Nick Wolda, president of Visit The Woodlands.

The boundary was the simple part: it focuses on The Woodlands Waterway and includes other areas such as the Glade Cultural Center, Market Street, Town Green Park, Hughes Landing and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. The committee approved the map.

Then, Wolda presented the committee with name options for the area.

A sub-committee of Wolda, committee member and township Director Carol Stromatt, Visit The Woodlands Assistant Director Elizabeth Eddins and Amy Lecocq, who is on The Woodlands Arts Council advisory board, worked together for the past month to narrow a list of naming options down to one — The Waterway Arts District.

“Waterway was key, because that’s what we’re focused on. That’s our competitive advantage in the greater Houston region,” Wolda said.

Other committee members, including township Director Ann Snyder, seemed to approve of the name.

Last month, after the committee decided not to pursue a state-designated area, the township board allocated $10,000 for an internal branding project. The committee hired a freelance graphic designer, who created 11 different logos, five of which the committee looked at during Wednesday’s meeting.

Some logo designs included a prominent “W” and depictions of water or a tree, while others were focused more on text instead of graphics.

There was also discussion on whether or not the name and logo should have the word “the” at the beginning or not.

The committee had three favorite designs, and the consensus was that they wanted to see more examples of what the design would look like on actual signage.

“(We’ll) see it in both horizontal and vertical forms and see what it would look like on existing signage — like a light pole, the signs we have on the Waterway and the wayfinding signs that are on the streets,” Wolda said.

The committee plans to meet at 3 p.m. on Dec. 5 to look at the signage examples and decide on one design. Once they have decided, they plan to take the boundary map, name and final logo to the township board for approval.

Events admission tax fund distribution

The committee also held discussion on how to move forward with the events admission tax fund distribution. They had previously looked at examples on how to create disbursement criteria for the fund, which generates about $120,000 per year. These funds could possibly go to nonprofits in the area.

However, the committee tabled discussion of this item in favor of letting the township’s Cultural Arts Feasibility Study play out first. The study was launched last year and is now in the last phase of determining what type of facility would be best supported in the township.

“Let’s take a breath and do it right,” Snyder said.

Committee member and fellow Director John McMullan was absent from the meeting, as well as the two previous meetings in October.

jane.stueckemann@chron.com

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