East Texas Cities Collaborate In Arts Web Site

From East Texas mayors, to prominent business people, to patrons of the arts, everyone was energized by the official launching of the Arts East Texas website.

"In its simplest form what we've done is create a membership organization where we're reaching out to all cultural organizations in East Texas, looking for dance music theatrical performances," said Tyler museum of art director Kim Bush-Tomio.

With the website, no longer will arts compete with one another.  Now they'll work together bringing tourism to East Texas cities. Visitors to the website can find out dates and times of performances and activities for all arts events happening at any time in any city. Symphony, ballet, festivals, the bottom line is selling your product. The collaborative effort was touted by many.

"Today is a very important day in all of East Texas not just for the arts but for the idea of all of us working together," said Tyler Mayor, Joey Sieber.

"When we can combine some of our resources not just in revenues but in people we become a much more effective force if you will," Longview Mayor, Jay Dean said.

Businesses can even search the site to find venues to host conventions, and of course entertain those conventions with the arts on tap.

"Marketing attractions today is such an important issue not just for arts organizations. But if you were promoting professional wrestling, you'd still have to do the same thing," said Rick Hernandez, Executive Director of the Texas Commission On The Arts.

And they hope a this is the first step to make East Texas a cultural attraction.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

To view the new website, go to the Know More on 7 section of KLTV.com.