Arts in DeSoto
In November 1997, the DeSoto City Council passed an ordinance establishing the DeSoto Arts Commission as an advisory body to the City Council. The seven-member City Council appointed body oversees the Cultural Arts Grant process and makes recommendations to the City Council for final approval. The arts grant process is funded by a portion of receipts from Hotel Occupancy Tax in accordance with the State of Texas Tax Code, and underwrites citywide cultural events that have become consistent and reliable arts programs for the public.
In early 2019, members of the Arts Commission met with the City Council at their winter retreat to discuss refining the City's role in promoting the arts in DeSoto. Following this discussion, the City Council authorized the Arts Commission to work with an outside consultant who could challenge the City to examine its current methods for allocating arts dollars and propose a new strategy for the arts in DeSoto.
Over the next eighteen months, the Arts Commission, guided by Margie Reese with MJR Consultants, participated in a planning process to discover opportunities for further development of the arts in DeSoto. Ad hoc committees made up of Arts Commission members and the public worked independently with MJR Consultants to research local arts agencies, gather citizen input, and refine the data gathered for use in the plan. The Arts Commission had the opportunity to see and provide input on the initial plan in June 2020, reviewed another update of the document in August and reviewed and accepted the final document at their meeting on December 7, 2020. The plan was presented to the City Council for their formal acceptance at their regular January 5, 2021 meeting.
The City of DeSoto has taken a critical step towards making DeSoto a household name for the arts in North Texas. The first step in this process will take the form of a new initiative called the DeSoto Artists Lab.