Finalists for the 2018 Texas Downtown Association President’s Awards Program were recently announced in Austin. For over 30 years the awards program, sponsored by the Texas Downtown Association (TDA), has recognized outstanding projects, places, and people of Texas downtowns. One hundred and eleven entries were submitted in eleven different categories from communities across the state. Judges reviewed entries online and then met in person to make their final selection of award finalists and winners.
Baytown’s Umbrella Alley is one of the finalists for the Texas Downtown Association Spirit of Downtown Award. The Baytown Tourism Division on behalf of the Baytown Pubic Art Visioning Committee unveiled the beautiful Umbrella Alley in the Downtown Arts District in early May 2018. This Public Art Visioning Committee is made up of individuals from the downtown business area including the Art League of Baytown, Lee College Art Department, Sterling Municipal Library, and other local influencers who hold Baytown’s best interests at heart. In the past, the alley was filled with broken concrete and graffitied walls, but now the Umbrella Alley is occupied with colorful umbrellas that swing back and forth in a whimsical limbo, casting dancing shadows along the alley walls and ground; the alley walls are getting a splash of color as a mural comes to life that focuses on the highlights of Baytown. The artists working on this mural are students from the Lee College Art Department which is located at the end of the Downtown Arts District. This collaboration among downtown partners has garnered regional response, and brought special attention to the Downtown Arts District area and the business’s that are located there.
“We are proud of the Umbrella Alley project, and the excitement it has garnered for our downtown,” says Anna Yowell, Tourism Coordinator. “We look forward to doing more Public Art projects in the future.”
Winners will be announced on November 7 at the Awards Gala held in conjunction with the 2018 Texas Downtown Conference in Corpus Christi. In addition, Citizens are encouraged to go to the Baytown Tourism Facebook page to vote for the Umbrella Alley photo. The picture with the most likes in the Spirit of Downtown category, will receive the People’s Choice Award. To vote, please visit the following link: https://bit.ly/2AdRdnH.
For more information about the President’s Awards or other programs of the Texas Downtown Association, please visit www.texasdowntown.org.