State Encouraged to Use Arts as Economic Development

SAN ANGELO — Just south of the river that runs through this West Texas city, Howard Taylor stood in front of a row of brightly painted buildings on a leafy brick sidewalk that will soon be dotted with streetlamps.

“Two years ago, people wouldn’t come near this area,” said Taylor, the director of the city’s Museum of Fine Arts. “They thought it was run-down, scary and unpleasant.”

The refurbished block is merely a hint of Taylor’s vision for the city’s 200-acre cultural district, a designation granted by the Texas Commission on the Arts in 2009. Taylor, the district’s chairman ...

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