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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Downtown Bryan named state cultural district



The Grand Stafford in Downtown Bryan often holds concerts during First Friday events.

The Texas Commission on the Arts has named Downtown Bryan a Texas cultural district, one of only 26 statewide.
Awareness of the artistic culture of Downtown Bryan has grown in the last decade due to the monthly art and cultural event “First Friday,” held the first Friday of each month during which merchants and Bryan-College Station artists showcase their music and art.
“We are so pleased that the panel recognized the value of Downtown Bryan as a cultural asset to this community, and to the state,” said Sandy Farris, executive director of the Downtown Bryan Association, in a press release. “The most exciting aspect of this recognition is that the designation impacts Downtown Bryan in marketing and promoting events and activities, and it has the potential to increase the intrinsic value of properties within the cultural district boundaries.”
Amanda Reynolds, events and programs manager for Downtown Bryan, said First Friday showcases the cultural nature of Downtown Bryan at its peak.
“There is a movie in the park for families they can watch picnic style, musicians playing street side, merchants giving out information and local stores doing sales and promotions from 6-10 p.m. on First Friday,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said getting recognized as a cultural district was a lengthy process that took around a year.
“We had a binder an inch thick and filmed a video as part of the application process,” Reynolds said. “It’s a difficult process and required we beat out a lot of other big areas. We were really excited to announce that we got it earlier this week.”
Downtown Bryan artists and merchants are excited about the recognition and believe it could bring in an influx of customers.
“I think it is a fabulous recognition to have,” said Greta Watkins, owner of The Frame Gallery and First Friday founder. “It will build awareness and people will hear about us. There are only 26 recognized districts so it will be great.”
Barbara Peevey, owner of Brazos Glassworks, said she thinks the honor will enhance the cultural profile of the area.
“It’s great, it will be a big boost and help encourage more art, retail and boutiques to come be a part of our atmosphere,” Peevey said.
A ceremony, open to the public, will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the SEAD Gallery.

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