Rockport Cultural Arts District Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary As First Coastal Bend District


The Rockport Cultural Arts District (RCAD) is celebrating its five-year anniversary as the first Coastal Bend community designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) for its significant artistic legacy.  Rockport was honored with this designation September 7th, 2016, after a year of vetting by a Steering Committee, begun by Dr. Mitch Weis, then Board President for the Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA).  Sponsored by the Rockport Heritage and Arts District Association, RCAD’s application included public input meetings and a survey completed by over 500 local citizens.   The City of Rockport, Aransas County, and the Aransas County Navigation District all passed official Resolutions of Support for the new District in 2016.  Letters of support were provided by numerous entities, including RCA, Rockport Little Theatre, Texas Maritime Museum, Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Aransas County Pathways, Rockport Aquarium, Aransas County Historical Society, Aransas County Historical Commission, History Center for Aransas County, Rockport Rotary Club, State Representative Todd Hunter, as well as District artists, galleries, businesses and historic preservationists.   A defined, designated footprint, required by TCA’s criteria, was chosen in the Downtown Heritage District, where many important historical and cultural assets exist.


Over its five years, it has initiated and sponsored numerous activities and programs to honor Rockport’s unique culture, including the role that Vietnamese, Hispanic and Black populations have contributed to the area.  It has also sponsored several public art installation, including four murals and an emerging sculpture project.  “One of our proudest accomplishments,” noted RCAD ED JD, “has been our successful effort to save and restore the San Antonio – Aransas Pass Depot, a symbol of early development, free enterprise and entrepreneurship.  Another has been our collaboration with other cultural entities like the RCA, including helping them secure funding because of our status as a State Cultural District.  We have also helped new residents of the Downtown District including RLT in their establishment and fund-raising.   We are very excited about a new initiative to join with other history organizations in a combined effort to attract cultural tourists to our area.”