The folks over at the 2008 Bayou City Art Festival Downtown have finished counting up their earnings and figuring out who gets what, so tonight they're handing out checks to the non-profits organizations they support. A whopping $106,303 is going out to sixteen organizations, ranging from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), Lawndale Art Center to Houston Parks and Recreation.
The Festival was held in October, while much of the city was still in recovery mode from Hurricane Ike, so organizers weren't sure what to expect. Kim Stoilis, the executive director for Art Colony Association (the folks that put on the Bayou City Art Festival) tells Hair Balls, "There were a lot of concerns, certainly, with the political situation and the financial situation, and the hurricane, but art always does well in this market. It was much like the first jazz festival [after Katrina] in New Orleans, people wanted to come out and support the event and the artists. That led to record-breaking crowds. Plus, I think people were looking forward to not looking at piles of wood or trash."
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Art Colony Association was happy with the fall festival's success, especially since they had already planned out their giving goals.
"Beginning several months ago [groups] began getting letters saying, 'You know that money we were going to give you? Don't count on it.' We were very determined that we weren't going to send those types of letters," Stoilis says. "Instead we wanted to say, 'You're going to get the money that you count on twice a year from us - and if possible, even more.' If times are hard, we just need to work harder for the groups we support."
Pancho Claus (a.k.a. actor Richard Reyes) will be at tonight's award ceremony at the House of Blues, making sure each organization gets its oversized check (we're guessing Kim Stoilis will be right behind him, handing out the real deal mula).
-- Olivia Flores Alvarez