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Fort Worth City Council, District 8

Updated: 3 days ago

The Arts Council offered candidates an opportunity to respond to a set of questions about the issues important to the arts community and how the candidates would address these issues if elected. These questions and the candidates' answers will allow you compare candidates in the Fort Worth City Council Elections and help us continue to advocate for the arts with our City leaders. These answers are unedited, save for formatting issues.

List of Candidates

Kelly Allen Gray

Christopher Johnson

Tyrone King

Chris Nettles

Millenium Woods Jr.


Kelly Allen Gray

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.

Christopher Johnson


Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.



Tyrone King

In a few short sentences, tell us about yourself and your relationship to the visual and/or performing arts.

I'm a native of Ft. Worth, a graduate of UTA, and have owned/operated a small business in the city for almost 30 years. Additionally, I've been active in the performing arts community for over 20 years. I’ve performed at several venues across the metroplex, spending more than a decade at Jubilee Theatre as an actor, director, stage manager, production manager, etc. In 2019 I became the first African American to build a set for the Fort Worth Opera when I worked on their youth outreach traveling production of Hansel and Gretel. I fell in love with the performing arts when I took a drama class while attending TCC. Under the guidance of Dr. Leonard and Patty McCormick, I learned the important elements necessary to succeed as a performer and a leader. Those skills were honed by the late Rudy Eastman and his immediate successor Ed Smith. I've always appreciated the visual arts and regularly attend our local museums as well as museums around the country.


How would you work to increase the City’s investment in the arts industry to meet growing needs and bring our funding in line with other major cities in Texas?

As a member of the City Council, I will work with the mayor, other council members, and a strategic team to establish a revitalization plan that is similar to the Bishop Arts District. This plan will target undeserved communities that will benefit at-risk youth. For the past decade I've been involved with a youth outreach program which targets at risk youth by using a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) based initiative. Ninety percent of the children in this program never fathomed the idea of going to college – they are now in college, preparing for college, or have graduated from college and are now giving back to the community. Creating a revitalization plan and executing effectively will expand the aforementioned success stories on a city-wide level.


Please share your thoughts on how the arts can help our City lift up diverse voices, close opportunity gaps, and how can Fort Worth’s mayor help this grow?

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.

As our City recovers from the pandemic, how will you ensure that the arts are part of the conversation regarding City planning, economic development, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives?

As I mentioned earlier, I've witnessed how the arts can change people and a community. I'll be candid and admit that I grew up in the inner city and was an at-risk youth who didn't see many opportunities especially as it relates to going to college. However, I suffered a severe work-related injury which prevented me from working and eventually led me to attend classes at then TCJC. As a first-generation college student, it was there that I discovered the performing arts which gave me the discipline and drive to become the man I am today. So, I'll be able to give a real-world example to the mayor and stress the importance of art in lifting up diverse voices and closing opportunity gaps that currently exist in Fort Worth. Furthermore, I've shared the love of art with my daughter and grandson. My daughter graduated from the University of Houston and is now an actress in Atlanta and my 11-year-old grandson is already preparing for college. I don't know if any of this would've been possible if I hadn't discovered the performing arts. Therefore, I think it’s extremely important to establish a performing arts venue in underserved areas. Although I support the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, think it serves a valuable purpose, and have been involved with several productions there over the years, unfortunately due to costs and/or transportation issues, it’s not accessible to a large segment of our citizens. So, the mayor can lead the process of making additional funding available to support much needed venues in underserved communities.


Tell us about the visual and/or performing arts in your Council District. What are you most proud of? What needs help to grow?

As a councilmember and a member of the arts community who knows the importance of art, I’ll do everything within my power to make sure that the arts community and its funding are part of the conversation at city hall. One of the projects I'll be spearheading is an initiative to revitalize the area surrounding The Grand Theatre which is located on the historic south side in zip code 76104. The Grand was originally constructed in 1938 to provide entertainment to the area and was a pillar of a thriving community for decades. However, since in closing, 76104 has unfortunately become the zip code with the highest mortality rate in the entire state. My plan will revitalize the community by strengthening existing businesses, fostering new economic development, and providing affordable housing by creating artists’ lofts among other development. We'll use the model which was instrumental in revitalizing Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance, and which has been instrumental in creating the Bishop Arts District in Dallas.


Chris Nettles

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.


Millenium Woods Jr.

Awaiting a reply from the candidate. It will be uploaded as soon as we receive it.



Phone

817-392-8808

Fax

817-392-6187

Email

District8@fortworthtexas.gov

Location

District 8 Office

200 Texas St., Fort Worth, 76102


Learn more about District 8


Are you registered to vote? Register or verify here!


Where will you vote? Find your polling place here!


Important Dates

Thursday, April 1 Last day to register to vote

Monday, April 19 First day of in-person early voting

Tuesday, April 20 Last day to request a ballot by mail (received by, not postmarked) Tuesday, April 27 Last day of in-person early voting

Saturday, May 1 Election Day Last day ballot by mail must be received by 7 p.m.

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Arts Council programs are made possible through gifts from local individuals, small businesses, corporations, foundations, the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and Texas Commission on the Arts.

CONTACT

(817) 738-1938

 

1300 Gendy Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107

 

info@artscouncilfw.org

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