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The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) paid tribute to the 45th Annual Lubbock Arts Festival – produced byLubbock Arts Alliance on Monday, October 9, 2023 during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at the 66thAnnual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Clover, in McAllen, Texas, U.S.A.

The Grand Pinnacle Award, the highest award given by the IFEA, was awarded to the 2023 Lubbock Arts Festival for the second consecutive year.


“We are thrilled beyond words to receive this prestigious award again. To have the Lubbock Arts Festival named as the ‘Best Overall Event’ in its budget category is just incredible! “said Elizabeth Grigsby, Executive Director of the Lubbock Arts Alliance. The event won in the $100,000-$750,000 budget category. 

Sponsored by industry leader Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, the professional competition drew entries from some of the world’s top festivals and events*.  Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, CO; the Dublin Irish Festival in Dublin, OH; the South Texas International Film Festival in Edinburg, TX; the Saint Louis Art Fair in St. Louis, MO; the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, KY; the Pasadena Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, CA; the City of McAllen Holiday Parade in McAllen, TX; the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, MI; The Parade Company in Detroit, MI; the Philadelphia Flower Show in Philadelphia, PA; the United San Antonio Pow Wow in San Antonio, TX; the Washington’s Birthday Celebration in Laredo, TX; ¡ARTE VIVA! in Naples, FL; and Folklorama in Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Canada Together in Vancouver, BC, Canada; Vivid Sydney in Sydney, Australia; Festival Lent in Maribor, Slovenia; and Chiang Mai Blooms in Bangkok, Thailand.

Recognizing the outstanding accomplishments and top-quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by Festivals and Events around the world, awards* were handed out in 70 different categories including: TV/Radio, Social and Multi Media; Print and Merchandise, in addition to Festival and Event programs such as Sponsorship; Education, Accessibility; Children’s; Emergency Preparedness and Entertainment. The Grand Pinnacle, the highest award given by the IFEA in recognition of those Festivals and Events* who have a balance of all the elements necessary to ensure a successful event was also awarded. 

“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President & CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.  “The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.  Striving for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations in every budget level and every corner of the globe, this competition has not only raised the standards and quality of the festivals and events industry to new levels, but also shows how event producers can use innovation and creativity to achieve a higher level of success.”

Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) is The Premier Association Supporting and Enabling Festival & Event Professionals Worldwide. In partnership with global affiliates under the umbrellas of IFEA Africa, IFEA Asia, IFEA Australia, IFEA Europe, IFEA Latin America, IFEA Middle East (MENASA), and IFEA North America, the organization’s common vision is for “A Globally United Industry that Touches Lives in a Positive Way through Celebration.” The Association offers the most complete source of ideas, resources, information, education and networking for festival and event professionals worldwide.


*All winners are selected from those Festivals and Events who specifically enter the competition. Each category is separated into four separate budget categories. Each entry is judged within those budget categories, against the criteria and requirements of the specific category. For more information about the IFEA, go to:

smART! Camps 2023

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We had the privilege of providing smART! camps again this year to foster and adoptive families during the month of June, and it was a success!

Our first camp was painting, and the week started off with guest artist Kristi Kristenek who showed the students how to incorporate movement into their art. The students enjoyed poured paintings with Kristenek as well and created beautiful, relaxing art pieces. The week continued with artist and teacher Maisie Alford and a traditional CMYK pallet. Students learned color mixing and values as they created 3D appearing disco balls and other works including pixelated paintings.

The second camp was creative writing taught by Crystal Burdis. During creative writing students focused on descriptive writing, story elements, and the power of words. Children’s author Paul Bullock came and shared poetry and readings with the students while emphasizing description and sensory details. The week ended with readings for the parents of either the children’s stories or their blackout/found poetry. For some, writing was a challenge, but students were met on their levels and skills were sharpened.

During the second week of smART! camps, students were introduced to and worked with clay. The week began with demonstrations by teacher Maisie Alford, and the students then replicated their favorite toy with air dry clay. Local clay artist Andrew Carrizales joined the class to demonstrate throwing clay on a pottery wheel which the students enjoyed thoroughly. From the slippery clay flowing through their fingers to building a wall and a practicing with the wheel, students’ giggles and awe could be heard down the halls. The week finished up with soft sculptures from pipe cleaners and the parent
show-and-tell where students described their art.

The second week of camp also included theater, and our students were excited! We began the week with firefighter and theater dad Abimael Morales and his actress daughter Selah with whom the students learned to build basic theater walls using plywood. The kids were supervised while using power tools, nails, screws, glue, and staples to build their multi-use back walls which will be used for future classes as well. The walls were given a base coat of white, and then we designed short set walls to give our audience a strong effect. The students did the painting with the help of Maisie Alford, and
those not painting were working on blocking and rehearsing. Each day students practiced, planned, and worked with teacher Crystal Burdis to create a fun play for the end of the week. The play “Onion Boy” was presented to families and friends, and the kids were simply amazing! From costumes and props to characters and lighting cues, the kids learned so much during our theater camp.

The best part of smART! camps is always the children’s smiles and pride when they get to show their parents, foster families, and guardians what they have accomplished. Returning camper Aces Allison- Fielding enjoyed painting and sculpture and was invited to join us for theater camp as well. His forever family just completed his adoption June 2nd, so seeing that relationship grow was an enormous source of joy for the teachers. Next year we hope to add at least one of the two siblings from the Allison- Fielding family. While speaking to Mommy Tara and to Mom Casey about camps, the two new moms had nothing but good things to say. Aces shared during end-of-week presentations that his favorite part of camp was everything!

Have you discovered “True Love”?

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Look no further than the intersection of Quaker and Loop 289!

We are delighted to announce the latest addition to our rotating public art collection, PDA (Public Display of Art) in Lubbock. Standing at an impressive 13 feet tall, “True Love” is a steel sculpture created by artist Chad Plunket. This whimsical artwork is situated at the intersection of Quaker and Loop 289, captivating everyone who drives by with its vibrant colors and playful design.

According to Plunket:”I may not have all the answers on how to find ‘True Love’ or even navigate through Lubbock’s streets, but this sculpture can serve as your guide. With its playful and humorous nature, it will point you in various directions, sending you off with hope that you’ll find your destination and perhaps even true

Plunket holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from Texas Tech University and a Master of Fine Art with a focus on sculpture from Clemson University. After teaching architectural delineation at TTU’s College of Architecture, he pursued his passion for design by obtaining a Master of Landscape Architecture.

Plunket continues to pursue his artistic endeavors from his studio in north Lubbock, where he explores various materials such as paint, steel, wood, paper, and an assortment of tools. His artistic output encompasses a wide range of materials and aesthetics. He has created large-scale public art pieces for Ballet Lubbock, Covenant Hospital, and the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum, as well as smaller objects that can fit on a shelf. Plunket has also collaborated on projects with the Button Project, RJP Nomadic Gallery, and Free Range Creative.

In addition to his fine art pieces, Plunket also undertakes commercial commissions for developers and homeowners. His portfolio includes completed projects for Tao Development, Blue Mesa Restaurants, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and numerous private residents.

“PDA in Lubbock” stands as a unique project in the region, showcasing site-specific public art pieces for a period of two years. After that time, new art pieces are carefully selected to replace the existing ones, ensuring an ever-changing viewing experience at various intersections throughout the city.

This project is made possible through collaboration among the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot), Tornado Industrial/Arts, and the Lubbock Arts Alliance. TxDot provides the concrete pads for the artworks, while Tornado Gallery manages logistics, including installation and removal of each piece. The Arts Alliance plays a crucial role in facilitating the selection of public art pieces, contracting with the chosen artists, covering artist fees and shipping expenses, seeking additional funding, and promoting the program to both residents and visitors.

We express our deep gratitude to the Sessions Family Foundation for their generous funding, which has played a pivotal role in bringing “True Love” to Lubbock.

Lubbock’s smART Summer Scene

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The often-unforgiving West Texas summer heat easily lends itself to an escape from the great outdoors. As such, one expects to find plenty of opportunities to settle into the air conditioning and watch one of the many entertainment channels. This year, however, many Lubbock children, ages 8-14, in foster care embraced an opportunity to hone their skills as budding artists at smART camps.

The Lubbock Arts Alliance, in partnership with the Texas Tech University International Cultural Center K-12 Global Education Outreach (TTU GEO), One Heart Foster Alliance, and Monterrey Church of Christ, provided three weeks of lessons in art from around the world.

Through learning about international cultures and creating different works of art each week, students traveled to the continents of Africa and India, and learned about art and architecture crafted in the North African Moroccan culture, the Holi Festival and painted elephants fashioned in India, and studying beading and mask-making practiced in Africa.

For the first camp, the TTU GEO instructors taught the students about symmetry and patterns that are a part of Moroccan culture. The students designed a symmetrical pattern on a tile; then, on a larger piece of paper, the kids made an asymmetrical design and painted it with watercolor. Students also created artwork based on Moroccan architecture, crafted a mandala using image transfer, and observed Moroccan animals that inspired artwork using pointillism.

The following week at the second camp, the TTU GEO discussed Holi Festival traditions such as color-throwing and painting elephants. The students created designs on an elephant printout, and even did their own Holi Festival color-throw using brightly colored corn starch. Over the course of this second week’s camp, kids made a drawing of their own elephant and designed it with silver paint and watercolor, created artwork depicting gods and goddesses which they painted with acrylic paint, produced a pointillism painting using imagery from India, and painted a still-life on canvas from observation.

For the last camp, instructors from the TTU GEO led instruction on the various cultures and artistic techniques from the continent of Africa. The smART campers made hand-made beads using assorted colors of duct tape; they also enjoyed painting wooden beads and making necklaces and bracelets of their own design. Additionally, students handmade masks from paper mache using balloons, newspaper, and Mod Podge; they then had a chance to paint their masks.

Thank you for incredible summer memories Texas Tech University International Cultural Center K-12 Global Education Outreach, One Heart Foster Alliance, and Monterrey Church of Christ! Without the work of your organizations, this dream could not have become a reality: incredible camps designed to serve local children in foster care by enriching their lives through arts education. The smART camp series was a remarkable assembly of aspiring smARTists in the South Plains.

All the “Friendly Cowboys” are in Lubbock!

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The Lubbock Arts Alliance is proud to announce the completion of the “Friendly Cowboy Western String Band” public art series with the recent installation of two new large-scale pieces.

The “Amarillo Kid,” the yellow fiddle player and “Prairie Rose,” the red bass player join “Pinky,” the pink guitar player and “Blue the Friendly Cowboy,” the blue lead singer. Each member of the band measures 13’ tall, weighs 1,000-1,200 lbs., and is located on major thoroughfare in Lubbock.

They can be found at:

  • “Amarillo Kid” fiddle player – Marsha Sharp Freeway @ 19 th Street
  • “Prairie Rose” bass player – South Loop 289 Flyover & I-27
  • “Pinky” guitar player – Marsha Sharp Freeway & Avenue L
  • “Big Blue the Friendly Cowboy” singer – Loop 289 @ Spur 327 (outside the loop)

The artist for the “Friendly Cowboy Western String Band” series is B. C. Gilbert. Although sculpture is the media in which Gilbert finds the most opportunity, he also works in painting, print, and mixed-media. Gilbert has a BFA from Cameron University and MFA from Texas Tech University. He resides in Wichita Falls, Texas and his work has been showcased in solo, juried, and group exhibitions.

The “Friendly Cowboy Western Swing Band” will remain on display through next year as part of the Arts Alliance’ rotating public art collection PDA (Public Display of Art) in Lubbock. After 2023, new pieces of art will be selected to replace the current ones – ensuring that there is always something different to view at various intersections.

The project is a collaboration of Texas Department of Transportation, Tornado Industrial/Arts, and Lubbock Arts Alliance. The project is funded by the Sessions Family Foundation and the City of Lubbock/Civic Lubbock Cultural Grants Program as recommended by Civic Lubbock, Inc.

Have you said “HOWDY” to the Friendly Cowboys?

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The Lubbock Arts Alliance is proud to announce the addition of two new sculptures to its rotating public art collection, PDA (Public Display of Art) in Lubbock.

The “Friendly Cowboys” are 13’ tall, 750 lb. sculptures by artist, B.C. Gilbert. The Pink Cowboy is located at Marsha Sharp & Avenue L and the Blue Cowboy is at Loop 289 & Spur 327 (outside the Loop).

The “Friendly Cowboys” series is influenced by miniature figures made from horseshoe nails that are often credited to regional folk artists. Each “Friendly Cowboy” depicts a different member of a Western Swing Band. They are painted in vibrant colors to draw attention to their placement against the flat topography of Lubbock. The Blue Cowboy is the singer and the Pink Cowboy is the guitar player.

The artist, B.C. Gilbert, has a BFA from Cameron University and MFA from Texas Tech University. He resides in Wichita Falls, Texas and his work has been showcased in solo, juried, and group exhibitions.

PDA in Lubbock is the only project of its kind in the region. It takes existing pieces of public art and displays them for a period of two years. After that time, a new piece of art is selected to replace the current one – ensuring that there is always something new to view at various intersections! The collection currently displays work by Jeffie Brewer and B.C. Gilbert.

The pieces of public art are located at:

Jeffie Brewer, Artist

Orange Fox – Loop 289 @ Spur 327 (inside the Loop)

Purple Unicorn – South Loop 289 Flyover & I-27

Red Bunny – South Loop 289 & Quaker

Tiny’s Pink Flamingo – Marsha Sharp Freeway & 19th Street

Red Bird – 1106 5th Street (CASP)

Green Burd – 1500 Broadway (McDougal Companies)

ARTmadillo – 4000 24th Street (Covenant Children’s)

B.C. Gilbert, Artist

Blue “Friendly Cowboy” – Loop 289 @ Spur 327 (outside the Loop)

Pink “Friendly Cowboy” – Marsha Sharp Freeway & Avenue L

The project is a collaboration of Texas Department of Transportation, Tornado Industrial/Arts, and Lubbock Arts Alliance. The Texas Department of Transportation provides the concrete pads for the artwork and Tornado Industrial/Arts coordinates the logistics including installation and removal of each piece. The Arts Alliance facilitates the selection of public art pieces, contracts with selected artist, pays the artist and shipping fees, seeks additional funding, and promotes the program to residents and visitors. The project is funded by the Sessions Family Foundation and the City of Lubbock/Civic Lubbock Cultural Grants Program.

Janis Hubble Vanderpool Receives Statewide Recognition

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Janis Hubble Vanderpool was selected as “Volunteer of the Year” by the Texas Festivals & Events Association (TFEA) at their annual conference in San Antonio. She was nominated by the Lubbock Arts Alliance for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the organization and its marquee project the Lubbock Arts Festival.

“Volunteer of the Year” is one of the “TFEA Professional Awards” which recognize, honor, and reward outstanding accomplishments, and service to festivals and events across Texas. Selection criteria include leadership, significant depth of involvement, initiative, dependability, and enthusiasm.

In her service on the Board of Directors for the Lubbock Arts Alliance, Janis Hubble Vanderpool has proven to be a devoted member of the leadership team for the Lubbock Arts Festival, helping the event become the largest fine art and fine craft show in West Texas.

She has used her influence to bring new artists, arts organization, and sponsors into the Lubbock Arts Festival and currently chairs the Demonstrating Artist Area where she recruits, schedules, and facilitates unique and different artistic experiences. As one of the most popular attractions at the Lubbock Arts Festival, the Demonstrating Artist Area allows education and appreciation in the fine arts by allowing patrons the opportunity to see art being made and participate in the process.

Hubble Vanderpool has served in management, fundraising, logistics and marketing roles for numerous charitable endeavors. She founded the Llano Estacado Clay Guild and their signature event, “The Wine & Clay Festival,” which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2022. She parlays her business savvy into making each event a success, while shying away from any credit or praise.

Elizabeth Grigsby, Executive Director for the Lubbock Arts Alliance, says “Janis truly has a servant’s heart and works for the betterment of those causes which she holds near and dear; more especially those with an emphasis on the art and arts education. She is amazing in every way and deserves to be honored as ‘Volunteer of the Year’.”

TFEA is a professional trade association for festivals and events planners, volunteers, and suppliers from across the Texas. It is an official affiliate of the International Festivals & Events Association, the premiere professional association supporting festival and event leaders worldwide.

The Lubbock Arts Festival Named “Best In Texas”

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The 2021 Lubbock Arts Festival was honored as the “The Best in Texas” by the Texas Festivals & Events Association (TFEA) at its annual conference in San Antonio. This award recognizes the Lubbock Arts Festival as the “Best Overall Event” in the state in its budget category.

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this prestigious award,” said Elizabeth Grigsby, Executive Director, of the Lubbock Arts Alliance, the group responsible for the Lubbock Arts Festival. “Each year we work countless hours to have the best event possible and it is wonderful to have those efforts recognized.”

Over 175 entries were received for the annual “Kaliff Marketing Awards Competition,” a highlight of the annual TFEA conference. Entries were received from throughout the state including the cities of Tomball, Plano, Weatherford, Richardson, San Antonio, Waco, and McAllen. The “Best Overall Event” was selected by an independent panel of professionals based upon image, uniqueness, overall impression, supporting materials, and measurable results of the event.

The Lubbock Arts Festival won an additional six marketing awards in the categories of: Best Event Program, Best Miscellaneous Print Material (single page), Best Cover Design, Best Event Invitation, Best Miscellaneous On-Site Décor, and Best Emergency Preparedness & Risk Management.

TFEA Executive Director, Kay Wolf, said “the goal for festivals and events is to create memorable experiences and signature, destination events that are unrivaled in their entertainment value, as well as all other elements associated with such programs.”

TFEA is a professional trade association for festivals and events planners, volunteers, and suppliers from across Texas. It is an official affiliate of the International Festivals & Events Association, the premiere professional association supporting festival and event leaders worldwide.

Lubbock Arts Alliance Celebrating 50 Years

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The Lubbock Arts Alliance, formerly know as the Lubbock Cultural Affairs Council, was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) Texas nonprofit corporation on March 27, 1969. For the last 50 years, the Lubbock Arts Alliance has fostered the creation, understanding, and enjoyment of the arts by ensuring that the community has a vibrant, growing, and accessible art scene.

By supporting local artists and arts organizations, generating positive publicity and support for the arts, and creating educational art opportunities, the Arts Alliance has established Lubbock as a regional arts destination for visitors and a dynamic presence in the lives of those who call the city home.

Comprised of the same staff since 2004, the Lubbock Arts Alliance consistently brings the arts and outside resources together to achieve tangible results. The organization:

Produces the largest celebration of the arts in our community, the award-winning Lubbock Arts Festival.  The event has received four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for bringing the arts to underserved audiences.

Provides management for the vibrant Cultural District in downtown Lubbock, which has garnered State of Texas Cultural District Designation from the Texas Commission on the Arts.  Lubbock’s Cultural District has received two, highly competitive grants from Texas Commission on the Arts.

Coordinates Take in the Local Color! Lubbock Artist Studio Tour, comprised of 55 visual artists and 10 different studios.

Provides free after school art programs to low income, minority children at the Guadalupe-Parkway Centers. This program received one of only twenty grants awarded by Texas Women for the Arts in 2017.


The Charter of the Lubbock Arts Alliance since 1969

The purpose of which is to:
Encourage cultural programs for all those who care about the arts;
Promote education for appreciation and participation in the arts;
Make the arts accessible to all persons in every walk of life;
Raise the level of quality of the arts presented to the public.

Such cultural program shall include, but shall not be limited to music, theatre and drama groups, dance, painting, sculpture, literature, architecture, and horticulture. To achieve such objectives the Lubbock Arts Alliance shall stimulate public interest and co-operation through radio, television, other new media and public assemblies and by promoting and encouraging all aspects of a cultural program by continually improving education for appreciation of the arts through Lubbock educational and art institutions; and by developing and maintaining a program to attract and retain resident artists, writers and performers. The Lubbock Arts Alliance shall be responsible for planning and building a well rounded community cultural program and for co-ordinating not only the Lubbock area program but also inter-city and inter-regional programs.

The Lubbock Cultural District

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Want to know all the art, music, dance, theater, and history that is going on in Lubbock?

Then our Lubbock Cultural District website, Facebook page and smart phone app is the perfect thing for you!


The Lubbock Cultural District is where art and West Texas meet. Spanning over 1.42 square miles, Lubbock’s Cultural District gives West Texans the chance to experience culture and art in an authentic way. Some of our facilities include Lubbock Ranching Heritage Center, Museum of Texas Tech, The Buddy Holly Center and much more.

From fine arts to musical performances, the Lubbock Cultural District has everything you’re looking for. Various festivals and events happen year-round, giving everyone a chance to experience what the Lubbock Cultural District has to offer.

Why we love the arts.

The arts are an incredible thing. They give people hope, life, meaning and more. Through the arts, history and culture, we meet and create an incredible experience for everyone involved. The arts are for everyone. From dance to music to fine art, everyone can find something they love.

We are honored to help bring culture and art to Lubbock. West Texas is full of creative, lively and expressive people. The Lubbock Cultural District reflects the history and people within this great city.



cul•tur•al dis•trict | noun

a defined geographic area which encourages the use of arts, culture and entertainment for
the purpose of economic and community development.



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