March 12, 2017
Newly Released: Report on DFW Area Visitor Attractions
March 12, 2017 - No sooner had Imagine a Museum released a report to demonstrate how Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) leaders could better serve the region by increasing and better distributing its attractions, when the group learned that a Fort Worth area State Representative and a State Senator introduced legislation to create the Texas State Music Museum in Austin, rather than in their districts or the greater DFW Metroplex.
The bill, titled "Relating to the establishment of the Texas State Music Museum and Texas Music Foundation; authorizing fees," was introduced by Representative Charlie Geren (House Bill, HB 2495), and Senator Kelly Hancock and Senator Kirk Watson (Senate Bill, SB 1147).
For many years Imagine a Museum volunteer Mark Lacy has advocated that Texas cities should better utilize their cultural resources to provide educational activities for residents and unique attractions for visitors, telling DFW and Houston leaders that music is among the
important areas to consider.
Lacy said, "It is exciting for Texas, certainly Austin, to get a museum that is decades overdue. But it is sad for cities like Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston that should have been more proactive in doing these things for themselves."
Lacy notes, "DFW should be well represented in the new museum - with Bob Wills, Scott Joplin, Blind Willie Johnson, T-Bone Walker, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ornette Coleman, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Stephen Stills, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Albert King, Sly Stone, Usher, Leon Bridges, Townes Van Zandt, John Denver, Dusty Hill, Rocky Erikson, Steve Miller, Meat Loaf, Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, LeAnn Rimes, Edie Brickell, Erykah Badu and many, many more coming from the area - but it is a loss of about a million visitors per year for the Metroplex."
The Report on DFW Area Visitor Attractions indicates that the Metroplex is not living up to its potential to provide for its massive population and growing diversity, and attract more visitors to the region. The report shows many of the top visitor attractions and the most visited cities, as well as the areas where DFW has excellent cultural resources and potential to better utilize them for visitor attractions and to improve quality of life. The information is generally corroborated by studies on relative aspects, including the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
In the recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked 55 out of 189 cities in the Community Well-Being Rankings and 40 out of 48 large cities in "Active Living Environment in U.S. Communities". Imagine a Museum's recent Report on DFW Area Visitor Attractions has a strong correlation and may help DFW move up in the rankings by building on its interests.
In addition to the general idea that the DFW region has much room to improve, the report provides many suggestions, including the Metroplex-wide establishment of a foundation, tentatively titled "Funding Advisory Network of Dallas-Fort Worth (FAN of DFW)", to help implement many of the other recommendations, like the growth of non-profit organizations to produce a stronger community fabric, and expansion of cultural assets to serve 9 million people and make a more cohesive region.
It is possible for the region to set its sights on the top national attractions - mixed-use transportations hubs, major parks and green spaces, cultural districts, major museums, universities, cultural centers and arts industries, professional sports, festivals and innovative recreation opportunities - be work better for local residents and visitors in the future.
The report is offered as a resource for civic leaders, district managers and philanthropic strategists to consider as they seek to increase visitors to DFW communities. It takes the position that the overall goal should be for the Metroplex to be a model supercity and live up to the standards of national and international World Class Cities. The report is available at www.texasculture.org.
Several additional topical areas will be explored on the website in the weeks ahead, including: how increased cultural resources and visitor services may fill employment gaps left by artificial intelligence and automation in the future; educational and quality of life benefits of attractions that serve local citizens and visitors; and, the economic impact of arts and the creative sector.
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