Longview 150 planners seeking input from cultural arts

Grants for 2018-2019 are the immediate task for the City of Longview-Cultural Activities Advisory Commission, but members were asked Wednesday to start looking toward the city’s next milestone birthday in 2020.

City staff and community groups already are planning for Longview 150, a sesquicentennial celebration of the city in the winter and spring of 2020.

Community Services Director Laura Hill has asked the Cultural Activities Advisory Commission to reach out to local arts and cultural groups now about the celebration and how they can participate.

Longview AMBUCS is planning a 150th anniversary parade, while the Junior League of Longview is hosting a ball, Hill said.

The Junior League also plans to produce passports for local schoolchildren, who can get their passports stamped when they attend a Longview 150 event to become eligible for prizes.

“Things are progressing,” Hill told commissioners, “but y’all are a critical part in this process. ... Every person I’ve spoken to wants to be involved.”

Hill asked commissioners to encourage the groups to participate during the five-month period that the city will celebrate the anniversary of its 1870 founding.

For information about Longview 150, contact Hill at (903) 237-1021 or lhill@longviewtexas.gov.

Meanwhile, they’re also gearing up for this year’s cultural activities grant cycle process that begins next month and will fund local events during a 12-month period starting Oct. 1.

The 2018 grant process starts June 29, when local nonprofit groups have one month to apply online for grants that benefit events that attract tourism and culture in Longview. Commissioners will review the applications in August and make formal grant recommendations to the Longview City Council on Sept. 27, Assistant Community Services Director Dietrich Johnson said.

The city tentatively has about $272,000 available to divvy out to local groups, which would mark a 3 percent increase from this year’s funding.

For information about the grant process, contact Johnson at (903) 237-1089 or djohnson@longviewtexas.gov.