WACO, TX — East Waco is undergoing a historic revitalization with a multi-million dollar price tag.
However, when the pandemic threatened the livelihood of Tashita Bibles' business she turned to faith and community. The corner of Spring and Elm was once the center of a thriving East Waco community.
"I actually raised my children around the corner. So I've been in the community for a long time. This was my village. It's great to be back in my village and I want to be a part of someone else's village," said Tashita.
Tashita opened her studio Artist-N-U in February.
"Being an artist is everything to me. A couple of years ago I decided I didn't want to just exist. I wanted to start living and the living began through my art and my poetry," said Tashita.
A month after opening, the pandemic threatened more than her dream.
"I want us to be influential in our neighborhood. There's too many of us here not to come together. Whether it's on our own or with the help of others. It's time for us to stand accountable for what we want our community to be. And the change and the difference starts with us," said Tashita.
Creative Waco handed the first grant check to Tashita just two weeks after creative a relief fund for local artists.
"We have this wonderful emerging art scene in Waco and one of the purposes of this is to meet people where their need is. So they are able to keep doing amazing things in this community," said Creative Waco Executive Director Fiona Bond.
"It was my message from God. Everything is going to be okay. There are people here who care," said Tashita.
And you can count her among them.
"Even if you don't want to paint today, come hang out. Come talk. I want to be here for the long haul. I want my grandchildren to still be here making a difference on Elm," said Tashita.
If you'd like to apply for help or donate to Creative Waco's COVID-19 Relief Fund, visit their website creativewaco.org.