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Waco art community sees increased interest in arts due to pandemic

Posted at 9:26 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 10:26:50-04

WACO, TX — The arts were just one of many industries that had to get creative during the pandemic, but some of those changes might actually stick.

One local artist, Allie Menchaca is a Waco native and is a local tattoo artist and muralist.

“I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon in my hand,” Allie Menchaca said.

And Menchaca’s main goal is to create.

“I go with the flow, opportunity finds me, I don’t know how but it does,” Menchaca said.

But, she is just one of many artists who were impacted by the pandemic.

“We saw some mixed feelings, some people were really enjoying the time to refocus on their work and kind of expand whatever projects they’ve had in their minds and actually bring them to life. While others were a little more hurt that they couldn’t get face-to-face interaction,” Kennedy Sam, Director of Marketing at Creative Waco, said.

Thankfully, Menchaca actually saw some positives due to people staying home.

“With people staying home, my social media grew and despite it being a pandemic it was really good for my business,” Menchaca said.

But, not every artist or business saw the same growth.

“Anything that brought in an audience, anything that required visitors or bringing people together obviously could not happen in the usual way,” Fiona Bond, Executive Director for Creative Waco said.

But that didn’t stop the art community. Despite the pandemic, they found ways for the community to enjoy art by holding outdoor shows and events.

“We are blessed with such a wonderful climate here for doing things outdoors so that has been a real godsend,” Bond said.

And while the outdoor venues were more so for safety. the art community believes this could be something that sticks even post-pandemic.

"Definitely, because I think there is something so invitational about holding things outdoors, the sight-lines, the sound-lines, make it so much easier for people who are hesitant to buy a ticket for something they haven’t experienced before to walk past and go, I wonder what is happening over there,” Bond said.

“The pandemic, I feel really encouraged people to shop local and the community just came out of the woodwork to come and support local artists,” Menchaca said.

And the hope is that the art trend will continue, and the community will continue to support all different forms of art.

“We really encourage people to just interact with their favorite artist online and just share their work or complementing them," Sam said. "Because whatever little bit you could do went such a long way.”