Mural Monday: Tyler Kay

By Debbie Wright

Tyler Kay is Texan, raised right outside of Houston on her family property in Katy. She is the type of person who sees a freshly painted white wall and immediately thinks ‘I really want to paint that’. That is exactly what happened back in 2017 when she was visiting Waco with her family. She walked right in the building with her dog by her side and spoke with the owners of Savage Finds, Joey & Tammy.  They agreed to let her do it!  Joey, actually thought of the phrase, “My greatest find…” so the mural is a mix of her style of florals and his clever wit. Now the beautiful mural has become one of the “greatest finds” in downtown Waco.

Coincidentally, the interview for this article took place on the 3-year anniversary of the mural, which was completed on October 15, 2017. She said this mural really “got the ball rolling” for her and gave her more opportunities for murals. Now, painting murals is both her hobby and day Job, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Murals are my everything, I only do murals and art now, so it is pretty much my life,” she said.  As evidence to back up her statement, her were smudged with bright colored paint here and there and even her cell phone had colorful droplets scattered across it.

Her inspiration for becoming an artist came from a big turning point in her life. Her boyfriend died in a car accident and this caused her to reevaluate her life. “I am wanting to leave something behind for me to be remembered by and make a difference,” she said. She calls this “Mortality Motivation” and it has helped her turn dark moments in her life into light. She sometimes creates art works titled with important or pivotal dates from her life.  The numerical values in her “Glitch & Glam” painting series are based on the dates of occurrences in her life that she acknowledges as instances of redirection towards her bigger purpose. Glitch 12.20 represents December 20th, the date of her boyfriend’s accident.

This surprisingly has become one of her most successful and favorite pieces. She has showed her works across the country and her paintings have been featured in renowned art exhibitions, music festivals, and publications. While on exhibition at Art Basel Miami, that piece sold to a private collector in only two days. “Glitch & Glam” is one of her favorite series and she said she hopes to expand and continue it in the future.

Tyler specializes in florals and enjoys incorporating meaningful quotes into her compositions. Many of her works focus on positivity and growth. “I am loving how much my works can be interpreted and people can bring so many different meanings to it (the murals),” she said. She loves seeing people interact with her pieces and finds herself smiling and happy crying over all the pictures people share with her murals of engagement pictures, weddings, and even maternity pictures. “Public art is what I love because people can interpret it in so many ways,” she said lovingly.

After her schooling at the University of Houston, where she obtained a Bachelors of Art and a Masters in Arts Leadership. She got a job at Bisong Art Gallery, also in Houston. She worked her way up from mopping floors to being a gallery director. That position opened doors and gave her many new experiences. One of her earliest murals was for a dance studio, from there it was just one after the other until now she does it for a living.

Though she loves what she does, she also loves to travel and see the world. “I would just pack up and go to Europe for a month… That may seem like a long time but since I never really have time off and work every Saturday and Sunday it works as a great break,” she said while talking about her love of travel and culture.

If you are interested in finding out more about Tyler Kay or are interested in purchasing some of her art, follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tylerkay/ or her other social medias and buy her prints at https://tyler-kay.com/ .


Debbie Wright runs the local Know Waco Podcast, which features upcoming events and activities happening in and around the Waco area. She is a recent Texas Tech graduate, with a major in communications and minor in public relations. She has lived in the Waco area for ten years and loves to work with local creatives and artists. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected]for more information.

Epiphanies: New Works Festival is a Great Example of the Mission of Wild Imaginings Performing Arts Group

By Trent Sutton

The Epiphanies New Works Festival arose in much the same way that many of the projects at Wild Imaginings do. It started with a discovered desire in the Waco community, a conversation over coffee, and two people dreaming together. I can still remember the Friday morning that I sat in Fabled across the table from Rosalind Jackson-Roe, the Festival’s co-founder. It started as, “Well, what if we…” and by the end of an hour, had turned into “Ok, so here’s what we have to do.”

Since that conversation, a truly remarkable journey has been embarked upon. A process has been created unlike any that I have seen, and the feedback from those involved has been incredible.

We had the privilege of granting 8 of playwrights the opportunity to hear their work read aloud at a table reading, after which they were able to interact with the actors and receive invaluable feedback. They were then given time to revise their work and resubmit it, after which we chose 4 of those 8 to be performed at the festival. Far from solely a performative opportunity, we have designed Epiphanies to be a form of professional development that is often difficult to come by.

Watching these plays come to life before my eyes, seeing playwrights see their dreams dance before their very eyes, and witnessing the progress of ideas as they chase the proverbial sunset—these are the reasons that I do what I do. Epiphanies has encompassed the heart of Wild Imaginings in ways that I could never have foreseen, and that it was formed in the very type of collaborative ‘bring dreams to life’ kind of way that our very organization was built upon makes it that much sweeter.

From the beginning, our mission at Wild Imaginings has been to be a community where creativity reigns. And our mission is shaped accordingly, that we may remain fully committed to 5 key things, that we lovingly refer to as the rules of the reign:

  • Creating an affirming community in which local artists are empowered to pursue the development of new and relevant work.
  • Valuing the identity and dignity of all persons by creating a safe space for difficult conversations through the art of storytelling. 
  • Cultivating a willingness to explore, experiment, and otherwise push the boundaries of what performing arts can be and the impact they can have in the community. 
  • Striving to elevate the role of performing arts in Waco by maintaining their standards of originality, relevance, and artistic excellence. 
  • Preserving the joy of performance by refusing to let go of childish dreams, fantastic fantasies, and wild imaginings.

Epiphanies, simply put, checks each of these boxes in a remarkable way. You can be certain that it is going to be a part of the lifeblood of Wild Imaginings, an event to which we may look forward to seeing year after year. Because for Wild Imaginings, and certainly for Epiphanies, this is only the beginning.

And who knows what other coffeeshop dreams will happen next?


Trent Sutton is the Founder and Artistic Director of Wild Imaginings, a newly formed performing arts nonprofit here in Waco, TX. He has recently graduated from Truett Seminary with his Master of Divinity, and has already made Waco his home. He is passionate about the arts and believes them to be the best way in which he can contribute to the city which he has grown to love so much. He believes Wild Imaginings is uniquely positioned to truly bring a different flavor of art to Waco, and he is excited for what this new adventure will bring. His desire is that this community be limited only by the scope of their imaginations. His favorite thing is sharing dreams and ideas and working together to bring them to life. So don’t hesitate to reach out!

Mural Monday: Shay Scranton

By Debbie Wright

Shay Scranton is a Waco local who has recently contributed to the growing list of murals in the Waco Community. His mural can be found at One Day Bar , one of the new coffee-and-cocktails establishments downtown on Columbus Ave. As a local creative, Scranton runs his own graphic design company and has worked with multiple companies around town. His lifelong interests in drawing and illustration, combined with his passion for metal music and the alternative scene, have led to a collection of works with a special focus on death and dark themes. 

Scranton describes his most recent mural as “Deisel Punk “ with ties back to stylings of Mad Max, early comic book skylines, and inspirations from artists and creatives like Frank Miller and Kris Straub. “I really dig making these two-dimensional, cut-out looking silhouetted skylines. So, when the idea to do a skyline for this (the mural) it was perfect and really fun,” Scranton said. Though he is not normally a muralist, this passion project was kicked off by his friend Kyler Griffith, who is the owner of the new bar.  With previous works with Native Sons, Pinewood Roasters, The Glass Phoenix, and Common Grounds (where he got his start as a band poster artist), his reputation with well-known local brands has grown his company and has made him somewhat of a veteran in the Waco art community. “I’ve seen a lot of things come and go. I’ve been here long enough and been working with local companies in some graphic capacity for 15 years,” Scranton said.

Scranton started his career as an artist right here in the heart of Texas, though he spent his early life as a musician and has traveled far and wide. Since Scranton started in the music industry at the young age of fourteen, with the Waco punk band Well Inside Out,  music production and the alternative lifestyle has influenced his artistic style and personal aesthetic. “I am constantly experimenting with new ideas and styles and things, just to see what works…but when I started doing artwork related to music, band T-shirts were my favorite things to do. The style kind of developed around that. It was very detailed oriented and I want to create images so detailed they tell their own story,” Scranton said.

Scranton specializes in shirt designs, band posters and logo designing. With subjects ranging from monsters, Dungeons & Dragons designs. Many of his works are playful yet dark expressions with high contrast colors; complex, hyper-stylized characters; and heavy metal lettering. This has evolved from some of his past projects like Funeral Confetti (his art novelty company), where he designed custom enamel pins, patches and did home screen printing. Along with that, he has worked with other media and even produced a full-length Dungeons & Dragons show called Darkest Dove that can be found on Youtube. He hinted there were some new things in the process of being completed, however, he prefers to keep some things secret until they are complete. For more recent work, you can find him on social media @shayscranton and through his website at http://www.shayscranton.com/. You can also contact him at [email protected].


Debbie Wright runs the local Know Waco Podcast, which features upcoming events and activities happening in and around the Waco area. She is a recent Texas Tech graduate, with a major in communications and minor in public relations. She has lived in the Waco area for ten years and loves to work with local creatives and artists. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected]for more information.

From Zoom rehearsal to stage, Waco’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to premiere

By Trent Sutton

“All the world’s a stage.”

Though we aren’t performing those particular words of Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, those words have truly been put to the test as we have prepared this performance. 

Wild Imaginings had planned to launch our Summer Shakespeare series this summer anticipating it being a big community event that would become annual fare for years to come. Much like the rest of the world, all of those plans were brought into serious question in the midst of the rise of COVID-19. 

We felt, however, that we ought to press ahead, even in the face of uncertainty. We’re an arts organization after all, and limitations are nothing more than creative boundaries.

With this in mind, we held auditions for the show via Zoom and proceeded to have rehearsals for the show via Zoom. I can’t say it’s something I recommend. I think we all got really tired of one another’s faces on our computer screens. But despite the fact that we couldn’t plan our movement for the show, we worked through the script as best we could while online. 

And truly, through this process, we have discovered that all the world is indeed a stage. Even virtually speaking. Sometimes we came together not just from different homes but from different cities and even different states. And all the while, we prepared, we worked through the text, we developed our characters, and when it was finally safe to rehearse in person, we dove in head-first, ready to put it all together. And in just a couple short weeks, we have had to transfer everything we learned via Zoom to the real in-person world. 

The third commitment which Wild Imaginings holds in its value statement is “cultivating a willingness to explore, experiment, and otherwise push the boundaries of what performing arts can be and the impact they can have on the community.” And you know, the world in which we currently find ourselves has put that commitment to the test.

We have explored the depths to which we can connect through online platforms; we have experimented with different ways of rehearsing and learning together; and we continue to push the boundaries of what performing arts can be, as we figure out ways to move from Zoom to my living room to finally Common Grounds. 

And as far as impact on the community goes, we hope that this will be every bit the community event that we hoped it would be, albeit with smaller numbers of people. We are fully committed to the safety of our audience, which is why we’ll be working with Common Grounds to limit seating per state guidelines.

So to help navigate this challenge, we’ve decided to record a performance so that people can buy “tickets” to the recording. 

Our goal from the beginning in launching this Summer Shakespeare production has been to make it accessible to anyone who wants to come. We believe ART IS FOR EVERYONE. In our efforts to maintain this desire, we want to be sure it remains accessible, even for those who may not yet be comfortable venturing out. 

We cannot wait to share this with the Waco community. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been such fun to work on, despite the challenges we faced. I’ve had the privilege of working with an amazing cast, and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to see them perform, because it’s definitely worth it. 

Love triangles, angry fathers, fairy magic, mischief, and even a play within a play (I think that’s called playception). This is a Shakespearean work of art that you’re going to want to make sure is a part of your summer.

Tickets can be found at http://wildimaginingswaco.com/shakespeare/.

And even if you can’t make it, you can purchase a “ticket” to the video recording when we have it or else just make a donation. We need your help to make Summer Shakespeare something that we can share with the Waco community for years to come.

Trent Sutton is founder and artistic director of Wild Imaginings, a newly formed performing arts nonprofit here in Waco. He has recently graduated from Truett Seminary with his Master of Divinity and has already made Waco his home. He is passionate about the arts and believes them to be the best way in which he can contribute to the city he has grown to love so much. He believes Wild Imaginings is uniquely positioned to truly bring a different flavor of art to Waco, and he is excited for what this new adventure will bring. His desire is that this community be limited only by the scope of their imaginations. His favorite thing is sharing dreams and ideas and working together to bring them to life. So don’t hesitate to reach out.

Notes from the Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival

By Andie Chilson

Kevin and Sam Sorbo with Moderator, Jim Nash of The Shooter FM, during the Talk Back after the Opening Night Movie, “Miracle in East Texas,” which was produced by Sam Sorbo and directed by Kevin Sorbo (who also starred in the movie)

The inaugural Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival took place from Feb. 6-8. The festival provided a forum for artists and directors who work at the intersection of faith, family and contemporary filmmaking. The mission statement of the festival, “dedicated to empowering the creative spirit, serving with heart and celebrating all” shone through in the winning films at the festival.

The festival showcased films rooted in family and faith while also giving a voice to a breadth of ideas and diversity of backgrounds. Among the winning films were Bending in the Wind (Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film (USA)), Nasser Goes to Space (Grand Jury Prize For Best Short Film (International)) and Be the Light (Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film (USA/International)). The festival screened over 60 films at 11 different locations at Baylor University, local churches and the Waco Hippodrome Theatre.

The Grand Jury Prize for Best Student Film went to student-director Nicole Thompson for her film Blackbird.

Blackbird is really important to me because it honors my grandmother,” Thompson said. “I wanted to make a film that showcases the everyday people … that also have a dream,” Thompson continued.

Filmmakers like Thompson were drawn to the festival for its unique emphasis on faith and family values. These values were reflected in the “Soul Sessions” that followed the screenings. The “Soul Sessions” gave audience members a chance to discuss the themes of faith and spirituality in the films. Topics discussed during these sessions included overcoming fear and doubt and the concept of eternal love.

Dr. Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, the festival’s founder, said she was elated by the response from the filmmakers as well as Waco locals. (Side note: Act Locally Waco will be interviewing Dr. Lindsey-Warren on the Act Locally Waco podcast about the festival and her work in Waco – stay tuned!)

2020 Champions Award Recipients for the Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival (l to r)- Sam Sorbo, Gina Neely, and Kevin Sorbo (a.k.a. “Mr. Hercules”)

The festival also honored its “Champion Award” recipients. The Champion Award recognizes artists and organizations who exemplify innovative, against-the-grain thinking in the film, television, performing arts and entertainment industries. Recipients of the Champion Award included President of TFNB Bank, David Littlewood, celebrity chef and best-selling author, Gina Neely, film producer, radio host, author and model, Sam Sorbo and her husband, actor and director, Kevin Sorbo,


The second annual Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival will take place on Feb. 4-6, 2021. For more information, visit https://www.wacofamilyandfaithfilmfestival.com/. See you there!


Andie Chilson is a senior at Baylor University studying journalism and creative writing. She is originally from Houston, but Waco has quickly come to feel like a second home to her. Andie enjoys writing and digital content creation as a way to express her creativity and help people spread their message. In her free time, you can find her reading anything by Brené Brown, doing yoga or exploring downtown Waco. Andie is so excited to be working as part of the Act Locally Waco team this semester!

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.

254 MUSIC VIDEO RACE

Press Release – (January 28, 2020)  An unprecedented music and movie collaboration launches in Central Texas, Keep Waco Loud and the Deep in the Heart Film Festival present: the 254 Music Video Race. 

“We have such vibrant music and filmmaking scenes in Waco – we can’t wait for them to come together,” says Samuel Thomas, Deep in the Heart Festival Artistic Director.

Central Texas bands, musicians and musical acts (all genres, rap to rock, hip hop to country and everything in-between) are encouraged to meet up and team up with area filmmakers to create new music videos in the 254 Music Video Race.

Teams will have two weeks to plan, produce and edit new music videos.  Race officials will select three music videos to screen at the ‘Blood, Sweat & Beats’ World Premiere on February 22nd at the Waco Hippodrome. All participating artists are encouraged to attend, view the finalists and help select the winner. An audience vote will choose a winner who will receive cash prizes, a featured spot on the Keep Waco Loud podcast, and their video will be an official selection in the Deep in the Heart Film Festival in August.

Musical artists and filmmakers can start their videos on February 1 or find your collaborators at our Filmmaker/Musician meet-and-greet, 7:00 pm, February 3rd at Klassy Glass. To register a team for the race (FREE ENTRY!), read all the rules and requirements at our website, www.DeepInTheHeartFF.com  

About the ‘Blood, Sweat & Beats’ Premiere

The world premiere of ‘Blood, Sweat & Beats’ will showcase the top three videos of the 254 Music Video Race. The documentary is a story of music, money and murder – birthed in the Bronx, but raised here in Waco. The film sheds light on this thriving music scene in Central Texas, interviewing the foundational artists in Waco, exploring the journey of the genre, and meeting the creators whose musical passion drives their lives. 

It’s an evening celebrating Hip Hop in Waco with live music from Verbal Seed, DQ Hampton, Chyrie, Scratch Master T and Donna C, breakdance performances from Battle Grounds Crew, live street art from Skcoobaveli.  

For premiere tickets, check out the Hippodrome website, www.WacoHippodromeTheatre.com


Deep in the Heart Film Festival announces world premiere of ‘Blood, Sweat and Beats’ – The Story of Waco Hip Hop

Press Release – It’s a story of music, money and murder – birthed in the Bronx, but raised here in Waco, the Deep in the Heart Film Festival proudly hosts an evening of live music, breakdancing and street art to celebrate the World Premiere of ‘Blood, Sweat & Beats’, the Waco Hip Hop Story.   

The documentary sheds light on this vibrant music scene in Central Texas, interviewing the foundational artists in Waco, exploring the journey of the genre, and meeting the creators whose musical passion drives their lives.   

“We’ve prayed for a day like this. A day to be recognized for the music game. The scene is so powerful here. We want the young kids to see where it comes from.” says DJ Precyse, Executive Producer.  

The World Premiere of the film “Blood, Sweat, and Beats” hits the silver screen February 22, at 7:00 pm at the Waco Hippodrome.    

The evening kicks off with the red carpet arrivals of the filmmakers and featured artists. Next, live music takes the stage with performances from Verbal Seed, DQ Hampton, Chyrie, Scratch Master T and Donna C, breakdance performances from Battle Grounds Crew, graffiti artist, Skcoobaveli creates a brand new piece at the entrance of the theater and the evening is hosted by comedian, Terry Bluez. This is truly a showcase for all facets of the hip hop scene in our area.   

The evening concludes with the World Premiere of ‘Blood, Sweat and Beats’ and a Q&A with filmmakers and featured artists including multi-Grammy-Award winning producer, Symbolyc One.  This famed, Waco-born producer has worked with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lorde, Madonna, Eminem and many more.  

Tickets are now available for the premiere at the Hippodrome website, www.WacoHippodromeTheatre.com.   

“Keep Waco Loud aims to support and empower all genres of music, and we feel that sharing this rich history through film is the perfect way to shine a spotlight on the Waco hip hop community.” says Keep Waco Loud founder, Katie Selman.   

Director Lindsay Liepman, on why it was important to tell this story as a feature film, “You only get one chance to tell the story for the first time. I wanted to make sure we took our time and interviewed as many people as possible to best represent this thriving community in Waco.”   

Sponsors for this World Premiere event include, 25 News, 94.5 The Beat, Keep Waco Loud, One of a Kind Records and the Deep in the Heart Film Festival. 


About Deep in the Heart Film Festival

Set in Waco, Texas, the Deep in the Heart Film Festival (DitHFF) is an annual festival attracting artists and filmmakers from all over the world. Held across four days packed with entertainment and learning, DitHFF is a celebration of film as an artform for the people.

“The festival really has something for everyone: family films, horror films, rom-coms, documentaries… If you like movies, you’ll find something to love here,” said Louis Hunter, Festival Operations Director. 

In addition to the annual festival, Deep in the Heart is dedicated to promoting independent filmmaking in the Central Texas area, seeking to inspire local filmmakers and celebrating the stories they tell. 

www.deepintheheartff.com.

About the Waco Hippodrome

The Waco Hippodrome Theatre is a 105-year-old theatre in the heart of downtown Waco. The theatre has survived many trials and tribulations including a fire and the devastating tornado of 1953. In 2012 the hippodrome was bought and renovated after sitting vacant and dilapidated for several years. It reopened its doors in 2014 as a dine-in movie theatre, bar, restaurant, and entertainment venue featuring live music. New additions to the facility make it a film destination in Waco. See what we have going on each day at www.wacohippodrometheatre.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @wacohippodrometheatre.

Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival: A Film Festival for All!

“Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – It can not only move us, it makes us move!”

Ossie Davis, Award-winning Actor of TV, Stage, and Film

By Dr. Tyrha M. Lindsey-Warren, Festival Founder + Producer

The inaugural Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival, taking place at the Waco Hippodrome Theater and other venues February 7-8, 2020, will leverage the power of film and storytelling to bring the Waco community together to celebrate our shared humanity. There are over 60 films being presented by talented filmmakers from all over the world. Be it comedy, drama, or animation, the Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival has a film for you because it is truly a film festival for the entire family!

The team for the 2020 Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival is a dedicated group comprised of handpicked creatives, community leaders, educators, and business professionals that believe in equitable storytelling that represents all of us. The festival team has been brought together by a shared passion for the power of film and the arts to open hearts and minds, a love for the creative process, innovation, and excellence. That is why the mission for the Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival is that it is “dedicated to EMPOWERING the creative spirit, SERVING with heart, and CELEBRATING all!”

Specifically, the two day event will celebrate the Waco community and feature live performances by local musical artists, film screenings at a total of 11 venues in Waco, including five churches where our “Film & Faith Soul Sessions” will take place. These specially designed screenings will use film as the entry point to discuss faith-based themes. Plus, we will end our festival with a fun Closing Night/Pre-Oscar Awards Party at Z’s at the Curry on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

In addition, the 2020 Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival will commence the start of its inaugural class of “Champions Award” recipients. This honor is dedicated to recognizing individuals and organizations who are exemplars of innovation as well as disruption in the film and entertainment industry. The 2020 “Champions Award” recipients will be Kevin Sorbo, known as “Mr. Hercules,” and also the Director of the festival’s Opening Night film, “Miracle in East Texas;”  Sam Sorbo, Kevin’s wife and an acclaimed actress, model and author. Sam produced the film, “Miracle in East Texas.”  Gina Neely, Star of The Food Network and New York Times Best-Selling Author, and David Littlewood, President and CEO of TFNB Bank: Your Bank for Life

The sponsors for the 2020 Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival include the festival’s Founding Partner, TFNB Bank: Your Bank for Life. The Gold Star Sponsors are

Creative Waco and Z’s at the Curry. The Awards Sponsor is the Magnolia Foundation. The festival’s Community Sponsors are Pruit Memorial Symposium at Baylor University, Cameron Park Zoological & Botanical Society, Delta Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tru Jamaica, and Ken-Ko.  The Media Partners are KWTX-TV/Ch. 10 and M&M Broadcasters, LTD.

Tickets are $5.00 to only the movie screenings at the Waco Hippodrome Theater. The rest of the screenings at the other 10 participating venues are FREE!

Ultimately, we hope to be able to make a global impact and change the face of storytelling and the storytellers in the film and entertainment industry. We also hope with this festival, we can bring people together from all walks of life and serve them with narratives, community performances, educational workshops, and more, that provoke thought, empower continued dialogue, and feed the soul.



Dr. Tyrha M. Lindsey-Warren is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. At Baylor, Dr. Lindsey-Warren teaches Advertising, Digital Marketing and is the Founder of the Baylor Business Advertising Summit. She is also the Founder and Producer of the Waco Family & Faith International Film Festival. In her spare time, Dr. Lindsey-Warren sings jazz professionally and has opened for GRAMMY award-winning jazz musicians. Dr. Lindsey-Warren is married to Sidney Warren, a successful entrepreneur.  

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email a[email protected]for more information.

2019 EKPHRASIS: VERACITY

By Angie Veracruz

Creativity cannot thrive in isolation. For centuries, art and literature have complimented each other to inspire thriving art cultures around the world. Central Texas Artist Collective (CTAC) has been challenging our creative friends to create ekphrastic displays that educate, enlighten, and gather community since 2016.

Ekphrasis is defined as a writer’s exercise, where artwork is viewed and poetically described in detail by the writer. CTAC’s 2019 EKPHRASIS: VERACITY, the art of truth telling, will create an ekphrastic journey through Waco’s History, while focusing on Migration to Immigration stories and Mental Health, or the psychological effects that ripple through generations. Twenty ekphrastic displays will tell these truthful stories as experienced by the artists and writers themselves, or inspired stories from those who live and thrive in Central Texas.

The curated VERACITY Art Walk will be free to the public for the month of October while in storefront windows on Austin and Washington Ave between 6th and 8th street. We are asking the community to vote for their favorite ekphrastic display by October 30th. Please use the following link to vote: https://forms.gle/TC4BZa7up69iJtva8

The VERACITY ekphrastic displays will culminate at Cultivate7Twelve Art Gallery on November 1st.   This will be a ticketed event of $10 to help support CTAC’s programming and host gallery space, Cultivate7twelve.  Your ticket purchase will include two drinks, a once in a lifetime performance by Isis Lee, film entry viewings, the award ceremony, and more.


Central Texas Artist Collective exists to foster creative expression throughout the Heart of Texas by:

  • Unifying and growing arts and cultural programming;
  • Enhancing arts education and access for all;
  • Cultivating an organic, sustainable identity; and
  • Celebrating the rich community of artists living, creating and investing in Waco and beyond.
  • Connect with us through our website or social media at Centexartistcollective.org, facebook.com/CenTexArtist, or email: [email protected]

Angie Veracruz is an intuitive artist who is influenced by the world around through reflective insights. She is the mother of three beautiful girls and their biggest education advocate. She is also the Executive Director of Central Texas Artist and has been creating community, connecting artists and fostering arts and culture in Central Texas since 2015.

Hispanic Heritage Month: How to Celebrate in Waco!

By Kennedy Sam

Each year during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), we as a nation recognize and celebrate the cultural contributions of the almost 59 million Hispanic Americans in the United States. This is a special time for many Latin American communities as they celebrate their independence. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile and Belize all gained their independence during this time frame. This is the perfect opportunity to join in on the celebration honoring Hispanic heritage, culture and influence!

One of our latest episodes of Conversations with Creative Waco featured local leaders Alfred Solano, President/CEO of the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Arts Organizer Monica Shannon talking about the importance of Hispanic Culture in Waco. ( Catch up on the episode. )  Inspired by those conversations, and in honor of the month-long celebration, we’ve put together a list of six ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage in our community:

Six Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Culture

1. Mexican Independence Day Parade

Sunday, Sept. 22 from 1-2 p.m. on Austin Avenue

The Waco Hispanic Museum is celebrating Hispanic culture with its first parade. The parade will run on Austin Ave. from 9th to 3rd street. If you would like to get involved and participate, please contact Louis Garcia at 254-548-9730.

2.  Fiestas Patrias 2019!

Sunday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the Extraco Events Center

Fiestas Patrias is a FREE event celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day. This family-friendly event features live music, food and drinks, moon-walks, and more fun for the whole family!

3. Jacob de Cordova: “Father of Waco” Fall Lecture with Vann de Cordova

Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum

Learn more about Waco’s diverse history from David Vann de Cordova, the third great-grandson of Waco’s founder Jacob de Cordova. Through the retelling of his life, David Vann de Cordova recalls Jacob’s legacy and his amazing exploration in Texas.

Discover how Jacob’s unique background — a Jewish, Jamaican-born Spaniard — has continued to impact our city throughout generations. This FREE lecture is hosted by The Historic Waco Foundation, in collaboration with the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, McLennan County Historical Commission, and Texas Fine Artists.

Also, you can find a timeline of Jacob de Cordova’s “Waco Adventure” on display on Waco Transit’s fleet of buses during this month-long celebration!

4. Hispanic Heritage and Arts Celebration

Friday, Sept. 27 from 6-9 p.m. at the Art Forum of Waco

“Freida Kahlo: Fountain of Inspiration. Photo by Art Forum of Waco.”

Celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture through art! This free event at the Art Forum of Waco will feature original pieces by over 33 local artists highlighting or inspired by Hispanic heritage. Enjoy live music, art, and an award presentation ceremony sponsored by Allen Samuel’s DCJ! Hosted by the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texas Fine Artists, join the festivities at the Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Art Show and Celebration.

The Art Forum of Waco also serves as a Hispanic arts cultural hub. The gallery often features exhibits honoring influential Hispanic artists like Frida Kahlo and holidays like Día de los Muertos. Stay up to date with the gallery’s events here!

5. Dia del Charro

Sunday, Oct. 6 from 12-8:30 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Church is hosting their Annual Dia del Charro Festival on the church patio grounds.

This celebration is one of the biggest Charro Day Festival in Central Texas. Come out and enjoy food, games, live music, Charreria and Horse Show, and Ballet Folklorico. This is a family friendly event honoring cultures from various Mexican Regions.

6. Support Local Artists and Businesses

Last but not least, one of the best ways to celebrate is by supporting local artists and businesses. Many of our entrepreneurs were inspired by their heritage and culture when they created their products. When you support their craft and buy local you are helping to bring our community together and boosting our local economy. This is an awesome way to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture year-round!


Kennedy Sam is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Creative Waco, McLennan County’s arts agency. As a longtime Waco resident, upon receiving her degree from Louisiana State University was excited to return to her hometown to begin her career serving the community she loves. In her spare time, she enjoys rediscovering all that Waco has to offer and exploring the many walking trails with her pup Bleu. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.