Millions of people are attracted to the Texas Gulf Coast every year for all types of seaside related recreation. Twelve miles inland from that same coastline is the Brazosport Center for the Arts and Sciences (The Center) where since 1976, the heritage, talents and history of the area have all been on display. The Center wants more people from other parts of the state to come and get acquainted, which is one of the reasons The Center will host “CenterFest” on May 6, and 7, 2017.
CenterFest 2017 will involve and employ every facet The Center offers and there is a great deal to offer. The Center includes an art museum, 2 theaters, a natural history museum with fossils, mammoth bones, a Megaladon jaw, rocks, minerals, and a very impressive sea shell collection. It also includes a world class planetarium, and a symphony orchestra. Tickets for CenterFest are $5.00. Children 12 and under may attend at no charge.
Background On CenterFest
CenterFest is the evolution of the previous two year’s art festivals hosted by The Center which were known as the ‘Texas Gulf Coast Arts Festival’. Organizers want to ‘reposition’ the third installment of the spring event by adding food in the form of a taco cook-off, more live music, the opportunity to participate in the first annual ‘CenterFest Art March’ along with a 5K run, and attractions inside The Center. “We believe that there are lots of people who visit this part of Texas but are not acquainted with The Center and do not know all we have here,” said Wes Copeland, executive director of The Center. “So we want to introduce ourselves to them and if we make a good impression, perhaps persuade them to visit again and bring their friends.”
Music lovers, art lovers and families will be able to spend hours walking through the booths and visiting with the artists or listening to the bands playing Texas-style music. A taco cook-off will take place in the East parking lot. Taco cooking teams will compete within a variety of categories. Entries will be judged for taste and presentation. Teams may sign up at The Center’s website.
The Center has an art museum and routinely hosts shows and exhibits of local, national and international artists. Because of their culture of art appreciation, The Center adopted a goal to present artistic talent from many different media to a broader audience for both days of CenterFest. There are artists’ booths inside and outside The Center where artists and art lovers can get to know each other better. “There is a great connection people can make with the artist and the piece of art when they see and meet both at the same time,” Copeland said. “It is a great experience for people who love art and for those who love art but just may not know it yet.”
Texas is emerging as an important locale for musicians to perform, write and experiment with new forms of instrumentation, arrangement and presentation. It is very difficult to define Texas Style music, though it makes use of elements from: country, jazz, western swing, rock, blues, and Mexican styles including Tejano and Mariachi. Texas’ importance as a music capital is exemplified by the ‘South By Southwest Festival’, the ‘Austin City Limits’ television program, and the North Texas State, Sam Houston State and Rice University music programs. Borrowing from events like SXSW, CenterFest will welcome bands that perform rock, blues, country, pop and even classical music. “We are not at a level like SXSW, but we certainly want to emulate the positive lessons from that event for the benefit of everyone who attends CenterFest,” Copeland said. Bands booked to play CenterFest at this writing are: Irie Time who performs a mix of Caribbean jazz, reggae and soca music; Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars who are emerging stars of the country music scene; Jackson Avenue a mixture of genres including indie, blues, classic rock, Texas country, rock; and Monika Spence whose career highlight thus far has been participating on "The Voice Season 5" under Team Blake & Team CeeLo.
Most people think chili and/or barbeque are the stars of Texas cuisine but there is room on that plate for one more and it has to be Tacos. CenterFest will host its first annual Taco Cook Off on May 6. Teams of up to 4 people may enter to take home the title of "Best Taco in Brazoria County" as well as cash prizes. Categories judged are beef, chicken, seafood, pork, veggie, medley, rice, beans, tortillas and salsa.
Visitors will also be able to visit The Center’s world class planetarium where NASA astronauts train. Right next door to the planetarium is the museum where the region’s largest and best collection of sea shells resides. “The Brazosport Museum of Natural Science will have a very special show of shells during CenterFest that everyone will want to see,” Copeland said.
Run for the Arts
The second annual “Run for the Arts 5K”, is scheduled for 8:00 AM on May 6, 2017. “We will have special medals for overall winners and division winners,” run organizer Kenny York said. Non-runners are encouraged to make a piece of wearable art out of an old pair of shoes and enter the first annual “Art March Parade”, taking place at the same time as the competitive run.
To Learn More: Visit www.brazosportcenter.org for information on CenterFest and local hotel listings. Brazosport CenterFest location: 400 College Blvd. Clute, TX. Phone: 979-265-7661. To learn more about CenterFest go to http://www.brazosportcenterfest.org