Drawing Families Together–Waco Cultural Arts Festival


A festival within a festival, Waco Cultural Arts Fest will be held October 4-6, and promises to be another fun-filled, family-friendly event.

What is the Waco Cultural Arts Fest?

The Arts Fest is face painting, wood sculpture, claymation, mask making, easel art, and more!

It is a festival within a festival. It is Music Fest, a Dance Fest, a Science Fest, a Film Fest, and a Word Fest! All in one weekend!

The 2019 Waco Cultural Arts Festival, managed by President and CEO, Doreen Ravenscroft and supported by officers, a board of directors, committees, and an advisory board, is a work of art. And heart.

Ravenscroft announces, “The festival always has something new and interesting, as we are six festivals in one!! Arts Fest, Music Fest, {254}Dance Fest, Science Fest, Word Fest, and Film Fest – Celebration Africa.”

The website states, “We believe in supporting the arts and arts education all year. In our goal to bring the arts to all sections of Waco, we partner with groups during the school year and summer to provide art programming to students of all ages.”

And as Wacoans, we should support them!

As always, the festival has many volunteers that help with all aspects during the two-day festivities. This insures you and your children will have a great time.

There are fundraisers held throughout the year that benefit the Waco Cultural Arts Fest, including Wine, Divas, Dessert, an outrageously entertaining event featuring local musicians and performers, produced by Daniel Hollingsworth at the Waco Civic Theatre.

Due to all the fundraising, grants, and generosity, all activities at the Waco Cultural Arts Fest are free of charge.

Cultural Arts of Waco was incorporated June 2, 2004. Since then, the festival has expanded from a once-a-year festival into year-round programming made available to the entire Waco community free of charge, stated on the website.

The mission of the festival, as stated on the website, is “To celebrate and promote the community’s diverse artistic and cultural life; develop and enrich its cultural capacity; and champion the economic, social, and educational benefits of the arts in the Greater Waco area and beyond.”

Depending on the weather, the Arts Fest has had crowds of 15,000 -20,000 visitors over the weekend of the fair.

The Waco Cultural Arts Fest will have many artists showcasing their talent. There will be demonstrations of art, as well as hands-on art activities for the young. The Artist Market will be a festive outdoor marketplace where artists can sell their art. The Artist Market includes all sorts of art for sale; ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, oil and acrylic paintings, and much more.

Support Waco’s artist by visiting the market.

Also included in the Waco Cultural Arts Fest is the {254} Dance Fest, located in the Brazos Room at the WCC, located at 100 Washington Avenue.

At the Science Fest, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) plays an important part. Science will be demonstrated in exciting and intriguing ways that will be brought to life through hands-on, interactive exhibits, science-themed performances and demonstrations, and family-oriented entertainment.

Children and adults alike will learn while being entertained. Science Fest uses STEM for educating. The event serves as an exciting way for the city’s fantastic resources to come together through fun and interactive experiences that create STEAM (adding Arts to STEM).

Word Fest is a ‘festival within a festival’ offering an exciting variety of events for written and spoken-word artists of all ages, styles, languages, genres, and levels.

The vision of the Word Fest is to produce a rich selection of programs affording festival attendees to participate in three ways: poetry and prose workshops to practice the craft of poetry, prose, stories, songs, journaling, and readings and round-table sharing bringing words from the page to the stage.

This year’s Waco Word Fest Anthology features 100 poets from six countries, including Nigeria, India, Canada, Australia, USA, and England.

The USA poets are from Texas, California, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kansas, New Jersey, Washington, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Rhode Island.

Again, a festival within a festival, Film Fest is a celebration of Africa and is being designed to showcase the beauty, diversity, and majesty of Africa through the medium of film.

This year, for Music Fest, they are partnering with Keep Waco Loud. The music fun begins on Friday Night.

Hollingsworth stated, “Our focus is on free art for the community, and we have a lot for children to create…easel art, claymation, puppet making, masks, hat makers, wood sculpture and more. There are six festivals within the main festival.”

Things to know:

  • The Arts Fest location is on University Parks Drive, between Franklin Avenue and Washington Avenue, in downtown Waco, near Waco’s historic Suspension Bridge.
  • All activities are free of charge.
  • There are vendors selling art, food, and drinks.
  • Saturday, October 5, the Arts Fest is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the early childhood area closing at 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 6, the fun is from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Dance Fest is located inside the Convention Center.
  • Science Fest is located inside the Convention Center.
  • Film Fest is located inside the Convention Center.
  • Word Fest is located inside the Convention Center.
  • Volunteers will not be turned away.
  • Your donations help keep the Festival Free for all. To donate, sign up to volunteer, or for schedules and more information, please visit Waco Arts Festival.

Hope you will take your family to the Waco Cultural Arts Fest!

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Hi, I'm Dedra!! I am a late-in-life writer trying to fulfill a lifelong dream and emerge into the kidlit world. I am writing, editing, and querying while learning patience and failing forward. I hope to be a published children's book author with my picture books and YA novel. I graduated with a degree in Journalism from the UTA in 1988, but because of raising three beautiful children and life in general, I started writing professionally in 2014. My husband of 34 years and I raised our children in China Spring, right outside of Waco. Even though my children are all in their late twenties, all out of college, and all have careers (yay!!!), I am still a mother in their daily life—mothering, loving, worrying, and praying never stop—no matter how old they are. I am proud to be a late-in-life writer--journalist, freelancer, blogger, and magazine contributor. My work includes online and print magazines, including Modern Texas Living, Unread Magazine, Culture Trip, Everything Home Magazine, The Groove, The Outfitter, Victoria Lee Magazine, Holl and Lane Magazine, and Taylor Magazine. My (other) absolute favorite thing to write about is our ever-growing and evolving, small-urban town, Waco. I am thrilled to be part of Waco Moms and write about motherhood and Waco! I also write about life around me to enlighten, entertain, and make people think. If I make them smile, that's a bonus! You can read my blog at http://www.dedradaviswrites.com