WILLCOX— Willcox Theater and Arts Inc., the organization that owns the Willcox Historic Theater adjacent Studio 128 and Palace of Art and Theater, recently was awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. According to a press release from WTA, the grant is part of NEA’s “Grants for Arts Projects” and “is among 1,073 projects across America totaling $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.” “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Willcox Theater and Arts Inc.,” NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers said. “Willcox Theater and Arts Inc. is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence and resilience during this very challenging year.” “We are honored and thrilled to receive this approval for a $20,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a first for us and Willcox,” said Eddie Browning, president of WTA’s Board of Directors. “The National Endowment for the Arts federal grant awards are very competitive and sought by arts organizations large and small across the country in a variety of categories, including music, theater and design. Receiving approval from the NEA after careful scrutiny and comparison with all other applicants across the country is a mark of the merits of our project,” said Gayle Berry, executive director of WTA. Browning said the grant will be mainly used in the design phase to guide construction plans for the center moving forward. The Center of Art and Heritage will have three interlocking components that create a complex providing arts education, arts, heritage and cultural experiences, and broad community participation in creative endeavors: a performance multimedia theater, a creative studio and workshop space. When the Center is complete, the Palace will house the Heritage Experience Center. The NEA grant will helps complete the design and planning stage to integrate the total project. “Existing historic buildings in the District are two stories, and the final design will, of course, be in keeping with the historic character of the District,” Berry added. The Center of Art and Heritage will also seek to bring the experiences of ranchers and cowboys/cowgirls into the digital age. “The Heritage Experience Center will use innovative digital technology to bring real ranching and cowboy experiences to Center visitors; additionally, this technology will be used to honor and celebrate the men and women in the Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame,” Berry said. “Our creative staff is using digital media, both video and virtual reality, to capture the area’s rich heritage and character. Cowboy life of today retains much of the same character as 150 years ago, fusing heritage with today’s technology. “The Immersive Experience project uses Virtual Reality that is produced by our creative staff to show real ranch work as it occurs on the ranch. It puts you on horseback as you’re bringing in a herd or riding out on top of a mountain with just you and your dogs. It allows you to sit on the corral fence as the cowboys sort off the cows, brand the calves or spray the cows for flies.” The theater is partnering with the members of the Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame. “So far, we have interviewed Hall of Famers Keith Klump, Larry Moore Jr, Terry Burgess, Jim Self, Dave Harris, Butterfly Cowan, Larry Todd and Pete Brawley,” Browning said. “We have filmed work on a variety of local ranches, including the Sierra Bonita Ranch (the first permanent cattle ranch in Arizona), the O Bar O Ranch, the J Bar A Ranch, the Warbonnet Ranch, the Winchester Ranch, the Hurtado Ranch and the Malpai Ranch.” “The Mayor and City Council are excited to see

WILLCOX— Willcox Theater and Arts Inc., the organization that owns the Willcox Historic Theater adjacent Studio 128 and Palace of Art and Theater, recently was awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

According to a press release from WTA, the grant is part of NEA’s “Grants for Arts Projects” and “is among 1,073 projects across America totaling $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.”

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Willcox Theater and Arts Inc.,” NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers said. “Willcox Theater and Arts Inc. is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence and resilience during this very challenging year.”

“We are honored and thrilled to receive this approval for a $20,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts, a first for us and Willcox,” said Eddie Browning, president of WTA’s Board of Directors.

“The National Endowment for the Arts federal grant awards are very competitive and sought by arts organizations large and small across the country in a variety of categories, including music, theater and design. Receiving approval from the NEA after careful scrutiny and comparison with all other applicants across the country is a mark of the merits of our project,” said Gayle Berry, executive director of WTA.

Browning said the grant will be mainly used in the design phase to guide construction plans for the center moving forward.

The Center of Art and Heritage will have three interlocking components that create a complex providing arts education, arts, heritage and cultural experiences, and broad community participation in creative endeavors: a performance multimedia theater, a creative studio and workshop space.

When the Center is complete, the Palace will house the Heritage Experience Center. The NEA grant will helps complete the design and planning stage to integrate the total project.

“Existing historic buildings in the District are two stories, and the final design will, of course, be in keeping with the historic character of the District,” Berry added.

The Center of Art and Heritage will also seek to bring the experiences of ranchers and cowboys/cowgirls into the digital age.

“The Heritage Experience Center will use innovative digital technology to bring real ranching and cowboy experiences to Center visitors; additionally, this technology will be used to honor and celebrate the men and women in the Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame,” Berry said. “Our creative staff is using digital media, both video and virtual reality, to capture the area’s rich heritage and character. Cowboy life of today retains much of the same character as 150 years ago, fusing heritage with today’s technology.

“The Immersive Experience project uses Virtual Reality that is produced by our creative staff to show real ranch work as it occurs on the ranch. It puts you on horseback as you’re bringing in a herd or riding out on top of a mountain with just you and your dogs. It allows you to sit on the corral fence as the cowboys sort off the cows, brand the calves or spray the cows for flies.”

The theater is partnering with the members of the Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame.

“So far, we have interviewed Hall of Famers Keith Klump, Larry Moore Jr, Terry Burgess, Jim Self, Dave Harris, Butterfly Cowan, Larry Todd and Pete Brawley,” Browning said. “We have filmed work on a variety of local ranches, including the Sierra Bonita Ranch (the first permanent cattle ranch in Arizona), the O Bar O Ranch, the J Bar A Ranch, the Warbonnet Ranch, the Winchester Ranch, the Hurtado Ranch and the Malpai Ranch.”

“The Mayor and City Council are excited to see the Willcox Theater receive this grant. The theater is an important part of the Willcox community as it improves the quality of life for residents and visitors through entertainment, arts and STEM programs,” said Willcox City Manager Caleb Blaschke. “The city utilizes the services of the theater for marketing material and plans to further partnerships with the theater to provide additional programs for youth in the community.”