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The Woodlands Arts Council (TWAC) BAM! Because Art Matters The Woodlands Arts Festival
Because Art Matters

is the year-round community and educational outreach arm of The Woodlands Arts Council

Formed to provide cultural enrichment through the arts for residents of Montgomery County and the neighboring region, creating a strong and vital arts presence in the area.

Student Art Scholarship Program

Program Description

2016 Student Art Scholarship Program

Open to all Junior and Senior students (Public, Private and Home School) in Montgomery County and surrounding areas. Our Student Art Scholarships are sponsored in part by:

2015 Student Art Scholarship Winners

Painting, Drawing, 3D Multi-Media, Digital Art, 2D Mixed Media and Photography

Important Dates:

  • Artwork Drop off, Thursday, February 18, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.,
  • Judging Friday, February 19, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Student Art Showcase, Saturday, February 20, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Venue: Sam Houston State University - Woodlands Center (4th floor)
3380 College Park Dr. Conroe, Texas 77384

Student Artists

Last year's program:

  • Over 250 pieces entered
  • 64 Pieces chosen as winners and exhibited at The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

Last year's winners:

  • Caney Creek High School - 1 Winner
  • The John Cooper High School - 7 winners
  • The Woodlands High School - 7 Winners
  • College Park High School - 8 Winners
  • Willis High School - 1 Winner
  • Magnolia West High School - 1 Winner

What your students receive by participating:

Chance to win scholarships in each of the six areas listed above:

  • $2,000 First Place
  • $1,000 Second Place
  • $500 Third Place

Please contact one of us at the addresses below for more information:

Carmen Mulraney, Student Art Scholarship Chair,

Kayleen Barton, Community Education Outreach Director for Because Art Matters,

Because Art Matters 2014 Year in Review

Our mission is to establish and support meaningful programs in the performing and visual arts for at-risk students in schools in Montgomery County to encourage academic performance and attendance, as well as art enrichment programs to serve all members of the community, especially those that are underserved and have special needs.

Community and Education Outreach

We believe the arts can open the doors of our minds, strengthen character and heal our bodies. The creative outlet of the arts presents an opportunity to discover the inner spark that leads to a stronger sense of self-confidence, the development of creative thinking, and an appreciation for other cultures and viewpoints.

Whom we Serve...

We believe the arts can open the doors of our minds, strengthen character and heal our bodies. The creative outlet of the arts presents an opportunity to discover the inner spark that leads to a stronger sense of self-confidence, the development of creative thinking, and an appreciation for other cultures and viewpoints. We serve four pillars in the community including…

We Mentor Youth
We have impacted over 17,000 at-risk students in Title-1 schools in the Conroe and Magnolia Independent School Districts to date and that number keeps growing!
Houston Grand Opera on the Go – performs RAPUNZEL for students at Smith Elementary school in Magnolia

We offer programs that provide positive messaging using performing and visual arts to target key issues such as anti-bullying, drug abuse prevention, teamwork and self-esteem. We partner with Dionysus Theatre, Andy Rooniverse, Percussionist Dan Egger-Belandria, Master Artist Vickie McMillan and more.

We provide students with cultural experiences including visits to the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, live performances in school by the Houston Grand Opera, field trips to see the dancers of the Houston Ballet and cultural art projects and field trips with The Woodlands Children's Museum.

We produce TEKS based curriculum programs using interactive performances to focus on geography, history and exploration of cultures around the world. Percussionist Dan Egger-Belandria takes students on a drumming journey from Africa to the Americas that explores rhythms and folklore, providing the experience in both English and Spanish.

Master Artist Vickie McMillan creates beautiful interactive collaborative murals with students, integrating TEKS curriculum while demonstrating technique, creative learning, life skills and confidence building.

Students involved in the arts are...

  • 4 times more likely to have been recognized for academic achievement
  • Being elected to class office within their schools more than 3 times as often
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance*
  • Score an average of 102 points higher on SAT’s

Troubled youth and offenders after involvement in arts have…

  • Increased ability to express anger appropriately
  • Decreased delinquent behavior
  • Improved attitudes toward school**

*Source: Dr. Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University, for Carnegie Foundation for The Advancement of Teaching **Source: U.S. Department of Justice

We offer the following programs:

Art Supply Stipends

Art Supply stipend to be used solely for visual art and performing/music department supplies within your school during the school year of 2014-2015. The stipend will be split into two checks over the course of the school year. Half of the funds are designated for Visual Arts and the other half must be used for Performing/Music Departments.

Musical Performances including:

Dan Egger-Belandria

World Rhythm Synergy is a high-energy multicultural presentation that infuses explosive drumming with a meaningful lecture and group participation for up to 300 English or Spanish speaking students. Throughout this ethno-musical journey, your students will have an opportunity to explore various African, Afro-Cuban, and Caribbean rhythms and folklore that help explain the connection between African-American history and Hispanic heritage.

Houston Grand Opera

Experience high-energy opera, presented at your school, library or community center in a fully-staged, 45-minute performance. Performances are sung in English or English/Spanish and are designed especially for today's audiences. We bring costumes, sets and beautiful music to life. Shows available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Teachers receive a study guide in advance.

Andy Rooniverse

Join AndyRoo on a musical journey to a magical place created by the ever-expanding landscape of children’s imaginations, where you’ll encounter swinging monkeys, Silly Sal the Salamander, and a big balloon that will whisk you away to a whole universe of exciting animated characters. Using storytelling, music making, and movement, this program teaches children about individuality, togetherness, and kindness through an active listening experience.

Theatrical Performances including:

Houston Ballet

Participate in a variety of programs offered by the Houston Ballet including their Studio Series, Ballet Talks, Matinee Performances, and more. TEKS curriculum available.

Dionysus Theater

Dionysus is a touring theater group including actors with disabilities and those who are non-disabled., Dionysus breaks down barriers and opens communication with our thought provoking, innovative show, “True Confessions of a Bully” teaching students how to best handle bullying in all its forms.

Visits to Local Museums including:

The Woodlands Children’s Museum

Museum on The Go – Pre-K and Kindergarten students can enjoy a field trip at The Woodlands Children’s Museum. With interactive displays children can explore and discover the open exhibits especially designed for them. The Museum provides creative and imaginative play experiences along with daily interactive activities, and a take-home art project for each student. Because Art Matters provides transportation to and from the museum and admission to the Museum.

Let the talented artists from The Woodlands Children’s Museum come to you with “Art Around The World,” including the following art projects for 2014-2015: Musical Instruments of Africa, Adornments from Head to Toe, Bags – Boxes - Bowls and Beyond: Containers from around the World, Masks, specially designed for your students. All supplies will be provided in your classroom along with a staff member to help your students learn the art process from beginning to end and some cultural history along the way. All art projects are taken home at the end of the session.

Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts

Field trips for 4th grade students also include a TEKS-aligned writing activity designed to aid preparation for the 4th grade state writing test. The writing exercise takes place in the galleries as part of the tour, and is directly related to the works of art discussed. The writing field trip is also appropriate for students in 3rd and 5th grades. Because Art Matters provides transportation to and from the museum.

Download PDF File
We Work with Seniors

We partner with many Senior organizations (Harvest Wood, The Forum, Brookdale, Interfaith, Terrace and more) in the community to work with the seniors to promote socialization, encourage physical movement and activity and engage seniors emotionally and intellectually through the arts both visual and performing.

Senior participant putting on the finishing touches of Master Artist Vickie McMillan Project, Remember When

Seniors from the community are able to participate in the following programs:

  • Collaborative Master Artist Collaborative Mural projects with Vickie McMillan.

Upcoming Projects: with the Seniors of Interfaith of The Woodlands and Master Artist Vickie McMillan. Participants are creating a mixed-media watercolor “Self-Portrait” collaborative project. ~March 2015 *This project is sponsored in part by Texas Commission on the Arts.

  • Therapeutic drumming with the students of Let Them Drum! under the direction of Ralph Hicks.
  • Other performances by local youth and students and artist.

Senior Citizens involved in the arts experience...

  • Better Health
  • Fewer doctor visits and less medication
  • More positive responses on mental health measures
  • More involvement in overall activities
  • Reduced anxiety and depression*
  • Reduced blood pressure and heart rate
  • Reduced length of hospitalization
  • Reduction in pain medications
  • Enhanced performance of health care providers and their relationship with patients**

*Source: George Washington University study on Creativity and Aging **Source: Arts in health review of medical literature by Dr. Rosalia Staricoff

Download PDF File
We Serve Those with Special Needs & Circumstances

We provide performing and visual arts workshops and projects for adaptive participation for children and adults with development medical conditions. Additionally we serve those with special circumstances such as victims of human sex-trafficking and domestic abuse.

We offer programs that provide positive messaging using performing and visual arts to target key issues such as anti-bullying, drug abuse prevention, teamwork and self-esteem. We partner Percussionist Dan Egger-Belandria, Master Artist Vickie McMillan, Let Them Drum! and more. Groups served to date include:

Residence working on a community mural with Master Artist Vickie McMillan

Freedom Place

A residential safe haven and recovery center for underage female victims of domestic child sex trafficking in the greater Houston area

Projects: Master Artist Vickie McMillan, worked in partnership with the young women of Freedom Place to create this mixed media representation of a butterfly taking flight into a new and healing phase of life using antique knobs and upcycled pieces of wood.
Upcoming Projects: Let Them Drum! Female drumming session ~ July 2015

CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County

A court-appointed organization advocating for abused and neglected children in our community

Projects: Master Artist Vickie McMillan, worked in partnership with the young men of Hearts of Hope and CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, to create an acrylic on canvas of a male wood duck alongside a pond with reeds, to represent boys growing in wisdom and character.

Dan Egger-Belandria performed for the residents of Treehouse on November 6, 2014.

We Care Treatment Center

Treatment Center for Girls serves girl’s ages five through seventeen, whom have been diagnosed with severe emotional and behavioral disorders, psychiatric disorders, learning disabilities, and victims of trauma.

Projects: Master Artist Vickie McMillan, worked in partnership with the young women of We Care Treatment Center for Girls, to create this acrylic on canvas of a bouquet of beautiful hydrangeas, representing the need for nourishing the soil we are planted in, and the “BEAUTY” of emerging on the other side of trials in life. *This project sponsored in part by Texas Commission on the Arts

Arts can support those with special needs and circumstances by...

  • Helping students discover racial and cultural identity essential for healthy development*
  • Improving behavior of autistic children by enhancing awareness**
  • Assisting special needs kids develop coordination**
  • Promoting emotional and physical healing for those suffering PSTD***
  • Unleashing imagination and socialization ***
  • Helping survivors of domestic and sexual abuse access trauma and reconnect with others

*Source: JFK Center for Performing Arts Study **Source: Florida Hospital for Child Development *** Studies cited on

Participants of The Human Rights Walk work on the collaborative weaving mural, The Fabric of Humanity

Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center (Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP), Detention, Probation, Juvenile Protection Services).

A center to assist in developing pro-social changes in juvenile behavior.

Upcoming Projects: Master Artist Vickie McMillan is working with the students of JJAEP to create a mixed media “Graffiti Art” acrylic on canvas. t Them Drum! ~ March 2015 *This project sponsored in part by Texas Commission on the Arts.

Dan Egger-Belandria presents “Drumming is the Difference” workshops to participants of Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center. Introducing percussions instruments and styles as a creative way to communicate, express emotions and manage stress. ~April 2015 *This project sponsored in part by Texas Commission on the Arts.

Montgomery County Youth Services

Organization that provides safe shelter for homeless youth 10-17 years of age.

Projects: Dan Egger-Belandria performances for the residents of Bridgeway Youth Shelter. April and October 2014.

The Human Rights Walk

The Human Rights Walk was created and organized by local high school student and Human Rights Advocate, Demme Durrett to bring understanding to the community that, “every person is entitled to certain fundamental rights, simply by the fact of being human.”

Projects: Because Art Matters and The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council worked in partnership with participants of the 4th annual Human Rights Walk on December 6, 2014, to create a mixed-art weaving mural, using strips of colored fabric. “THE FABRIC OF HUMANITY” highlights the Youth for Human Rights International logo interwoven in the colorful mural, representing the mixture of diverse cultures coming together for the cause of Human Rights for all.

Other organizations we’ve worked with include:

Emergency Ministries

An organization that provides a variety of services for first responders

Interfaith of The Woodlands

A social service agency that provides numerous programs and services

Montgomery County Women’s Center

A safe shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse

Children’s Safe Harbor

A children’s advocacy center for children ages 2-17 years
Download PDF File
We Forge Partnerships

Communities and the arts partner to...

  • Drive Innovation
  • Promote Economic Prosperity
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Attract and retain employees
  • Increase property value

Collaborating with artists, community organizations and institutions, Because Art Matters provides a variety of enriching art experiences including:

Awards & Scholarships

Dr. Gottlieb Outstanding Teacher in the Arts Award

Scholarships and art supplies for the annual Conroe Independent School District Summer Art and Music Camps.

The Woodlands High School Art Trust annual Donation.

Community Projects

Collaborative Community Art Murals in partnership with schools and other non-profit organizations.

  • Montgomery County Food Bank, “Yes We Have Bananas.”
  • The Houston Symphony @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Art of Baseball” a children’s mural during a live performance.

The Woodlands Art Bench Project – Art Bench Public Art Project along the Beautiful Woodlands Waterway

40th Anniversary Student Art Project in Visual and Literary Arts, sponsored by The Woodlands Township and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Events & Programs

Master Artist Program & Workshops – To promote and develop artists in the community that offer different processes and methods for in-school and community outreach programs.

Photography Contest for 9th- 12th grade students, at The Woodlands Mall, May 9, 2015.

Summer Art Workshop for 5th & 6th grade students at The Woodlands Mall, July 25, 2015.

Fast Draw Competition for 7th and 8th grade students at The Woodlands Mall, September 12, 2015.

Partnerships including competitions, projects and workshops

Other Partners include:

  • Alley Theatre
  • Angel Reach
  • CASA
  • Children’s Safe Harbor
  • Coalition of Behavioral Health Services
  • Conroe Art League
  • Conroe Independent School District
  • Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Performing Arts
  • Dionysus Theatre
  • Freedom Place
  • Gulf Coast Trades Center
  • Houston Symphony
  • Houston Ballet
  • Interfaith of The Woodlands
  • Let Them Drum!
  • Lone Star Art Guild
  • Magnolia ISD
  • The John Cooper School
  • Human Rights Walk
  • Montgomery County Food Bank
  • Montgomery County Women’s Center
  • Montgomery County Youth Services
  • Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Orwall Baseball
  • Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Woodlands Art League
  • The Woodlands Mall
  • The Woodlands Children’s Museum
  • The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • The Woodlands High School Art Trust Foundation
  • The Woodlands Township
  • Texas Commission on the Arts
  • Tri-County Services
Download PDF File

Anchor Sponsors

Stage Sponsors

Palette Cafe Stage
Watercolor Terrace Stage

Official Category Sponsors

Official Beer
Official Water
Exclusive Luxury Automobile
Town Green Park and The Woodlands Waterway
Green Effort
Official Printing Company
Official Wine

Artopoly, Because Art Matters
Presented by KHOU 11

Awards Breakfast Sponsors

Watercolor Terrace Area Sponsors

Master's Tent
Watercolor Terrace Stage Sponsor

West End Area Sponsors

West End Presenting Sponsor
Interactive Mural Promotion

Media Partners

Art Dash Party Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors
Supporting Sponsors
Special Thanks
The John Cooper School Performing Arts Dance Department
Let Them Drum!

Preview Party Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor
Supporting Sponsor
Supporting Sponsor
Special Thanks
The John Cooper School Performing Arts
Dance Department
Ramon Torres

Because Art Matters Program Support

Student Art Scholarships, Because Art Matters Program Support
Because Art Matters Program Support
Student Bus Transportation
Vickie McMillan Master Artist Projects, Drumming is the Difference Project, Festival Artist Juried Process
Spotlight on the Arts Gallery, Photography Contest, Summer Art Project, Fast Draw Competition
Art Supply Stipends
Brighton Collectibles
Rich and Luciana Burket
ExxonMobil Foundation
John Cooper School
Office Depot Foundation
The Stinson Family
Wells Fargo

The Art Bench Project


Benchmark Hospitality International
Gordy and Michelle Bunch
The Woodlands Financial Group
Rob & Cindy Hardin
Dr. Robert and Renee Neville
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands Development Company, a Division of The Howard Hughes Corporation
The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council
Woodforest National Bank


David & Brenda Gottlieb
Mitch, Peggy, Nick & Pat Hausman
Todd & Gayle Kuoni
The Shedden Family v Village Medical Centers
Ray & Peggy Wilcox

Friends of the Council

Bartec, US Corporation

Mike & Georgie Bass

Better Bookkeepers, Inc.

Rich & Luciana Burket

Sylvia Caracio


Chevron Phillips Chemical

Alex & Susan Cosculluela

Heather Dickens

Tom & Sandy Dignes

Maureen Donelan

Beverly Drew

Bev Earl Corporate Incentives

Tom & Becky Eisenman

ExxonMobil Foundation

John & Paddy Feuerstein

Neil & Elissa Fletcher

Margaret Garrison

Rob & Cindy Hardin

Sue Burke Harrington

Denise Hayes

Derek & Sonya Hillman

John Cooper School

Roberto & Kim Lacayo

Devona & Lon Larson

Mark & Laurie Lashier

Sharon Lavery

Amy Lecocq & Richard Shapiro

Barbara Lecocq

LD Systems

Worthing F. & Katrina Lenden Jackman

LJA Planning

LJA Engineering

Jerry & Patricia MacDonald

Lloyd & Margaret Matthews

Anna McDonnell

Joe & Gail Michels

Bob Milner

Steve & Cindy Moss

Wendy Paynter

Jim & Susie Pokorski

Jerry & Ann Snyder

Chuck & Deb Spiess

Richard & Angelika Stinson

Jim & Susan Wendt

Winstead, PC

Nick Wolda

Jenny Wright

Destination Package Partners

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Many of our projects funded in part by Texas Commission on the Arts.
Texas Commission on the Arts
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