WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With the arts and culture scene growing larger each year here in Wichita Falls, the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture has decided to recognize those people and businesses, that have helped with the growth of the art scene.

The first inaugural Arts and Culture Empowerment Awards, or the ACE Awards, will be kicking off in just a couple of weeks. Executive Director for the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture, Ann Arnold-Ogden said choosing the finalists was no walk in the park seeing that there were roughly 70 nominations in total, showing the tremendous amount of support for the arts and culture scene.

From painters and educators to art galleries and performance art organizations, Ogden said many folks don’t realize the true impact these things can have on an entire community.

“It is the part of our lives that is interesting and the parts of our lives that are engaging. It’s not just a painting, it’s not just a mural, it’s not just a performance, it is what impact those things have to make our lives more interesting and better,” Arnold-Ogden said.

Not only more interesting, but Ogden said arts and culture can even have a positive impact on the economy as well.

“Say you’re going to the theatre, say you’re going to the ballet or the symphony, you’re going to buy a ticket you’re probably going to find a babysitter, you’re probably going to go out to eat, you may go out after and grab a drink or dessert and that spending really adds up! So it’s not just the price of admission, it’s not just buying a piece of art you are supporting a nonprofit, you’re supporting a small business,” Arnold-Ogden said.

And it’s those people, businesses, and organizations supporting the local arts and culture scene that gave Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture an idea, with one special award given out by Mayor Santellana.

“You know a lot of time you have these people that have different type of events gallery openings whether it’s the Art Walk or museums that are doing their thing and bringing all of these things into the fold and if we don’t recognize it, if we don’t stop to and take a breath and show them that we see the hard work that’s going into everything that they’re doing, you know for me that means everything,” Santellana said.

Recognizing those who have a bigger impact on our lives than we know.

The ACE Awards luncheon will kick off at the Wichita Falls Regional Airport on October 19 at 11:30 a.m., and you still have plenty of time to purchase a ticket.

For more information on ticket prices and a list of all of the finalists, click here.