NOTO celebrates new grants and a local artist

Monday night brought out community members celebrating the awarding of two big checks and the recognition of a talented local artist
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:53 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - NOTO celebrated some big wins Monday evening.

The Noto Arts & Entertainment District and Visit Topeka’s ArtsConnect are among 22 tourist organizations across Kansas selected for a marketing grant.

Topeka’s ArtsConnect was awarded $5,000 in funds.

“So not only does it mean artists and residents working with the community to help with the current interpretation of what the Brown decision means to Topeka to America but we will get to have that collection moving forward as a traveling collection. We’re actively working with our peer communities at the other plaintiff sites in Delaware, D.C. Virginia and South Carolina to really make the 70th an important commemoration for freedom and equality in this country,” says Visit Topeka President, Sean Dixon.

“It’s like nothing we’ve ever done in Topeka before and also it sets a standard and allows us to join a national conversation about reckoning, about commemoration and about how we undertake that kind of work,” says Executive Director at ArtsConnect, Sarah Fizell.

The NOTO Arts District received $8,350.

“Just the funding to be able to pay for video photography and the editing and all that work that goes into creating quality video and again we’re going to be creating 3 different videos so again different storylines about NOTO. So that just provides us with the funding to be able to share that and also to be able to promote it in these regions outside of the area,” says Tom Underwood, Director of NOTO Arts & Entertainment District.

The grants will aid in the development of new marketing initiatives to promote the district and beyond.

“We know that tourism is economic development and when new people come to our community as visitors they also think about themselves as being a possible resident and coming or moving their family or their business here so tourism is really the welcoming committee for Kansas and that is what we are trying to do is get the word out about how great Kansas is,” says Bridgette Jobe, Director of Kansas Tourism.

The evening ended with a major first, awarding the NOTO Master Artist, Barbara Waterman-Peters.

“It seems like a culmination of all the hard work and dreams and visions that we had NOTO and my coming over here and wanting to be part of it I guess is being recognized and I’m thrilled. I really am,” says Waterman-Peters.

To donate and check out events in NOTO click here.