Abilene Cultural Affairs Council

ACAC helps promote and encourage art in Abilene to enhance the image of Abilene as a center for the Arts.

Mission: It is the purpose of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, an affiliate of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, to promote, encourage, and support the arts for Abilene; to marshall and adapt the community's resources to the needs of artists of the community; to work and advise with officials, organizations, schools, and committees in supporting activities; and it shall seek to encourage the establishment of new art forms, develop publicity and educational programs to encourage existing programs and organizations and promote tourism, and will carry out those other functions necessary to enhance the image of Abilene as a center for the Arts.

The Abilene Cultural District is open for business! Remember to maintain social distance while you are out.
1) Everman Park and the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden are open.
2) The Grace Museum opens June 2.
3) The visitor center at Frontier Texas! is open.
4) 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum is open.
5) National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature plans to be open for a new exhibit in June.
6) Popcorn Fridays at Paramount Theatre!

Dance Discovery Studios Abilene, TX

Dance Discovery Studios is excited to announce our Summer Workshop and Intensives 2020!


Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tumbling
Ages 3-5
Monday and Wednesday 5:30-6:30
June 8th-June 24th

Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tumbling
Ages 6-9
Tuesday and Thursday 5:30-6:30
June 9th-June 25th

Ages 9-12
Tuesday and Thursday 6:30-7:30

Tuesday-Thursday 2:30-5:00
June 2nd-June 18th
(Intensives are designed for serious students wanting to advance in each level of technique and dance style. This is a commitment of 2.5 hrs, three days per week for three weeks.


*Monday/Wednesday 5:30-6:30
3-5 yr old Ballet/Jazz
July 6th-22nd

*Monday/Wednesday 5:30-6:30
6-8 yr old Ballet/Jazz
July 6th-22nd

*Monday/Wednesday 6:30-7:30
3-5 yr old Hip Hop
July 6th-22nd

*Monday/Wednesday 6:30-7:30
6-8 yr old Hip Hop
July 6th-22nd

*Tuesday/Thursday 5:30-6:30
9-12 yr old Ballet/Jazz
July 7th-23rd

*Tuesday/Thursday 5:30-6:30
13 and up Hip Hop
July 7th-23rd

*Tuesday/Thursday 6:30-7:30
9-12 yr old Hip Hop
July 7th-23rd

Tuesday/Thursday 5:00-7:30
July 7th-July 23rd
(Serious younger dancers wanting to advance in each level of technique and dance style. Commitment of 2.5 hrs, twice a week for three weeks.)

Monday-Thursday 2:30-5:00
July 6th- 23rd
(Intensives are designed for serious dancers wanting to advance in each level of technique and dance style. This is a commitment of 2.5 hrs, four times a week for for three weeks.)

Registration is now being accepted by phone. Discounts available for multiple classes or siblings.

325-677-0022 studio
325-668-9544 Teri cell

Dance Discovery Studios; Stronger Than Any Storm!

Outdoor theater this summer at McMurry!

Theatre in the Quad coming this summer to McMurry University!

Center for Contemporary Arts

Layers, Layers, Layers...

Paramount popcorn is back this Friday! Pull up to the curb to get your corn.

We're selling our giant bags of popcorn again, this Friday. (1 bag = 2 1/2 large buckets) 4pm, in front of the theatre. Plenty for everyone! $10 a bag. Thank you for continuing to support YOUR Paramount Theatre!!!

Big news!

With careful consideration, The Grace Museum is pleased to announce that we will reopen to the public on Tuesday, June 2nd with the following modified hours:⁠

Tuesday-Friday, 12:30pm - 4:30pm ⁠
Saturday 10am - 5pm⁠

We want the community to feel welcome and to have a fun and safe experience at the Museum. To help ensure that our visitors and staff are as protected as possible, we have put into place new safeguards and capacity limits for each space. ⁠Only our art and history galleries will be open to the public at this time.⁠ ⁠We hope you will enjoy the new exhibitions we have on view!⁠

We invite you to read more details of our Museum Reopening Plan at www.thegracemuseum.org/coronavirus.

Historical rooms at The Grace Museum

Located in the Grace Museum’s 1948 historic period room living room is a small white flag with a red border and gold fringe. At the center of the flag are two blue stars. This small flag, known as the Service Flag, carries with it great significance to those who know its meaning. The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.

The Service flag, also called the Blue Star Flag, was designed and patented by WWI Army Captain Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry who had two sons serving on the front line. The flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in service. President Wilson became part of this history when in 1918 he approved a suggestion made by the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defenses that mothers who had lost a child serving in the war wear a gold gilt star on the traditional black mourning arm band. This led to the tradition of covering the blue star with a gold star on the Service flag to indicate that the service member has died.

During WWII the practice of displaying the Service flag became much more widespread. Most flags were hand made by mothers across the nation. One of the most famous flags was that of the five Sullivan brothers who all perished on the U.S.S. Juneau.

In 1960 the Department of Defense revised the specifications for design, manufacture and display of the Service flag. Each blue star on the flag represents a service member in active duty. A gold star is displayed if a service member is killed in action or dies in service. If several stars are displayed by one family the gold star takes the honor of being placed at the top. The gold star should be slightly smaller than the blue star to create a blue border surrounding the gold star.

Display of a Service Star Banner is done during times of war.

View the full list of specifications and requirements for display of the Service Flag: https://www.bluestarmothers.org/service-flag

The National Archives lists 135 names from Taylor County in the 1946 Honor List of Dead and Missing - who gave their lives in the line of duty while serving during WWII. Today we honor those men and women. To view the names in person as well as those from WWI, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Panama you can visit the Taylor County Veterans Memorial at 300 Oak Street in Abilene.

View the full 1946 Texas Honor List: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/army-casualties/texas.html

Come downtown and drive up to the Paramount for your $10 GIANT bag of popcorn. Starts at 4 p.m. today (Friday) until they run out. Drive through only, exact change please or credit card. No walk ups.

Drive by, grab fresh corn, feel good knowing you helped the Paramount! 4:00 today. Who's coming?

(starts at 4, $10 for a GIANT bag, no limit, please have correct change or a credit card)

Old Jail Art Center

Ready for your tiny-tour?
Take a 5 min break and relive your childhood through artist Lee N. Smith with Education Program Coordinator Molly Merck!


The Historic Paramount Theatre celebrates 90 years

Paramount celebrated 90 years this week!

myfoxzone.com The Theatre opened May 19th, 1930

Good times will be back soon!!!

We can't wait!

Spring time in the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden. (Photo by Steve Butman)

The Cardinal Vine Project is taking shape! There are still leaves and just a few cardinals left. The metal vine will be installed at the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden located at the Abilene Convention Center. Purchase a leaf or cardinal in honor or in memory of someone or even with your family name to show your support. Funds will help the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council meet the matching grant challenge from the Texas Commission on the Arts. The grant is for improvements to the garden and to Minter Park. Leaves are $200 and red cardinals are $450. Purchase here: https://forms.donorsnap.com/form?id=8cdcbdac-f16d-400c-908d-2d756f1ed8a6


We know we don't say this enough--we have the best supporters and this season will be the best yet! If you haven't renewed and have the ability to make a bigger impact with your subscription this year, we ask that you consider upgrading your seats! Not only will you get a better view of your orchestra, but every additional dollar matters and helps to keep the music playing. Call (325) 677-6710 to ask about upgrading or subscribe today!

Happy birthday, Paramount! Help them celebrate by buying a bag of popcorn curbside this Friday afternoon. 🍿

Today, we're 90. Not a lot of theaters like ours have stood that test of time. We wanted to have a bigger shindig, but I guess that means we'll really have to party down when we turn 100. Happy birthday, you beautiful old building!

Center for Contemporary Arts

Dirty Drawers!!

Paramount is selling popcorn at the curb again this Friday, but at a new time - 4-6 pm!!! Drive through only please. No walk-ups. Exact change and credit cards accepted.

After another sell-out, we're doing drive up popcorn sales again this Friday at a NEW TIME. We're going sell corn from 4-6pm, or until we run out. $10 a bag, NO LIMIT! (Correct change or credit card, please) See you, Friday afternoon...and THANK YOU for supporting your friendly neighborhood Paramount Theatre!

Some of these faces don't look like the others! Photo fun with The Grace Museum

Our final Collection Pet Takeover includes all of our remaining staff pets -- posing as members of the Abilene Shakespeare Club circa 1900-1910. A sizable collection within the Grace Museum History Collection documents the many and impactful women's clubs active in Abilene through the years through photographs, programs, and various ephemera. In 1883 The Reading Club (later The Abilene Shakespeare Club) was organized. A few years later, the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs acknowledged this group as the first woman’s study club in Texas. Without a local library, Abilene members were required to study Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets and recite or perform skits designed to educate fellow members. Many members created costumes and sets for their presentations.

Because it was not socially acceptable for women to take leadership roles in the church or community, women-only groups afforded many women their first opportunity to “find my own voice,” as one Shakespeare Club member expressed in a personal note.

Abilene Shakespeare Club, c. late 1900s-early 1910s
reproduction photograph
Collection of The Grace Museum, from the Estate of Ms. Eleanor Hutchinson

The Grace Museum

We are wrapping up Home Essentials Week with more Food Art! Use any ingredients in your fridge to make these Artist-inspired sandwiches... Don't forget to share your creations #MadeItAtTheGrace

We love our good friends at Texas Star Trading Co. Shop local folks!

Many independent artists, bookstores, and record stores have been hit especially hard during the current COVID-19 crisis. On Day 4 of #7DaysofSupport consider ordering from your favorite indie artist, bookstore or record-store. It’s the perfect opportunity to buy that artwork/book/record you've been eyeing while supporting Texas arts and culture!

The independent arts and creative sector is crucial to Texas’s artistic ecosystem as they provide support for emerging artists and contribute to local economies.

#TXartsmatter #TXArtsAreEssential

McMurry Department of Theatre

McMurry has the only summer theater shows in Abilene planned at this time, and they are taking the show to new places! Introducing "Theatre in The Quad."

Safe and Entertaining! That’s our promise!

This summer we present Theatre in the Quad! Come and social distance with us as we bring you exciting and dynamic theatre in the Quad of McMurry University. An impactful stage reading of Steel Magnolias in July and a concert style version of The Fantasticks in August will light up the campus of McMurry!

More details coming soon!

Center for Contemporary Arts

Watch Manny draw Disney characters!

FanArt Friday! Disney characters!

There's still bags of popcorn at the Paramount today! Head down there. $10 a bag and the bag is huge. Curbside pick up. Exact change or credit card.

UPDATE: We are sold out. Thank you everyone!

We still have corn! Come on down. 🍿🍿

Old Jail Art Center

Check out all the cool things that we and our partner museums are offering for you and your family today!

Center for Contemporary Arts

Tour photo gallery at the Center for Contemporary Arts

Gallery Manager Trudy Six goes behind the lens with Ellie Hamby. Join us as Ellie shares stories of inspiration and discovery through her images captured during her travels around the world.


Oak Street Arbor Grand Opening Art Show!

40 tickets left

eventbrite.com We invite you to an afternoon of amazing art & live music by local legend Kirk House as we celebrate the GRAND OPENING of Oak Street Arbor!

Patty Rae Wellborn Fine Art

Calypso Gallery - We are open by chance or by appointment #galleries #texasgallery

It' baaack!

We're going to do this again FRIDAY! Drive-by Paramount Popcorn is happening from noon untll we run out! 24-inch bags of fresh popped corn for $10. Correct change or credit card only, please. We want the line to move fast! Also, we're popping twice as much corn as last time, and enforcing a STRICT limit of 2 bags per vehicle! THANK YOU!

Class of 2020 marquee at Paramount will "take a bow" Friday, so get your photos now!

Hey, seniors! We ❤️ our 2020 graduates. You have until Friday to come take a picture under our marquee. After that, we'll change the message. Go class of 2020!

Paintings ... with a twist brought to you by The Grace Museum

We are kicking off Home Essentials week with The Grace Museum's painting (with a twist), The Farmer, by Marie A. Hull - coincidentally the first painting ever acquired by the Abilene Museum of Fine Arts. For national pet month we followed some of our museum friends at the #GettyMuseumChallenge and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art by "updating" our collection this week with special pet guests and a fun art activity. Marie Atkinson Hull was born in Mississippi in 1890. With no access to art education at a young, she got a degree in music from Belhaven College in 1909 - teaching piano and playing pipe organ for churches. A year after graduation she met and began lessons with artist Aileen Phillips with whom she studied until enrolling in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts - taking her mother along as a chaperone. Over the years Marie taught art in Mississippi, studied at the Art Students League of New York, illustrated books and magazines, and was very active in community outreach with the Mississippi Art Association. She traveled and exhibited extensively, winning many awards and growing her reputation as an artist. One of her "big breaks" came from her 1929 2nd place purchase prize win of the famous Edgar B. Davis Texas Wildflower Painting Competition. The prize money from that award allowed her to travel and study abroad. During the Great Depression she often traveled by train and would paint portraits of tenant farmers and servants and workers with whom she traveled. The Grace's painting, The Farmer, is from her Depression series of sharecroppers from that time. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST… http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/articles/301/marie-hull-1890-1980-an-adventurous-artist

Libraries reopening with limited service May 18

Dear Friends,

Like most City libraries around the country, the Abilene locations have been temporarily closed and will only be resuming limited service on Monday, May 18 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These closures have impacted the programs of the Friends of the Library, too.
The FOL Board has conducted business online, by email and phone. Committees have met virtually to determine future plans, including hosting the annual book sale. To ensure we maintain a safe and healthy environment, the FOL Board has decided to reschedule the annual book sale until June 2021.
Materials which have been donated for the 2020 sale will be warehoused and utilized during the June 2021 sale. The Friends will not be accepting further donations until closer to the date of the 2021 sale, which will be at the Abilene Convention Center on June 17-20, 2021.
In the meantime, know that we will continue advocating for our City Library and the programs the staff continues to provide via online channels. Your continued support of the Friends and our libraries is needed now more than ever.
For further information and updates, please visit our website.

Garrett Smith, FoAPL President

McMurry announces summer musical cast

We are still planning to present summer theatre at McMurry University. Our first show, Steel Magnolias has new performance dates, July 9th - 12th, 2020!

McMurry Theatre is working hard to make performing and attending during this time safe. More details will follow about the steps we are taking to make your theatrical experience one that allows you to suspend your disbelief.

Announcing the cast of Steel Magnolias!

M’Lynn: Kim Baker
Truvy: Ann Hurst
Quiser: Susan King
Clairee: Terry Fulkenberry
Shelby: Symone Fiedler
Annelle: Lauren Bridwell

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