The State Parks Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a new initiative called Arts in the Parks.  The goal of this program is to provide diverse opportunities to Texans of all ages to get outside, use their imagination and connect with the outdoors though art.  Through this initiative, we could say that the state park setting serves as muse for artists.  Since the inception of the Arts in the Parks last summer, we’ve had some very creative and thoughtful art-based programs in varied formats throughout our state park system.

One form of art that has not been well represented to date is hip hop.  Additionally, April is National Poetry Month.  To that end, Lake Whitney State Park is hosting an Arts in the Parks Socially Conscious Hip Hop Workshop at Lake Whitney State Park on Saturday, April 19th.  We have a group of 15 children from the South Dallas Cultural Center coming out to the park.  My understanding is that, for all of these children, this will be their first visit to any state park.  The children will be accompanied by chaperones, including poet KD Brown, who has been working with this group of children in coaching them to write appropriate hip hop lyrics.

In the morning, we will provide the children with some natural and cultural resource based interpretive and educational activities.  We will convey state park resource values, and we will provide an introduction to broader Texas conservation issues.  In the afternoon, Mr. Brown will be coaching the children in writing state park-and Texas conservation-based hip hop lyrics.  Depending on the comfort level of children, we hope they will have an opportunity to perform their poetry to each other at the end of the day.

We are excited to be able to host this event and to serve as ambassadors for a group of first-time state park visitors.  We are also proud that this will be the first program of its kind in our State Park System.

Our brothers and sisters at Brookshire’s of Whitney have generously agreed to contribute water and snacks for the children.  We are hoping that one of our Chamber members will contribute a lunch meal for the children plus the event facilitators.  If a member restaurant or a sponsor who would provide payment for to a Whitney restaurant could come through for us, we will be most grateful.  Again, we anticipate needing to feed 20 – 25 people.

We will mention the generosity of Brookshire’s of Whitney and any other generous event sponsors through our Facebook fan site (which has approximately 1,030 fans) and in the post event press release

Thank you in advance for considering.  I would look forward to responding to questions for any Chamber members who are considering helping us.  They could call me at the Park HQ or my cell at the numbers below.

 
Chris Bishop
Park Superintendent / State Park Police Officer
Lake Whitney State Park
P.O. Box 1175
Whitney, TX 76692
 
(254) 694-3793 OFFICE
(254) 205-8645 AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY LINE
(903) 286-8651 CELL
 
“Fall seven times.  Stand up eight.”  –Japanese proverb