Founded in 1963 as the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Arts Fort Worth is a nonprofit organization with the mission to promote, nurture and support the arts in Fort Worth. Arts Fort Worth administers a competitive grants program, manages the Fort Worth Public Art Program, and operates what was formerly known as the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, a dynamic arts complex with theaters, galleries, studios, and office suites, on behalf of the City of Fort Worth. On October 16, 2019, the Arts Fort Worth adopted a value statement, Art for All: Creativity transcends all barriers, real and perceived. We commit to challenging systemic and historic barriers by building a platform where all have an opportunity to express and see themselves in art.
Arts Fort Worth was instrumental in the establishment of the Fort Worth Public Art (FWPA) program. In 2002, a unique partnership between the City of Fort Worth and the Arts Council was formed to fulfill the vision laid out in the Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan. The Fort Worth Public Art program is fully funded by the City of Fort Worth.
Martha Peters was appointed as Fort Worth Public Art’s first director and Secretary of the Fort Worth Art Commission in 2003. She is responsible for leading a talented and dedicated staff in implementing the Fort Worth Public Art Master Plan Update. She held her prior position as the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places program administrator for 12 years. During her tenure, both programs were awarded Texas Society of Architects’ Citation of Honor for contributions to the built environment in Texas. In 2013, she was awarded an Honorary AIA Membership by the Fort Worth Chapter. Peters was elected by her national peers to serve on Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Council for three terms. Peters holds a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin and her work in fine art photography has been nationally published and is included in public and private collections. She enjoys the collaborative nature of public art and seeks to bring innovative and impactful public art projects to Fort Worth.
Anne Allen, Public Art Project Manager, joined the Fort Worth Public Art staff in 2007 following a six-year term as Director of the Arlington Museum of Art. Prior to her tenure with the AMA, she served as Executive Director of The Old Jail Center in Albany, Texas. Born in Seattle, Allen grew up in Fort Worth, TX, and has lived and worked in Los Angeles, CA, Portland, OR and New York's Hudson Valley before returning to Texas in 1999. Allen received her M.F.A. in metals from SUNY New Paltz and her B.F.A. in studio art from the UT Austin. A practicing artist and accomplished arts professional, Allen has more than nineteen years experience in public art project management, fundraising and curatorial work. Well versed in contemporary art, she is an advocate for arts ability to strengthen and enrich daily life in our communities.
Alida joined Fort Worth Public Art in 2009 after more than eight years in various roles of the architectural design industry, including furniture and art selection, private commissions, project coordination, and marketing. Alida studied architecture at Oklahoma State University, supports historic preservation and has a love for modern art and architecture. In her time with FWPA, she has managed many successful projects, creating positive relationships with neighborhoods and community members across the city.
Michelle Richardson joined Fort Worth Public Art staff in 2017. She holds a MFA in Drawing and Painting at the University of North Texas and a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Louisiana State University. Michelle is a practicing artist, exhibiting nationally and across Texas. For the 2022-2023 academic year, Michelle was named the Artist in Residence for Tarleton State University where she has been collaborating with students on a large scale installation. As a project manager, she is dedicated to working with community members and artists to bring exciting public art to all areas of Fort Worth.
Michelle Cortez Gonzales is a practicing artist and experienced arts educator. She rejoins FWPA after serving previously from 2007 – 2014 as Public Art Program Specialist, Community ID Initiative Manager, and Public Art Project Manager and administered community programming and design and media for Fort Worth Public Art. As a committed educator, Michelle has taught in the Fort Worth Independent School District, at the University of Dallas, and as a 2021 Carter Community Artist for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. She is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Fort Worth. Michelle holds a BFA in painting from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MA and MFA in painting from the University of Dallas. As a Fort Worth native, she has a passion for connecting communities through art.
A Fort Worth native and TCU Fine Arts graduate, Jennifer Conn joined Arts Fort Worth in 2005. As Public Art Collection Manager, her responsibilities include conservation initiatives and the ongoing maintenance for the city’s public art collection. Special projects include facilitating gifts, loans, and acquisitions of public art, and private initiatives on behalf of Arts Fort Worth. Jenny is a strong supporter of community-based initiatives and has served as a founding member of the Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area, ArtSouth Selection Committee Trustee, People’s Art Collaborative Program Advisor, and AIAFW Executive Public Member. She was awarded Honorary AIA Membership in 2016.