Rockport revitalizes arts community as Harvey anniversary arrives

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ROCKPORT, Texas (Nexstar) — When Hurricane Harvey devastated the coastal bend, the Rockport Center for the Arts lost its building and several works of art. The building, one of the closest to the harbor, was destroyed by the rain and wind and some of the sculptures in a garden outside were damaged.

“We just decided really early on that we wanted to be here for Rockport and for our residents because we knew they were going to need something to do after the hurricane,” executive director Luis Purón said.

Purón and his team explained they felt the need to sooth the souls of the people on the coastal bend.

“Art has the power to heal and we serve a lot of people in this community,” Purón said.

They continue to fundraise to revitalize the sculpture garden and build a new headquarters. An approved grant from the Rebuild Texas fund will contribute to that new building.*

In the meantime, they are operating out of a building down the street. Two hundred and fifty people showed up to the first exhibit a few months after the storm.

“We lost a building but we didn’t lose the arts center,” said Elena Rodriguez, the center’s curator of exhibitions.

“Arts are our people and our community, and our community really came together after the storm and worked together,” Rodriguez added.

As they reflect on the anniversary of the devastating storm, which made landfall in Rockport on Aug. 25, they remain committed to bringing joy to the people in these charming coastal communities. They continue hosting exhibits of local artists and are planning a film festival for November.

“Our aim is to create beauty and share it with the world,” Purón said.

*Note: a previous version of this broadcast and article stated that the Rebuild Texas grant would contribute to the sculpture garden, when in fact, it will contribute to the construction of a new building once the funds are released.

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