Where we come from
Imagination Fort Worth traces its history back to an innovative nationwide arts program created by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 1977, the Kennedy Center launched Imagination Celebration to stimulate imagination and creativity in young people through the arts. In 1987, under the visionary leadership of founder Ginger Gearheart, Fort Worth joined the Imagination Celebration network as a partnership between the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) and community arts and cultural organizations. Tens of thousands of children participated in Imagination Celebration field trips and in-school programs. The Kennedy Center recognized Fort Worth as a national model for community arts and cultural collaborations and honored the program with the Kennedy Center Award for Excellence in 1993.
Who we are today
After 27 years of program creation, the board and leadership of the organization recognized that we had gotten away from the original Imagination Celebration model. It was time to get back to our roots as an organization. A new name was needed to reflect this new stage in the organization’s life: Imagination Fort Worth. Imagination Fort Worth is an independent non-profit organization sponsored by generous gifts from organizations including The City of Fort Worth, The Texas Commission on the Arts, The Texas Education Agency, The Arts Council of Fort Worth, and the ARTS Council Northeast as well as numerous private foundations, corporations, and individuals. We partner with local and surrounding schools to create curriculum and develop field trips and in-school programs that target specific educational needs, as well as with local arts and cultural institutions to introduce students to a diversity of mind-opening experiences. We’re committed to uniting arts and minds in Fort Worth and across Texas.
How we do things
The majority of our programs are offered free of charge to students and teachers; a few of the most costly programs charge a minimal fee. We offer our programs to all Tarrant County schools, public and private, as well as to schools in rural counties to the west of the D/FW Metroplex. We also reach out across the entire state to invite students to our weekend festival for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. We are proud of our history of sharing the arts with students who are both ethnically diverse and economically challenged. About 83 percent of students in FWISD, our primary education partner, qualify for free or reduced lunch, while minority ethnic groups make up about 70 percent of our audiences. We also go the extra mile to support special-needs students; for example, all of our programs are ADA accommodated and interpreted in ASL, as needed.
How we manage our money
As a non-profit organization, we receive funding from community organizations, private foundations, corporations and individuals. We are committed to fulfilling the trust our donors have placed in us by making wise and prudent use of their money. We run a lean organization and keep the focus where it should be: on providing arts experiences for Texas kids. For more information, we invite you to view our most recent financial statement.