2011 marks the 26th year MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival has brought arts
and entertainment to the streets of downtown Fort Worth.
The event traces its beginnings to the early 1980s when the City of Fort
Worth set in motion a campaign of urban revitalization in the Central Business
District. As momentum began to build, businessman Robert Bass spearheaded the
initial effort in 1986 to create an event showcasing the attractions of the
city's reawakening downtown core.
Mr. Bass and other prominent civic leaders envisioned a multi-faceted
festival that would transform downtown into an outdoor gallery and concert stage
on an early spring weekend. That first MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival was a
three-day event involving 140 artists, 60 performance groups and 600 volunteers.
Attendance was approximately 80,000.
Two decades later, downtown Fort Worth has become a thriving, 24-hour
live-work-play environment. The MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival, meanwhile,
has followed a parallel trajectory, evolving into the biggest and best-attended
event of its kind in the Southwest. Art Fair SourceBook and The Harris List, two
authoritative reference works on the American art-show circuit, each recently
ranked MAIN ST. as #3 among the many hundreds of events they
review nationally. The Harris List also rates MAIN ST. as the best festival in
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