Director's Column

Amy Rosenthal

Director of MPAC and Main Street, Amy Rosenthal

McKinney Courier-Gazette, March 24, 2019

Celebrate Spring in Historic Downtown McKinney

There has never been a more parking-friendly downtown McKinney, and it’s all in time for our favorite springtime event, Arts in Bloom, Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14. Hosted by McKinney Main Street, the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) and the shops in downtown McKinney, people travel from across Texas and the surrounding areas to enjoy our top-notch music, wine garden, food and shopping in our Historic Downtown McKinney Cultural District. 

The annual festival features art from local, regional and nationally acclaimed artists and will kick off Friday with performances by Northern National and Memphis Soul Band. On Saturday, Gina Chavez will headline the main stage. All weekend long, musical performances, Texas wineries and decadent food vendors will be available throughout the downtown square. There’s also a hands-on interactive area for children, the Kids Creation Station, where young Picassos can learn about art processes and create their own masterpieces.

Unique by Nature Art

While you’re downtown enjoying the festival, step inside the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) to view the 'Unique by Nature' Juried Art Competition and Exhibition featuring artists from all around Texas. The art show was created to build a public and permanent art collection for MPAC. 

Artists submit work for cash prizes and the chance to have their piece hung in our historic halls. Three finalists will be chosen by judges Karl Buchberg, retired Senior Curator for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and J. Patrick Cooney of J. Patrick Cooney Fine Arts. One large-scale work will be awarded a $6,000 purchase prize and become part of MPAC’s permanent public art collection.

Get more information about the shows, ticketing, and other performances taking place this spring at MPAC.

Parking is Blooming Too!

Before you head downtown for the three-day festival, browse the updated parking guide and plan your parking options. The City of McKinney recently opened a newly-constructed parking garage on the northeast corner of Virginia and Chestnut streets in Historic Downtown McKinney. The five-story parking structure adds 310 spaces to downtown.

We’d like to invite you to stop by the south-facing wall of the parking garage at 4 p.m. April 13 for the unveiling of the new mosaic “Blooming McKinney” created by artist Reginald C. Adams. The mosaic showcases large geometric flowers blooming made of glass tiles and paint.

Visitors also have even more new parking options highlighted on the guide. The Davis at the Square parking garage on the south side of the square features 200 spaces and more than 100 on-street spaces available for public use. An additional 125 spaces are available on nights and weekends at the adjacent Playful Corp. headquarters office building.

McKinney Cultural District Designation

Between Arts in Bloom, the Juried Arts Show, “Blooming McKinney” and the variety of independently-owned shops and restaurants, it may come as no surprise that Historic Downtown McKinney earned the prestigious Cultural District Designation from the Texas Commission on the Arts in the fall. We look forward to witnessing how the strong support and preservation of the historic features and arts influence economic vitality and continue to keep downtown as the heart of our community.