The Inspired Minds Art Center Grand Opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25 from 1 PM to 5 PM. Inspired Minds is located at 121 Main Street. Inspired Minds Grand Opening Information
Inspired Minds Art Center VIDEO“Inspired Minds is a way to connect to community creatively.”
In the Heart of Downtown Buda, the Inspired Minds Art Center is blossoming.
“It’s an opportunity for local artists to propose courses come here and teach them to the community," said Inspired Minds Found Sinead Whiteside. "So not only does the artist get to earn an income, share their talent, and display their artwork, the community benefits because they get to learn a new skill that will last them a lifetime.”
Inspired Minds is the brainchild of Sinead Whiteside and Susan Guerra.
“Susan and I knew that there was a need for art classes here. We had done a survey with the community and that was the number one thing that the community members wanted for their children and themselves, was art classes. We noticed that there are a lot of artists living here that were looking for a place to create art rather than in their kitchens and their garages.”
Once space become available at the former City Hall building, Susan and Sinead knew this would be a perfect fit.
“When we walked through it was the perfect space. It had enough space for studios, a gallery, for a theater.”
“It’s overwhelming and humbling because I think when we started this we didn’t realize what a big deal it would be for the community in general," said Inspired Arts Co-founder Susan Guerra. "We have had so many artists come and express how grateful they are to have a place.”
The work of those artists now fill the gallery, their creations hang on the walls, and even one of the restrooms has been transformed into a mural of spectacular colors by artist Joy Bliss.
“There has been a long history of artists here in Buda. We know back in the 70’s there was big artist community that showed their works in the buildings Downtown," said Whiteside. "A lot of those artists stayed. There is also a big influx of artists coming from the Austin area living here. There has always been art here. It is just really coming to the surface in a beautiful way.”
Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, Inspired Minds offers a variety of classes.
“We offer classes for all ages and abilities. So we have everything from potter’s wheel throwing to hand building of clay, stained class, paper crafts, acrylics, water colors, knitting, and pyrography.”
Hill Country Theater is also part of the Inspired Minds Art Center.
“It’s been a whirlwind. That’s probably the best way to put it," said Hill Country Theatre President Doug DeGirolamo. "Just getting the stage ready, getting classes going. It’s been exciting and nerve racking all at the same time.”
Doug’s goal of bringing more theater to Hays County began a few years ago when he moved to Kyle.
“I just put up a couple of signs in the library saying, ’Hey anybody wanting to do theater I’m going to be here at this time, come on down’. We had about 30 to 40 people show up. We found out who really wanted to help out with it and really got it going. We did our first show, A Midsummer’s Nights Dream, in summer of 2018. Since then we have just sort of been floating around trying to find space.”
After teaming up with Inspired Minds, the Hill Country Theatre now has a permanent space.
"Our first show in this space is going to be ’The Importance of Being Earnest’ opening on Valentine’s Day. Eventually we willl be moving the stage all around the room to be doing theater in the round, so there is not a bad seat. So you could essentially see a different show every night depending on where you are sitting. We want to add lights all over the place. We want to add different entrances and exits.”
For Doug, hitting the stage is about more than just putting on a good performance.
“You can come here and learn how to be extra confident, learn how to speak publicly, learn how to audition, learn how to create characters and maybe even get a role in our community theater or another community theater. We have almost a full class for our middle school kids, we are filling up for our adult acting, and we usually have up to 15 people in our improv classes. Everybody is very interested in this. They want to participate and want something to do.”
Whether you like to be in the spotlight or not, Hill County Theater may be a good place to spread your wings.
“We are always willing to teach people new skills, whether you want to get on stage or not. You might just like doing backstage stuff and we are more than happy to teach you.”
At the end of the day, the goal of the Inspired Minds Art Center is to bring people together from all walks of life who have a common love of the arts.
“Something like this really does bring people in from all around the area," said Whiteside. "I think it’s really a benefit for the area because Buda is still coming in to its own and finding its identity. With places like Assemblage, Particular Home Design, Inspired Minds Art Center, The Buda Mercantile, Thatcher, and all of these arts facilities and businesses popping up Buda is really making a name for itself as an arts hub.”
For more information on classes, events, and activities at the Inspired Minds Art Center, please visit https://www.inspiredminds.art/.
For more information on upcoming shows and classes at The Hill Country Theatre, please visit https://www.hillcountrytheatre.org/.