Arts!Longview is set to welcome a new executive director in January. Christina Cavazos will take over for Cynthia Hellen, who is staying on board through the spring to ensure a smooth transition, Cavazos said. The nonprofit organization guides the 320-acre state-designated cultural district, which stretches from downtown south down Mobberly Avenue to LeTourneau University.
Cavazos, who most recently was special sections editor for M. Roberts Media and managing editor of ETX View magazine, grew up in Sherman, where she says her mother and grandmothers instilled in her a love for the arts at a young age. As a child, she said she remembers attending various art events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She said ballets, symphonies, local community theater productions and more in Sherman helped cultivate her love of other cultures through art. Cavazos said she values being exposed to art at a young age because, as an adult, she is able to recognize how it affected her.
“Art helped me learn about other cultures and helped me learn that the world was much bigger than just Sherman, Texas,” Cavazos said with a laugh.
“The opportunity to work with Arts!Longview and transform our cultural district into a vibrant, thriving community — it was just a great opportunity for me,” she said.
Her previous experience at Longview Regional Medical Center and with the LRMC Auxiliary also helped prepare Cavazos with the foundational knowledge needed to make the transition from journalism to the nonprofit realm. Cavazos was marketing coordinator and volunteer coordinator at Longview Regional from 2018 to 2020. Before that, she was a reporter and editor at the Longview News-Journal for 10 years. Cavazos will officially become Arts!Longview executive director Jan. 3.
She said she is looking forward to meeting with the board of directors, the executive directors of the nine local arts organizations and with local artists to hear their ideas for the cultural district and how they can all work together to help make it the best it can be. Cavazos said while there has been a lot of focus on growing the district in downtown, she’s anticipating seeing Arts!Longview increase its presence in the corridor along Mobberly Avenue.
By Yoleyne Romero