Fort Worth’s Culture Extends Well Beyond Its Cowboy Reputation

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Fort-Worth-Water-GardensThe only Michelangelo painting in the Western Hemisphere, “The Torment of Saint Anthony,” hangs on a wall at Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum.

Attendees can marvel at it during a guided tour of the Texas city, and then try to re-create it during an on-site art workshop. Art conservation is one of many telltales that the city’s culture inhabits a much larger space than its cowboy reputation, though that certainly has its place too, explains John Cychol, VP of meeting sales with the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“While it’s somewhat of our origin, our roots, the ‘Hee Haw-ish’ perception of Fort Worth is limited. We’re a multicultural city so attendees can take a stroll through the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, explore a 145-year-old African American neighborhood, learn the history of the Plains Indians at the Sid Richardson Museum and end the day with authentic Turkish cuisine at the Flying Carpet Cafe.”

While it’s somewhat of our origin, our roots, the ‘Hee Haw-ish’ perception of Fort Worth is limited.

Rated as one of the best craft distillery tasting rooms in America, the Acre Distillery & Coffee Co. offers tastings of small batch bourbons, single malt whiskies, gins, vodkas and liqueurs just steps from the convention center. Or groups can kick their heels on the Fort Worth Ale Trail, featuring nine breweries and growing. Of course, a supremely hyperlocal experience of the city can be found in the Stockyards District’s Western-style saloons, or groups may enjoy guided tours through the Cultural District and its array of museums as a popular pre- or post-event option. A musical renaissance is also drawing musicians of all genres to the area, offering much to do after five when the meeting ends.

Environmental conservation is also a priority of the city, and groups will find much to do at the LEED Platinum-certified Botanical Research Institute of Texas, whose atrium has seen more than a few events. The institute’s sprawling living roof, modeled after a native ecosystem, makes it a success story in itself, while the Herbarium holds more than a million plants, and groups can learn about some of them during horticulture workshops, or pop on by next year during the International Wine Awards, acknowledging sustainable winemakers.

Across Forth Worth development abounds, whether the transformation of the Trinity River area which will connect local neighborhoods, museums, cafes, entertainment and shopping to the river, the new 14,000-seat Dickies Arena, which will offer close to 87,000 sf of meeting space when it opens in 2019, or the addition of 4,000 new rooms, also set for completion in 2019.

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