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Downtown Tyler Becoming Fantastic Destination for Events + More

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With a vibrant art gallery, revitalized theater and an increasingly active community, downtown Tyler is becoming a hub for local events and attractions.

Much of the uptick in activity stems from Gallery Main Street and Liberty Hall, both of which are among a growing list of businesses that surround the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza.

Since opening in 2009, Gallery Main Street has provided local artists with an outlet to display and sell their work.

The Gallery features juried exhibits throughout the year and the Downtown Tyler Art Walk every three months. The Art Walk gives local businesses the opportunity to feature artists and become more involved in the community.

Last week, the City of Tyler announced the “6×6@110” project designed to raise money for the Gallery. City officials are asking artists, celebrities and interested citizens to submit art  — including paintings, photography or 3D items — on 6”x6” canvases for an event in September. The Gallery is hoping to receive 500 canvases, which will be sold at a set price. Coordination of the event is being funded by AT&T, so all proceeds will go to the Gallery’s operations.

Gallery Main Street is only part of the equation when it comes invigorating the downtown community.

Just down the street from the Gallery near the corner of Broadway and Erwin, Liberty Hall is a restored theater that re-opened in September 2011.

Over the past 10 months, Liberty Hall has hosted a variety of live entertainment and classic films, including classics such as “Casablanca” and “Citizen Kane.”

The theater will debut the East Texas Comedy Festival on June 15 and 16. The first night will include a competition of 10-12 contestants performing 5-minute comedy routines. At the end of the night, the audience will vote for “East Texas’s Funniest Comic.”

The winner will return the following night to perform a 10-minute routine. The second night also will include performances by improv groups Card 53, of Tyler, and Fourth Wall Comedy, of Dallas. Admission is $20 per night or $30 for both nights together. Box seats for four are $160 for both nights.

If you’re interested in honing your own improv skills, the theater will feature two workshops on June 16. The workshops, “Improv Games and Short-Form” and “Freestyle Rapping,” will be led by special guests and cost $25 a piece or $45 for both.

The initiatives led by Gallery Main Street and Liberty Hall represent the City of Tyler’s efforts to revitalize the community and promote a more active downtown experience. City leaders encourage residents to visit both locations in person or online at http://www.heartoftyler.com/downtowntylerarts/ and http://www.libertytyler.com/Home.aspx to learn more about upcoming events.

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