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Postcard Artists and Patrons: Welcome to Texas!

Our MillHouse team is thrilled to be part of this year’s Postcard Art Exhibit. We’re located at

the century-old Cotton Mill, 40 minutes north of Dallas in the heart of historic east McKinney.

Artists: Your art will be displayed in the Cotton Mill Atrium Hallway (image below), where

weaving machines once turned cotton threads into textiles used around the world.


 

The McKinney Cotton Mill partners, Terry Casey and his sons McCall and Chandler, support the arts and generously allow us to showcase local artists, artisans, and musicians in their amazing facility and grounds. We feel fortunate to host the 2024 Postcard Art Exhibit in this historic venue. Your original artwork will become part of the cultural threads we’re weaving into this historic Cotton Mill tapestry.


 

What is MillHouse?


MillHouse is a sisterhood of two nonprofit organizations: MillHouse Foundation and MillHouse McKinney. We’re in our sixth year of business at the Cotton Mill.


MillHouse Founders: Artist Dana Brock, Social Entrepreneur Dr. Beth Beck, Photographer Aimee Woolverton.  Photo by MillHouse member Christie Connell of Azure Photography.
MillHouse Founders: Artist Dana Brock, Social Entrepreneur Dr. Beth Beck, Photographer Aimee Woolverton. Photo by MillHouse member Christie Connell of Azure Photography.

ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN: MillHouse Foundation, our 501(c)(3) charitable and educational corporation, hosts community-based festivals, markets, and events. MillHouse McKinney, our 501(c)(6) membership-based business league, operates the 14,000 sq. ft. collaboration space for creative women.


MISSION: Both organizations exist to enhance the earning potential of micro-business owners. Our focus is supporting women in creative fields; however, anyone can participate in our festivals and programming.


OPERATING MODEL: Artists Supporting Artists.


Millhouse Artists at MillHouse Cotton Mill

MillHouse artists set aside their individual business practices to step into leadership of MillHouse events to support fellow creatives. They envision and design festivals and events, collaborate with other artist-leaders, engage with festival participants, manage the setup and cleanup, and assess each event to understand what worked well and how we can improve. We endeavor to supplement their efforts with stipends to defray their lost income while they help others earn income.


MillHouse Foundation’s primary programming tenets:


  1. CREATE: INFUSE CULTURE by creating events that allow artists, artisans, and musicians to succeed through increased visibility and sales, help artists attract new customers, and provide creative collaboration;

  2. SHARE: ELEVATE EXPRESSION by highlighting creative work through Gallery exhibits, Public Art, and social media promotions; and

  3. GROW: EXPAND ECONOMY by growing and enhancing economic opportunities for micro-business owners in creative fields.


 

Cotton Mill Atrium Hallway

Here’s a quick snapshot of our Artists Supporting Artist model in practice. In May of 2019, several artists came to us with an idea: an indoor fine art festival against the backdrop of the architectural grandeur of the Cotton Mill. With Terry Casey’s blessing, we hosted our first ArtFest in that August. We’ve hosted two art festivals a year, with the exception of August 2020. We expanded into the newly completed Atrium Hallway in 2023, allowing us to double the number of 10x10 booth spaces to 65 artists who can showcase and sell their art.


MillHouse artists conceived the idea of outdoor Makers Markets in 2020 to supplement income for our local and regional artists who lost significant revenue when all indoor festivals were canceled as the world shut down. We hosted several markets until the festival season came alive again. We reinstated Second Saturday Makers Markets in 2023 in the Atrium Hallway.


 

Our first MillHouse Outdoor Makers Markets at the Cotton Mill.

 

MillHouse artists painted the first murals on the Cotton Mill in 2020 on the exterior walls of our MillHouse facility, marking the beginning of our Public Art Portfolio.


Our artists proposed the idea of hosting a mural festival with muralists painting additional exterior sections of the massive Cotton Mill facility. With the Cotton Mill Partners’ approval, we held our first MuralFest in 2022. We keep identifying new walls to paint as we plan our third festival this coming June. We’ve added a two-day music stage to showcase local talent throughout the event.


We created a mural map to facilitate self-guided tours of all 32 murals. When you join us in McKinney for the Postcard Art Exhibit, and you can see murals for yourselves!


We’re so fortunate that our artists keep devising new ways for us to support artists and creatives. The Postcard Art Exhibit is a perfect example! Thanks to the efforts of this year’s International Postcard Art Curator Robin Pedrero, we can connect and engage with artists from around the world for the very first time! We can’t put in words how much this means to us. Robin is an amazing artist who is a major force for good at MillHouse. Not only is she an accomplished artist, she is a successful business woman and mentor. She’s also an experienced curator and is celebrating the tenth anniversary as curator of the Orlando Twitter Art Exhibit. Robin’s significant star power shines a light on what we do at MillHouse to enable micro-business owners in creative fields to make a living pursuing their passion fields. Now we can spread our message to a wider audience.


Robin Pedrero

 

Why does your participation matter –

whether as an artist, sponsor, or an art patron?

Revenue generated from Postcard Art sales significantly enhances our ability to offset financial sacrifices our artist leaders make each time they set aside their individual business interests to help other artists. ArtFest, Makers Market, and MuralFest were all envisioned, developed, directed, and ultimately managed by MillHouse artists. Their efforts enable us, as a Foundation, to infuse culture, elevate expression, and expand economic opportunities for the creative community – i.e. Artists Supporting Artists!



 

About Beth

Beth retired from NASA in 2018 after three decades in federal service. Beth, a Phi Beta Kappa, received her Bachelor of Science from The University of Texas at Austin, Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas L.B.J. School, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Planning, Governance and Globalization from Virginia Tech. She studied non-traditional photography at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. Her pinhole photography was featured in a one-artist show at the Torpedo Factory in 2000. Beth moved to McKinney,Texas from Washington DC in 2017 to help with family. After a series of events, working with the owner of the Cotton Mill and McKinney City leaders, Beth recognized a gap in the marketplace for entrepreneurial women in creative fields. MillHouse was born. Learn more about Beth.


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It's incredible to see how MillHouse Foundation and MillHouse McKinney are weaving together art, community, and economic empowerment.

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