Photo by Getty Images

A statewide proposition establishing a constitutional amendment to create a $1 billion fund for future state parks will be in the hands of Texas voters in November. The total value has been authorized by the state legislature.

About 10 million visitors flock to Texas State Parks every year, and the ever-expanding population means there is not enough supply of parks to meet the demand. The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund created by Proposition 14 would help the state acquire new parks from landowners without raising taxes on Texans, according to a release.

The measure has received bipartisan support from the Texas Legislature, and statewide polls have yielded overwhelming support for state parks within the last two decades. State Senator Tan Parker filed the Senate bill laying the groundwork for the conservation fund to make it on the ballot.

"The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund would provide dependable, long-term funding for new park acquisition that will protect the unique natural and cultural treasures of Texas, creating the opportunity to ensure our state parks thrive for generations to come," Senator Parker said.

According to Ballotpedia, funds would be "appropriated, credited, or transferred by the legislature; gifts, grants, and donations received by the Parks and Wildlife Department; and investment earnings." It would also not count against the state's appropriation limit.

State Representative Armando Walle, who sponsored the bill in the Texas House, also expressed his support for the bill. He called it a transformational, "Teddy Roosevelt kind of initiative."

Nearly 80 statewide organizations including the Bexar Audubon Society, Comal County Conservation Alliance, and Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas have come together in support of the measure through the Texas Coalition for State Parks. The coalition focuses on educating Texans about the benefits of developing the statewide park conservation fund.

If the proposition passes, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be able to use the funds to purchase land and unique properties for future state parks.

Joseph Fitzsimons, the coalition's co-founder and the former Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, shared his endorsement for Prop 14 in a statement.

"Open spaces are critical to our quality of life," said Fitzsimons. "The Centennial Parks Conservation Fund would help protect the places we love to hike, bike, fish, picnic, view wildlife, and spend time with family."

Voters will see Prop 14 on the ballot on November 7.

More information about the Texas Coalition for State Parks and its members can be found on growtexasparks.com.

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

Audio app shares hundreds of local stories for road trippers passing through Texas

Texas Tour

There's almost no better education on the state of Texas than driving through it — almost. The only thing better would be listening to stories about Texas history on that drive. A GPS-based entertainment app, Autio (currently only available to iPhone users), has Texas road trippers covered thanks to a partnership with the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), bringing more than 1,000 stories to car speakers in the Lone Star State over the next year.

“Our partnership with Texas State Historical Association allows listeners to immerse themselves in theTexas history and culture — whether they’re driving through on a road trip with their family, locals on a hike interested in learning more about their homeland, or simply someone who is interested in history,” said Woody Sears, CEO, and Co-Founder at Autio. “We’re thrilled to be expanding our portfolio on Autio and to provide listeners with the unique stories that TSHA has in their impressive library.”

Autio, founded in part by actor Kevin Costner, who helps narrate stories alongside Phil Jackson, John Lithgow, and other readers, works like a giant self-guided tour. As app users approach an area with a story attached, they receive notifications that a story is available, giving interesting historical context to a region or even pointing out unique places to stop on the way.

Similar apps have helped users explore Austin with fun missions and geocaching opportunities, but Autio covers the United States. There are not separate tracks for different regions, making it a seamless experience no matter where a trip leads — although there will be lots of quiet time. Each story is only a few minutes long.

The library of Texas stories features historical moments, landmarks, and notable individuals in more than 100 cities. There are already hundreds of stories to browse, including one in Austin about Barbara Conrad, a Black opera singer who drew attention to the University of Texas in 1957 when she was removed from a role that placed her in an onstage romance with a white performer.

There are at least 13 stories in Austin, depending on how you define the area. The topics are mostly about natural areas and politics (it is the capital, after all). Nearby stories highlight the Bee Cave Sculpture Park, the early history of Bastrop, the Round Rock philanthropist D.H. Snyder, and the nomadic people that founded Pinta Trail near Fredericksburg.

Houston has the most stories in Texas, followed by the DFW and then San Antonio, all with more than 75 unique tales. A map shows an even distribution of stories across the state that include some often-overlooked areas with quotes from Lonesome Dove, explanations of rural legends, and overviews of small, but notable towns.

“Autio’s unique mission ... perfectly aligns with our purpose to foster an appreciation for the unique history of Texas,” said Dr. Brett Derbes, the managing editor for Handbook of Texas, a digital encyclopedia managed by TSHA. “We’re excited to see this partnership come to fruition and continue to educate more and more people on the great state we get to call home.”

Listeners can tune in for a seven-day free trial through TSHA, using the code TSHA_TRY7. New TSHA members receive an additional $10 off in the Autio app ($29.99 for 30 days, or $35.99 for the year). More information is available at autio.com.

Courtesy Novo Brazil Brewing Co

What's brewing in San Antonio: 2 breweries expand while one makes a welcome return

San Antonio Brewing News

Editor's Note: With a new craft beer spot popping up in San Antonio seemingly every month, we've started a new column to track all things beer in Alamo City. Here's our roundup of everything that's brewing in San Antonio.


Based in Chula Vista, California,Novo Brazil Brewing Co. said it plans to open four new locations in 2023: three in California, and one in north central San Antonio. According to San Diego Beer News, Novo Brazil looks to occupy 10,000 square feet of space at North Star Mall. An artist’s rendering has been provided, but no opening date or other details are available. Founder Tiago Carneiro told San Diego Beer News that San Antonio offers a prime opportunity at expansion outside of Southern California: “San Antonio is a city with a lot of potential for a brand like Novo to provide great food and high-quality beers."

The Growler Exchange, a popular Alamo Heights craft beer bar which celebrated its seventh anniversary on March 25, plans to open a second location at 914 E. Elmira St. According to a recent filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the Growler Exchange will begin a four-month renovation project in early April at a small commercial building that contains a Black Swan Yoga, among other small businesses and vacant spaces. The building is located off North St. Mary’s Street, near downtown San Antonio and Man Overboard Brewing Co.

Novo Brazil Brewing Co North Star Mall

Courtesy Novo Brazil Brewing Co

An artist's rendering of Novo Brazil Brewing Co.'s planned San Antonio location at North Star Mall.

New Braunfels’ Faust Brewing Co. is making a triumphant return after closing its brewery, biergarten, and tasting room to the public in spring 2020 during the pandemic. Three years later, Faust is revealing a renovated brewery, biergarten, and tasting room at an April 1 event. Faust Brewing has undergone some major changes since spring 2020, including ending its longtime partnership with New Braunfels’ Faust Hotel, the result of new hotel ownership taking over. Former hotel owner Vance Hinton has since consolidated beer production at the brewing site at 499 S. Castell Ave., which opened in 2016. The expanded and enhanced Faust Brewing location now includes a large live music stage, a renovated tasting room, a food trailer, and the ability to book private events. But that's not all: Faust Brewing also plans to build out the rest of its property with a coffee shop and a restaurant.

Other beer news and notes

Free Roam Brewing Co. in Boerne introduced a new motivational series in February. Held every third Thursday from 6-8 pm, Men’s Night at Free Roam features an inspirational presentation from a guest speaker. Brewery representatives say Men’s Night is open to males ages 13 and up, and provides “a sense of community and camaraderie in a safe space where guys can just be guys. The February edition of Men’s Night featured motivational speaker and author John Lynch; the March edition included former Spurs star Bruce Bowen, who is now a motivational speaker and a community basketball coach.

Local actor Jensen Ackles of Supernatural and The Boys fame — and co-owner of Dripping Springs’ Family Business Beer Co. — is using his social media platform to rally beer fans in favor of some recently filed state legislation. He shared a video on Instagram about Senate Bill 752, which if passed would let Texas breweries and brewpubs deliver beer directly or indirectly to the homes of consumers in Texas or nationwide. Ackles promoted a petition being offered by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild’s Craft Political Action Committee, which says current state laws that permit wineries, retailers, and third-party apps to deliver their beverage products should also cover Texas beer producers.

Photo by Chandra Maharzan on Unsplash

San Antonio and Austin announce partnership to support asylum seekers

Points a and b

There are few things more vulnerable and chaotic than an asylum seeker’s journey, and San Antonio has had to manage it in droves. The Alamo City reached out to its neighbor, Austin, for help on January 11, and in just three days, the assistance developed into an official partnership to help travelers make it to their destinations as safely and efficiently as possible.

The city has been seeing “fluctuations in the number of people seeking transportation from San Antonio,” according to a statement by the city. The resulting system sends asylum seekers toward the capital city on buses — enough to seat 40 to 120 daily — through a “Transportation Assistance Center” and onto pre-booked flights.

The goal, besides lightening the load on the travelers themselves, is to keep airport operations functioning normally, without even changing the level of airport activity in either city. The partnership does not expect delays.

“San Antonio will continue to be a welcoming, kind and compassionate city,” said City of San Antonio deputy city manager Maria Villagomez in the official announcement. “We are grateful to our neighbors in Austin for partnering with us to make sure asylum seekers reach their host city destination.”

Even though asylum seekers have not yet been granted asylum (permission to stay in the country to avoid persecution or harm in their home country), the process of requesting it starts at the border and legally allows the seeker to travel throughout the United States. One of the logistical difficulties for both the city and migrants is that there is no pre-application process; seekers must be present in the United States in order to request asylum. This means asylum seekers have to arrive at the border with no pre-approved plan or even an official warning.

Texas’ transportation system for asylum seekers became an especially hot topic nationally in November, when Governor Greg Abbott began busing migrants northward without the consent or even the preparation of their receiving cities. The resulting controversy acknowledged both the antagonization tactic between Gov. Abbott and other U.S. officials, as well as the asylum seekers’ willingness to accept the transportation despite the disorganization.

In this less rogue strategy, the City of San Antonio seeks full reimbursement for all associated costs from the federal government. Catholic Charities of San Antonio is also lessening the load by operating a 24/7 phone helpline in Austin for rebooking assistance when travel details change due to airline scheduling or missed flights.

“Austin stands ready to support our neighbors in San Antonio as well as those individuals seeking asylum in the United States,” said Juan Ortiz, director of the City of Austin’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “We have a longstanding partnership with San Antonio, and this is our opportunity to return the support they provided to us in previous situations. Our goal is to support our neighboring cities, help asylum seekers be able to reach their sponsor destinations safely and with dignity, while also maintaining a busy airport and capacity to continue to respond to local emergency needs.”

Greg Abbott/Instagram

Texas voters re-elect Abbott, Patrick, and more of the same in mid-term election

Election News

Texans maintained the status quo in the November 8 mid-term election, re-electing Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton by similar majorities.

Results of all elections can be found at results.texas-election.com/races.

  • Abbott won by 55.11 percent, with a tally of 4,335,425 votes, while runner-up Beto O'Rourke earned 43.52 percent or 3,424,074 votes.
  • Patrick garnered 54.08 percent or 4,216,864 votes, against Democratic challenger Mike Collier, who earned 43.18 percent with 3,367,033 votes.
  • Paxton trailed with 53.75 percent or 4,178,494 votes, against runner-up Rochelle Mercedes Garza, who got 43.36 percent or 3,371,361 votes.
  • Sid Miller was re-elected Commissioner of Agriculture with 46.63 percent or 4,372,741 votes, versus opponent Susan Hays who earned 43.37 percent or 3,349,247 votes.
  • Wayne Christian was re-elected Railroad Commissioner with 55.7 percent or 4,296,565 votes, beating top contender Luke Warford who scored 40.24 percent or 3,104,474 votes.
In San Antonio, U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar was re-elected, besting Republican challenger Cassy Garcia by 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent.

Austin's race for Mayor will go to a run-off. None of the six candidates earned more than 50 percent, so voters will choose from the two top candidates — former Austin mayor and state senator Kirk Watson and State Rep. Celia Israel — in a runoff election on December 13.

In Dallas, County Judge Clay Jenkins was re-elected, as was District Attorney John Cruezot, who earned 59.36 percent of the vote against challenger Faith Johnson's 40.64 percent. The city also passed Proposition A, which will raise hotel occupancy taxes from 13 to 15 percent, with the funds to be used to renovate Fair Park and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

In Fort Worth, the new Tarrant County Judge replacing Glen Whitley will be Tim O’Hare, a former mayor of Farmers Branch who had the support of Donald Trump; he defeated Democratic candidate Deborah Peoples, who has run for Fort Worth mayor twice.

Houston experienced issues with polling places that did not open on time, or malfunctions that caused delays and temporary closures. A group called Texas Organizing Project successfully petitioned Harris County to extend the voting hours until 8 pm, but the Texas Supreme Court ordered Harris County election officials to separate out any ballots that were cast after hours.

A location at Texas State University in San Marcos also suffered malfunctions with five out of eight machines, causing wait times of four hours or more.

Five cities — Denton, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin, and Harker Heights — approved propositions to decriminalize low-level possession of marijuana, following the example of Austin, which passed a similar proposition in May.

For the first time, voters were given "no straight ticket" option to vote quickly for all one party or another requiring a click on each individual race — the result of HB25, a law pushed through by Republicans in the Texas Legislature in 2017, which killed the straight ticket option.

Photo by Shelley Neuman

Texas Tribune co-founder presents a trail guide to 2022 festival

Everything is Political

Believe it or not, politics can be fun, even if it’s all you talk about for days. The Texas Tribune is proving that once again with incumbent CEO Evan Smith’s last Texas Tribune Festival. From September 22-24, this long-standing annual event will bring together more than 350 influential speakers for more than 100 panels, from politicians in office to journalists and cultural wave-makers.

“It's become a major part of the Tribune's brand,” says Smith. “An important person I respect said to me in 2019, looking around the festival that year — the last year we did it in person — that we used to be a news organization with a festival, and we're becoming a festival with a news organization. And I thought, I'm actually okay with that.”

Smith announced his impending departure from the Tribune in January 2022, in a simultaneously wistful and tongue-in-cheek farewell address that acknowledged his “sentimentality and nostalgia.” He will be finished with his tenure by December, but will continue through 2023 as a senior advisor to his yet-unnamed replacement.

“I will be sentimental about it being my last. Of course, I'm also nostalgic, and I'll be nostalgic about the early days of the festival,” says Smith. “But one of the great things about leaving the Tribune now is that everybody here is in the best possible position to carry the important work that we've been doing forward to the next 13 years. And so I'll be watching like everybody else, with a lot of pride.”

This year, the festival broadened its scope from 2021 and earlier to include even more interests tangential to politics, aiming for the same bullseye as the Tribune always does: the average reader. The festival is always as jargon-free as possible, this year including topics like Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner’s memoir and 50 years of cultural change, retired top tennis player Andy Roddick’s opinions on the duties of nonprofits, and singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett’s experience as a Texas legend.

To help attendees start building their itineraries (or give keen readers at home some things to research), Smith selected the following must-attend events for CultureMap readers to keep on their radar.

Thursday, September 22
Thursday is a shorter day with “a couple of sessions to get peoples’ appetites going,” according to Smith. Of the 10 events, he chose two not to miss:

A Conversation with Katy Tur
9:30 am - 10:30 am

The MSNBC anchor will discuss journalism with Smith himself, with special attention to her recent second book that stretches all the way back through her childhood, Rough Draft: A Memoir. This chat will be in-person, kicking off the festival.

One-on-One with Anthony Fauci
10:30 am - 11:30 am

This prerecorded conversation is only available virtually. Smith interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the U.S. president, about the “layered” public health emergencies of COVID-19 and monkeypox as it emerges.

Friday, September 23
This mid-size day has 43 scheduled sessions. Smith chose one from each time slot:

One-on-One with Glenn Youngkin
8:45 am - 9:45 am

The Virginia governor is, in Smith’s words, “one of the big Republican success stories of the last couple of years,” and will be interviewed by senior correspondent David Drucker of the Washington Examiner. Some speculate that Youngkin will run for president in 2024.

The Forward Presents: One-on-One with Deborah Lipstadt
10:15 am - 11:15 am

U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt is talking about the issue nationally and worldwide, interviewed by Forward editor-in-chief Jodi Ruth Warren. A recent report found that 2021 was a record year for antisemitism in Austin.

One-on-One with Walter Isaacson
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tulane University professor Walter Isaacson discusses Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and his current work with Elon Musk. He is interviewed by Pushkin Productions CEO Jacob Weisberg, former editor-in-chief of the Slate Group.

One-on-One with Hillary Clinton
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is interviewed by New York Times podcast host Kara Swisher about progressive values in the United States. Swisher runs the Vox Media Code Conference, and is no stranger to the stage.

One-on-One with Ben McKenzie
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Austin-born actor and writer Ben McKenzie is one Austinite speaking out on a large scale about “the case against crypto” as the city grows more and more entangled with it. He is interviewed by Bloomberg Digital executive editor for news Joe Weisenthal.

Saturday, September 24
The longest day of the festival, Saturday hosts 68 sessions. Smith chose one for each time slot:

After Roe
8:45 am - 9:45 am

This panel addressing one of the hottest topics in recent politics is run by Ana Marie Cox of The Cut, and features Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, Texas state representative Donna Howard, and former state senator Wendy Davis, famous for her abortion filibuster.

One-on-One with Annette Gordon-Reed
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Harvard professor Annette Gordon Reed discusses the legacy of slavery and the morals of studying history. She is interviewed by Errin Haines, editor-at-large for The 19th, founded by former Tribune editor-in-chief Emily Ramshaw.

One-on-One with Ted Cruz
10:30 am - 11:30 am

U.S. Senator and Texan Ted Cruz is slated to talk on Saturday, although he hasn’t yet been matched with a conversation partner. He’ll talk about tension with the Biden administration, the “soul” of the Republican party, and a possible reprisal of his 2016 presidential campaign.

One-on-One with Chris Bosh
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

NBA Hall of Famer Chris Bosh is interviewed by ESPN commentator Kirk Goldsberry on sports, being retired, and voting. Bosh has spoken out about social justice, and always ties it to a message of using one’s voice to create change.

Below the Line
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and urban development Julián Castro joins former mayor of Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs and ProPublica-Texas Tribune investigative reporter Vianna Davila to discuss Texans living disproportionately below the poverty line.

One-on-One with Gavin Newsom
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

California Governor Gavin Newsom takes a leadership role, telling MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner about what the rest of the United States can learn from his state. The Democratic governor leans toward messaging about innovation and creating precedent-setting big change.

Tickets for the Texas Tribune Festival ($269 general admission) from September 22 to 24, both virtually and in venues across Austin, are available at texastribune.org.

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New San Marcos restaurant ventures through Texan cuisine with South African and Chinese twists

Around the world in 80 dishes

Sometimes you don't have to plan a pricey trip to travel around the world — all you have to do is drive to San Marcos, thanks to the new internationally flavored cuisine at Tarbox & Brown, open now.

Located inside Kissing Tree, a 55+ community (but don't worry, anyone can dine at Tarbox & Brown), the complex's newest signature restaurant boasts a seasonal rotating menu of dishes inspired by executive chef Chanel Beattie's life growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Beijing, China.

Disy by Tarbox & Brown in San Marcos

Photo by Jane Yun

The menu at Tarbox & Brown is sometimes quaint and Texan, and sometimes a bit more international.

Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Tarbox & Brown's name is a nod to the historic Brown and Tarbox Stagecoach Line, a crucial method of delivering communications between Austin and San Antonio back in the early 1800s.

“When creating the menu for Tarbox & Brown, I wanted to share dishes people hadn't experienced yet while also including some familiar favorites," said Beattie in a news release. "We’ll have Asian and Texan dishes, and some French-influenced items, as well. I, of course, also want to add some South African flavor. My team has so many recipes and treats for you to try, and we can’t wait for you to try them all."

For example, Beattie's South African Prego rolls — a steak-centric dish with spicy peri-peri sauce, tomatoes, red onions, leafy greens, and freshly baked bread — may broaden some diners' horizons (especially with the extremely reasonable $16 price tag). There will also be more standard burgers, sandwiches, and grilled cheeses on the menu.

Some nice details that sets Tarbox & Brown's menu apart include a complimentary cup of coffee with each order off of the breakfast menu, and affordable lunch options. T&B's serves multiple meal options priced under $20.

More reasonably priced, international meals with a Texas twang include a New Zealand spring rack of lamb served with honey butter rolls ($36); a 12-ounce Maple Bourbon ribeye served up with mashed potatoes and roasted seasonal vegetables ($33); and vegetarian options like an asparagus and mushroom risotto ($20).

The drink menu also follows a merciful pricing structure, with every signature cocktail coming in at $10 or less, including a white wine-based sangria and a tequila-based cocktail called the "Texas Valley Girl" that is essentially a sweetened paloma.

Having previously served as the executive chef at the four-star Michelangelo Hotel in New York City, chef Beattie also brings extensive baking experience to her tenure as Tarbox & Brown.

Tarbox & Brown is located at 201 Kissing Tree Ln., Bldg. 5, in San Marcos. Breakfast is served daily from 7-11 am, followed by a daily lunch service at different times: Saturday through Tuesday from 11 am-6 pm, and Wednesday through Friday from 11 am-4 pm. Right now, dinner service is only Wednesday through Friday, from 5-8 pm.

More information is available at tarboxandbrown.com. Reserve by calling 512-749-1031 and selecting extension 2.

Art Institutes college chain shuts down all campuses, including San Antonio

Education News

In tragic news for higher education, the Art Institutes, a network of colleges in eight cities around the U.S. including Dallas, is shutting down all campuses as of September 30.

The organization announced its closure with short notice on September 22 via an email sent out to staff and students, attributing the close to "external and internal" events over the past 10 years, including COVID-19.

They called the closure the result of "a culmination of events over the past decade, both external and internal to the campus operations. ... The colleges, which already were dealing with the legacy challenges that arose under prior ownership, were unable to absorb the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on schools teaching hands-on and equipment-intensive programs such as culinary arts and fashion design.”

Students were advised to review their contact information on the institute's portal and update mailing addresses if needed, as well as download their student ledger and unofficial transcript.

Academic and financial aid staff will be available on campus through the end of 2023.

"Due to the timing of this decision, The Art Institutes have not had sufficient time to engage with other colleges and universities in their respective markets to sign formal agreements for students to transfer and continue their studies elsewhere," they said in a statement. "The Art Institutes are working with state agencies and The Art Institutes' accrediting agency, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to identify appropriate academic transfer opportunities for students affected by this closure."

The closures affect all of the remaining eight campuses:

  • Miami International University of Art & Design
  • The Art Institute of Atlanta
  • The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
  • The Art Institute of Dallas, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
  • The Art Institute of Houston
  • The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
  • The Art Institute of Tampa, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design
  • The Art Institute of Virginia Beach, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

Although the announcement was abrupt, the Atlanta campus had been listed for lease on September 5, according to CoStar.

At one point, the organization had dozens of campuses across the U.S., but in recent years had endured instability, including two changes in ownership since 2017 and legal troubles over student loans.

According to Higher Ed Dive, their troubles go back a decade to their former owner, the for-profit Education Management Corp, who closed 15 locations before selling off the rest to the Dream Center Foundation, a faith-based organization that set it up as a nonprofit.

The email further states that "The Art Institute colleges were once were part of one of the largest providers of career education in the U.S. and were an important source of design, media arts, fashion, and culinary professionals to fulfill the needs of the local and national employers who sought out Art Institute graduates. Since its founding, The Art Institutes, individually and collectively, provided an academic experience for students who sought education in academic disciplines based in creativity, innovation, and emerging technology. This closure does not diminish the many and varied contributions that The Art Institutes have made to higher education and the knowledge and skills that alumni have taken into their respective fields of culinary, design, fashion, and media following graduation."

Country's largest hot springs pool complex plans for Dallas debut

Wellness wonderland

San Antonio has its fair share of spas, but no relaxation beats the novelty of kicking back in a different city. Those willing to take a drive for a luxurious weekend always have the Hill Country and Dallas as options, and soon there will be a new wellness spa-amusement park: WorldSprings, a nine-acre outdoor mineral springs experience, will debut in the latter city in spring 2024.

According to a release, it will be WorldSprings' first location in Texas and the largest experience of its kind in the country.

"With pools inspired by the most famous hot springs from around the world, guests can explore WorldSprings’ 45 outdoor soaking pools including cold-plunge pools, Finnish saunas, and a spa which will include wellness therapies as well as a cafe and bar," says the release.

Specific highlights of the experience will include:

  • The Family Pool, the Dead Sea Float Pool and South Pacific Region mineral pools for all ages
  • The Asiatic, European, and Americas region mineral pools for those 18 years old and up
  • More pools, with temperatures that range from warm to hot and from cool to ice cold
  • The Spa, with a menu of body treatments and massages
  • The Sanctuary, offering sound baths and yoga, breathwork, and guided meditation classes
  • Aqua classes, including Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Sculpt, Aqua Yoga and Aqua Float
  • Performance-enhancing treatments including cryotherapy, hyperbaric chambers, and compression therapy
  • WorldSprings Café, from which guests can order food and drinks poolside with their smartphones and pay with a wristband

WorldSprings Grandscape The ColonyThere'll be adults-only pools and family-friendly pools.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

The wellness offerings were created by WorldSprings' in-house functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Sara Gottfried, the release says.

Of course, there are not actual hot springs located beneath Grandscape. Each pool will be "meticulously crafted to mirror the mineral content of legendary springs from around the world," explains WorldSprings.

Memberships and three-hour passes will be available, "priced for all to enjoy as a weekly ritual for well-being," they say, although pricing has not yet been disclosed. A limited number of discounted Founding Memberships will be available starting early next year.

”Our ambition is that WorldSprings will democratize wellness by opening locations throughout the country,” says Rob Kramer, managing partner of WorldSprings' owner Off Road Capital, in the release.

The Dallas-area park follows locations in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and a similar concept in La Verkin, Utah, near Zion National Park.

Anticipated opening date is March 2024.

WorldSprings GrandscapeA spa will offer massages and body treatments.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

WorldSprings Grandscape will be at 3240 Plano Pkwy., The Colony, joining the booming 433-acre center that includes not only shopping and dining but an escape room, immersive entertainment venue, amphitheater, and more.

"Bringing WorldSprings to this ideal location is a remarkable milestone,” says Justin Foley, general manager of the upcoming Grandscape location, in the release. “As general manager, I'm honored and excited to be a part of such an amazing community and to unveil an exclusive outdoor mineral springs experience – a first of its kind destination in Texas."