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Gift from Fort Worth couple aims to rebuild small businesses in Rockport’s Cultural Arts District

Posted at 7:09 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 20:17:24-05

Ed and Sasha Bass of Fort Worth donated $100,000 to small business owners in the Cultural Arts District located in Rockport.

These funds are to help boost the small businesses that were affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Photographer John Martell was shocked by the amount of damage his business suffered due to Harvey.

Martell lost several works of art, equipment and pretty much his whole shop.

Currently, he shares a building with a local coffee spot that sits in the Cultural Arts District.

“We had a hurricane,” Martell said. “A lot of things happened and we’re rebounding and we’re on our way back, but we really aren’t completely back.”

The generous grant made by the Bass family makes Martell feel even more hopeful for the area’s future.

Martell says if he does receive some of those funds from the Bass grant, he will use them towards new signage, lighting and a video system that will show customers slides of his work.

Martell also says photography has been his passion for most of his life. It’s this same artwork that inspired him in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Business owners in the Cultural Arts District will have until March 6 to apply for the $100,000 grant. Recipients will be announced on March 20, 2019.