The arts council began receiving funding from hotel/motel tax revenues is 1983, and also began a limited presenting program. In recognition of the organization’s outstanding performances the City of Marshall increased its financial support and continues to fund the organization through a yearly contract for services. The arts council served as a catalyst in the construction and furnishing of the theater at the Marshall Convention Center, one of the largest performing theaters in East Texas since opening in 1984. In 1984-1985 the arts council began presenting a limited series of programs and workshops with grants provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts. In May 1985 it assisted with the opening of the Michelson Museum of Art in Marshall. In October that year the arts council hired Rock Kershaw as its first executive director. Under the leadership of professional staff, programs were expanded to include a performing artist series (4-7 events annually), single ticket attractions, a grant program, technical assistance for regional arts and cultural organizations, and an annual membership campaign.