Due To Bernadette Peter’s Signing Up For NYC’s “Hello, Dolly!,” Brian Stokes Mitchell And Sutton Foster Are On Their Musical Way To Save The Days

The busiest person in the entertainment business is songbird Bernadette Peter’s agent. In New York, s/he is celebrating Bernadette’s taking over Broadway in “Hello, Dolly!” in January. In North Texas, it’s another story. S/he is breaking hearts.

Seems that the signing of Bernadette for the iconic role meant she had to cancel her appearances locally. As a result, there have been a lot of calls made for replacements.

Due to rehearsals, Bernadette won’t even be able to headline the Dallas Summer Musical Gala on Saturday, November 4. Yipes! That’s less than three weeks away. But Co-Chairs Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld have signed up Tony Award-winning Brian Stokes Mitchell for the fundraiser at Fair Park’s Music Hall with a special performance by Katharine McPhee.   

Brian Stokes Mitchell*

Sutton Foster**

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra had planned on Bernadette for their April 6-8 concerts. They’ve just announced that they arranged for another Tony Award winner to appear — singer/dancer/actress Sutton Foster.

While Bernadette’s absence is a heartbreaker for her fans, it’s the opportunity to see and hear talents that have also made their Tony mark in the Big Apple. Who knows? They just might mend those broken hearts.

* Photo courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals 
** Photo courtesy of Dallas Symphony Orchestra

 

Thanks to Ted Dealey’s Grandson Rusty Dealey’s Surprise Announcement At The Fur Ball, The Family Support Of The SPCA Of Texas Continued

With loads of animals hitting the SPCA of Texas facilities thanks to hurricanes and abusive situations, a black-tie crowd of more than 800 guests rallied in the Omni Dallas’ Dallas Ballroom on Saturday, September 30.

But before that happened, the crowd at the “Reigning Cats and Dogs” was shoulder-to-shoulder with tiaras topping coiffured heads in the lobby. As Barbara and Jim Moroney headed to the registration table, other members of The Dallas Morning News family like longtime DMN photographer David Woo were already partying. Only seemed appropriate, as the DMN was to receive 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award.

Russell “Rusty” Dealey and Debra Burns*

But there was still more news to come during the meal. SPCA Development Director Debra Burns recalled how before moving to the state-of-the-art Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center on I-30, the SPCA had occupied much smaller facilities just off of then-Irving Blvd., now known as Riverfront Blvd. It was named the G.B. “Ted” Dealey Animal Care Center. Debra told how on her first day with the SPCA, she had discovered a photo of Joe Dealey and George Jalonick at the opening of the facilities back in the 1970s. That set her sights on continuing the family’s involvement in the 21st century SPCA. Sure, the late Betty Moroney Norsworthy’s estate had contributed a $1M gift to kick off the fundraising in 2003 for the future Rees-Jones facility. But that was more than a decade ago, and the SPCA’s programs and services had grown dramatically. She got together with Ted’s grandson Russell “Rusty” Dealey and the two of them pulled off a major surprise that was only revealed at the gala — Rusty’s gifting $1M for the 41,000 square-foot rescue center that opened in 2015. According to Debra, not even the family nor Rusty’s accountant knew about his generous gift.

Amy Bailey and little fella

Lynn McBee, Joe B Clark and Paige McDaniel

But before the announcement of the gift was made at the dinner, the cocktail reception continued with Amy Bailey cuddling up with a “boy toy” looking for a permanent hug… Lynn McBee may have been solo because husband Allan McBee was out of town, but she soon ran into Paige McDaniel and Joe B ClarkKaty and Lawrence Bock reported that they were still getting rave reviews from the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction preview at their home base in Preston Center. Katy, who will be co-chairing the 2018 CBB, said things were moving along, but she sorta hated the thought of just one more year with the organization. Seems CBB bylaws require old CBB chairs to retire from hands-on involvement. Lawrence comforted Katy by saying there would probably be other organizations in her future…. Checking out the acres of silent auction items were Mary Frances Burleson and Lori Ferguson ….Alas, longtime animal-loving Diane Brierley was a no-show. But, she had a valid excuse. Earlier in the day she had hurt her paw foot and was homebound. 

Lawrence and Katy Bock

Mary Frances Burleson, James Bias and Lori Ferguson

Once the ballroom doors opened, the fundraising ramped up. Here’s a report from the field:

Each beautifully appointed table was graced with gorgeous floral centerpieces complete with golden crowns thanks to Dr Delphinium. The delightful dinner included a salad of butter lettuce and seasonal greens salad with spiced pecans, goat cheese, and pancetta served with a Sherry Vinaigrette along with entrees, either Beef ‘Wellington’ petite filet and slow roasted salmon with mushroom duxelle, puff pastry, Pomme Dauphinois, green bean bundle, baby carrot, roasted radish and acorn squash bordelaise or Herb Creamed Spinach Stuffed portabella mushroom with steamed rice, green bean bundle, roasted vegetables baby carrot, acorn squash and radish in red pepper sauce. The delicious dessert was a Black Forest cheese cake with chocolate and vanilla sauce with a gold-flecked cherry garnish.

Subbing in for WFAA’s Ron Corning, who had to bail out due to a previous commitment was “Good Morning Texas’” Alanna Sarabia wearing her glittering Fiesta Queen crown. As past reigning Miss San Antonio and Fiesta Queen, her platform was the importance of responsible pet ownership as well as spaying and neutering pets to curb overpopulation for the health and safety of the community. Ms. Sarabia spoke about the importance of pets in all our lives, remembering that pets were furry siblings as she grew up and an important part of her life ever since. She thanked guests for their support and partnership to help the SPCA of Texas rescue, heal, and find homes for abandoned and abused animals.

SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias, welcomed guests, staff and volunteers, thanked sponsors and shared with guests the important work the SPCA of Texas is able to perform thanks to the community’s support, such as saving animals on a cruelty case like the 100 dogs seized from a puppy mill the previous Monday, providing spay or neuter services to tens of thousands of pets in Southern Dallas and all of North Texas, and, most recently, saying yes to caring for over 600 animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. James also thanked the SPCA of Texas’ board of directors for their guidance and spoke about how the SPCA of Texas’ staff, volunteers and partners are intently focused at all times on saving lives, making a difference and never resting until the organization makes our community a better place for people and their pets. 

Jocelyn White and Katy Murray

James and SPCA of Texas Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer for A. H. Belo Corporation Katy Murray presented the 2017 Spencer Humanitarian Award to The Dallas Morning News for their comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the loose dog problem and subsequent suffering of animals and people in Southern Dallas. Publisher of The Dallas Morning News Publisher/A.H. Belo CEO Jim Moroney accepted the award, and was joined by several members of the editorial staff. The Spencer Humanitarian Award, named for warm-hearted entrepreneur and long-tenured, past SPCA of Texas Board member Mary Spencer, recognizes an individual, company or group whose extraordinary efforts have made a positive difference for animals. The Dallas Morning News has and continues to shine a light on the heartbreaking issue of suffering on the part of people and pets taking place in the most underserved area in Dallas. Their coverage in no small part contributed to the subsequent funding of the largest-scale spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping effort in the nation to date by many of the most prominent charities in North Texas. Their voice, calling attention to animal issues, is loud, clear and unwavering, and the pets and people of North Texas are fortunate indeed for this.

SPCA Senior VP for Development Debra Burns wrapped up by thanking guests, and announcing a surprise $1 million gift from Russell E. Dealey. The SPCA of Texas is grateful for Mr. Dealey’s tremendous gift, and has re-named its Animal Rescue Center in Dallas the “Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center.”

Guests then bid often and bid high on the evening’s nine fabulously over-the-top live auction items and “Pony Up for Paws” raise the paddle feature. High-rolling patrons won delicious dining experiences, glamorous getaways to Telluride and New York City, a decadent “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” spa and shopping package and more. The top three live auction items of the evening were all once-in-a-lifetime experiences. One of these was a two day, two night package for four to the world-renowned animal sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, complete with personalized tours and more. Others were a getaway to Mountain Lodge in Telluride, Colorado and a fabulous Thanksgiving Day in New York, New York.  

Fur Ball 2016 then brought the high-voltage fun with headline entertainment by Dallas’ ultimate party band, Limelight. Guests rushed the dance floor and partied until after Midnight. 

Fur Ball 2016 was a tail-wagging success thanks to Event Chair Cindy Lindsley; Event Co-Chairs Laura Floyd, Allie Jarvie and Jennifer Lindsley; Auction Chair Sandra Fite and Auction Co-Chair Cameron Gummer.

The SPCA of Texas sincerely thanks special partners, including 

  • Diamond sponsor: Russell E. Dealey;
  • Sapphire sponsors: Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, Lydia and Bill Addy, Colin and Sandra Fite, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Richard Gray, H/3 Foundation, Northern Trust, Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones and Sewell Automotive;
  • Ruby sponsors: Dr Delphinium and Rebecca Farris;
  • Emerald sponsors: Carla J. Brandt, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Jill Bee and Loren Glasser, Guaranty Bank and Trust, Holly and Philip Huffines, Nancy and Ty Merelli, Milagro Tequila, Thompson and Knight Foundation, Come from Away – A New Musical and Webb Family Foundation;
  • Corporate Royal Gem sponsors: AG&E Structural Engenuity, Alliance Insurance, Cityvet, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Hollywood Feed, Merck Animal Health, Heineken, OrangeTheory Fitness, Origin Bank, PBK, RKD Group, Swiss Avenue Women’s Guild, Tejas Ranch & Game Fence, VCA Animal Hospitals, Vinson and Elkins LLP and Whole Foods Market;
  • Media Sponsors: Modern Luxury Magazine and Slingshot.

Guests included the Rees-Jones clan (Jan and Trevor, Jenny and Trevor, Margaret and David), Sally Anne Hudnall, Stacey and Don KivowitzGwen and Leldon Echols, Gigi Potter Salley, Phillip and Holly Huffines, Beth and Steve Jarvie, Lynn and Peter Dauterman, Meredith Perot, Peter Addie, Kirsten Burns, Jill Bee and Dr. Loren Glasser, Linda and Ozzie Chapa, Betsy Orton and Sharon FancherJudy Davis, Gus HinojosaTeresa and Chic Henderson, Steve Atkinson and Ted Kincaid, Kelly Thompson, Dr. Rocky McKelvey, Carolyn and David KubesPam Ragon, Danny Tobey and Bill Driscoll.

* Photo credit: Brett Redman

Jennifer Houghton’s Turtle Creek Lane Tour Of Decor Benefiting Genesis Women’s Shelter Was A Fundraising Treat

Anyone who has been trapped eastward on Lovers Lane has had a brief respite at the corner of Turtle Creek Lane. Regardless of the time of year, the itty-bitty corner has celebrated the holiday of the season. In December, there’s even a daily countdown to December 25.

The source of the corner celebration is not the University Park City Council. Rather, it’s the property’s owners, Jennifer and Steve Houghton.

Earlier this year designer Jennifer’s streaming of their swans (Johnny Cash and June) had gone viral with the laying and hatching of cygnets.

But on Friday, September 29, the VIPs for the two-day Turtle Creek Lane Tour of Decor benefiting Genesis Women’s Shelter was a treat. In addition to the two days of checking out Jennifer’s handiwork, there was a raffle for her “Halloween tree.”

Front door

Stairway

Breakfast table

Dinner table

Jennifer had decked every inch of the house, both inside and out, with Halloween waves of witches, black cats and Jack O’Lanterns. Whether it was a teeny weeny witch hat on the dining room chairs or the living room abounding in orange with a goblin playing away at a player grand piano, it was an overwhelming showcase of a non-holiday holiday.

Kitchen

Outdoor terrace

Jennifer Houghton and Amanda Richards

But this wasn’t any different from past Jennifer undertakings. Her gal pal Amanda Richards recalled how she’d met Jennifer. After admiring her handiwork years before, she knocked on Jennifer’s door to compliment her corner décor. Without hesitation, Jennifer invited Amanda in and it was the beginning of a great friendship.

For more photos of Jennifer’s spooks and sights, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Turtle Creek Lane Tour

Jennifer Houghton and Amanda Richards

With Halloween less than two weeks away, Park Cities designer Jennifer Houghton’s Turtle Creek Lane Tour raised the hair on the back of heads, as well as raising money for Genesis Women’s Shelter on Friday, September 29, and Saturday, September 30.

Dinner table

Halloween kitty

The Houghton homestead is a favorite sight on Lovers Lane for all the seasonal holiday. But Halloween is a real thrill, both indoors and out. 

Front door

Stairway

While the post is being prepared, check out the insides and outs of Jennifer’s handiwork at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Leukemia Texas’ Concert For A Cure At The Rustic Features Reckless Kelly—And Great Results For Fighting Leukemia

As more than 400 people streamed into The Rustic’s outdoor patio Thursday, September 28, for Leukemia Texas‘ fifth annual Concert for a Cure, the group’s CEO, Mandy O’Neill, sat in a “cabana” at the back of the property reviewing notes with the chairs before taking off to supervise the festivities.

Below her, guests like JB Hayes, Natalie Solis, Angela Nash with Billy Martin Jr., Roger Hendren, and Amanda and Lloyd Ward were catching up with friends and eagerly awaiting the appearance of the evening’s headliner, Reckless Kelly. Mandy, meantime, was expressing her hope that the evening’s take would at least match last year’s total of $125,000.

Jenny Anchondo, Marco Rivera, Stephanie Hollman and Mandy O’Neill*

The aim seemed do-able, if the crowd’s enthusiasm was any indication. Up on the raised stage, Sybil Summers and Nathan Fast from AMP 103.7-FM—followed by event Co-Chairs Jenny Anchondo and Stephanie Hollman—spent time revving up the partygoers. Jenny sits on the Leukemia Texas board, the audience was told, while Stephanie successfully underwent a bone-marrow donation in May in Oklahoma City.

Sybil Summers and Nathan Fast**

After introducing “Natalie,” a young woman who was having various medical problems, the chairs brought out  former NFL guard Marco Rivera, who played two years (in 2005 and ’06) with the Dallas Cowboys. Marco asked the crowd to bid on tickets to the ‘Boys’ upcoming game with the Green Bay Packers, saying, “I promise you, the Dallas Cowboys will not kneel!” After Marco started the bidding at $500, the ducats went for $1,100.

Natatlie’s mother Vivian, Natalie and Marco Rivera**

Then it was time for Reckless Kelly, the much-lauded, Austin-based Americana band. The group played generously for more than an hour, sprinkling their hits with a few cover songs by Merle Haggard (“Mama Tried”) and Bob Dylan (“Subterranean Homesick Blues”). As they did, a few “swing” dancers showed off their fancy steps down in front of the stage.

Reckless Kelly’s Willy Braun**

They weren’t the only ones strutting their stuff. When all was said and done, Mandy reported that “it looks like we will be exceeding our event goal.” After accounting for expenses—they were roughly 8 percent of the total take—Concert for a Cure was on track to net $110,000.       

* Photo provided by Mandy O'Neill 
** Photo credit: Brian Maschino

Despite Rain Clouds In The Area, Business Council For The Art’s Obelisk Award Luncheon VIPs Were High And Dry At The Mayfair’s Sky Room

Kevin Hurst and Jeff Byron

High above Turtle Creek in the Mayfair’s Sky Room, the Obelisk Award Luncheon sponsors, honorees, nominators and Business Council for the Arts board members had a spectacular view of the rain clouds creeping into the area as they gathered on the evening of Wednesday, September 27. While the rest of the world slammed on the brakes and waited for the green light, these art-loving types sipped beverages and sampled pass-arounds.

Thanks to Neiman’s Director of Charitable Giving Kevin Hurst, the event was to thank a covey of sponsors, honoree and those who had nominated the candidates like Lee and Sarah Papert, Dotti Reeder, Jennifer and Keith Cerny, Mark Solomon, Lynne and Eddie Reyes, Diana Pollak and Mark Solomon.

Dotti Reeder

Keith and Jennifer Cerny

Looking like he had just returned from a weekend yacht stay in the Mediterranean, Jeff Byron arrived midway into the room. He admitted that since his retirement from NM, he hadn’t worn a tie. In fact, he had discovered that the family Scottish terrier, Hayden, was a snoozer during the day instead of anxiously awaiting his return.

Nasher Sculpture Center Jeremy Strick was smiling over the announcement of the Nasher Prize Laureate the week before at The Warehouse. But he added, “Now the real work is ahead.”

2017 Obelisk Award

As the rain clouds delivered their wet stuff on the glistening streets below, sculptor Jim Bowman‘s newest version of the Obelisk Award was revealed that will be presented to the following:

  • The Arts Partnership Award recognizes businesses that have provided sustained support to an arts/cultural organization for three or more years.
    • Large Business (more than 500 employees locally) — Target
    • Medium Business (between 50 and 500 employees locally) — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Richardson
    • Small Business (fewer than 50 employees locally) — Angelika Film Center – Dallas
  • The New Initiatives Award recognizes businesses for supporting an innovative arts/cultural program created within the past three years.
    • Large Business (more than 500 employees locally) — Corgan
    • Medium Business (between 50-500 employees locally) — West Village
    • Small Business (fewer than 50 employees locally) — C.C. Communications, LLC
  • The Distinguished Cultural Organization Award is given to recognize one outstanding nonprofit organization for a project or program that has enhanced the community through partnership with a business. — The Cliburn
  • The Business Champion for the Arts Award recognizes long-term leadership and commitment to arts/culture by a business executive (president, CEO, partner). — Nancy Carlson
  • The Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader Award recognizes an arts leader who has consistently demonstrated vision, impact, innovation, and successful alignment with business and community partners throughout their tenure. — Keith Cerny nominated by Deutsche Bank Trust Co., NA/ Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.
  • The Arts Education Award recognizes one outstanding business for its support of arts education programs. — Neiman Marcus Group
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing lifetime advancement of the arts. — Ask Me About Art/Gail Sachson
  • The Community Champion Award recognizing community arts advancement — Kathy Litinas.

Katherine Wagner

Steve Roth

Minutes after BCA Founder’s Chair Nancy Nasher arrived, Business Council for the Arts CEO Katherine Wagner and Obelisk Luncheon Co-Chair Steve Roth announced that plans were heading forward for the fundraising event at the Belo with Dallas Symphony Orchestra principle trumpet Ryan Anthony.

Niki and Ryan Anthony

Nancy Nasher and Gail Sachson

Looking at the crowd of art lovers and supporters, Nancy, who admits to being basically shy, said with a smile that she felt right at home. After all, these were people like Gail Sachson, and they were like family.

Flamenco Dancers Kicked Up Their Heels To Benefit Children At Risk’s “A Night In Barcelona” At Hotel Zaza

Evidently Calvert Collins-Bratton and Vince Bratton have some pull with Mother Nature because the evening of Saturday, September 23, was just made for their “A Night in Barcelona” at Hotel Zaza. Benefiting Children at Risk, the festivities started off with a reception around the pool complete with flamenco dancers and then moved indoors for a delicious dinner. Here’s a report from the field:

Becky Hollands and Alex Abraham*

The evening began with a VIP poolside reception at the always fabulous Hotel Zaza. Chairs Calvert Collins-Bratton and Vince Bratton visited with guests who included Eric and Kate Sudol, former Dallas Cowboy Timmy Newsome, Stratton and Debbie Horres, Richard Collins, Steve Love, Susannah and Chris Watt, Ron Taylor, Michael Zangoei, Shara McClure and couture designer Becky Hollands.

Flamenco dancers*

Carole and Scott Murray*

Guests enjoyed the picturesque views of the Uptown Dallas Skyline before moving to the ballroom where they were swept into “A Night in Barcelona.” Guests were dazzled by flamenco dancers, bright colors and tropical breezes. Hosted by Children at Risk, this annual fall soiree benefits the children and families of North Texas.

Bob Sanborn*

Once in the ballroom, guests were welcomed by emcee Scott Murray who kept the event lively throughout the evening. As guests dined on grilled hanger steak, shellfish and vegetable paella with baby zucchini, and corn pudding, Children at Risk President and CEO, Dr. Bob Sanborn, and North Texas Managing Director, Dr. Charlotte Carlisle, shared highlights of how the nonprofit works tirelessly to ensure Texas children and families have access to healthy food, quality public education, evidence-based parenting programs and a safe environment free of traffickers.

Charlotte Carlisle*

After a delicious dessert of cinnamon-dusted churro with chocolate dipper and salted caramel pastry cream-filled profiterole and coffee, the Live Auction heated up. The exciting 2018 All-Star Game Package, including tickets to the Slam Dunk and 3-Point Shooting Competitions, and the NBA Legends Brunch, was won by Kyle Jennings; and a Romantic Stay in historic Jefferson, Texas, at the House of the Seasons, one of the Great Homes in Texas, plus dinner at Stillwater Inn and 2 pairs of hand-made slippers from Hadleigh’s, went to Dr. Martin Koonsman. Another big hit was the Aruba Vacation Package which included 5 nights in a beautiful five-bedroom, three-bathroom beachfront home on Malmok, just yards away from one of the most acclaimed snorkeling beaches on the island, and a pair of airline tickets. Pam Humphrey was the lucky winner.

Tom Lewis, Susan Sanders, Calvert and Vince Bratton*

Tom Lewis won the raffle, a 5-day trip to Barcelona, including airfare for two and five nights at the luxurious 5-star Monument Hotel located in the heart of Barcelona on the famed Paseo de Gracia.

The night ended with Dr. Sanborn and Dr. Carlisle thanking the 200 plus stylish guests, and wonderful sponsors and donors for their generosity to Texas children, before inviting everyone to kick up their heals with the Flamenco dancers.

Award-Winning Filmmaker Johnathan Brownlee To Head Up Dallas Film Society And Dallas International Film Festival

Johnathan Brownlee*

The Dallas Film Society and its Dallas International Film Festival have new leadership. Award-winning Canadian/American entertain veteran Johnathan Brownlee has been selected to serve as the Dallas Film Society’s CEO/President and the DIFF’s Executive Director.

According to DFS Chair Mark Denesuk, “The board had a tall order for its new leader – expand our community impact and energize our development efforts, all while managing the city’s largest film festival. After a long process, Johnathan emerged as the clear choice and we are delighted that he is now leading the organization during this exciting new chapter of growth.”

Johnathan’s involvement in the film and television industry ranges from feature films to conducting workshops at Harvard, MIT, etc.

Johnathan replaces Lee Papert, who left the organization this summer.

* Photo courtesy of Dallas Film Society

For the full-blown press release, follow the jump: [Read more…]

Dallas Museum Of Art’s Decorative Arts Symposium Featured Three Renowned Experts On Furnishings, Gardening And Palettes

Attendees for the Dallas Museum of Art’s Decorative Arts Symposium expanded their understanding of art on Thursday, September 21. Thanks to Symposium Chair Beverly Nichols assembling John Hays, Ann Pailthorp and P. Allen Smith, the event showcased how art is not limited to canvases and sculptures. Here’s a report from the field:

The Dallas Museum of Art‘s Decorative Arts Symposium Chair Beverly Nichols, welcomed attendees to the Symposium on Thursday, September 21, at the Dallas Museum of Art. 

Melissa Fetter and Ann Hobson*

Penny Hardie and Mollie Crow*

Janet Evans and Debbie Raynor*

Cara French and Prissy Gravely*

Guests like DMA Board of Trustees Chair Melissa Fetter, Ann Hobson, Cara French and her mother Prissy Gravely, Janet Evans, Debbie Raynor, Penny Hardie and Mollie Crow arrived and enjoyed coffee and light breakfast bites outside the Horchow Auditorium.  On view in a vitrine were two pieces from the Museum’s decorative arts collection which had served as the event’s signature pieces: a Free form shape bowl with Tropicana pattern decoration (designers Frank Irwin and Helen McIntosh), (maker Metlox Potteries), c. 1955, earthenware, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund, 1996.111) and a silk brocade (maker and date unknown, silk, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hart Miller, 1947.21.23). 

Once seated inside the auditorium, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director Agustín Arteaga welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending the second annual event which supports the DMA’s Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment Fund.  

Agustin Arteaga*

Beverly followed to introduce the esteemed line-up of symposium speakers, which included award-winning garden designer, acclaimed author, television host and conservationist P. Allen Smith; John Hays, deputy chairman of Christie’s America and specialist in American Furniture and Decorative Arts; and Ann Pailthorp, Farrow and Ball’s leader of the North American Colour Consultancy Program for British craftsmen in paint and paper.    

John Hays, Ann Pailthorp, Beverly Nichols and P. Allen Smith*

Hays took the podium first and under the theme, Commander in Chief: A Few War Stories from John Hays’ Travels, he shared stories of extraordinary pieces he has found across the United States, which were sold at auction by Christie’s. Pailthorp followed with details about Farrow and Ball’s unmatched collection of paint and wallpaper, including details on what makes their colors and finishes distinctive. Smith, who designed the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens’ new edible garden, closed by sharing a virtual tour of Moss Mountain Farm, his American Greek Rival style-home, which included his stunning organic flower and vegetable garden “rooms,” orchards, farm animals and his heritage poultry breeds.   

The event concluded with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions of the panel. Immediately following, P. Allen Smith’s book, “Seasonal Recipes from the Garden,” and Farrow and Ball’s “How to Decorate,” were available for sale and for signatures by Smith and Pailthorp. 

As guests departed, they received a Farrow and Ball favor bag with a coveted fan deck featuring all 132 Farrow and Ball colours and an Autumn and Winter Inspiration guide.  

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

It Was Reigning Cat And Dogs Along Turtle Creek For SPCA Of Texas’ Fur Ball Patrons With Meow Margaritas And Chocolate Mousse Shots

Just 10 days before the SPCA of TexasFur Ball 2017 at the Omni Dallas Hotel, the Reigning Cats and Dogs patrons were hosted by Wealth Strategist from Northern Trust at Amy and Malone Mitchell‘s estate. The weather was just perfect for guests to enjoy the view of Turtle Creek from the outdoor terrace. While there were no SPCA residents in attendance, the Meow Margaritas, the chocolate mousse shots and chicken lollipops filled the critter bill. Here’s a report from the field: 

Mitchell terrace

In the golden glow of the late summer sunset on Wednesday, September 20, in the heart of Highland Park, patrons and friends gathered at the home of Amy and Malone Mitchell to celebrate the SPCA of Texas’ Fur Ball 2017, Reigning Cats and Dogs. Guests sipped champagne, wine and the signature drink for the evening, the Meow Margaritas featuring Milagro Tequila, as they chatted with excited anticipation about the upcoming gala.  

Guests were serenaded by pianist Kevin Sutton as they toured the Mitchell’s stunning mansion and lush grounds.

Don Lindsley, Claire Schwartz and Alex Winslow*

An overabundant table of savories were enjoyed, including chicken quesadillas; chili con queso and roasted pepper salsa; towers of cheese, crackers and charcuterie plates; mountains of summer vegetables with red pepper and spinach hummus; herbed chicken lollipops and prime rib bites. Delightful desserts included decadent chocolate mousse shots and chocolate-covered roasted marshmallows. The evening’s sublime food was provided by Wendy Krispin Catering.  

Cindy Lindsley, James Bias, Sandra Fite and Alanna Sarabia*

As the evening wound down, words of appreciation filled the air. Alex Winslow, Wealth Strategist from Northern Trust, Patron Party Sponsor, thanked friends, patrons and SPCA of Texas staff for their partnership, and celebrated helping to find all of the animals a “Fur Ball forever home.” SPCA of Texas President and CEO James Bias thanked Northern Trust for their partnership, thanked Chair Cindy Lindsley, Auction Chair Sandra Fite, the Fur Ball Host Committee and Auction Committee for their amazing work to make this year’s event a stunning success. He also thanked all Fur Ball patrons for helping the organization “to say yes to helping animals, whether we’re saving an animal on a cruelty case, providing spay or neuter services to pets in Southern Dallas and most recently, saying yes to caring for over 600 animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.”

Debra Burns, Greg Cannon, Kristy Parker and Russell Dealey*

Board Member Stacey Kivowitz praised the public for the fantastic response to the need of animals and their people in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Sr. Vice President for Development Debra Burns thanked the SPCA of Texas’ staff, Board of Directors and all Fur Ball committees and sponsors and invited everyone to, “Get your dance cards ready and your dancing shoes on!”

Arnold and Mary Spencer*

Lynn McBee, Jodi Benefiel and Diane Brierley*

Steve Atkinson, Karen Urie and Ted Kincaid*

David and Carolyn Kubes*

Guests included Jan and Trevor Rees-JonesRussell Dealey, Lynn McBee, Diane and Hal Brierley, Katy Murray, Alanna Sarabia, Stacey and Don Kivowitz, Gloria Snead, Steve and Marty Scruggs, Krista Tankersley, Marsha Pendleton-Gray and Dr. Richard Gray, Steve Atkinson and Ted Kincaid, David and Carolyn Kubes, Karen Urie, Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher, Kristen Greenberg, Linda Chapa, Ann and Sanjay Agrawal and Deb Goldstein.

*Photo credit: Thomas Garza Photography

Nasher Prize Reveal Draws Dallas Art Lovers To The Warehouse With Rave Reviews

Nothing can keep art lovers from a new breaking occasion, not even rush hour traffic around the Galleria. So, the Mercedes and Bentleys made their way through the jam fest on Tuesday, September 19, to The Warehouse just beyond the LBJ-Dallas North Tollway square dance.

And what was the draw for the usual Dallas proper artsy types to venture away from their comfort zone? It was the announcement of the third annual Nasher Prize Laureate. The selection had been made by a jury of international collection of art experts.

And even if one didn’t know the difference between a chalk drawing on a sidewalk and a Henry Moore, it was worth the drive just to see the crowd.

Derek and Christen Wilson

Elaine Agather and David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher

Nasher Prize Co-Chairs Christen and Derek Wilson were works of sculpture beauty just by their presence. In a side room presenting sponsor JPChase/Morgan’s Elaine Agather was chatting with Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger. When asked about the possibility of one of Nancy’s and David’s kids carrying on the Nasher tradition in retailing and philanthropy, Nancy smiled and said, “That’s a possibility.”

Nancy Rogers and Sharon Young

Thomas Hartland-Mackie

Don Glendenning, Mary McDermott and Kern Wildenthal

Donald Fowler

Mike Granberry

Christopher Wynn

Snapshots around the room: Nancy Rogers in a denim jacket with Sharon Young and Cindy Rachofsky… Journalists Mike Granberry, Christina Geyer, Christopher Wynn and Tim Rogers taking note of the surroundings and announcements… Donald Fowler has just taken over the Nasher Sculpture Center’s retail store…and others like Nick Even, Mary McDermott Cook with Dan Patterson, Kern Wildenthal, Suzanne McGee, Carol and Don Glendenning and Thomas Hartland-Mackie, who reported that wife Nasiba Hartland-Mackie was in London and he was batching it with their three-year-old.

Jeremy Strick

Promptly, as promised, the announcement was made by Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick at 7 p.m. Drum roll — Chicago artist Theaster Gates will receive the Nasher Prize and its $100,000 on Saturday, April 7, at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The announcement was greeted with a thunderous wave of shouts and applause.

Alas, when it came to toasting the decision, Jeremy raised his glass. Only a scant few followed his lead. It wasn’t because the others didn’t want to. They just didn’t have glasses in hand.

For more pictures of the people in for the announcement, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2018 Nasher Prize Laureate Reveal

Derek and Christen Wilson

Jeremy Strick

The sculptor aficionados of North Texas art lovers as well as the media gathered at The Warehouse on Tuesday, September 19, to learn who would be the recipient of the annual 2018 Nasher Prize. With live streaming of the announcement that Chicago artist Theaster Gates had scored the win according the international panel of judges, the crowd was also put on notice that the presentation of the prize co-chaired by Christen and Derek Wilson would take place on Saturday, April 7, at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

And in keeping with the focus on art, the crowd itself was pretty eyecatching, too. While the post is being finalized about the announcement by Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick, check out the guests at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Junior Players’ Annual Future Stars Celebration Will Have Its First Ever Honorary Chair — Kevin Hurst

The Junior Players nearly upstaged “Hamilton: An American Musical”’s Christopher Jackson at the 31st Attorneys Serving the Community luncheon in June. From the pop-up performance to the testimonies by former students, the 62-year-organization showed that it was still as youthful, creative and impressive as ever.

22nd Annual Future Stars Celebration*

Those elements will be on hand at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, November 11, for the 22nd Annual Future Stars Celebration.  In addition to the food provided by Maguire’s Regional Cuisine, live and silent auctions, games, a wine pull, a photo booth and performances by students from Junior Players’ 2017 production of “Rent” and “Junior Players Presents: Metamorphosis,” they’ve added a new twist — an honorary chair.

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

According to Junior Players Board of Directors President Dana Roland, “Junior Players is proud to announce that Kevin Hurst of Neiman Marcus Group will be serving as the first-ever honorary chair for our signature annual event.”

Since arriving in Dallas in 2013, Kevin has been very active in all aspects of the North Texas nonprofit community. From his position as NM’s director of charitable giving to his personal involvement with a variety of charities, he’s been a supporter as well as a call-to-arms champ for the area.

When the crawl tubes from the Neiman’s holiday windows were being retired, Kevin arranged to have them installed at Spark. When the tornadoes hit North Texas, he toured the devastated area with the Red Cross to learn what was needed. When the July 7th police shooting took place, he expanded his reach to “his network of corporate philanthropic partners and focused on coordinating their efforts to maximize the impact of their contributions to our grieving community and the victims of violence.”

According to Kevin, “It is my pleasure to serve as the honorary chair for the Junior Players’ Future Stars Celebration. Since moving to Dallas in 2013, I have seen first-hand the tremendous impact they have on the lives of so many aspiring performers. Their mission to ensure students across DFW have access to and participate in the arts aligns perfectly with the mission of the Heart of Neiman Marcus’ foundation of funding youth arts education and experiences.”

Tyler Foundation has already signed up as the lead sponsor, but there are other opportunities, as well as tickets that are going for $80. Funds raised from the event will “help support all of Junior Players’ free after-school and summer arts education programs, which serve more than 14,000 children and teenagers every year.”

* Graphic courtesy of Junior Players

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala

Clay Cooley, Margaret McDermott and Lisa Cooley

With sweeping gowns and bow ties ranging from feathers to colorful prints, the 2017 Dallas Symphony Gala officially kicked off the mega-gala fundraising season on Saturday, September 16, at the Meyerson. Joining the leadership team of Co-Chairs Lisa and Clay Cooley was Honorary Chair Margaret McDermott.  

Kara and Randall Goss

Cece Smith and Ford Lacy

Jody and Sheila Grant

In addition to being a lavish show of swell-egants, it was also the final gala performance by Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Maestro Jaap van Zweden. To add to the special occasion, cellist Yo-Yo Ma joined Jaap and the orchestra on stage following a seated dinner and just before the evening’s after party.

While the post is being prepped, the fashions and boldfaces of the night can be seen at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Dallas CASA’s Young Professional Added Their “Voices For A Cause” At The Rustic With Brandon Rhyder For Fundraising

While North Texas Giving Day had the phones ringing off the hook and the internet donations flowing on Thursday, September 14, the Dallas CASA Young Professionals held its second annual Voices for a Cause at The Rustic. While Signed Out and Brandon Rhyder filled the scene with music, Young Professionals President Jonathan Bassham couldn’t resist reminding guests that it wasn’t too late to donate to North Texas Giving Day for Dallas CASA. Here’s a report from the field:

Jonathan Bassham and Mark Hiduke*

Linda and Rob Swartz*

Nick Berman, Caitlin Dama, Erica Whitten and Michelle Stephenson*

Voices for a Cause at The Rustic was a blast! It was a beautiful night, with great bands and lots of young people and old friends like Robert Schleckser, Woody McMinn, Dana Swann, Reasha Hedke, Madeline Littrell, Linda and Rob Swartz, Kelsey Higginbotham, Nick Berman, Caitlin Dama, Erica Whitten, Michelle Stephenson, Nicki Sherry, Paul Stafford, Mark Hiduke and Cristina and Michael Swartz.

Nicki Sherry and Paul Stafford*

Cristina and Michael Swartz

Dana Swann, Reasha Hedke and Madeline Littrell*

Dallas CASA’s Voices of Hope concert Thursday, September 14, at The Rustic netted $6,640 for Dallas CASA and an evening of fun for attendees. With more than 250 tickets sold and a clear night under the stars, the event marked a second year of success for Dallas CASA’s Young Professionals.

Kelsey Higginbotham and Brandon Rhyder*

Dallas CASA board member Dave Kroencke’s band Signed Out was the opening act. The group played covers of crowd-popular standards like “Billie Jean,” “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” and the crow got into the act by singing along from their lawn chairs.

Headliner Texas country artist Brandon Rhyder, sang to an enthusiastic crowd as the sun set. Young Professionals President Jonathan Bassham gave a final plug for North Texas Giving Day.

Presenting sponsors was PCORE Exploration & Production II/Mark Hiduke. Other sponsors included Linda and Rob Swartz, Sewell Automotive, Accelerate Resources and Christine and Jonathan Bassham.

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

Grovel Alert: Jade Ball

Always-on-the-move Lynn McBee was on her way to Saturday night’s Fur Ball when she reported that the Jade Ball benefiting Crow Collection of Asian Art on Saturday, October 7, at Belo Mansion was just one table away from being a done deal.

Jade Ball*

According to sources, the near sell-out is due to Jade Ball Chair Robert Weatherly and Lynn along with the host committee members like Denny Alberts and Cynthia ComparinJenna Alexander, Annika and Dennis Cail, Darryl Freling, Kristen and Reed Gibbins, Gerardo Gomez, Joyce Goss, Diana Hamilton, Frank Hettig, Jenny and John KirtlandJerald Miller, Jin and James Mun, Angela Nash, Andrea and David Nayfa, Debra Nelson, Heather Randall, Tracey and Kent Rathbun, Carol and Frank Riddick, Lisa and John Runyon, Capera Ryan, Stephanie and Michael Seay, Clara Hinojosa, David Kiger, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk, Jane McGarry, Sunie Solomon, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Whitney and Rob Strauss, Tara Lewis and John SwordsConnie and Marc Sigel, Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Ashley Tatum, Joanne and Charles Teichman, Maxine Trowbridge, Trey Wasser, Annette and Myron Watkins, Paige Westhoff and Megan and Brady Wood.

Lynn McBee (File photo)

Robert Weatherly (File photo)

Ah, but Lynn reports that the Crow Collection’s inaugural Jade Ball is going to be a fundraiser somewhere between The Sweetheart Ball and Art Ball with a blend of entertainment, seated supper and surprises throughout the evening.

When asked why it wasn’t being held across the street at the Crow Museum, Lynn said, “There wasn’t enough room.” After all, the attendance for the event is scheduled to hit the 400 mark.

According to Robert, “The success of the Jade Ball is extremely important as we work to ensure the longevity of our city’s sole Pan-Asian museum. I’m very proud that this first-year event will help the Crow Collection of Asian Art continue to provide North Texas with quality, diverse programming such as the southern U.S.’s largest Chinese New Year Festival, groundbreaking exhibitions, innovative wellness programs and exciting educational activities and events for all ages.”  

If that one table has already been snapped up, try the old-fashioned way of getting in — write a big, old check. Betcha Robert and Lynn will find a way to squeeze you in. Here’s the link to get in.

Self-Made Millionaire/”Shark Tank”‘s Barbara Corcoran To Be Guest Speaker For The Legacy Senior Communities Yes! Event In November

Barbara Corcoran*

Barbara Corcoran is a very busy, busy gal nowadays. Well, she always has been with all her real estate deals that transformed her from waitress to “self-made millionaire.” Then there’s a little TV show, called “Shark Tank,” where she has held her own with the likes of Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John

She’s had so many balls to juggle, it’s no wonder that the 68-year-old’s gig on “Dancing With The Stars” was just one too many, resulting in her being eliminated this past week. However, she proved her spunk and class by accepting her elimination with humor.

But leave it to the The Legacy Senior Communities Yes! Event to snag her as the guest speaker for the annual fundraising luncheon at the Meyerson on Thursday, November 2. But then what else would you expect from a committee including Carol Aaron, Dawn Aaron, Sandy Donsky, Linda Garner, Zona Pidgeon, Jody Stein and Karla Steinberg?

The plan calls for her to “share her personal story, as well as insight into what motivates her today.”

Benefiting The Legacy Senior Communities Financial Assistance Fund, the event will provide support for The Legacy Midtown Park’s rental continuing care retirement community currently under development in Dallas, to help supplement the cost of their care and provide the extra amenities that enrich the quality of their life.”

According to Carol, “A community is judged by the way it cares for its elders, and I feel it is our collective responsibility to provide a wonderful lifestyle and exemplary care to seniors in Greater Dallas. We encourage everyone to step up and help us continue to not just meet but exceed the needs of seniors and their families now and in the future.”

In addition to Barbara, The Carmen Miller Michael – Legacy Senior Communities Award will be presented to “pay tribute to a member of the Greater Dallas community who displays the special qualities which Carmen Miller Michael possessed: a pioneering spirit and an unshakeable sense of justice and compassion.”

The Legacy Senior Community Board of Trustees Chair Marc R. Stanley said, “We will honor a truly inspirational individual and trailblazer who shares our commitment to serving others, and we will hear from a motivational entrepreneur during this captivating event. We are thankful to all of our donors whose support assists us in providing thriving communities and high-quality care. We find it truly rewarding to provide seniors with dynamic and enriched lives.”

Single tickets are $200 with various levels of sponsorship available.

* Photo credit: ABC/Patrick Ecclesine

Jolie Humphrey And Josey Kennington To Co-Chair Aware Affair’s “Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Evening” At The Statler

Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington*

As reported previously, the 2018 Aware Affair will be taking place on Friday, April 13. The details that were still pending were who and where. But those questions have just been answered by Aware President Venise Stuart. She’s just revealed it will take place at the 61-year-old Statler that has gone through a major renovation transforming it into a 21st century multi-use development including a 159-room hotel, 219 residences, restaurants, retailing and entertainment facilities. The fundraiser’s theme is fitting to the revitalized development: “Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Evening.”

Co-Chairing the event will be Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington with Kim and David McDavid Jr., serving as honorary co-chairs. The honorees will be BvB Dallas that just celebrated its 10th anniversary this past August and the memory of Frances B. Chantilis with her family, Cheryl and Dr. Sam Chantilis and Stephanie and Bennie Bray.

Starting off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, The Statler Director of Culinary Events Justo Blanco will present a three-course seated dinner following by a live auction.

* Photo credit: Jeremy Lock

Former Barrister Nick Even Named WaterTower Theatre’s General Manager

Change takes place quickly. No sooner had WaterTower Theatre’s General Manager Greg Patterson announced his departure than the board announced his replacement. It will be blonde, legal eagle Nick Even, who proclaimed his love of the arts when he resigned from the law profession to pursue his arts passion after 30 years.

Nick Even (File photo)

According to Nick, “I am thrilled to share that as of October 1, 2017, I will begin serving as Managing Director of WaterTower Theatre. For my friends outside the Metroplex, WTT is a leading professional theatre company here in North Texas and – as fate would have it – served as my entry into arts non-profit boards after moving from New York. Eventually, I served as Board President in 2008. The theater has developed substantially since then, both financially and artistically, and I could not be more excited to help lead it in its next era of growth.

“I will be joining WTT’s recently named Artistic Director Joanie Schultz. Joanie came to WTT at the first of the year from Chicago, where she was Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater and a freelance director at both the Goodman and Steppenwolf, among numerous other theaters. Joanie has already been cited for Outstanding Direction by the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum for her WTT directorial debut: ‘Hit the Wall.’

“WTT’s new season will open officially on Monday, October 16 with the regional premiere of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ adapted from the Jane Austen novel by Kate Hamill, so I will be wasting no time in getting up to speed. 

“Other season programming includes The Great Distance Home (world premiere) by Kelsey Leigh Ervi; Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue (regional premiere) by Quiara Alegría Hudes; Bread (world premiere) by Regina Taylor; Jason Robert Brown‘s musical “The Last Five Years; and Hand to God” (regional premiere) by Robert Askins. The season will also include “Detour,” a four-day festival of new work in March 2018. It’s a diverse and exciting season, to be sure. If you’d like to read more, you can visit: https://watertowertheatre.org/coming-soon.”

Sounds like Nick is already settling into his new role as things are shaking up north of LBJ.

JUST IN: 2017 Obelisk Award Recipients And Keynote Speaker Announced For Business Council For The Arts Fundraising Luncheon

Steven Roth and Thai-Ian Tran*

Obelisk Award Luncheon Co-Chairs Thai-Ian Tran and Steve Roth have just announced the luncheon keynote speaker and the recipients of the 2017 Obelisk Awards that is annually presented by Business Council For The Arts.

Addressing the group of art lovers will be Nasher Haemisegger Fellow for the National Center for Arts Research and former Brooklyn Academy of Music President Karen Brooks Hopkins.

As for the Obelisk Awardees, this year’s collection of outstanding art supporters are:  

  • The Arts Partnership Award recognizes businesses that have provided sustained support to an arts/cultural organization for three or more years.
    • Large Business (more than 500 employees locally) — Target nominated by Nasher Sculpture Center.
    • Medium Business (between 50 and 500 employees locally) — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Richardson nominated by AIR (Arts Incubator of Richardson).
    • Small Business (fewer than 50 employees locally) — Angelika Film Center – Dallas nominated by Video Association of Dallas
  • The New Initiatives Award recognizes businesses for supporting an innovative arts/cultural program created within the past three years.
    • Large Business (more than 500 employees locally) — Corgan nominated by Creative Arts Center
    • Medium Business (between 50-500 employees locally) — West Village nominated by: Dallas Film Society
    • Small Business (fewer than 50 employees locally) — C.C. Communications, LLC nominated by Esta Raza No Se Raja

Nancy Carlson (File photo)

Keith Cerny (File photo)

  • The Distinguished Cultural Organization Award is given to recognize one outstanding nonprofit organization for a project or program that has enhanced the community through partnership with a business. — The Cliburn nominated by The Arts Council of Fort Worth/Neiman Marcus
  • The Business Champion for the Arts Award recognizes long-term leadership and commitment to arts/culture by a business executive (president, CEO, partner). — Nancy Carlson nominated by TACA
  • The Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader Award recognizes an arts leader who has consistently demonstrated vision, impact, innovation, and successful alignment with business and community partners throughout their tenure. — Keith Cerny nominated by Deutsche Bank Trust Co., NA/ Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.
  • The Arts Education Award recognizes one outstanding business for its support of arts education programs. — Neiman Marcus Group nominated by Big Thought and Dallas Black Dance Theater
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing lifetime advancement of the arts. — Ask Me About Art/Gail Sachson nominated by Carolyn Brown Photography
  • The Community Champion Award recognizing community arts advancement — Kathy Litinas nominated by Allen Arts Alliance

According to Business Council For The Arts CEO Katherine Wagner, “This year’s Obelisk honorees reflect the significant growth of the arts regionally – a fact underscored in our recent economic impact study, showing that the nonprofit arts and culture sector has now reached an impact of $1.5 billion annually in North Texas.”

Katherine Wagner (File photo)

Mary Anne Alhadeff (File photo)

Ryan Anthony (File photo)

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, November 15, at Belo Mansion with returnees KERA President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff as emcee and Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet Ryan Anthony onstage.

Tickets start at $150 and are available here!

* Photo provided by Business Council For The Arts

A Night To Remember’s Meet And Greet With Jennifer Hudson At The Winspear Was A Warm Get Together For CitySquare

The Winspear green room was more like a hot house on the night of Saturday, September 9. With at least three portable mini-heaters blowing away, it would have made an orchid feel right at home.

On the other hand, for guests preparing for CitySquare’s meet-and-greet with A Night To Remember concert headliner Jennifer Hudson, it was a bit toasty.

The reason for the hot times was the songbird’s concern for her voice. And anyone who had heard Hudson’s singing, they would understand and downright defend her need for warmth.

Stephanie Fox and Nick Sowell

After briefly cocktailing in the Hamon’s suite that was truly decked out, the top-drawer types like Stephanie Fox and Nick Sowell, Caleb Tam and Vy Duong, Jillian Jaccar Conry and Gerardo Diaz Blanco,  Erica  and Jack Thomason and Gernise and Terry Flowers lined up for the grip-and grin outside the green room. Inside Co-Chairs Wendy Messmann, Sherel Riley and Tiffany Touchstone-Hawkins were joined by CitySquare’s Brenda and Larry James.

Sherel Riley, Wendy Messmann and Tiffany Touchstone-Hawkins

On cue, Jennifer arrived in a denim shirt over a black top. While her smile was nearly blinding, her skin was what the cosmetic industry only wishes to achieve. She looked so rested and relaxed.

Without hesitation, she walked up to one and all in the room and greeted them. It was almost like she was ready to settle back and spend the evening chatting with them.

Larry James, Jennifer Hudson and Brenda James

But the handlers recognized there were dozens of big spenders waiting for a brief howdy-do and a quick photo. Jennifer’s one request as she walked over to the backdrop was, “Don’t shoot my feet.” All eyes shot to her feet. Were there extra toes? A tattoo? Nope. They looked as normal as could be. But who cared? It was the face, the smile and the voice that mattered.

And the concert proved that all three were in marvelous shape. For her reward, Jennifer and her crew toddled back to The Joule for a good night’s sleep, knowing that they had raised funds to help combat homelessness in Dallas.

TACA Custom Auction Gala’s Celebration Of 50 Years Of Funding The Arts “Tranformed” Into A Glistening Affair

The TACA Custom Auction Gala celebrating the art funding organization’s 50th anniversary was a time to glisten and shine. And on Friday, September 8, the first black-tie gala of the 2017 fall/winter fundraising season did just that. Only it wasn’t exactly for the reason some might have predicted.

Unlike years past, when it was held entirely inside the legendary Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, the guests discovered as they drove up to the auto courtyard that the gala had taken up more real estate. A large, see-thru tent complete with overhead lights and greenery, bars and a black stage surrounded by tables and chairs had been erected in the courtyard adjacent to the august hotel. Here the cocktail reception would be held, followed by the evening’s program. As for dinner, guests would saunter into the Mansion to dine and wine.

Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhart

Linda and Bill Custard

Robyn Flatt and Wilson Tarver

Don and Carol Glendenning

TACA Custom Auction Gala Co-Chairs Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing reported that they were planning on wedding in summer 2018…Breast cancer survivor Linda Custard topped off in snow white hair reported that husband Bill Custard had teased her the year before that, for the first time, he had more hair than she did…Dallas Children’s Theater’s Robyn Flatt was thrilled about the theater’s new mega-sign lighting that took place on Wednesday, August 30. She also added that ticket sales for the annual Cabaret were going briskly…. After checking in outside the tent, guests like Carol and Don Glendenning, Wendy and Jeremy Strick, Laura and Dennis Moon, Lynn and Allan McBee, Lisa and Bill Ogle, Katherine Wynne and John Baer, Jan Barboglio, Barbara and Steve Durham, Stacie and Steve Adams and Mimi and Rich Sterling ambled on in for drinks and the evening’s festivities.

John Baer, Katherine Wynne and Laura and Dennis Moon

Jessica Chandler

Diane and Hal Brierley

When Dallas Theater Center Associate Artistic Director Joel Ferrell called the beautiful people to start the program, the veteran high rollers discovered that things had changed from the past. Instead of having front-row tables reserved for them to raise their bid paddles, it was a first-come, first-sit situation.

Then, as the body count for the sold-out event climbed past 275, the glamorous joint started getting pretty cozy. Thankfully it wasn’t a simmering August heat wave, and the  September evening’s outdoor temperature was still lingering in the upper 70’s. Still, the couple of occasionally open tent doors weren’t letting in much of a breeze. Like Ashley Wilkes, tuxedoed men in white buttoned-up shirts with ties smiled bravely, as their lady friends fanned themselves with their bid paddles like Scarlett O’Hara on the porch of Tara. It wasn’t a question of the portable A/C units not working up to snuff. Someone said there was an A/C unit trying its best in the back of the tent. But like the Titanic lifeboat count, there just weren’t enough of the little blowhards to meet the need as the festivities continued.

Joel got things started by introducing the evening’s Co-Chairs/lovebugs Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing. The former Mansion/current Ritz chef with headset in place kicked things off welcoming the group. But when Wanda tried to provide an added welcome, her handheld mic proved to be a silent stick. Panic on the sidelines kicked in, and event planner Randi Steinhart scrambled on stage handing Wanda another handheld mic. It proved to be suffering from the same “Silent Sam” ailment as the other mic. Giggles arose among the guests. After repeated exchanges of dead mics with similar results and pleading looks at the production table with no results, the laughter had been replaced with awkward smiles. Trooper Wanda saved the situation by simply talking into Dean’s headset.

Celebration

With a working mic in hand, TACA Chair Donna Wilhelm introduced “Celebration,” a dance commissioned by TACA to celebrate TACA’s 50th anniversary and performed by Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Bruce Wood Dance, and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. Things were heating up. Now bid paddles were fanning at full pace, as the dancers performed flawlessly. But the icy cocktails were starting to wear off, and the body-heat temperatures table-side were rising.

Donna Wilhelm

Michelle Thomas

Katherine Bull and Jan Barboglio

Instead of going straight to the live auction, Donna returned to the stage and told of her roots in funding the New Works Fund going back to her childhood as the daughter of Polish immigrants. She was followed by incoming TACA Chair Michelle Thomas, who reported, “Did you know?” about TACA. On the front row was one of TACA’s original members Katherine Bull, who could have read chapter and verse about the days of Jane Murchison (Haber), Evelyn Lambert, Virginia Nick and the ladies getting together to raise funds for a new art group — Dallas Theater Center. But there was no mention of them or the TACA roots on this night.

The paddles kept paddling the air like a metronome at presto speed to fight off the feel of perspiration.

Louis Murad and Cyndi Phelps

Finally, it was time for auctioneer Louis Murad to lead the live auction. His aim, he’d said, was to haul in about $250,000. He said it was not going to be a repeat of the 2015 TACA Custom Auction Gala, when he had conducted the lackluster TACA auction in the cool Mansion Promenade. But as starting time neared, some, who knew they weren’t “players” or were starting to succumb to the heat, headed into the cool confines of the Mansion.

Auction sign holder

As Louis hopped on stage, he looked at the crowd of beauts and still felt confident. Two 21st century Austin Powers lovelies walked the stage like boxing ring girls holding signs designating the package for the crowd that was starting to look like a formally attired hot-yoga class. Flutes that had held champagne were drained. Makeup was starting to show premature signs of melting. Slender gals in gowns, who had stilettoed their way over the cobblestone courtyard, were now leaning against the tent’s walls, looking like wilted daisies. One woman at a front-row table stood. Louis asked if she was rising to bid. No, she was headed to the bar for a couple of drinks for friends. Items that had been described as “priceless,” were barely hitting the five-figure neighborhood.

Thanks to Diane and Hal Brierley, the evening’s bidding venture wasn’t a total loss, with their taking home dinner with Dean Fearing and Cowboy greats (Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston and Emmitt Smith) for $32,500. Alas, Louis’ goal of a quarter of a million bucks didn’t hit its target. Including the post-auction, shout-out for funds, the evening’s take wasn’t too much more than $100,000.

One person commented, “Too sober. Too hot. This group is ready for church.”

As crass as this comment was, it was a Reader’s Digest critique. Usually, most fundraisers have the live auction preceded by a cocktail party and a well-quenched dinner. The true experts in the live auction world know that you don’t want the guests to be “too happy” that they don’t have the day-after blues. But you do want them to be lulled into feeling the lift of the paddles is painless. Not the case here. Between the heat and the grumbling tummies, these celebrants wanted to get out of the tent and onto dinner inside the air-conditioned Mansion.

According to one TACA organizer, the thinking was that people wanted the dinner to follow the live auction, so they could settle back and linger, as opposed to hustling to the auction. They also felt that the dance performance would rally the paddles into a frenzy high.

But this POA turned into a perfect storm for Monday morning quarterbacking. Had they held the live auction in the Mansion ballroom, the heat factor would not have kicked in. Had they held the live auction after the seated dinner, there would have been a more festive lifting of the paddles. Had the auction items been curated by a true luxury team like the 2017 Art Ball’s Jennifer Karol and Rajan Patel instead of parceling some items out to out-of-state AmFund, the paddles might have waved like the flags on the Fourth of July. Had the annual farm-to-table package been part of the lineup, even the poorest of the rich crowd would have had paddled up.

Editor’s comment: As the new regime of TACA gets underway for the next 50 years, it appears to still be a project in development. But on this night the celebration of TACA’s 50th anniversary wasn’t quite the bravo production that some had hoped for. MIA were some longtime TACA supporters. According to one source, past TACA chairs had been invited to join the host committee. When one “past TACA co-chair” had received the invite, she responded, “My husband and I don’t support the arts. We’ve never been to a TACA event, so I doubt we’ve ever chaired one.”

Organizers intimated that this would be the last TACA live auction. Perhaps it’s just as well, since the 2017 TACA Custom Auction Gala went out with a whimper, and not a bang.

2017 La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Team Handed Out A Whopping $462,750 To 15 Park Cities Non-Profits

Rebecca Gregory and Nancy Monning

As the sun was slowly switching place with a perfect full moon on Thursday, September 7, the North Texas Food Bank’s Harvest underwriters were gathering at Mud Hen to celebrate the upcoming Friday, September 15 fundraiser. Across town in Highland Park Village’s Mockingbird Room, there were more happy faces. The occasion was the check distribution of 2017 La Fiesta Des Las Seis Banderas checks. Needless to say, when it comes to doling out the dough, the crowd is polished shoulder to shoulder.

Euan Blackman and Anne Besser

The biggest smiles were on the faces of La Fiesta Co-Chairs Rebecca Gregory and Nancy Monning along with Gala Co-Chairs Anne Besser and Michelle Johnson and Las Fiesta Board President Mary Hubbard. There was good reason. The take for the Saturday, June 10 black-tie fundraiser was $462,750. Just who says fundraising dries up in the summer?

On hand to accept checks and provide big old smiles were HPISD Superintendent Tom Trigg and wife Julie Trigg, The Family Place’s Paige Flink and Habitat for Humanity’s Euan Blackman.

Mary Hubbard, Michelle Johnson, Amy Hughes and Paige Flink

Tom Trigg, Kelly Walker and Jim Hitzelberger

The check presentation included:

  • Dallas Heritage Village — $5,000
  • Moody Family YMCA — $3,500
  • CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education) — $12,640
  • Connecting Point of Park Cities — $19,500
  • The Elisa Project — $18,500
  • The Family Place — $10,000
  • Friends of the University Park Public Library — $30,500
  • HP Arts — $60,000
  • HPHS Community Service Council — $8,000
  • HPHS Habitat for Humanity Campus Center — $10,000
  • HPHS Science Festival — $1,600
  • HPHS Counseling Department and Student Council — $3,000
  • Highland Park Literary Festival — $26,000
  • HPHS Student Emergency Fund — $4,000
  • Highland Park Education Foundation — $250,510

More good news included the fact that Anne will cho-chair 2018 La Fiesta with her buddy Elizabeth Gambrell for the fundraiser that return to the Hilton Anatole for a summer sojourn.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert!: 2017 TACA Custom Auction Gala

Dean Fearing and Wanda Gierhart and Liz and Richard Naftalis

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, TACA’s Custom Auction Gala expanded its digs at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek on Friday, September 8, with a see-thru tent for the cocktail reception and live auction. Plus, the organizers commissioned a dance especially for the occasion.

Bill and Linda Custard

To match the celebration, the black-tie set arrived in their finery for a night to glisten and gleam. And that they did all in the name of supporting the arts of Dallas!

Dance commissioned by TACA

While the post is being finalized, check out the crowd and the scene at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.