Free Simulcast Of The Dallas Opera’s “Madame Butterfly” At The Star Saturday Night Thanks To The Dallas Foundation

How about a freebie Saturday night that’s a bit off the beaten track? The Dallas Opera’s Saturday evening performance of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” at the Winspear will be simulcast free at The Star in Frisco. You know you’ve been curious about the Cowboys new digs and the temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 70s.

Hui He*

While the performance starring soprano Hui He and tenor Gianluca Terranova will start at 7:30 p.m., the evening’s program at The Star will begin at 6 p.m. with KLUV’s Jody Dean and The Dallas Opera’s Education program Senior Manager Kristian Roberts.

And the timing is perfect! Just when you’ve totally run out of things to do with the kids during spring break, there will be such pre-performance activities as the Family Fun Zone from 5 to 7 p.m., trivia, behind-the-scenes interviews and a WB Classics presentation of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in “What’s Opera, Doc?

While online registration are already at capacity-load status, walk-ups will be welcomed.

Thank-you notes should be sent to The Dallas Foundation. Why? Because the Foundation is sponsoring the simulcast.

According to The Dallas Foundation President/CEO Mary Jalonick, “The Dallas Foundation has been proud to serve as the Founding Sponsor of The Dallas Opera’s simulcasts at AT&T Stadium since 2012, helping to provide families throughout our community the chance to experience world-class opera in this unique and relaxed setting. This year’s simulcast performance at The Star in Frisco, will offer audiences an opportunity to enjoy one of the most well-known operas in one of our area’s newest event venues.”

BTW, you might want to bring along some hankies for Un Bel Di Vedremo.”

* Photo credit: Karen Almond

A Passing: Fred Wiedemann

Dallas is filled with outstanding people. Some are above-the-fold making news frequently. Others are like delicious secrets, whose amazing life stories only come to light after their deaths. Fred Wiedemann was such a man. For those who had the opportunity to know him before his death on Friday, January 20, his 93 years of life were the stuff many just dream of.

Fred Wiedemann (File photo)

Born in New York City in 1923, he was raised on the West Coast in Hollywood. Just six months after Pearl Harbor he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, where he became a Japanese interpreter and excelled academically and in sports. Just months before his graduation in 1945, he met a fourth-generation Texan who would be the love of his life — Florence “Flo” Leachman. Following an assignment in Japan in 1947 he resigned his commission, moved to Dallas, married Flo at Highland Park United Methodist Church and undertook a 50-year career in the life insurance business.

In addition to helping establish the highly successful The Wiedemann and Johnson Companies, he was involved with the up-and-coming arts (the boards of Theater Three and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and chairman of the Dallas Civic Opera Guild) and education (chairman of the St. Marks School executive committee, trustee and chairman of the Southwest Outward Bound School and on the boards of the Colorado Outward Bound School and National Outward Bound) programs.

Fred’s passports were filled with stamps from Canada, Patagonia, Tasmania, Nepal, Chile, New Guinea, Costa Rica and Japan, to name just a few. His wanderlust knew no bounds and he was eager to share the experiences. And, those trips weren’t just bus tours of the local landmarks. No, with family and friends Fred would trek, kayak, camp and take adventures.

According to his family, “the greatest, most wonderful adventure was when Fred planned a 15-month sabbatical in Europe, living in Zurich, Switzerland, to celebrate his and Flo’s 20th wedding anniversary. Their three sons [Frederic, Harden and Jon] went to schools there, and Flo began her Jungian studies at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Together there, Fred and Flo continued pursuit of their life-long love of opera, especially Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Fred spent his time in Switzerland on the couch being analyzed, skiing, learning flamenco guitar, and writing, with the latter two endeavors being singularly unsuccessful (according to Fred). Nonetheless the Jungian analytical process provided him with a seismic shift of consciousness and a grounding that he valued very much for the rest of his life.”

And the Wiedemann boys followed their father’s love for living a far-from-the-mundane routine. For instance, after graduating from St. Marks, Jon went to Harvard, became a Calvin Klein model, married actress Isabella Rossellini, producing daughter/model/actress Elletra Wiedemann, and went on to become an executive with Microsoft.

For those lucky enough to have attended a get-together at the Wiedemanns’ Preston Hollow ranch-style home filled with Japanese art, one just never knew what to expect. It might include a visiting best-selling author, a world-renowned educator or an artist, whose fame was just in the incubation stage. Why, D Magazine considered Flo and Fred to be one of Dallas’ “Heavenly Hosts and Best Guests.”

In reviewing his nine decades, Fred “acknowledged that he had made his share of mistakes and had tried to learn from them, but that his life had vastly exceeded any expectations he might have had. He felt it had been one ‘helluva’ ride, and he was so very grateful to have been aboard.”

Fred’s life will be celebrated at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, at Serenity House at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. Just imagine what wonderful stories will be shared.

JUST IN: Dallas Opera Board Of Directors Chair Holly Mayer To Receive 2017 National Opera Trustee Recognition Award

Holly Mayer (File photo)

For ages The Dallas Opera Board of Directors Chair Holly Mayer has been happily flying under the radar. But for those in the know, she has been the sweetheart of The Dallas Opera (DO). She has served on the DO’s board for 27 years, and what years they’ve been. From the DO’s being on the edge of ruin to its present glory days, she’s stayed the course as vice president of development from 2001 to 2014. Need proof?

According to The National Opera America Center, “During Ms. Mayer’s time as vice president of development, the company achieved a 50 percent increase in annual giving over a two-year period. She helped lead numerous multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns, resulting in $20 million for the company’s endowment (more than doubling its size), $5.1 million for the construction of the company’s administrative offices and $3.1 million in honor of the company’s 50th anniversary, among other successes.”

But her low profile was unveiled to many unknowing types when she received the TACA Silver Cup in 2014 and was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals this past November.  

Fellow DO Board Member/Silver Cup Awardee John Cody described Holly this way: “Perhaps most impressive is Holly’s willingness to take on leadership roles during challenging times — evidence of her blend of optimism and tenacity. She is well-known for her ability to listen and to offer valuable insight, and can be counted on to apply the highest professional standards to all she endeavors. The trust she instills in others is evident in the number of times her colleagues are willing to say ‘yes’ when Holly asks them to join her.”

So, it should come as no surprise that Holly has just been named one of four recipients of the Opera America’s 2017 National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards. Along with Carol Lazier of the San Diego Opera, R. Marsh Gibson of Opera Memphis and Jerry Clack of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Holly will be honored at a dinner in NYC on Friday, February 24.

The selection of the recipients is based on their displaying “a significant range of accomplishments, profound generosity and a deep devotion to promoting opera in their communities.”

Congrats to Holly and the DO for having her.

MYSweet2017Goals: Wolford McCue

Wolford McCue*

According to TACA President/Executive Director Wolford McCue,

“My goal along with TACA volunteers and staff is to gather an unprecedented amount of support for the unrestricted budgets of TACA-funded arts organizations, and to celebrate the work of each organization whose work is transforming the lives of Dallas area residents.”

* Photo provided by 
TACA

From An Olympian Gold Medalist To An Opera CEO, The Awards Of Excellence Celebrated A Wide Range Of Achievers

One of the favorite award luncheons of the fall season is the Dallas Historical Society‘s Awards for Excellence. Just the week before Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 17, the lovers of Dallas history and those who help make it all come true were at the Fairmont for the handing out of awards and the legendary A.C. Greene champagne toast. Here’s a report from the field:

The Board of Trustees of the Dallas Historical Society, with Honorary Co-Chairs Gail Thomas, PhD and Robert Hyer Thomas and co-chairs Veletta Forsythe Lill and Mary Suhm, welcomed over 650 attendees to the 35th Awards for Excellence (AFE) in Community Service luncheon on Thursday, November 17, at the Fairmont Dallas.

May Suhm, Amy Aldredge and Veletta Forsythe Lill*

As attendees arrived and took their seats, Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas welcomed everyone to the 35th annual celebration, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated generosity of spirit, civic leadership, and ability to encourage community-wide participation in a particular phase of the growth of the city. He then welcomed Reverend Richie Butler, senior pastor of St Paul United Methodist Church, for the invocation. 

Following the invocation, guests enjoyed a first course of spring pea and ham soup en croute with mint cream, followed by roasted chicken breast with demi glace served with old school stacked potatoes, arugula and carrot cardamom puree. Thomas returned to introduce Co-Chairs Veletta and Mary.

Bob and Gail Thomas*

Ms. Lill and Ms. Suhm expressed their gratitude to attendees, event sponsors and the luncheon committee for their support of this year’s Awards for Excellence, particularly Honorary Co-Chairs Gail Thomas and Robert Hyer Thomas. Applauding the couple’s many contributions to Dallas, including their long-standing support of the Dallas Historical Society, the co-chairs announced that two special books would be donated in the Thomas’ honor to the G.B. Dealey Library and Reading Room at the Hall of State: for Bob, Darwin Payne‘s “One Hundred Years On The Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University” and for Gail:  the late historian A. C. Greene‘s “A Town Called Cedar Springs” for creating the sense of community from the many former historic villages that now comprise Greater Dallas.

Dallas Historical Society Board of Trustees Chair Bill Helmbrecht then took the podium recognizing event co-chairs and honorary chairs as well as Amy Aldredge, the Dallas Historical Society’s recently appointed executive director. Additionally, he thanked Arrangements Chair Shannon Callewart, Master of Ceremonies Stewart Thomas, AFE Coordinator Louise Caldwell, Caro Stalcup and Staff Liaison Nora Lenhart for all the dedicated hours they put in to making the event a success.

He also shared the impact the Dallas Historical Society makes with its holdings of over three million archives and artifacts related to Dallas and Texas history, its exhibits and events, including two upcoming exhibits, “Polly Smith: A Texas Journey” and “Drawing Power: The Editorial Art of John Knott” and its education and public programs which reach approximately 20,000 area school students annually.

As dessert of caramel pecan cheesecake with salted caramel and Texas pecans was served, Stewart returned to recognize the 2016 Awards for Excellence in Community Service recipients.  Each recipient was presented with their award by co-chairs Lill and Suhm.  

Keith Cerny, Holly Mayer and Emmanuel Villaume*

Anita Martinez, Eliseo Garcia and Patricia Meadows*

Richard Stanford and Pat Mattingly*

Hugh Aynesworth and Pierce Allman*

2016 Awards for Excellence recipients:

    • Arts Leadership – Keith Cerny, general director and CEO of the Dallas Opera
    • Business – Leonard M. Riggs Jr. M.D., noted Dallas civic leader who began his career as an emergency physician, became chief of emergency medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, and later founded the precursor of EmCare, Inc.
    • Creative Arts – Eliseo Garcia, international multi-media sculptor
    • Education – Pat Mattingly, long-time educator and former 26-year director of The Lamplighter School
    • History – Hugh Aynesworth, award-winning journalist and writer
    • Humanities – Molly Bogen, retired 40-year director of Senior Source
    • Medical Research – Eric Olson, renowned molecular biologist specializing at UT Southwestern Medical Center
    • Philanthropy – Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO of the Meadows Foundation
    • Sports Leadership – Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time World Championship gold medalist
    • Volunteer Community Leadership – Philip C. Henderson, architect and urban visionary and first president of the Friends of the Katy Trail
    • Volunteer Community Leadership – Frederick “Shad” Rowe, co-founder of GIBI Investment Symposium and advocate and board member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation
    • Jubilee History Maker – Margot Perot, community volunteer and philanthropist

Nancy Shelton and Molly Bogen*

David Dunnagan and Linda Perryman Evans*

Glenn Solomon, Louise Caldwell and Michael Johnson*

Shad Rowe and Willing Ryan*

Carol Montgomery and Margot Perot*

After the awards presentation, champagne was served to all attendees as well as recipients on stage. Stewart returned to the podium, with glass in hand, to conclude with the event’s traditional A.C. Greene toast:  “Would everyone who was born in Dallas, please stand up.  Would everyone who was born in Texas, please stand up. We toast the rest of you – who were smart enough to move here as fast as you could! Here! Here!”

The A.C. Greene toast*

As the event concluded, the Judy Moore Duo played the event’s signature song, “Big D” from the musical, “Most Happy Fella.”

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser support the Dallas Historical Society and its dedication to the preservation of Dallas and Texas history through its many programs, including educational outreach and public programs.

* Photo credit: Steve Foxall

TACA Grant Awards Celebration Distributes $1.3M Again, But Opts Not To Reveal Individual Funding For 49 Performing Art Groups

Transparency. That is the sweet spot of all organizations nowadays, especially nonprofits. Whether it’s ‘fessing up the actual net figure or announcing the distribution of dollars to nonprofits, transparency is the key to over-the-top respect.

Perhaps that why it was surprising that, tonight, TACA shifted gears at its annual Grant Awards Celebration at the Wyly. In years past, the organization used the occasion to announce the exact amounts going to the nonprofits and formally present the thrilled representatives with a check, to the applause of an audience full of fellow nonprofits and TACA board members.

This year, though, there were no individual amounts revealed; nor was there a formal presentation. Instead it was announced that TACA had once again provided $1.3M in grants for area performing art programs. The reason for withholding announcement of the amounts, according to a source, was that they did not want “to hurt feelings.”

Ah, shoot! Feelings, schmeelings.

According to organizers, the determination of funding is made by TACA volunteers spending “many hours during the last 12 months attending performances, as well as evaluating grant applications. The distribution decisions are based on three primary criteria: artistic excellence, administrative and fiscal responsibility and community engagement.”

After being asked about the change of plans, organizers provided the following breakdown of ranges for the 49 organizations:

$5,000-$10,000

  • African-American Repertory Theater
  • Arts District Chorale
  • AT&T Performing Arts Center
  • Blue Candlelight Music Series
  • Chamber Music International
  • Chamberlain Ballet
  • Cry Havoc Theater Company
  • Dallas Bach Society
  • Dallas Chamber Music Society
  • Dark Circles Contemporary Dance
  • Echo Theatre
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Plano Civic Chorus
  • Soul Rep Theatre Company
  • Teatro Hispano de Dallas
  • Voices of Change

$10,001-$20,000

  • Avant Chamber Ballet
  • Big Thought
  • Bruce Wood Dance Project
  • Cara Mia Theatre
  • Dallas Chamber Symphony
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra
  • Orchestra of New Spain
  • Orpheus Chamber Singers
  • Plano Symphony Orchestra
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach
  • Theatre Three
  • Turtle Creek Chorale
  • WaterTower Theatre

$20,001-$50,000

  • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas
  • Dallas Winds
  • Fine Arts Chamber Players
  • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Junior Players Guild
  • Kitchen Dog Theater Company
  • Lyric Stage
  • Second Thought Theatre
  • Shakespeare Dallas
  • The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Undermain Theatre
  • Uptown Players

$50,001-$95,000

  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Dallas Theater Center
  • Texas Ballet Theater
  • The Dallas Opera
  • TITAS

An additional $200,00 will be distributed via The TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundation’s Artist Residency Fund.

Instead of the usual check presentation, the evening included “a tribute to Becky Young, TACA’s leader retiring after 18 years, as well as students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts performing a scene from Magnolia, written by special guest artist Regina Taylor.”

Becky Young (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart (File photo)

Oak Cliff native Regina then told of how the arts had led her into a career of acting and moderated a panel with Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Horn David Cooper, Dallas Black Dance Theatre Encore! Artistic Director Nycole Ray and Bruce Wood Dance Project Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh.

The evening also marked the kick-off of TACA’ 50th anniversary year with Wanda Gierhart spearheading the plans. With the former Neiman’s exec/Chef Dean Fearing‘s bride-to-be Wanda at the helm, it’s gonna be a jaw-dropping year.

National Endowment For The Arts Presents Big Thought And Nine Others With Early Christmas Gifts

Big Thought just revealed some big news. Back in late November National Endowment for the Arts Chair Jane Chu visited Dallas for a couple of days touring the Arts District and checking in at Big Thought. The Oklahoma native, who did graduate work at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, just provided Big Thought with a very nice Christmas gift — a $100,000 Arts Works grant for Big Thought’s Dallas City of Learning project.

Art Works, National Endowment for the Arts and Big Thought*

The funds will “help provide in-person and internet-based creative educational experiences for students across Dallas during the summer months.”

Gigi Antoni*

It was just last January at this time that Big Thought hosted a meeting of concerned educational, political and community leaders to address the issue of “the Dallas education system having gone dormant during summer.”

According to Big Thought President/CEO Gigi Antoni, “We are so grateful and appreciative of Chair Chu and the National Endowment for the Arts. We as an organization and as a city have been committed to stemming summer learning loss in our quest to close the opportunity gap and improve the academic and socio-emotional outcomes of our children. This community has come together for our kids, and with the NEA’s generous support we can make an important impact in their lives.”

Other local groups receiving Art Works grants from the National Endowment for the Arts include:

  • Chamberlain Performing Arts — $10,000
  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre — $10,000
  • The Dallas Opera — $45,000
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra — $20,000
  • Kitchen Dog Theater — $10,000
  • Matt Morton — $25,000
  • Nasher Sculpture Center — $40,000
  • Shakespeare Festival of Dallas — $10,000
  • The Cliburn — $10,000
* Graphic and photo provided by Big Thought

Business And Art Community Leadership Turned Out For The Sold-Out 2016 Obelisk Awards Luncheon At Belo Mansion

The Business Council For The Arts was the brainchild of the late Ray Nasher. His hope was for the Dallas business community to get more involved and supportive of the various art organization. At the time the Performing Arts District was just on a wish list. But over the years, the Council evolved, adding a presentation of the Obelisk Awards to those businesses and art organizations that had shown true leadership in building Dallas’ arts. On Monday, November 7, Belo Mansion was filled to the brim for the presentation of the Obelisk Awards and to hear a moving presentation by Dallas Symphony Orchestra principle trumpet Ryan Anthony. Here is a report from the field:

This sold-out event on Monday, November 7, at Belo Mansion has been recognizing individuals and organizations that provide stellar nonprofit and business support for arts and culture for 28 years. As Obelisk Awards Co-Chair, Kevin Hurst said, “Some of the honorees are well-known to us and others are being recognized publicly for the first time.”  Kevin’s partner-in-celebration, Co-Chair Dotti Reeder added, “Their stories give us a unique perspective into mutually beneficial partnerships between businesses and the arts.”

Kevin Hurst, Mimi Sterling, Jennifer Lassiter and Jeff Byron

The 2016 Obelisk Awards honorees and those that nominated them were  

  • Arts Partnership Award (Large) — Fossil Group, nominated by Big Thought
  • Arts Partnership Award (Medium) — Taxco Food Produce, nominated by The Mexico Institute
  • Arts Partnership Award (Small) — Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms, nominated by Allen Art Alliance
  • New Initiatives Award (Large) — Cash America, nominated by Junior Players
  • New Initiatives Award (Medium) — UMB Bank, nominated by The Dallas Opera
  • New Initiatives Award (Small) — The Law Offices of Eric Cedillo, nominated by Cara Mia Theater
  • Meghan Hipsher and Lee Papert

    Distinguished Nonprofit Arts Organization — Dallas Film Society, nominated by ABCO Inc.

  • Outstanding Leadership Arts Alumnus Award — Zenetta Drew, nominated by Leadership Women
  • Business Champion for the Arts — Darrell Rodenbaugh, nominated by Plano Children’s Theatre & North Texas Performing Arts

Capera Ryan, Mark Roglan and Deborah Ryan

This year, Dr. Mark Roglán, Linda Pitts Custard Director of the Meadows Museum at SMU, became the inaugural honoree of the award for Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader. He was nominated by arts patron and professional, Patricia Meadows. The Meadows Museum and the Dallas Film Society were honored with donations from Tolleson Wealth Management and Neiman Marcus Group, in addition to the award.

Dotti Reeder and Larry Glasgow

Presentations by the esteemed co-chairs, BCA Board Chair Larry Glasgow and arts icon Nancy Nasher were followed by Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet and Diane and Hal Brierley Chair of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  If you’ve been reading this column, you know that Ryan is the charismatic world-talent who is battling Multiple Myeloma. He and his wife, Niki Anthony, along with many friends, have founded CancerBlows: the Ryan Anthony Foundation. Ryan’s mesmerizing words and performances – two, in fact – led to a standing ovation. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 10, and get your tickets now to see 30 world-renowned musicians playing together to fund a cure.

Andrea Devaldenebro, David Hamilton and Lona Crabb

Billy Hines and Jack Savage

Gerald Turner, Hal and Diane Brierley, Rhealyn Carter and Brad Cheves

In the crowd were Patricia Porter and Dennis Kratz, NorthPark Center’s Lona Crabb, Billy Hines and Andrea Devaldenebro, as well as Jack Boles’s David Hamilton and Meghan Hipsher, SMU’s Gerald Turner and Brad Cheves and Neiman’s Jeff Byron and Mimi Sterling.

KERA Vice President for Arts/Art & Seek Director Anne Bothwell expertly articulated just why each of the honorees is praiseworthy. Obviously a quick study, Anne stepped in when the traditional Master of Ceremonies, Mary Anne Alhadeff, was hit with a bout of bronchitis.

Blending the perfect mix of artistry with business professionalism, the Obelisk Awards logo, program and invitation were designed by graphics maestro Leon Banowetz and his team. We’re sure the brilliant centerpieces, created by Shirley Richardson of Big Box, Little Box are going to inspire mimicry. Not to be outdone, each of the awards is an original artwork, hand-blown by Jim Bowman of Bowman Studios.

Suffice to say that all of the attendants to the event are subscribers to the importance of business support. Lead sponsors for this year’s Obelisk Awards were: NorthPark Management, Capital One and Diane and Hal Brierley.  Table sponsorship was provided by Andrews Kurth LLP, Artemis Fine Art Services, Baker Botts LLP, Banowetz + Company, Inc.,  The Beck Group, BenefitMall, Big Thought, Bourland Octave Management, LLC, Comerica,  Corgan, City of Richardson, The Dallas Opera, Deloitte, LLP, Eiseman Jewels NorthPark Center, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Fossil Group, Frost Bank, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, Sherry and Kenny Goldberg, Harwood International,  Haynes and Boone LLP, HKS, Jack Boles Parking NPP, Jones Day, Leadership Arts Alumni, The Law Firm of Eric Cedillo, Maintenance of America Inc., Patricia Meadows, Morrison, Dilworth, & Walls, Neiman Marcus, Oncor, Parkland Health & Hospital System,  Powell Coleman & Arnold LLP, PwC, Southern Methodist University, Taxco Produce, Texas Instruments, Thompson & Knight LLP, Tolleson Wealth Management, Tucker David Investments, LP, University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Dallas, Patricia Villareal and Tom Leatherbury, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. Additionally, donations in honor of Ryan and Niki Anthony were made by Diane and Hal Brierley, Anne and Steven Stodghill and D’Andra Simmons.

What does next year hold? You’ll have to ask 2017 Obelisk Co-Chairs Thai and Steve Roth! BTW, nominations for the 2017 awards are due Friday, April 14.

TACA And Business Council For The Arts Celebrated The Art Loving Greats

Thursday, October 13, must have been designated somewhere as Art News Day. In one part of town, the TACA crowd shifted their GPS from Jennifer and John Eagle’s nest for the traditional TACA Silver Cup Announcement reception to Marguerite Hoffman’s home. There it was announced that the 2017 Silver Cup Award would be presented to Nancy Nasher and Walter Elcock on Tuesday, March 7, at the Hilton Anatole.

Over at the Mayfair in the Sky Club, the Business Council for the Art held a thank you for sponsors and recipients of the Obelisk Awards.

Ah, shoot! What a loss that the two events celebrating the art loving supporter couldn’t have been held just 24 hours apart.

Kevin Hurst, Ryan and Niki Anthony and Jeff Byron

Kevin Hurst, Ryan and Niki Anthony and Jeff Byron

Snapshots: Gunnar Rawlings told Neiman Marcus Downtown GM/VP Jeff Byron that his fiancée Gaby Gutierrez had purchased her wedding dress at the NM flagship… Obelisk Co-Chair Kevin Hurst reported the death of his beloved 12-year-old pup Skylar. Luckily, the household is not without a pooch with Ms. Hayden still in residence…Obelisk Award Luncheon keynote speaker Ryan Anthony and his wife Niki Ryan stopped by, but had to leave before the presentation by Board of Directors Chair Larry Glasgow, Kevin and Luncheon Co-Chair/Tolleson Managing Director Dotti Reeder…Others in the crowd included Patricia Meadows with Mark Roglan, Alfredo Duarte, Laura Einspanier, KERA President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff and her husband David Alhadeff, Big Thought’s Gigi Antoni and Business Council for The Arts CEO Katherine Wagner.

Laura Einspanier and Gunnar Rawlings

Laura Einspanier and Gunnar Rawlings

Dotti Reeder

Dotti Reeder

Katherine Wagner and Alfredo Duarte

Katherine Wagner and Alfredo Duarte

Mary Anne Alhadeff

Mary Anne Alhadeff

There are a couple of changes in this year’s presentation. Instead of taking place at the Fairmont, the event will take place on Monday, November 7, at Belo Mansion and Pavilion and tickets are moving briskly. Also, glass artisan Jim Bowman had designed the award that was more of an obelisk than last year’s model that was a transparent purple, kidney-shaped bowl.

This year’s honorees include:

Mark Roglan and Patricia Meadows

Mark Roglan and Patricia Meadows

  • Cash America nominated by Junior Players
  • Dallas Film Society nominated by ABCO Inc.
  • Darrell Rodenbaugh nominated by Plano Children’s Theatre and North Texas Performing Arts
  • Mark Roglan nominated by Patricia Meadows
  • Taxco Food Produce nominated by The Mexico Institute
  • The law offices of Eric Cedillo nominated by Cara Mia Theater
  • UMB Bank nominated by The Dallas Opera
  • Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms nominated by Allen Arts Alliance
  • Zenetta Drew nominated by Leadership Women

Sold-Out Alert!: 28th Annual Obelisk Awards Luncheon

Those favorite words have been sent again — Sold Out! Business Council for the Arts28th Annual Obelisk Awards Luncheon Co-Chairs Kevin Hurst and Dotti Reeder report that the fundraiser on Monday, November 7, at the Belo Mansion is at total capacity.

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Ryan Anthony (File photo)

Ryan Anthony (File photo)

But come on. A very nice check and a pretty please might just open a seat or two.

In addition to recognizing a load of great supporters of the arts, the event will include a talk by Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Ryan Anthony. Perhaps Ryan will bring along his horn for a mini-performance.

JUST IN: The 2016 Obelisk Awardees Announced

The 2016 Obelisk Awards*

The 2016 Obelisk Awards*

The Business Council for the Arts just released the lineup for The 2016 Obelisk Awards that will be presented on Monday, November 7, at Belo Mansion. As part of the awards program, a new category has been added the list — Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader.

  • Arts Partnership Award (Large) — Fossil Inc., nominated by Big Thought
  • Arts Partnership Award (Medium) — Taxco Food Produce, nominated by The Mexico Institute
  • Arts Partnership Award (Small) — Watters Creek at Montgomery Farms, nominated by Allen Art Alliance
  • New Initiatives Award (Large) — Cash America, nominated by Junior Players
  • New Initiatives Award Medium) — UMB Bank, nominated by The Dallas Opera
  • New Initiatives Award (Small) — The Law Offices of Eric Cedillo, nominated by Cara Mia Theater
  • Distinguished Nonprofit Arts Organization — Dallas Film Society, nominated by ABCO Inc.
  • Outstanding Leadership Arts Alumnus Award — Zenetta Drew, nominated by Leadership Women
  • Business Champion for the Arts — Darrell Rodenbaugh, nominated by Plano Children’s Theatre and North Texas Performing Arts
  • Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader — Mark Roglán, nominated by Patricia Meadows

According to 2016 Obelisk Awards Luncheon Co-Chair Dotti Reeder, ““Now in its 28th year, The Obelisk Awards reflect a pantheon of businesses large and small that have made this region one of the nation’s most creatively vibrant.”

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Dotti Reeder (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Another highlight of the luncheon will be the keynote speaker — Dallas Symphony Orchestra lead trumpet Ryan Anthony. Obelisk Awards Luncheon Co-Chair Kevin Hurst summed up the choice of speaker by saying, “At the very essence of BCA’s mission is the intersection of business and arts. I think Ryan’s story how he leveraged his professional passion with his personal passion will be most compelling.”

Follow the jump for a detailed description of the awardees. [Read more…]

JUST IN: Dallas Historical Society’s Awards For Excellence Recipients Announced

What a great way to start off the week. The Dallas Historical Society just sent word of the  2016 Awards for Excellence in Community Service recipients. Yipee! They hit it out of the park again with a terrific roll call of peeps that if you didn’t know, you should. The honorees will be:

Molly Bogen (File photo)

Molly Bogen (File photo)

Linda Perryman Evans (File photo)

Linda Perryman Evans (File photo)

Keith Cerny (File photo)

Keith Cerny (File photo)

Hugh Aynesworth File photo)

Hugh Aynesworth File photo)

  • Arts Leadership (This award is given to that individual who has enriched the cultural life of Dallas as planner, organizer, fundraiser, collector or art historian.) – Keith Cerny
  • Business (This award is given to that individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the business climate of the community.) – Leonard M. Riggs Jr. M.D.
  • Creative Arts (This award is given to that individual whose prominence as a practitioner of the fine arts as artisan, architect, writer, composer, producer or performer has enriched the cultural environment of Dallas.) – Eliseo Garcia
  • Education (This award is given to that individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the field of education as a teacher, administrator or benefactor.) – Pat Mattingly
  • History (This award is given to that individual who has researched and chronicled aspects of the history of Dallas and Texas as a historian, journalist, researcher, folklorist or author.) – Hugh Aynesworth
  • Humanities (This award is given to that individual whose active sense of civic duty has provided leadership in achieving specific community goals.) – Molly Bogen
  • Medical Research (This award is given to that individual who has made an outstanding contribution through prominence or public service in medicine, scientific research, the behavioral sciences or public health.) – Dr. Eric Olson
  • Philanthropy (This award is given to that individual whose vision and personal generosity has greatly benefited this city.) – Linda Perryman Evans
  • Sports Leadership (This award is given to that individual who has brought distinction or achievement to team or individual sports as an athlete, coach, journalist, promoter or sports advocate.) – Michael Johnson
  • Volunteer Community Leadership (This award is given to that individual whose generous gift of self has enriched the community.) – Philip C. Henderson
  • Volunteer Community Leadership (This award is given to that individual whose generous gift of self has enriched the community.) – Frederick “Shad” Rowe
  • Jubilee History Maker (Created in 1991 and given in recognition of “Jubilee Dallas!,” this award recognizes an individual whose achievements extend to more than one of the award categories.) – Margot Perot
Mary Suhm (File photo)

Mary Suhm (File photo)

Veletta Lill (File photo)

Veletta Lill (File photo)

Bob and Gail Thomas (File photo)

Bob and Gail Thomas (File photo)

2016 Awards For Excellence in Community Service Luncheon Co-Chairs Mary Suhm and Veltta Lill are joined by former Awards recipients Gail and Bob Thomas as 2016 honorary co-chairs for the Thursday, November 17, luncheon at the Fairmont Dallas.

According to Dallas Historical Society Chairman of the Board of Directors William C. Helmbrecht III, “The Dallas History Society is honored to recognize this class of notable award recipients. Their service to the community in their varied fields has contributed greatly to the history of the city.”

If you don’t know one of these folks, here’s your opportunity to meet, greet and get to know ‘em.

JUST IN: Business Council For The Arts’ Obelisk Awards Luncheon Plans Announced With Ryan Anthony As Keynote Speaker

Since arriving in North Texas, Neiman Marcus Director of Charitable Giving and Association Volunteerism Kevin Hurst has rolled up his shirt sleeves and loosened his bow tie to get involved with the local nonprofit community. Yes, just a few days ago, he eloquently wrote about the business sector’s behind-the-scenes networking to support nonprofit projects. But he’s more than an articulate writer, a NM employee and a more-than-should-be-allowed fun dinner partner.

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Kevin Hurst (File photo)

Dotti Reeder*

Dotti Reeder*

Last year he chaired the Business Council for the ArtsObelisk Awards and Luncheon. He had so much fun taking on the very successful fundraiser, he agreed to co-chair this year’s Obelisk along with Tolleson Wealth Management’s Dotti Reeder.

Already the Hurst-Reeder team reports that the event will take place at the Belo Mansion on Monday, November 7 (aka Election Day eve) with North Texas Public Broadcasting President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff returning as emcee.

Mary Anne Alhadeff**

Mary Anne Alhadeff**

Ryan Anthony**

Ryan Anthony**

While the honorees will be selected in August, the keynote speaker has already been locked down. It will be Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principle trumpet Ryan Anthony.

Yup, it’s the same Ryan Anthony, who has been the driving force of Cancer Blows and has beaten the heck out of multiple myeloma. But he also appreciates the support of the business community in both his professional and personal lives.

According to Ryan, “I am grateful to the businesses that recognize and support the importance of arts in our community. They are the reason the symphony, the museums and the entire Arts District are able to exist and make Dallas such a wonderful place to live and work.”

It is that point of view that impressed Kevin, who said, “What I found to be most intriguing, is the correlation between Ryan’s professional arts passion and how he has leveraged it to become his personal passion…which to me embodies the very essence of the BCA mission.”

Stay tuned (no pun intended). As soon as Dotti and Kevin reveal the honorees, we’ll let you know. Until then, check out sponsorship and ticket opportunities.

* Photo credit: Jan Osborn 
** Photo provided by Business Council For The Arts

Dianne And Mark LaRoe Chair First TACA Custom Auction Gala Kick-Off Party With Cool Jazz, Patron Tequila And Big Swan

Dianne and Mark Laroe

Dianne and Mark Laroe

It was a first for TACA. The performing arts organization held a kick-off party for its annual TACA Custom Auction Gala on Thursday, June 2. The location for the KO, attended by about 60 guests, was 2016 Custom Auction Gala Co-Chairs Dianne and Mark Laroe’s ultra-cool Bluffview home.

With the Eric Willis Trio performing equally cool music, Dianne recalled that when she and Mark hardly had two coins to rub together, they started collecting art. There was only one caveat. If one of the twosome wasn’t thrilled about a piece, it was a deal killer.

Eric Willis

Eric Willis

One piece that was a standout was the huge white inflatable swan floating in the pool. No, it wasn’t one of the Laroes’ pieces of art. It was a gift from the Laroes’ daughter-in-law. Dianne loved it so much, she asked for a black swan for her birthday.

Another eye catcher grabbing attention was the display of Patron in the dining room. Patron State Manager Justin Erickson explained that tequila was expanding its use by being included in Starlight Sangria and Silver Sling. In other words, tequila is no longer just for margaritas and shot glasses. And Patron is going to make its presence known at TACA’s black tie event at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek on Friday, September 23. Makes sense since Patron Spirits Company and Mark’s Deutsche Bank Wealth Management will be the presenting sponsors.

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing (File photo)

Other news revealed that Wanda Gierhart and Dean Fearing will be the honorary co-chairs and Rachel Michell will be auction chair.

Hal and Diane Brierley (File photo)

Hal and Diane Brierley (File photo)

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena (File photo)

Lee Cobb and Lucilo Pena (File photo)

The host committee will be made up Purvi and Bill Albers, Heather and Scott Alexander, Laura and Michael Bashour, Diane and Hal Brierley, Faye C. Briggs, Marsha Cameron and Michael Halloran, Nancy and Clint Carlson, Connie and Denny Carreker, Lee Cobb and Lucilo Peña, Garry Cox and Don McDermett, Barbara and Don Daseke, Barbara and Steven Durham, Gwen and Leldon Echols, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Nicholas Even, Cindy and Charles Feld, Carmaleta and Otis Felton, Tracy Fitz, Andrea Gates, Carol and Don Glendenning, Dawn and Tobin Grove, Gayle and Jim Halperin, Robert Hernandez, Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer, Linda and Steve Ivy, Joe and Louise LaManna, Tara Lewis and John Swords, Holly and Tom Mayer, Lynn and Allan McBee, Rachel and John Michell, Geraldine “Tincy,” Miller, Deborah and Jim Nugent, Leah and Jim Pasant, Carrie and Anthony Scotti, Peggy and Carl Sewell Jr., Marlene and John Sughrue, Courtney and Ed Tauriac, Zannie and Glenn Voss, Karen and Jim Wiley, Donna Wilhelm and Katherine Wynne.

Tara Lewis (File photo)

Tara Lewis (File photo)

Nick Even (File photo)

Nick Even (File photo)

Katherine Wynn (File photo)

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

 

Plans Announced For The Dallas Opera’s First Sight First Night As Part Of Its 60th Anniversary

Leave it to The Dallas Opera types to get ahead of the heat of summer. Word has it that DO General Director/CEO Keith Cerny and his team got those music loving Winspears (i.e. Ellen and Don) to chair this fall’s First Sight First Night fundraising for the DO’s 60th anniversary.

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny (File photo)

Ellen and Don Winspear and Jennifer and Keith Cerny (File photo)

Gee, it was three years before Don was even born and such names as Elsa von Seggern, Larry Kelly and John Ardoin were mainstays along with Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr. in making arias the hip of hop of Dallas sounds back then.

But there’s more to the reveal. Joyce and Harvey Mitchell will be the honorary co-chairs.

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Kara Goss (File photo)

Kara Goss (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

Rhonda Marcus (File photo)

More good news! NorthPark will be the presenting sponsor for the First Sight Luncheon Fashion Show that will be returning to the Winspear on Thursday, October 27, with fashions gloriously provided by NorthPark’s Versace, of course. The luncheon co-chairs will be the willowy fashion-loving trio of Tiffany Divis, Kara Goss and Rhonda Marcus.

Of course, there will be the designer highlights, but those details are forthcoming.

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk (File photo)

Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk (File photo)

As for the black-tie goings on, Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk will co-chair the cocktails, dinner, opera — “Eugene Onegin” —and after-party with Hunter Sullivan providing the non-operatic tunes. That will all take place on Friday, October 28, at the Winspear. The evening’s festivities are being presented thanks to Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management.

As for the vittles, the Wolfgang Puck crew will be in charge for both the luncheon and dinner.

Before heading to Pilates, why not get your tickets now?

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: TACA’s 10th Annual Lexus Party On The Green

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

For once Mother Nature was on her very best behavior on the evening of Friday, May 6. Perhaps it was after so many years of weather woes that she had thrust upon TACA’s Lexus Party On The Green, she decided that the TACA fundraiser deserved to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the best conditions. In fact the only clouds in the area were the 22 celebrity chefs cooking up a storm indoors and outdoors at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Stephen Rogers' dish

Stephen Rogers’ dish

Fidel Baeza's dish

Fidel Baeza’s dish

To match the flawless skies, the hundreds of guests pulled out their favorite summer fashions. From seersucker to silks, the frocks and foods can be found at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery while the post is being completed.

Weather Played Nicely For The 38th TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon Honoring Rebecca Fletcher And James E. Wiley Jr.

Was it just a year ago that TACA Carlson President/Executive Director Becky Young was walking her pooch and questioning the future of the day’s Silver Cup luncheon? Sure, it was a knock-out, slippery, icy day with traffic reports boding it wasn’t the best for folks to be out. But Becky didn’t want to let Silver Cup honorees Catherine Rose and Don Glendenning miss their tributes. And then there were all those preparations — the food, the flowers, the entertainers and those hundreds and hundreds of guests!

After checking with the local TV weathercasters, Becky was thinking that postponement might be best. But the final push to pull the plug was honoree/attorney Don chiming in that he didn’t want to think of anyone being harmed trying to get to the event.

With that the event was put on ice, literally. But lemonade resulted from the lemon of a weather situation. Flowers were sent to area hospitals. Luncheon fare was sent to homeless shelters that were in greater need due to the weather’s damnation. A delayed mini-presentation of the awards was hosted on a beautiful day weeks later by Mary McDermott Cook.

But on Friday, February 19, the temps were downright embarrassing as sunscreen-friendly 80s were replacing the past year’s chills for the 2016 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole.

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

Ginger Reeder and Kevin Hurst

Ginger Reeder and Kevin Hurst

While the hundreds gathered outside the Hilton Anatole’s Grand Ballroom to check in, the VIPs including past Silver Cup recipients headed to the nearby Media Grill and Bar Restaurant. Some seemed a little bewildered at the location. A table with three empty chairs and a TACA poster on an easel indicated that the VIP reception was indeed within. Passing by hotel guests at the bar watching a basketball game on the big screen, the TACA types moseyed on back to a semi-private dining room. Pretty soon the area became so packed with people like Honorary Chair Ann Hobson, Kevin Hurst, Jennifer Eagle, Tom Mayer, Ted Enloe and Carol Glendenning, they spilled out into the hallway.

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

Unlike years past when the award recipients opened the boxes, revealing the Silver Cups to the assembled guests, the 38th Cup awardees Rebecca Fletcher and James “Jim” Wiley Jr. gleefully opened the boxes in the back of the room unbeknownst to others. Didn’t matter because the cups shone like the Rebecca’s and Jim’s smiles.

From the left: (back row) Lucilo Pena, Howard Rachofsky, Frank Risch, Cindy Rachofsky, Bess Enloe, John Eagle and Howard Hallam; (front row) Catherine Rose, Marguerite Hoffman, Rebecca Fletcher, James E. Wiley Jr. and Don Glendenning

From the left: (back row) Lucilo Pena, Howard Rachofsky, Frank Risch, Cindy Rachofsky, Bess Enloe, John Eagle and Howard Hallam; (front row) Catherine Rose, Marguerite Hoffman, Rebecca Fletcher, James E. Wiley Jr. and Don Glendenning

Just before the VIP party broke up, the annual group photo of Silver Cup recipients, past and present, was staged in a corner of the room. Unfortunately, some, like past Silver Cup recipients Mary McDermott Cook, Kern Wildenthal, Holly Mayer and Ruben Esquivel, had already moved on to the Grand Ballroom. Just as well because they couldn’t have squeezed any more folks into that corner.

Lee Cullum

Lee Cullum

Tara Lewis

Tara Lewis

Pete Chilian

Pete Chilian

Marsha Cameron

Marsha Cameron

But once inside the Grand Ballroom, there was plenty of room for folks to settle down for lunch. Mistress of ceremonies Lee Cullum introduced the head table including Co-Chairs Pilar Henry and Tara Lewis, J.P. Morgan’s Peter Chilian, 2015 Silver Cup Awardees Don Glendenning and Catherine Rose, TACA Board Chair Donna Wilhelm, Paradox Compensation Advisors’ Marsha Cameron, Neiman Marcus’ Ginger Reeder and the 2016 Silver Cup Awardees Rebecca and Jim. She then invited the Rev. Douglas Travis of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church to come to the podium to give the invocation. Just before having him take over, she said, “He may not know that I’m in his parish.” Without missing a beat, Douglas said, “I know.” A chuckle was heard from the audience just before they bowed their heads.

Grace Browning

Grace Browning

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones

At 12:10 luncheon (baby kale salad followed by an entrée of chicken, mushroom and leek fricassee and a chocolate pistachio torte for dessert) was served while The Dallas Opera principal harpist Grace Browning played on a mini-stage at one of the room and was followed by Dallas Chamber Symphony principal clarinet Jonathan Jones on a similar stage across the way. At one point Jonathan played Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and it was noted that eating utensils seemed to move faster.

Charles Karanja

Charles Karanja

Following Lee’s state-of-the-arts review, Tara’s thanking the sponsors and remarks by Pete, Marsha and Donna, Ginger introduced the 2016 SMU Meadows School of the Arts Performers pianist Tara Emerson and tenor Charles Karanja, who performed on a stage in front of the head table.

Following the performance, Catherine Rose introduced fourth-generation Texan Jim, remarking that “one of his many sterling qualities is his willingness to step in and volunteer for the hardest work and then actually do the work.”

James E. Wiley Jr.

James E. Wiley Jr.

He kicked off his brief acceptance speech with “Wow! Shazam!” His acceptance speech was mingled with humor and sincerity, “having had the good fortune of picking parents who lived in Dallas” and attributing his early love for the arts to his DISD teachers. While admitting that Dallas’ arts have flourished over the years, he asked, “Where do we go from here?” He suggested the “biggest challenge is figuring out a way to empower all the diverse and disparate parts to come together and experience the joy of true community.” With the costs of sports participation and attendance being prohibitive for families, he reasoned that “enjoying art in all its forms and experiencing the outdoors and nature are two viable ways for Dallas to come together as a community.”

At 1:22 p.m. the ever-eloquent Don’s introduction of Rebecca sounded more like a love note. In closing, he paraphrased Lerner and Lowe’s “We Call the Wind Maria(h),” saying

“’Way out here we have a name for rain and wind and fire. The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe and we call the wind Maria(h).’ In that same spirit, I give you our arts force of nature — Rebecca.”

Rebecca Fletcher

Rebecca Fletcher

Like Jim, Rebecca started off her acceptance speech with, “Wow!” She then recalled attending her first Silver Cup Award luncheon in 1993, when her mother Bess Enloe received the award. It “sparked” the idea of leaving the legal profession and working for in the nonprofit sector.

She accepted the award graciously, telling the audience that it was especially meaningful since she and James had worked together in the past. Rebecca then took the opportunity of explaining why her focus had been primarily on the arts, “because of what they can uniquely give back to our community. Imagine a society without the influence of arts and you’ll have to strip out the most pleasurable in life. Take away the collective memory of our museums. Remove the bands from our schools, the choirs from our communities; lose empathetic plays and dance from our theaters and you’re left with a society bereft of a national conversation about its identity or anything else.”

Thanking her associates and friends, she teared up in recognizing her family. But Rebecca was not going to end her talk with tears. Instead she announced that she was going to “set the record straight” about her husband Barron Fletcher. “Many of you have often complimented me on the relationship that I set up between Titas and the Performing Arts Center during my tenure as the board chair. Well, I have to come clean. It was not my idea. [laughter from the audience] It was Barron Fletcher’s. Barron was the one who stayed up with me pouring over Titas’ books and designing a new business model. Furthermore, he personally wrote a check to cover the organization, so that I could go out and negotiate the deal. So, just so we all know, Barron Fletcher saved Titas.”

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: 2016 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

James E. Wiley Jr. and Rebecca Fletcher

The performing art crowd didn’t have to battle ice and snow this year to present TACA’s annual Silver Cup Awards on Friday, February 19. In fact the weather was downright user-friendly to make up for last year. And that made the luncheon and presentation of the awards to Rebecca Fletcher and James E. Wiley Jr. at the Hilton Anatole even more perfect.

Ann Hobson

Ann Hobson

Jennifer Eagle

Jennifer Eagle

While the post is being prepared, check out the pictures at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Passing: Gladys Weatherby “Sis” Carr

The official records have her listed as “Gladys Weatherby Carr.” But everyone knew her as 96-year-old Sis Carr, who was way ahead of her time along with gals like Annette Strauss. Everyone seemed to conjure the image of her deep brown hair pulled back in a bun, her face always glowing with a smile and a marvelous twinkle in her eyes. Wednesday, March 2, that smile and twinkle continued in the memories of those who knew her.

But ask anyone who knew her firsthand and the words like philanthropy, generosity and femininity couldn’t help but enter the conversation. But in the back of their minds, they still thought — “Yellow.”

Whoa! That’s not to say that Mrs. Plack Carr was wishy-washy like a chicken-type color. It was rather her signature color. Before Madonna was born, Sis was the Yellow Rose of Texas. From her polished yellow nails to her donning a yellow mink jacket, she was a shining star.

For those who knew Sis, they couldn’t help passing the Carr estate on Forest built in 1952 without acknowledging the yellow flowers at the entrance, the yellow upholstery, the yellow furniture and the yellow curtains that welcomed family, friends and friends-to-come.

According to a Preston Hollow Advocate article, “We moved out to the country because our daughter really loved horses. We originally had 20 acres, with a large pen out here. She could just ride her horse all over.”

When her daughter Catherine Carr dated the late comedian George Burns, she sloughed it off like any mom would when their adorable daughter was seeing an upper classman.

As TACA Executive Director Becky Young proclaimed about one of the TACA founding sisters, “She was an extraordinary supporter and patron of the performing arts. She rolled up her sleeves and just did the work. She made a real difference in everyone’s life she touched. And, she probably connected thousands of citizens in our community to the arts.”

Her collection of support included being a board member for TITAS, TACA, Dallas Opera, Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet (now Texas Ballet Theater), Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Symphony League, Friends of WRR, “former president of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, member of the Charter 100, board member/chairman of conducting auditions for National Council of Metropolitan Opera, the Dallas Garden Center, Dallas Children’s Theater Center, Dallas Summer Musicals and countless more.”

As for the wave of honors and awards, Sis’ included “Dallas Dance Council’s Mary McCherry Bywaters Award for lifetime contributions to dance, Sammon Center for the Arts Queen of Hearts Award, Dallas Theater Center’s Center Stage Gala honoree, Dallas Historical Society Award for Excellence, Family of the Year Award of the YMCA Award of Metropolitan Dallas, Juanita and Henry Miller Opera Award, March of Dimes’ Obelisk Award, Flora Award, Grand Dame Award, Opera Guild Sweetheart of the Year Award, TACA Silver Cup Award and many, many more.”

It is with great regret that MySweetCharity reports the passing of a remarkable person within our community. If you have a load of time, you might want to read Sis’s obituary. In the meantime, Sis is with Plack and probably raising funds for the heavenly sounds of music.

The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 4, at St. Michael and All Angels Church.

With A Slight Change of Agenda, TACA Grant Presentation Went Off Without A Hitch Handing Out $1.3M To Performing Arts

With a full moon peeking through the clouds, the lovers of the performing arts gathered at the Wyly Theatre on Monday, January 25. The occasion was the handing over of the checks by TACA to area performing art nonprofit. Thanks to the 2015 year-long effort, a gangbuster $1.3M was being divvied up.

Only problem was, some folks showed up at 5:30. Oops! Seems the early bird missive had listed the evening start at 5:30. Then there was a change in plans. According to a TACA spokespeep, they had decided to change things up this year. Instead of a pre-presentation reception, there would be a post-presentation, on-stage celebration. Only problem? Not everyone got the COP (change of plans) word.

WAnda Gierhart

Wanda Gierhart

Robyn Flatt

Robyn Flatt

Barbara Daseke and Laree Hulshoff

Barbara Daseke and Laree Hulshoff

Not to worry. There was a massive row of flutes filled with champagne in the lobby for thirsty early birds like Linda Gibbons, Pat PorterRichard Holt, Carol and Don Glendenning, Robyn FlattJeremy Strick, Brent Christopher, Kevin Hurst, Wanda GierhartBarbara and Don Daseke, and Laree Hulshoff and Ben Fischer.  Laree was taking a break from the Aging Minds Foundation fundraiser and the OMG Sue Gragg 18kt rose gold, diamond, and white topaz ring valued at toppest tier four-figures for the Aging Minds Foundation.

According to the gals, they’ve partnered up with the incredible BvB Dallas to sell the raffle tickets for this one. And the BvB ladies are incentivized. The prize for selling the most tickets is a pair of Gragg earrings.

Hmm, Laree and Barbara D. were whispering to each other about the Aging Mind Foundation trio of live auction items. Laree swears on her Shih Tzus that the three items are killers. Stay tuned on this one. Think dining above the Performing Arts District, and adventure on Togo Island and a killer Kentucky Derby weekend!

On the other hand, Wanda was second-thinking her luck. Seems her new home was having all types of adjustment issues like leaks, flooding of the master bedroom and the need to replace the underground pipes.

Kevin, fresh from participating in the Dallas Marathon, reported that he signed up for a couple of other high-stepping events as well. The reason? He admitted that when he had lived in Chicago, he had been more active in the marathon world. He had decided recently to make a change and was getting back into the run of things.

Parisa Khobdeh

Parisa Khobdeh

One of the evening’s highlights was former Plano resident/Paul Taylor Dance Company artist/2016 Grant Awards Guest Artist-Speaker Parisa Khobdeh’s recalling how despite life-threatening issues, she has managed to continue her love of dance.

When the checks were presented, it all went according to plan. Well, sure, Echo Theatre’s Terri Ferguson got her shawl momentarily caught on the railing. A gasp went up from the audience, but she made a quick recovery. Without missing a cue, emcee Ken Travis said, “Bravo!”

For a breakdown on how all the checks were distributed, check here!

JUST IN: New TACA Officers And Board Members Revealed

TACA made news last night with its grant presentation. Today TACA’s newest members of the board along with new officers were announced. With Donna Wilhelm staying at the “helm,” along with Gwen Echols in place as vice chairman of programs, the new officers are Treasurer Jim Nugent and Secretary Pete Chilian.

As for the new board members, they ranged from backgrounds in law and banking to education and volunteering. The frosh class of 2016 who will serve three-year terms are:

  • Jacquie Donovan is the Regional Community Relations Manager of Bank of Texas, where she has held numerous positions. Prior to coming to Dallas, Jacquie held marketing and community relations positions at Bank of Texas in Houston and at Bank of Albuquerque. Jacquie previously served as a TACA Grants Panel member and will be the newest member of TACA’s Profile and Brand Management Committee in 2016.
  • Alan Dorantes is Senior Legal Counsel with AT&T. Currently, he is co-chair of the AT&T Legal Department Diversity and Inclusion committee and active in the Legal Department’s educational pipeline initiatives. He serves on the Board of the Dallas Hispanic Law Foundation. He has had past roles on the Advisory Board of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA) and as a member of the Dallas Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force. Alan and his wife, Holly, are co-chairs for this year’s TACA’s Lexus Chance Ticket Campaign.
  • Barbara Durham is an active community volunteer. She served as a member of TACA’s Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004. Barbara is a member of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Board of Directors, where she currently serves as the underwriting chair for Art in Bloom. Barbara also serves on the Board of Governors for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Human Rights Initiative. Barbara and her husband Steve are members TACA’s Founders Circle.
Barbara Durham (File photo)

Barbara Durham (File photo)

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

Laree Hulshoff (File photo)

  • Laree Hulshoff is an avid arts patron. Prior to her retirement, Laree was a Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Advisor for Morgan Stanley. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Contemporary and WaterTower Theater. In 2013, she founded the Aging Mind Foundation in Dallas. Laree and Ben Fisher are members of TACA’s Founders Circle.
  • Debbie Lively is a Partner with Thompson & Knight. Her practice focuses on intellectual property, sweepstakes, and privacy law. She serves as Co-Chair of Thompson & Knight’s cross-practice Advertising and Social Media initiative. Debbie has twelve years of classical training in piano and is a patron of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Cliburn Foundation. She has attended performances at every Van Cliburn International Piano Competition since 1969.
Katherine Wynn (File photo)

Katherine Wynn (File photo)

  • Katherine Wynne is Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust in Dallas. Katherine is extensively involved in the community. Her current and former board positions include the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT), the Dallas Children’s Theater and the Housing Crisis Center. She has served as chairman of the 2009 Cattle Baron’s Ball and member of the Host Committee for the North Texas Super Bowl XLV. Katherine is the mother of two sixth-generation Texans.
  • Zannie Voss is Director and Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU. She is a recognized authority on arts management, entrepreneurship and patronage. She is director of the first-of-its-kind National Center for Arts Research. The center, established by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, uses the largest database of arts research ever assembled to investigate important issues in arts management and patronage. Zannie leads TACA Perforum each fall, and is rejoining TACA’s Board after six previous years of service.

JUST IN: TACA Just Provided $1.3M To 48 Performing Arts Groups Tonight

Santa may have ruled December, but the fundraisers are the gift givers in January from the past year’s efforts. And once again Bank of Texas is sponsoring the event to give the moola away. Tonight 48 performing art groups of North Texas were head-over-stiletto-heels as TACA presented checks totaling $1.3M at the Wyly. Newbies to receive funding were Vox Humana and Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet.

This makes the ninth consecutive year that TACA broke the million-dollar giveaway!

Here is the breakdown of the happy artistic campers who were onstage with smiles:

  • Musical Ensembles
    • Chamber Music International – $5,000
    • Dallas Bach Society – $8,000
    • Dallas Chamber Music Society – $5,000
    • Fine Arts Chamber Players – $29,000
    • Orchestra of New Spain – $15,000
    • Sammons Center for the Arts – $11,000
    • Texas Winds Musical Outreach – $12,000
    • Tuesday Nite Jazz – $10,000
    • Voices of Change – $10,000
  • Symphonic Arts
    • Dallas Chamber Symphony – $13,000
    • Dallas Symphony Orchestra – $100,000
    • Dallas Winds – $35,000
    • Lone Star Wind Orchestra – $13,000
    • Plano Symphony Orchestra – $10,000
  • Operatic Arts
    • The Dallas Opera – $100,000
  • Choral Arts
    • Arts District Chorale – $5,000
    • Orpheus Chamber Singers – $15,000
    • Plano Civic Chorus – $6,000
    • Vox Humana – $5,000
  • Dance
    • Avant Chamber Ballet – $12,500
    • Bruce Wood Dance Project – $15,000
    • Dallas Black Dance Theatre – $85,000
    • Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet – $5,000
    • Texas Ballet Theater – $70,000
    • TITAS – $65,000
  • Theater Arts
    • African American Repertory Theater – $12,500
    • Cara Mía Theatre Company – $15,000
    • Dallas Theater Center – $100,000
    • Echo Theatre – $12,000
    • Kitchen Dog Theater – $35,000
    • Lyric Stage – $30,000
    • Second Thought Theatre – $18,000
    • Shakespeare Dallas – $35,000
    • Teatro Dallas – $10,000
    • Theatre Three – $30,000
    • Undermain Theatre – $25,000
    • Uptown Players – $33,000
    • WaterTower Theatre – $40,000
  • Spoken Word
    • WordSpace – $5,000
  • Youth Arts
    • Big Thought – $15,000
    • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas – $37,000
    • Dallas Children’s Theater – $75,000
    • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra – $45,000
    • Junior Players – $38,000
    • Lone Star Circus Arts Center – $5,000
  • Collaborative Partners
    • AT&T Performing Arts Center – $5,000
    • Nasher Sculpture Center – $10,000
    • SMU Meadows School of the Arts – $10,000

One of TACA’s fundraising efforts will take place on Friday, February 19, when Rebecca Fletcher and James E. Wiley Jr. are presented the TACA Silver Cup at the Hilton Anatole.

JUST IN: Margaret McDermott’s And The Eugene McDermott Foundation’s $2M Gifts Result In The “Kern Wildenthal General Director And CEO” Position

There’s a theory that bad news is announced on Fridays. Well, The Dallas Opera is turning the tables on that way of thinking. Word has just been sent that philanthropist Margaret McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation have made “two extraordinary new gifts, totaling $2 million” to the Opera.

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

Margaret McDermott (File photo)

In making the gifts, the request was made and approved “that the position of Dallas Opera General Director and CEO to [be] known henceforth as the ‘Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO’ in honor of the longtime Dallas Opera Board Member and Past Chairman.”

According to McDermott Foundation President Mary McDermott Cook, “The Eugene McDermott Foundation is delighted to be able to show its passion for the Greater Dallas community, as well as for the arts, through this gift made in honor of Kern Wildenthal. Kern has earned the admiration—not only of our foundation and our family—but of the arts, medical and academic communities in Dallas and throughout the country. His insightful leadership, integrity, and decades of exemplary service to a variety of causes have contributed greatly to our community.

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal (File photo)

Kern and Marnie Wildenthal (File photo)

“I think this is the perfect way to acknowledge Dr. Wildenthal’s continuing influence on the life of this city while providing an even brighter future for opera and the arts in Dallas.”

According to The Dallas Opera, it was during Kern’s serving as chairman of The Dallas Opera Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012 that the following took place:

  • “Guided the company’s October 2009 move into the Winspear Opera House after more than 50 years of performances in the Music Hall at Fair Park
  • “Served as the principal negotiator of a $10 million matching challenge to build the company’s endowment, personally securing 6-and 7-figure gifts and devoting countless hours to the task of completing the match, which quintupled the endowment from $5 million to $25 million
  • “Acted as a strong advocate for The Dallas Opera in the community, recruiting numerous patrons, supporters and board members from among business leaders and Dallas’ philanthropic community
  • “Played a leading role in the recruitment of Keith Cerny as TDO’s General Director and CEO (in 2010)”

According Keith, Kern agreed to serve a second consecutive term as Chairman of the Board, in order to provide stability and continuity to the company, and to support my transition into my new role.

“I shall always be grateful to Kern for putting the company’s needs first during that critical time and for his role in securing major gifts for general operations to deal with a significant deficit in our second year in our new home.

“Together with the Board, we restructured The Dallas Opera season schedule and successfully addressed significant cost increases, while simultaneously developing strategies to attract new and more diverse audiences. Ultimately, this led to a dramatic expansion of our education programs—reaching tens of thousands of students each year—and an ongoing program of free simulcasts which, so far, have entertained more than 60,000 people.”

Needless to say, the list of Kern’s accomplishments and leadership positions is longer than the lineup for the opening of the latest “Star Wars” movie. If you want to send a “Congratulations” note to Kern, he’s heading up the Children Medical Center Foundation.

What a simply lovely way to kick off the weekend.

For a full read of the release, just follow the jump! [Read more…]

Obelisk Awards Luncheon Honored The Partnership Of Business And The Arts With A Heartfelt Theme

The sun was shining on Friday, November 13, and the temps were just a kiss of perfection. It was just one of those rare, perfect days in North Texas. Sure, it was Friday the 13th, but that’s what scary movies were about and old wives tales.

In fact just the opposite, awards were rightfully being hand out around noon and heroes were being honored. Ret. Gen. Tommy Franks was regaling luncheoners at the Stars and Stripes Film Festival fundraiser at the Dallas Country Club.

Downtown at the Fairmont, oldtimers of the Business Council for the ArtsObelisk Award luncheon were in for a surprise. “A symbol of excellence awarded to businesses and business leaders for their support of the arts and culture in North Texas” had gotten a facelift, thanks to local glass artist Jim Bowman.

Running pretty much on schedule, Dr. Eric Olson, despite his heavy credential that include countless papers, expertise on heart disease and being a member of the UT Southwestern’s “Transactivators,” did a gangbuster job telling the sold-out audience how the heart’s importance ranged from the biological to the metaphysical. His talk was eloquent, but never went over the heads of guests.

To top off his talk, he donned his guitar and his harmonica and sang Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.” The review was a standing ovation.

Following his address, North Texas Public Broadcasting President/CEO Mary Anne Alhadeff announced the recipients of the Obelisk awards. Drum roll! Here they are:

  • Arts Partnership Award — Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods nominated by University of North Texas, College of Music; Neiman Marcus Willow Bend nominated by North Texas Performing Arts and Plano Children’s Theatre and The Dallas Weekly nominated by Dallas Black Dance Theatre
  • New Initiatives Award — Virgin America nominated by Dallas Film Society; NorthPark nominated by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Beyond The Horizon nominated by Undermain Theater
  • Arts Education Award — Atmos Energy Corporation nominated by WaterTower Theatre and Stephen A. Waldman of Waldman Bros nominated by Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award — Edwin Cabaniss of The Kessler Theater nominated by Steven Roth
  • Outstanding Nonprofit Organization Award — Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts nominated by Neiman Marcus

The brief acceptance speeches ranged from Nancy Nasher’s poignant acceptance on behalf of NorthPark to Kessler Theater’s Cabaniss, who recalled Business Council founder/the late Ray Nasher’s response to two questions posed during a hard-hat tour of the Nasher Sculpture Center:

  • Where did he get a passion for the arts? — “It was my mom and dad. They didn’t have a lot of means. We were living in the boroughs of New York. But they made a commitment to me and my siblings that at least once a month they would take us in to the city to explore some of these wonderful creations and some of this great art that was taking place in New York City. A lot of those times they had to go when the museum was free or when the symphony was playing at a discounted time period.”
  • Why Dallas? — “Although I grew up in New York, Dallas is home.”