Sunshine Returns To The Area With Southern Charmer James Farmer For The Park Cities Historic And Preservation Society Luncheon

Despite North Texas taking a thunderous beating the night before, sunshine and friendly temperatures were on hand Wednesday, March 29, for the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club.

And what else would one expect with author/gardener/floral and interior designer/cook/garden-to-table lifestyle expert James Farmer as the keynote speaker. Sunshine just seems to be his calling card.

James Farmer and Kendall Jennings

Since his appearance in 2013 for the Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Tablescapes, James flashed the same All-American smile, but there was less of him. He told Honorary Co-Chair Libby Hunt it was due to his giving one of his kidneys to his sister, Meredith. Libby asked if the transplant had caused him to be ill and lose the weight. No, he had been put on steroids the year before and the year after the surgery, resulting in his looking heavier when he spoke at Tablescapes. Now, he was back to his normal weight.

To get things going, PCHPS President Kendall Jennings welcomed the group and asked Pierce Allman to provide the invocation. With his arm in a sling as a result of rotator cuff surgery, Pierce’s presentation was poetic. So much so, that as emcee Scott Murray took his place on stage, he admitted that it was remarkable. When asked if he had been working on the invocation for some time or if it was something that had been handed down from generation to generation, Pierce smiled and said he had just put it together that morning.

 

David and Libby Hunt, Leeanne Hunt, Herbert Hunt, Libby Hunt Allred and Barbara Hunt Crow

Mike and Marla Boone

As guests like James’ buddy Caren Kline, Debbie and Jim Francis, Heather Furniss, sisters Libby Hunt Allred and Barbara Hunt Crow, Herbert Hunt, Cynthia Beaird, Marla Boone, Lindalyn Adams, Kay Weeks and Lucy Wrubel with mother Jennie Reeves had lunch, they caught up with Melinda Obenchain receiving rave reviews for “B Magazine,” which she just produced for Briggs-Freeman…La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas 2017 Co-Chair Rebecca Gregory reporting that La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas would be returning to the Hilton Anatole in 2018.

Debbie Francis

Melinda Obenchain

Just past noon, emcee Scott told the guests how both Honorary Co-Chairs Libby’s and David Hunt’s childhood homes in the Park Cities were still standing. While that may not seem important to many, to this group of preservationist it was, with the recent demolishing of the Trammell Crow and Penson homes. He then had Pierce introduce James. Pierce, who had been tableside with James, described James as covering “everything from dirt to dessert.”

James Farmer

Some of the highlights of James’ talk included:

  • “Dallas still has a small-town feel. Had dinner last night at Café Pacific and knew people at the other tables.”
  • Having grown up in Perry, Georgia, “If you needed something made, you had it made there. If you wanted something from a foreign land, you went to Atlanta.”
  • As a five-year-old he was playing T-ball and was assigned left field. There he spied a colony of ziggy holes. In South Georgia, ziggy worms are grub  worms. “I knew instinctively that if I dug out a ziggy or two and put them in my pocket and took them home and threw them in our pond, I would catch catfish. And my Mimi, my grandmother, would fry that catfish and we would eat that catfish on my Aunt Irene’s Limoges plates. There’s a connection. Y’all can go to a nice restaurant and pay $30 for that fish now and it’s called ‘Pond To Plate.’ But I understood as a child that something from the ground could get to our table.” On this day in left field, he decided that he had found the “honey hole of ziggy worms.” He dug them up and put them in his pocket. “A kid from the opposing team had the nerve to hit a ball my way. I had to do what came natural to me, so I protected my ziggy colony.” The coach informed James’ father that his son was not an athlete. To this Dr. Farmer responded, “Yes, but he knows the Latin name for every blade of grass out in the field.” It would be 13 years later that James would receive a scholarship from a garden club for Auburn, and the kid who hit that ball received a scholarship to play baseball at Georgia. “So, you see we were both playing on the same field, but ended up where we were supposed to.”
  • Frank McCall influenced James with his “full service architect” firm that drew on a southern lifestyle and “helped my parents create their home.” McCall told James’ mother, “Every Southern lady needs a beautiful home. Every Southern lady needs fine silk. Every southerner needs a damn good chest.” She suddenly realized, “He wasn’t talking about Aunt Irene’s chest.” In the future, James would realize that McCall was talking about being confident and proud of what  you have.
  • It was while attending Auburn that James threw his first “dinner party.” It was in the dormitory kitchen. “I had a hankering for fried chicken and I knew how to fry chicken because you know every 18-year-old goes off to college with an iron skillet. Do you know how many friends you can make in college by making fried chicken? I never missed a sorority ball. Those girls were hungry, too. Those girls were off getting engagement rings and thinking, ‘Oh, my, I gotta learn how to cook.’ That was my ‘fried chicken moment.’”
  • “The pearly gates will smell like Lady Peas.”
  • “I love to teach the generations what the generations before had.”
  • “My grandfather was a Baptist minister and because of that I am a recovering Baptist. Thankfully, the Episcopal Church has a program for us. What the Episcopal Church does is they tell you to come to church and bring a bottle of wine.” On his first field trip with the Episcopalians, they went to the liquor store and he was told to make eye contact with people, you address them by their first name, and bring that drink to the church and drink it.”
  • Each year his grandmother Mimi made her famous fruit cake. It called for rum. His grandfather wanted a piece with the rum: “It’s not drinking it if you’re eating it.” Being a good Baptist, his grandmother had a Methodist friend buy the alcohol at a liquor store. When the friend died, Mimi “put on some attire that the sheik of some Arab country would wear,” so no one would recognize her. When James confronted her, asking, “Did King Abdulla die?,” she proudly stated that no one had recognized her being incognito. But her grandson countered with, “But you drive the biggest Buick in town. If they saw it whipping around the liquor store…” She responded, “But I parked it at the Winn-Dixie.”
  • James’ first job was redecorating on his grandmother’s Baptist Sunday classroom. He soon learned that everything in the Baptist Church is done by committee, “which I believe is a version of eternal damnation. I would rather work for a dictator than a Baptist committee.”
  • Regarding his first work, he heard a dozen “Nos” from New York publishing houses. “They were No York.” But a Salt Lake publishing house agreed to take a meeting with him, where they wore football jerseys and jeans and James was “dressed like Astor’s pony.” The Salt Lake group agree to publish 500 copies of “A Time To Plant.” His response was, “That’s sweet, but y’all know I’ll sell 500 copies in the Winn-Dixie parking lot from the back of my Suburban.” He ended up ordering all 500 copies himself and told them that he had some book signings coming up and friends like Caren and Peter Kline in Dallas who were going to support him with book signing events. Some friends in New York City arranged for him to prepare a dinner party for them and have a book signing afterwards. “I ran out of books. I had a conference call the next day with my publisher and I told them, ‘Y’all, I’m out of books.'” They said, “That’s what we want to talk to you about. Barnes and Noble just ordered 2,500 copies.” And it wasn’t just Barnes and Noble. Other stores were placing huge orders. The publisher asked, “What are you doing?” James responded, “Well, last night I cooked a dinner party for some friends of mine. Do you know Al Roker and Deborah Roberts?” They said, “No, but we know you’re not talking about the ‘Today’ host and the ABC reporter.” James trumped them by saying, “Yes, I am. Al and Deborah are very good friends of mine.” The publisher asked how James knew Al. “I know Al through Deborah, who’s from Perry.” They asked if he had other similar events planned. James said that he was headed down to Washington where a friend was going to host another event. “Is the President coming?” James said, “He was invited, because he’s, you know, busy. But they’re gonna take some books to the White House.” The publisher was curious, “Who do you know in Washington?” James asked, “Do you know Senator Sam Nunn? He’s from Perry.”
  • His latest book, “A Time To Celebrate,” started out focusing on big parties and deb balls. During the year that he was creating it, both his mother and grandmother died. “The word ‘celebrate’ took on a new meaning.’ It was Sunday night at home having scrambled eggs and watching ‘Downton Abbey’ with Mama.”
  • In writing “A Time To Celebrate,” he took Jenna Bush Hager up on the offer to “do anything for him.” He wanted her to write the forward. She admitted that she just didn’t know how to do it. James then told her, “You saw your mama and grandma entertain in the White House. I saw my mama and grandma entertain in a white house.” The common denominator was the fact that whether it was the president of a foreign country or the local minister, the way people come together is over food.
  • One of his favorite stories is about his mother, when they hired an Atlanta decorator. Previously, they had used a local decorator, who wore denim on denim — an “I only shop at Kmart look. She would use red latex magnolias dipped in gold glitter for Christmas.” The Atlanta decorator arrived in a black Mercedes and wearing Chanel. At one point, his mother said, “I love ‘Carl.’ I just have to tell you that ‘Carl’ makes me happy. . .  And ‘Carl’ makes me smile a lot.” When the decorator finally said she didn’t understand, because “Your husband is Ted,” Mother Farmer said, “I’m talking about the color.” Translation: coral.
  • In summary, James said, “Keep it real. That’s what the South is about.”

James talked about Al Roker, Deborah Roberts, Jenna Bush and Sam Nunn in such a way that it didn’t appear like name dropping, but rather they were just James’ friends and real.

If you weren’t able to make the luncheon, get one of James’ books and you’ll find a brand-new BFF.

Art In Bloom’s Seasons Of Love Was Busting With Beauty Thanks To René Van Rems Creating Floral Artworks And St. John Fashions

When Art in Bloom Luncheon Chair Sarah Jo Hardin decided on the event’s theme “Seasons of Love,” she must have had international floral mastermind René van Rems in mind. For his presentation at the Dallas Museum of Art on Monday, March 27, he did a fabulous job at interpreting eight pieces of art into floral arrangements. He even shared a hint on how to give any creation an extra boost. Think hydrangea. Here’s a report from the field:

Sarah Jo Hardin and Jill Goldberg*

Luncheon Chairman Sarah Jo Hardin, with Honorary Chairman Jill Goldberg and the Dallas Museum of Art League President Sheila Durante were joined by over 350 guests at “Art in Bloom: Seasons of Love” on Monday, March 27. Proceeds from the 18th annual fundraiser hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League supports the DMA’s exhibition and education programs and the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund.

It began at 9:30 a.m. with a reception in the Hamon Atrium. Highland Park High School’s Highlander Strings quartet played as guests bid on items in the silent auction and purchased raffle tickets for the chance to win one of four prizes including: a $1,000 gift certificate from Eiseman Jewels NorthPark Center, a pair of Roberto Coin earrings, a luxury overnight stay for two at the Hotel Crescent Court, and a $500 gift certificate from Jacksons Home And Garden.  

Cynthia Mitchell, Becky Bright, Mary Lois Leonard and Beverly Freeman*

Attendees like Cynthia Miller, Becky Bright, Mary Lois Leonard, Beverly Freeman, Delilah Boyd, Megan Meyercord, Deborah Patterson, Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner were then directed to the Horchow Auditorium for featured speaker René van Rems’ floral demonstration.

Megan Meyercord, Deborah Patterson, Ola Fojtasek and Heather Furniss*

Sheila opened the symposium by welcoming all and thanking the League’s loyal supporters and its corporate sponsors whose support of “Art in Bloom” helps underwrite the DMA’s education programs and the League’s Floral Fund. She introduced Jill thanking her for graciously lending her considerable expertise and leadership to the event. Sheila then invited Sarah Jo to the podium, and paid tribute to her creativity as well as her leadership talents.

Sarah Jo thanked all the attendees before introducing the Park Version choral group from Highland Park High School, who performed a capella “God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You” from the Beach Boys as a tribute to the many “Art in Bloom” volunteers, followed by “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent,” in honor of this year’s theme.

René van Rems*

A world-renowned ambassador of the floral industry, René took the stage to begin his demonstration of eight designs inspired by works in the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection.  As he began work on the first design, inspired by Gustave Courbet’s painting “A Fox in the Snow,” van Rems warmed up the crowd immediately by sharing a tip: “For those new to floral design; when in doubt add a hydrangea,” he said, as he added white hydrangeas to the arrangement. He then went on to create seven diverse designs, from traditional to contemporary, as he thoroughly entertained the crowd with his wit and wisdom on all things floral.

Attendees returned to the Museum’s concourse to continue perusing the silent auction, which included the designs just created by René, while sipping specialty spring-inspired cocktails by Duckworth Vodka.  René also took time to sign copies of his book, “Rene’s Bouquets: A Guide to Euro-Style Hand-Tied Bouquets.”

Patrons progressed to the Atrium for a seated lunch with tables dressed in cornflower blue and watermelon, with floral centerpieces from Judy Blackman of Blumengarten. At each place setting was a white porcelain birdhouse vase with pink roses from Forestwood Fine Flowers and a $250 gift card from St. John.

Fashions by St. John*

Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch, with each course inspired by a season and featuring locally or Texas-sourced ingredients, including a summer-inspired first course of watermelon, prosciutto, and sliced brie salad with Texas balsamic and micro basil; followed by a fall entrée of jalapeno and corn stuffed semi-boneless Lockhart quail with wilted Uvalde curly spinach, glazed root vegetables and flower thyme jus. As winter’s assiette of chocolate desserts was served, Sarah Jo came to the podium to introduce St. John’s Highland Park Village Store Director Randi Schwartz, who quickly got the day’s style show going with models walking the runway dressed in selections from St. John’s gorgeous spring collection. 

Live Blooming Art Exhibition*

The floral extravaganza continued after the symposium with the first-ever “Live Blooming Art Exhibition” featuring a unique display of floral arrangements created by local floral designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Participating designers were Judy Blackman of Blumengarten, Metka Terselich of Metka Floral Designs, Caroline Hansen of Forestwood Florals, Dan Pierce of Wild about Flowers, Doan Do of Cebolla Fine Flowers, Sarah Hobbs of Park Cities Petals, Juan Gomar of Apples to Zinnias, Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora and David Kimmel of David Kimmel Design. The exhibition remained on view to all DMA visitors the following two days in the Museum’s Level 2 European galleries. 

Sheila Durante, Marena Gault and Sherwood Wagner*

“Art in Bloom International” attendees included  The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art Agustin Arteaga, Margaret McDermott, Mary McDermott Cook, Peggy Sewell, Beverly Freeman, Holly Huffines, Susan Fisk, Nancy Cates, Barbara Bigham, Sherwood Wagner, Stacey McCord, Diane Byrd, Ola Fojtasek, Heather Furniss, Rusty Duvall, Beverly Nichols, Faye Briggs, Cyrena Nolan, Linda Burk, Angela Paulos, Emily Maduro and Julia Fuqua.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

Philanthropist Sherwood Wagner Turned Her Preston Hollow East Mansion Into A Floral Delight For The Art In Bloom Patrons

Sherwood Wagner does nothing on a mini-scale level. So, the Art in Bloom patron guests had quite a flora experience at her Preston Hollow East home-sweet-home on Saturday, March 25. Just a hint were the floral petals creating a carpet of dazzling colors leading to Patron Party Co-Chair Sherwood’s chateau. But once inside and squeezed through the throng, the 100 guests discovered the banister to the second floor and overlooking the downstairs was covered in a blanket of flowers. Why, even the statues held bouquets of roses!

Sherwood Wagner, René van Rems and Barbara Averitt

Surrounded in the dining room was Art in Bloom speaker René van Rems. If the word “flirtation” ever need a visual definition, René could fit the male version and Sherwood the female.

But Dutch-born René was more than just cute. He was set to demonstrate various works of floral art at the Dallas Museum of Art the following Monday, thanks to Art in Bloom Chair Sarah Jo Hardin and Honorary Chair Jill Goldberg.

Jill Goldberg and Sarah Jo Hardin

Capera Ryan

Also on hand at the Wagner mansion were Barbara Bigham, Doris and Jack Jacobs, Capera Ryan and Patron Party Co-chair Barbara Averitt. Alas, Patron Party Co-Chair and Sherwood’s buddy Marena Gault was out of town.   

Start Working Out Because A Weekend Of Fundraising Gala Collisions Lies Ahead

Côtes du Coeur (File photo)

Well, yuck! North Texas is preparing to have one of those fundraising collision weekends. Drat!

On Saturday, April 22, two major, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious events are taking place. The wine-loving types will be at the Omni Dallas for the American Heart Association graze and gaze with a corral full of chefs and more wines than California could produce for Côtes du Coeur thanks to Co-Chairs Kelly and David Pfeil.

Art Ball 2016 (File photo)

Over at the Dallas Museum of Art, new kid-on-the-block (aka Eugene McDermott Director) Agustin Arteaga will be introduced to fundraising Dallas-style with the 2017 Art Ball. With Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson at the helm and the taste of romantic France via “All That Glistens,” it’s pretty darn obvious that it’s gonna be a night of killer fashions, food and fantastical auction items. The tent is already being erected next to the DMA.

Trammell S. Crow

2016 Children’s Cancer Fund (File photo)

And Friday is just as bad. Here, the EarthxGlobal Gala folks moved their big soiree from Saturday to Friday night to avoid the Art Ball/Côtes du Coeur traffic jam. Only problem: there’s still another mega fundraiser — Children’s Cancer Fund — taking place at the Hilton Anatole that night with kids and celebrities on the runway.

Oh, dear! What is one to do? Do two-a-night and then hit the after-soiree stop — Whataburger?

If either any of ‘em sounds to your liking instead of the same-old Friday and Saturday night sock-sorting and grilling steaks, there are still tickets available. Here’s the one for Côtes du Coeur and here’s the one for Art Ball. Either way you can win!

Horse racing (File photo)

BTW, if you think Sunday is gonna be any better, think again. The Retina Foundation‘s Racing for Sight at Lone Star Park is on a collision course with the Nasher Sculpture Center‘s Great Create.

The Great Create (File photo)

It just ain’t fair!

Despite The Threat Of Rain, North Texas Food Bank’s Empty Bowls Had Guests And Restaurants Spooning Throughout The Meyerson

Paula Lambert, Simon Powell and Meaders Ozarow

As the herds headed out of town for early spring break on Friday, March 10, 1,300+ supped up at the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the North Texas Food Bank. It was the first Empty Bowls, since the death of full-of-life NTFB CEO Jan Pruitt. While her spirit championed on with restaurants setting up at the Meyerson. Her team including Interim President/CEO Simon Powell rallied the area restaurants and foodies resulting in the event coming off without a hitch.

Even as Mother Nature threatened to damped the outdoor activities, the experienced NTFB-ers simply took the precaution of pulling the VIP entrance and Bowl Tent and Checkout back to the lower level of the Meyerson.

The True Food Kitchen and Paradise Bakery and Cafe stations were moved to the Opus restaurant.

Joseph Alexander, Diana Ivette, Brandon Williams and Juan Prado

Empty Bowls’ bowls to take home

As one poor soul sought a parking space in the bowels of the underground parking, cutie pies like Joseph Alexander, Diana Ivette, Brandon Williams and Juan Prado welcomed guests and handed out blue bags and direction for guests. But the crowds didn’t mind the hassle of finding parking spots. They were there to pick out their bowls, bid on the ones in the silent auction and graze on two levels of the Meyerson.

Suzy Sotelo, Jolie Oree Bailey and Oscar Aponte

Low Country Quisine’s Jolie Oree Bailley was pleased that their participation last year evidently moved them from the upper level to the main lobby. Others didn’t care one iota. They were too busy doling out food.

The chaps at the Samsung Photo Booth encouraged guests to step inside the oversized capsule to sample the next stage of selfism that proved to be pretty awesome. Just past the booth was the KPMG VIP area with tables and wine.

Bailee Weeks, Salvatore Gisellu and Monica Leibowitz

Upstairs Hill and Knowlton’s Mark Edgar sampled Salvatore Gisellu‘s handmade beef meatball in a cup from Urban Crust.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there are thousands over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery of the restaurateurs who made it all possible.

Last Call To See The 19th Annual Young Masters Exhibition At The Dallas Museum Of Art

Sometimes “putting off” isn’t such a bad thing. An example of that is visiting the 19th Annual Young Masters Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art during its final days. This year’s exhibition ends this Sunday. Yup, that’s Easter Sunday. The good news is that a lot of folks and kids have Friday off, so they can check out the 65 original pieces of art that won the hearts of a panel of art and music professionals.

17 Young Masters graphic works*

Displayed along the Concourse, the exhibition includes 54 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works of art created by AP Studio Art students, five essays analyzing works of art in the DMA’s permanent collections by AP Art History students, and six 4-minute original compositions by AP Music Theory students.

Tiffany Sims of Grapevine High School*

Ryan Irwin of Lovejoy High School**

These were the so-called pick of the litter of 896 works submitted by 10 Dallas-area high schools (Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Colleyville Heritage High School, Coppell High School, Creekview High School, Grapevine High School, Lovejoy High School, Plano East Senior High School, Plano Senior High School, Plano West Senior High School, and Richardson High School) participating in the O’Donnell Foundation’s AP Arts Incentive Program.

Adhithi Baskar of Coppell High School**

Daniel Che, Kevin Bai and Gahwon Lee of Plano West High School**

According to Program Founder Edith O’Donnell, “The Young Masters Exhibition recognizes outstanding intellectual and creative expression in students participating in our AP Arts Incentive Program.  In its nineteenth year, the students’ work featured in the exhibition continues to inspire. The talented students who participate in our program and complete rigorous AP arts and music coursework build essential skills to ensure their success in the 21st century global economy, including stimulating innovation, cultivating critical thinking and developing a greater understanding of diverse cultures. I continue to be very proud of their accomplishments.”

 

Lyle Kradolfer, Carol Kradolfer, Edith and Peter O’Donnell and Ruth Mutch**

But wait! Here’s an idea. The DMA will be open Sunday, which is also the ultimate, very last day of the display. So, after hunting down those Easter eggs, going to church services, munching at brunch or whatever, why not check out the “young masters’” artwork.

And while you’re there, see the “Mexico 1900-1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orzco and the Avant-Garde.” Thanks to The M.O.B Family Foundation, admission to the exhibition will be free. But it’s available on a first-come, first served basis. FYI: The DMA opens at 11 a.m.

* Photo credit provided by AP Strategies 
** Photo credit: Steve Foxall

JUST IN: TACA To Undertake Three Major Initiatives Including The Funding For Both The Performing … And Visual Arts!

Back when TACA started, North Texas’ art community was pretty limited. The arts were largely contained at Fair Park with the opera and musicals taking place in the Music Hall and the visual arts at the Dallas Museum of Arts facility near the lagoon. The Fair Park band shell with its nighttime performances and flying insects created memorable moments for singers. The Dallas Theater Center’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater along Turtle was considered the new hottie in the world of art.  

But that was way back when. As TACA celebrates its 50th anniversary, changes are definitely underway for TACA’s next 50 years to support the overwhelming wealth of art groups in North Texas.

Donna Wilhelm (File photo)

This morning, TACA Chairman of the Board of Directors Donna Wilhelm sent a note to the stakeholders about three new initiatives for TACA.

Of the trio, the one that pops to the top of the list is “TACA Funding All Of The Arts In Dallas.” In the past, TACA has only provided funding for the performing arts. But in the future it will also support the visual arts. Before it kicks into place, the criteria for submitting grants requests will be developed and published toward the end of 2017. The deadline for the letters of intent will be Friday, February 1, 2018. The grants for both the visual and performing art groups will be presented in January 2019.

According to Donna, “For 50 years, TACA has funded the performing arts.  However our current Board of Directors has expansive vision—we will now add support of the visual arts. And we will foster arts experience that impacts social change in our North Texas community.”

The other two initiatives, are

  • “Social Impact Through The Arts” — TACA will establish “funds to foster the creation of new performing arts works and innovative performing arts residence programs” focusing on cultural and racial equity, cross-sector partnerships, arts education focusing on under-resourced communities, cross-cultural community collaboration and social change capacity building.
  • “Increased Vibrancy Of The Arts” — TACA will “lead a multi-year effort to empower and expand” the number of artists and arts organizations. The intention is two-fold:
    • To make the Dallas area a destination for performers, visual artists, musicians, writers, directors, backstage professionals, etc.
    • To create an environment that encourages the launch and nurturing of new arts organizations.

To achieve these goals, TACA will “develop a blueprint to learn and adapt strategies” that have been undertaken in other cities and “recreate the best of the best in Dallas, and enhance the impact through collaborative partnerships.”

Donna explained, “TACA is deeply committed to an expansive arts vibrancy in North Texas. We assure our donors, prospective donors and arts organizations that, for over half a century, we have established a grants review process that evaluates, selects and supports the very best organizations.  Every contributed dollar invested in TACA will indeed transform lives through the arts.”

High-Powered Crowd Celebrates New DMA Director Agustin Arteaga And Exclusive U.S. Exhibition of Mexican Modernists

The crowd gathered at the Dallas Museum of Art on Wednesday, March 8, was a distinguished one, befitting the auspicious occasion. Including such luminaries as 2017 Art Ball Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Roger Horchow, Monica Alonzo, Chris Heinbaugh, Janie and Cappy McGarr, Jonathan Martin, Jeremy Strick, Max Wells and Terrell and Jim Falk, the group had assembled to celebrate the curatorial debut of the museum’s new Eugene McDermott Director, Dr. Agustin Arteaga.

Ann and Lee Hobson

Cappy and Janie McGarr

Allen Questrom

Laura Wilson

Agustin Arteaga

And, what a debut Arteaga was curating: the exclusive U.S. presentation of an art exhibition called Mexico 1900-1950, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco And the Avant-Garde, featuring 189 works by 66 artists. The exhibit, which debuted last October at the Grand Palais in Paris, will be on display at the DMA through Sunday, July 16. It’s supported by Patron Tequila and presented in partnership with Dallas’ Latino Center for Leadership Development, which was founded by Jorge Baldor.

Mexico 1900-1950 guests

The opening celebration was a first opportunity for many to see and greet Arteaga, who came to Dallas last year after serving as director of the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City, one of Mexico’s largest and most prominent cultural institutions. He was flanked on a raised stage at the DMA by fellow hosts Catherine Marcus Rose, president of the DMA’s board of trustees, and DMA Board Chair Melissa Foster Fetter, as well as by Consul General of Mexico in Dallas Francisco de la Torre Galindo, Director General of International Affairs Jimena Lara Estrada, Patrón’s Director of Brand Innovation Carlos Boughton and Baldor (who told the crowd, “It’s nice to see so many brown faces at the DMA”).

Jorge Baldor, Melissa Foster Fetter, Austin Arteaga, Catherine Marcus Rose, Jimena Lara Estrada, Francisco de la Torre Galindo and Carlos Boughton

The exhibition of modernist paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and film, the DMA’s new director explained, was put together in just three months to showcase an “artistic movement that took the world by surprise. … We made it on time,” he added, “and hopefully within the budget!” Arteaga also said the exhibition was only able to come to the U.S. with the Mexican government’s special permission, which had been secured by Maria Christina Garcia Cepeda, the Secretaria de Cultura de Mexico. The cultural secretary had planned to attend the March 8 Dallas event, the director added, but her trip had to be postponed after President Enrique Pena Nieto asked her to appear at a special women’s day event in Mexico City. So, Arteaga promised, “She’ll be here tomorrow.”

2017 Art Ball’s “All That Glistens” Eight Live Auction Items Revealed

Peggy Sewell, Agustin Arteaga and Ann Hobson

Rajan Patel and Jennifer Karol

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Art Ball is one of the knock-it-out-the-park fundraising galas of the year. Not only is it set at the DMA, but the guests just have a certain panache in the glamorama category. One of the highlights of the black-tie evening is the live auction of amazingly curated items.

Last night, Art Ball’s “All That Glistens” Co-Chairs Ann and Lee Hobson along with their Auction Co-Chairs Rajan Patel and Merry Vose held a reveal party at Grange Hall for folks like DMA Board of Trustees Chair Melissa Foster Fetter, new grandmamma Peggy Sewell, always young-and-beautiful Jennifer Karol, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and DMA Director Agustin Arteaga. Each of the elegant eight auction items was beautifully displayed on tables in the restaurant. But what else would you expect from this group?

Here is the lineup of the goodies that Christie’s Auction House President Brook Hazelton will be auctioning off on Saturday, April 22:

  • ¡ HOLA, AGUSTIN!”* — He’s hardly unpacked his bags and DMA Eugene McDermott Director Agustin Arteaga is already slated to be on the road again. He’ll guide the lucky winner on a tour of the world-renowned Guggenheim Bilbao in San Sebastian, Spain. After seeing the sights of this incredible museum, it will be lunch at a three-star restaurant to break bread, sip wine and discuss art with Agustin. During their three-day stay in San Sebastian, the winner will “bunk down” in the luxurious Hotel Maria Cristina. As for where to eat, toss the Frommer’s Travel Guide. World traveling foodie Cindy Rachofsky will take care of restaurant selections and rezzies.

Compliments of Hotel Maria Cristina, Guggenheim Bilbao, Cindy Rachofsky and Strong Travel Services

¡ Hola, Agustín!*

Foodie Fantasy*

  • “FOODIE FANTASY” † — Two new restaurants are slated to join the Highland Park Village cuisine collection this year. For a sneak peak, Chef Nick Badovinus and Chef Julian Barsotti have cooked up this package for the winner and 12 pals. The tasteful chefs will “execute superbly individual supper experiences six courses including excellent wine and champagne.” Start dieting now!

 Compliments of Julian Barsotti, Nick Badovinus, and Highland Park Village

  • WHEN IN ROME…FENDI ROME EXPERIENCE”* † — Rome is known for the Coliseum, the Vatican and cuisine. But to fashion trendsetters, it’s fashion and leading the pack is Fendi. The winner of this package plus a BFF will spend two nights at the newly renovated Fendi Palazzo Private Suite. And lunchtime will be ala Fendi with a special luncheon at the Fendi Palazzo Prive Apartment. And what would be a Fendi outing be without a “private presentation of Fendi’s Haute Fourrure, as well as customized experiences for guests based on personal interests — perhaps cocktails and/or dinner at a private home or a private tour of the Sistine Chapel?” In addition to a special Fendi gift for each guest, the winner will receive the Fendi Peekaboo Bag by artist Francisco Moreno that will be revealed at the Art Ball.

Compliments of Fendi

When in Rome…Fendi Rome Experience**

Headstart The Holidays With Grange Hall**

  • HEADSTART THE HOLIDAYS WITH GRANGE HALL” — It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays, but who wants the same-old, ho-hum, ho-ho decorations dragged down from the attic? This package will make this year’s giving season a true memory maker thanks to the Grange Hall pros dazzling your digs. That in itself is a $7,500 value. Then to show off your new look, Dallas’ fav Chef Sharon Hage will plan and execute a dinner for 10. (Restriction: Wine and spirits are not included.)

 Compliments of Sharon Hage and Grange Hall

  • THE SUITE LIFE AT LE MEURICE”* — A fashion lover simply cannot arrive in Paris without the appropriate wardrobe. Merry Vose is going to take care of that situation for the winner of this package. Thanks to a $5,000 gift certificate at Canady, she’ll put together such fashions that even the French will be impressed. And rightly so, since this package includes a four-night stay at Le Meurice plus special dinner for two in the hotel’s Alain Ducasse three-Michelin Star restaurant. During the stay, Merry will be the winner’s tour guide for behind-the-scenes of Paris Fashion Week including premium seating at Dior and Celine, plus a private tour of the Hermes family museum inside the flagship store. And what is fashion without jewelry? How about visiting the Parisian private studio-workshop of the queen of contemporary costume fashion jewelry, Marie-Noëlle. If a little breather is needed, an exclusive tour of the gardens of Versailles, including a private tour of the Orangerie of Louis XIV is on the docket.  (Restriction: Dinner does not include wine.)

Compliments of Le Meurice, Céline, Dior, Merry Vose, Canary, Hermès and Strong Travel Services

The Suite Life At Le Meurice**

Life As Royals: Private, Princely, Porcelain**

  • LIFE AS ROYALS: PRIVATE, PRINCELY, PORCELAIN”* — Leave it to the Grange Hall team to take the art of design and dining to a whole new level. They’ve arranged for a two-night stay for two people at the Kempinksi Four Season in Munich and not just for sightseeing. The winner will be treated along with an exclusive VIP tour for up to eight guests of the fame Nymphenburg’s workshops where the world-famous porcelain is made. Afterward His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and his wife, Katrin Beatrix, will host a dinner in the blue room of the manufactory overlooking the Nymphenburg palace. And, no, the royals will not be cooking the meal. They’ll have their private chef prepare the feast that will include wine from the prince’s wine cellar. All of this is in preparation for the Grange professionals’ providing the winner with a $10,000 credit and their advice on designing his/her own custom pattern china.

Compliments of Grange Hall and Porcelain Manufactory Nymphenburg

  • SANTA’S VILLAGE IN HIGHLAND PARK” — How about being a top-tier Santa Claus this year and getting a load of thank you notes? That’s exactly what’s going to happen for the winner of this package. Instead of a workshop with elves at the North Pole, s/he will have the shops and restaurants at Highland Park Village. For supreme convenience, a personal valet will meet and assist the winner upon arrival and departure between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And to ease the post-holiday bills letdown, the winner will have $5,000 gift certificates for HPV, Hadleigh’s and Madison, as well as $3,000 for Market and $2,000 to spend on holiday cards customized by Ellis Hill. You’ll look to all your friends like a big spender with spending a penny… unless you want to. To look spectacular during the shopping spree and party season, Frédéric Fekkai will provide weekly manicures and blowouts from November 20 through New Year’s Eve. And don’t worry about ruining that manicure with giftwrapping and bow tying. A personal shopper will arrange for the gift to be wrapped and delivered to the winner’s home.

Compliments of Highland Park Village, Market, Hadleigh’s, Ellis Hill, Madison, and Frédéric Fekkai

Santa’s Village In HIghland Park**

Mon Chateau Privé**

  • MON CHATEAU PRIVE”* † — This package is tailor-made for the most worldly travelers. Imagine having a chateau situated on 154 acres in the South of France with its seven bedrooms plus a butler! How simply marvelous for the lucky 14, who will be able to explore the surrounding nature preserve, visit the neighboring Aries, Avignon, St. Remy and Aix, relax by the pool and/or play tennis after breakfast on the terrace. For the winner of this package, there is also two-night stay for two at the Esprit Saint Germain Hotel in Paris on the way to or from the chateau.

Compliments of Ann and Lee Hobson, Esprit Saint Germain Hotel and Strong Travel Services

* Airfare not included. 
** Graphics provided by 2017 Art Ball
† Mutually agreed upon date(s).

Dallas Historical Society “Celebrate(s) Texas” With George Tobolowsky’s Collection Of Historic Texas Maps As The Centerpiece

Most folks know George Tobolowsky for his sculptures. But it was his wife Julie Tobolowsky’s complaining about his watching “The Simpsons” about 20 years ago that added an entirely different interest in his life — historic maps.

So the story goes that Julie suggested that reading a book would be better than boob-tube watching. The first book that George picked up was “Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900.” Not only was Julie right on, she set her husband into collecting every map that was in that book and a lot more.

Historic maps display

Since artist George recognized the detail and beauty in the maps, he had them framed and displayed on the walls of the Tobolowsky home. Some were even framed in wood made from trees that George had felled.

Knowing this, the Dallas Historical Society held a “Celebrate Texas” party on the evening of Wednesday, March 1, the day before Texas Independence Day.

Alan Olson, Molly Nolan and Julie and George Tobolowsky

While DHS Executive Director Amy Aldredge was unable to attend, DHS Deputy Director  Alan Olson and DHS Development Associate Molly Nolan represented the DHS staff.

Sold-Out Alert!: 2017 Art In Bloom

Whoops! Yesterday it was reported that no “Sold Outs” had been announced for the spring fundraising season following spring break. Today word arrived that that status had changed.

2017 Art In Bloom’s “Seasons Of Love”*

Not only is the 2017 Art In Bloom’s “Seasons Of Love” hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art League and chaired by Sarah Jo Hardin sold out, but organizers have added an opportunity for those who missed out on the Monday, March 27th event.

Sure, the Art In Bloom guests will get a sneak peak of the “Live Blooming Art Exhibit,” but DMA visitors will be able to check the floral designs “created by local floral designers and inspired by works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection” from Tuesday, March 28, thru Wednesday, March 29, on the DMA’s Level Two.

And how about some name dropping? Well, Art In Bloom can provide ‘em. The exhibition will include the talents of Judy Blackman of Blumengarten, Metka Terselich of Metka Floral Designs, Caroline Hansen of Forestwood Florals, Dan Pierce of Wild about Flowers, Doan Do of Cebolla Fine Flowers, Sarah Hobbs of Park Cities Petals, Juan Gomar of Apples to Zinnias, Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora and David Kimmel of David Kimmel Design.

So, don’t boo-hoo that you can’t attend the presentation by floral industry ambassador René van Rems and lunch on Monday at the DMA. You can still check out “Live Blooming Art Exhibit” Tuesday and Wednesday!

Art In Bloom proceeds will benefit the DMA League’s Floral Endowment Fund, as well as the DMA’s exhibition and education programs.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art League

Northwood Woman’s Club’s “Dine By Design” Luncheon Whooped It Up With More Than 30 Tables All Duded Up Texas-Style

Gaylan Sapp and Shannon Burton

Unlike lady year’s Parisian ooh-la-la theme with a standard poodle greeting guests at the door, the North Woman’s Club’s Dine by Design was Texas-bound on Tuesday, February 28 at Bent Tree Country Club. Luncheon Co-Chairs Gaylan Sapp and Shannon Burton had decided to use “Waltz Across Texas” as the inspiration for more than 30 table designs. Well, why not? Texas Independence Day was just 48 hours away.

And to get things going, they had cowgirls Hailey Sandoz and Kristyn Harris strumming and singing in the entry.

Hailey Sandoz and Kristyn Harris

According to Gaylan, she came up with the Texas idea and her husband thought up the theme.

For the past year, Rebecca Dickinson and Sherry Draper had spearheaded the gathering of professional designers and creative types to fill the club. And the tables reflected just how different each creator’s interpretation was. Sure, there were Holiday Warehouse’s “Spring Waltz” and Donna Bailey‘s “Here Comes Easter To Texas” that cashed in on the upcoming spring and Easter.

Here Comes Easter To Texas

Spring Waltz

And Susan Loveless managed to blend her new line of Spa 1421 at her table with the approval of her mother Betty Stripling.

Poker and Gun Barrel City

Deep in the Heart

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

Trains Across Texas

Still others embraced the Lone Star feel with everything from Paula Austell‘s and Sarah Losinger‘s “Trains Across Texas,” Peggy Shuman‘s “Poker At Gun Barrel City,” Barbara Kutz‘s “This Ain’t My First Rodeo,” Barbara Barndt‘s, Michelle Hefner‘s and Molly Meyer‘s “Deep In The Heart,” Laura Williamson‘s and Lugay Wills‘ “All My Exes Live In Texas” to Carolyn Tayne‘s and Betty Verplan‘s “Daughters of the Republic of Texas…125 Years of Preserving Texas History.”

Mary Anne Preston’s copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence

And speaking of Texas history, new club member Mary Anne Preston, who was the great-great-granddaughter of Texas legend Jesse Grimes, shared family memorabilia including a copy of the original handwritten Texas Declaration of Independence.

After checking out all the tables and enjoying flutes of champagne, the guests headed to the ballroom for lunch and entertainment by Dan Tanner.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let the photos of the tables tell how the Northwood Woman’s Club raises funds for Friends of Wednesday’s Child, Genesis Women’s Shelter And Support, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Our Friends Place, Promise House and Shared Housing Center Inc. Check the designs at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Northwood Woman’s Club’s Dine By Design

Those Northwood Woman’s Club gals once again filled Bent Tree Country Club with dozens and dozens of decked-out table settings for its annual Dine By Design on Tuesday, February 28. This year’s theme of “Waltz Across Texas” was true food for thought with tables ranging from spring whimsical to another just chugging along.

Spring Waltz

Trains Across Texas

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

Dallas Museum Of Art Became A 21st Century “Shaken, Style, Stirred” Speakeasy For 1,200 Femme Fatale Flappers And Dapper Dandies

The Dallas Museum of Art‘s current exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art Of The Cocktail” provided the inspiration for more than a thousand guests to turn back the clocks on Saturday, February 4, to the Prohibition era. That’s when the right password provided access to the hottest speakeasy in town with music, dancing and naughty adult libations. Luckily, Prohibition is long gone, but the Hamon Atrium was as hot as a jazz baby. Here’s a report from the field:

The Dallas Museum of Art was transformed into a Prohibition-style speakeasy on Saturday, February 4, in celebration of the exhibition “Shaken, Styled, Stirred: The Art of the Cocktail,” an exhibition of cocktail ware from the late 19th century through present day.

Speakeasy in the Hamon Atrium*

Over 1,200 guys and dolls like Gwen and Eddie Lee, Melanie Cooke, Allie and Michael Gillam, Stephanie Gregory, Danielle Wessman, Angela and Kevin Jackson, Maria and Richard Von Horvath, Monica Berry, Sarah Stockton, Holly Bosler, Molly Meyer, Gary Beach, Cassandra Davis, Caitlin and Akers Moore, Jessica and Harl Asaff, Alia Reiners, Linda Snorina, Jack Tosi and Maggie Luttrell arrived in their best roaring-20’s attire and entered through the Museum’s Hamon Atrium. The 18-piece band, the Singapore Slingers, provided the big-band sound as guests enjoyed gaming tables, “French 75” specialty cocktails with ROXOR gin, and a buffet featuring sliders, a fries station with choice of sweet potato fries, regular fries or tater tots served in cones with custom toppings, mini carrot cake and cheesecake bites, and strawberry mousse cups.

Akers and Caitlin Moore and Jessica and Harl Asaff*

Molly Meyer*

Alia Reniers and Linda Snorina*

Gwen and Eddie Lee and Melanie Cooke*

Attendees posed in the nearby photo booth or in in front of the mint-condition period cars from the Dallas Model A Ford Club, posting their mugs on social media with the dedicated #dmaspeakeasy. For those hitting the dance floor, The Rhythm Room instructors provided the steps to 20’s favorites, including the Fox Trot and Charleston.

For VIP’s, the Focus One Gallery provided the perfect Hideaway with DJ Souljah spinning jazz-age hits with a twist, a ROXOR Gin Garden, private gaming tables and dedicated dance instructors. The savory and sweet cocktail buffet featured house-cured Gravlax crostini, dill and mustard dressing, caprese stacks with balsamic and basil, beef and horseradish rolls, home smoked chicken and mango tortilla cups, chocolate mousse shooters, lemon curd tartlets and pineapple upside down cake bites.

Jane Aldridge*

Stephanie and Phillip Robinson*

Mid-way through the evening all the Gatsbys and molls gathered at the main stage for the announcement of the winners of the costume contest. Contest judge and celebrity blogger Jane Aldridge of the Sea of Shoes blog awarded “Best Flapper” to Stephanie Surratt, “Best Dapper Dan” to Bennett Allen and “Best Couple” to Stephanie and Phillip Robinson.

Stephanie Surratt*

Bennett and Katie Allen*

As the fun continued, attendees enjoyed the exhibition that inspired the celebration, “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.” Featuring nearly sixty works, predominantly from the DMA’s extensive design holdings, the exhibition explores the culture of cocktails and the wares in which they are prepared and served. As well it follows the development of the modern cocktail from the late 19th century to the present day, tracing the stylistic reflections of the rituals of the cocktail’s preparation, presentation, and consumption. “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” features a range of objects, many of which are on view for the first time, including 19th-century punch bowls, Prohibition-era cocktail shakers, and Art Deco and modern barware.

Before the night came to an end, partygoers gathered once more for the announcement of the winners of five fabulous raffle prizes:

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package: a one night get away in deluxe accommodations at The Joule Hotel with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $100-gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler.
  • Fossil® Q Wander rose gold stainless+Q Marshal in brown leather
  • Victor Tangos and Bella and Chloe: a $150 shopping spree at Bella & Chloe/Brethren Boutique and a $100 gift certificate to Victor Tangos, home to Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chef Kirstyn Brewer!
  • Ultra-Luxe ROXOR Gin Experience: six tickets to a private curator tour through the Shaken, Stirred, Styled  Then, enjoy an exclusive ROXOR cocktail-making class, perched 19 floors above Klyde Warren Park and the DMA, in a private residence.
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP Package for February 25th event featuring with Jessi Klein, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series “Inside Amy Schumer”
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #2 for May 3rd event, Happy Hour! A talk, cocktail sampling, and performance inspired by “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith

Despite Topsy-Turvy Temps, Dallas Blooms Will Be Abounding With “Peace, Love And Flower Power” Through April 9

Yesterday the temperatures were in the upper 80s. Tonight the mercury will drop to the 30s. This winter has been a roller coaster with wardrobes going from shorts to quilted jackets and back to sandals within hours.

If you think you’ve been dizzy from the changes, take pity on the plants. One minute they’re poking their heads up to spring-like conditions and just as quickly they’re being threatened with frost.

Daryl Kirkham, Mark Clayton and Mark Wolf*

And you just know the Dallas Arboretum folks have had their hands full in preparation for Dallas Blooms that had its Iberiabank sponsor Dallas Market President Daryl Kirkham, Dallas City Councilperson Mark Clayton and Dallas Arboretum Board Chair Mark Wolf on hand for the preview of this year’s theme “Peace, Love and Flower Power.”

This year’s petal extravaganza will “showcase an explosion of color with vintage VW floral topiaries and more than 500,000 spring-blooming blossoms” until Sunday, April 9.

Dallas Arboretum’s Dallas Blooms*

According to Dallas Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar, “Dallas Blooms is the largest display of tulips in a public garden anywhere west of Holland. Later in the festival thousands of azaleas and hundreds of Japanese cherry trees will blossom, leaving breathtaking color at every turn. Guests are sure to have an unforgettable experience this spring in our world-class garden.”

During the run of Dallas Blooms through Sunday, April 9, different activities celebrating the 1960’s theme will take place. From an Ed Sullivan Show-Celebrity Weekend, a music festival throughout the gardens to guests getting henna tattoos, and 1960s fashion on display in the DeGolyer House, it’ll make you dig out your bell bottoms and Nehru jackets.

And as if the Dallas Blooms isn’t enough, the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden will be back in action Saturday after going through its annual winter refreshing.

* Photos provided by Dallas Arboretum

Plans For 4th Annual Great Create Revealed At Forty Five Ten

So who said January was ho-hum? They were obviously so very out of the loop! Thursday, January 12, was a gas spender just trying to make the rounds. Like the Little Black Dress Party Preview at Goodson Audi benefiting Legal Hospice, Dallas was bustling to get back in the groove for fundraising.

Over at Forty Five Ten, the Nasher Sculpture Center’s 4th Annual Great Create was being kicked off. Nasher Director Jeremy Strick fessed up that despite all the fundraisers in Dallas, the Great Create was the most fun.

Not only does it provide a venue for kids to discover wonderment and art thanks to professional artists, it also allows parents to kick back and enjoy a Sunday afternoon in the Nasher’s gardens.

Only problem? Some of the parents wish that there was a similar type of event for parents to bring out their artistic inner selves.

This year’s even will take place on Sunday, April 23, with Lauren and Jason Bender and their children and Janelle and Alden Pinnell and their children co-chairing the fun.

Serving on the host committee are Katie and David AisnerLindsay and Jehan AkhtarLilly Albritton and Chuck BriantLindsey and Dave BeranKristy and Taylor BowenMia and Tyler BrousKatherine and Ken BullockCourtney and Dan CaseAshley and Robert CatheySylvia Cespedes and Hernan Saenz, Emily and Walter ClarkeLindsey and Patrick Collins, Jessica and Doug Epperson, Sara Fay and Merrick EganShannon and Jeff EstesJenney and David GillikinKerri and David GoldfarbJill and Wade HendersonJanie and Dave HodgesMonica and Paul HolmesBrooke HortenstineLindsay and Chuck Jacaman,Cris Jordan and Scott PotterKarey and Josh KitfieldSunny and Craig KnockeErica and Trey Kuppin, Hallie and Max LamontNicolette and Miles Lamont, Katie and Pierre Lavie, Laura and Frederick Lear, Sheryl and Eric Maas, Catherine and Doug MacMahon, Tracy and Josh Madans, Louise and Charles Marsh, Erin and Mike McKool, Paula and Todd Minnis, Meredith and Xan MooreLucy and Thomas MortonLucy and Will MurchisonJessica and Dirk NowitzkiAnnie and Tim O’GradyKristin and Aaron Ortega, Katie and Kyle OudtNatalie and Dirik OudtJessica and Tyson PinnellAlison and Cullen PowellKristie RamirezKristin and Ricky Rees, Katherine and Eric ReevesBrooke and Rod RobersonStephanie and John RobertsLisa and John Runyon, Cheryl and Andrew SchoellkopfAmanda and Charlie ShufeldtRobyn and Michael SiegelCourtney and Jeff SinelliNicole and Justin Small, Helene and Sandy SpurginMelina and Randy StarrDenise and Chris StewartRachel and Chris TrowbridgeGwendolyn and Richard Turcotte,Bianca and Bo WatsonClaudia and Brian WingMegan and Brady WoodLucy and Steve WrubelErika and Matt Yeaman, Lyssa and D’Arcy YoungRenee and Bob Yttredahl and Marjon Zabihi and Gibbs Henderson.

Starting at $500 for four, tickets are available now plus sponsorships.

JUST IN: Artscape Reimagined 2017 Chair Kaki Hopkins Announces Craig Hall To Receive The First Great Contributor To Art Award And Much More Deets

Due to circumstances way beyond our control, the next couple of days are going to be filled with announcements galore thanks to those wonderful people who bring you fundraising in North Texas. The news will be revealed as soon as it breaks.

The very first on the lineup just took place, courtesy of Artscape Reimagined 2017 Chair Kaki Hopkins, who never tackles any project in a lightweight manner. She gathered a crowd of folks, including many of her 48-member committee, at Dallas Arboretum’s DeGolyer House this evening to reveal plans for the upcoming Artscape Reimagined 2017.

Kaki Hopkins (File photo)

Craig Hall (File photo)

The eyebrow-raising headline of the evening was the creation of the Great Contributor to Art Award in association with the garden’s fine art and craft show. And to kick the launch of the award off with a bang, she announced the very first recipient will be entrepreneur/best-selling author/philanthropist/vineyard owner Craig Hall.

According to Kaki, “Craig Hall embodies the spirit of this award. He is someone who collects art not for himself but for the benefit of the communities in which we live and work, and we are excited to honor him.”

Craig will be presented with the Gary Lee Price-designed award on Friday, May 12, at the Artscape Award and Auction Dinner in the Arboretum’s Rosine Hall.

With wife Kathryn Hall standing nearby, Craig said, “I am a strong believer in the importance of public art and the incredible effect it can have on its audience. Art has the ability to touch the soul and make people think, and it should be shared openly and democratically. The Dallas Arboretum, through its public art exhibits, sculptures throughout the garden and Artscape, is a great example of how our city is embracing public art, and I am glad to be a part of it.”

Patricia Meadows (File photo)

Regarding Artscape itself, it will feature more than 100 renowned artists from around the country thanks to the Artscape jury including Chair  Patricia Meadows, Katherine Wagner and Marty Ray with assistance by Gail Sachson. This year’s show will feature “a variety of mediums including paintings, sculpture, 2-D and 3-D mixed media, photography, fiber, ceramics and more.” But leave it to Kaki to have ramped it up to live up to its Artscape Reimagined theme, like:

  • An architect-designed landscape layout with decorative signage and boulevards that provide excellent audience flow and heightened visibility for the artists.
  • The historic DeGolyer House transformed into the DeGolyer Gallery, featuring local Dallas galleries presenting works by artists they represent
  • The University Zone, where approximately 10 universities will show and sell works by their professors and students.

And it will all take place with the Arboretum grounds in full bloom, thanks to dazzling azaleas. The schedule calls for the member preview on Friday, April 28, with the public viewings on the following Saturday (April 29) and Sunday (April 30).  

As an additional offering, Artscape guests will also be able to check out ZimSculpt, the exhibition of “modern Zimbabwean stone sculptures that will be incorporated into the garden” from Saturday, April 15 through Monday, July 31. This collection of more than 100 hand-carved pieces will be the first time that the sculptures will be on display in the southern U.S. During their stay, Zimbabwean artists Aron Kapembeza and Passmore Mupindiko will be on hand to demonstrate how the stone is carved into modern art.

BTW, tickets for the Artscape Award and Auction Dinner are $300 per guest and will be available for purchase on Monday, February 6.

MySweet2017Goals: Michael Faircloth

Michael Faircloth (File photo)

According to UNT Distinguished Alumnus/designer Michael Faircloth

“My 2017 goal is to wrap up fund-raising for The Michael Faircloth School of Fashion Design Endowment Fund capital campaign at the University of North Texas. I am honored to have my name associated with this great institution and I am hopeful many students will benefit from this important educational experience.

“With an emphasis on art research, fashion history and trend analysis, UNT’s fashion design students learn to take their ideas from inception, to sketch, to finished garment. They also learn practical skills like patternmaking, draping, fashion sketching, industrial sewing and computer-aided design that lead to rewarding careers.”

Dr. Dan DeMarco Got Pretty Gutsy At The Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Luncheon

The word “gut” is usually not one that comes up at lunch. But on Tuesday, December 13, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board literally gutted up to learn about gastrointestinal research and developments.

Paula Walker

Ashley Jones

But before it kicked off, the Board members were entertained by musicians and artists like Ashley Jones from Baylor’s Arts in Medicine program at Sammons Cancer Center. Developed by Bonnie Pittman, the program is provided free-of-charge for cancer patients at Baylor as a creative therapy thanks to a donation by Paula Walker. Another part of the program is for musicians to play at bedside. When the program began in 2015, there were 300 requests for musical practitioners. This past year the monthly rate had risen to more than 2,000.

Margo Goodwin, Leonard Riggs and Annette Simmons

Amy Turner

Jerry Fullinwider and Martha Hackbarth

As guests like Nancy Dedman, Kelly Green, Richard Holt, Kathy Crow, Michal Powell, Amy Turner, Julie Turner, Su-Su Meyer, Leonard Riggs, Annette Simmons, Jerry Fullinwider, Martha Hackbarth, Trisha Wilson, Randi Halsell, Jill Smith, Paul Stoffel, Sharon McCullough, ­­­Lana and Barry Andrews and Tavia Hunt settled in their chairs at the Sammons Cancer Center, Foundation Chair Margo Goodwin reported that Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Aileen Pratt and Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale had raised $1.8M for breast cancer research. Taking over the leadership for the 2017 Celebrating Women will be Tucker Enthoven as luncheon chair and Ola Fojasek as underwriting chair. 

Aileen Pratt

Tavia Hunt

With tongue firmly in cheek, Margo explained that due to the day’s subject matter the presentation would be held after the meal was consumed.

No need. For the presentation, Margo and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson had gotten retired Dr. Dan DeMarco to explain the various components of the digestive system. In introducing Dan, Robin admitted that he had done research by reading “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” by Giulia Enders. He described it as “a really cheeky, easy-to-read guide about both the secrets and the science of our digestive system. I recommend it. It’s a neat read.”

Dan DeMarco

And, yes, the topic did have a “yuck factor” about it, but with the charm of a leprechaun and the knowledge and skill of a recognized health care provider, Dan took the SRO crowd through the various steps of the gastrointestinal system, or as Robin put it, “from stem to stern.”

 Dan started off by recalling years ago, an Australian doctor — Dr. Barry Marshall — claimed that bacteria, not acid, caused ulcers. Experts poo-pooed the idea, despite the doctor’s even swallowing bacteria to prove his point. Years later, he was proved right and won the 2005 Noble Prize.  

In addition to “Gut,” Dan suggested another book that was easy-to-read-and-digest: “Gulp” by Mary Roach.

Then he rolled out some facts that impressed one and all.

  • 80% of our immune cells reside in the gut
  • The gut sends emotional signal to the brain — suggesting we “feel” with our gut first.
  • Gastro-intestinal conditions can be seen as the “mental illness” of your gut.
  • Food affects your mood, and not just “comfort food.”
  • You have 10 times as many microbes as cells in your body. The health of these communities determines your overall health. Collectively, these communities are called the microbiome.
  • Digestive insufficiencies contribute to a wide range of health issues, including migraine headaches, depression, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis and more.
  • Lactose intolerance increases with age.
  • Gluten sensitivity is “relatively rare. It has to be confirmed with blood testing and intestinal biopsy. Certainly people do feel different on a gluten-free diet. People swear by it, but it’s probably not just the gluten. It’s due to other factors.”
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria. With the wide-spread use of antibiotics, the few bacteria that the antibiotics don’t kill get stronger, become resistant and become super bugs. Not everything should be treated with antibiotics.
  • Probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria that help the digestive system.
  • Microbiome is the entire community of germs. By analyzing the microbiome, it is possible to create an individual’s “fingerprint” regarding their makeup. For instance, if antibiotics are given the first two or three years of life, they influence the microbiome.
  • Microbiome may have more of an effect on our makeup and well-being than genetics.
  • Diseases like Parkinsons, Lupus and others may be the result of the microbiome.
  • Microbiome is affected by whether you were born via C-section or natural delivery and if you were breast fed.
  • The gut affects the immune system, moods, personality and attitude. About 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. The gut is sometimes referred to as “The Second Brain.”
  • The small intestine is 21 feet long, which results in food taking about six hours to reach the colon.

The small intestine’s length was one of the challenges that had faced the medical community in detecting health problems. It was only accessible via the operating room. The traditional colonoscopy could only go so far, Dan said, but he had been involved in the creation of a new treatment combining the Double Balloon Scope and Spiral Component being “dropped from the top down.” The result was the shortening of the intestine “like rolling up your sleeve.” This procedure made it possible for the small intestine to be examined without trauma and reduced the six-hour traditional examination to a mere 30 minutes. It is currently going through national clinical trials for approval.

Another developments that is being tested at Baylor is the TransPyloric Shuttle for moderately overweight people and fecal transplants for colon diseases.

In conclusion, Dan discussed the gastroenterologist fellows program at Baylor in which, each year, two are selected to be part of the three-year program after finishing their training as internal medicine doctors. Emphasizing the need for gastroenterologists, he added that those participating in the fellowship program tended to stay locally.

To summarize his presentation, he suggested three take-home points:

  1. Think outside of the box
  2. Embrace new technology
  3. Keep learning, keep teaching and “support our fellowship program.”

Upon his retirement, Dan and his wife, Dr. Cara East, created an endowment to support a fellowship and, thanks to the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, more than a million dollars was raised resulting in the DeMarco Fellow each year that is fully funded.

Jim Turner and Joel Allison

Following Dan’s presentation, Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board of Trustees Chair Jim Turner told the foundation board members about the new Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton and extolled the accomplishments of retiring Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel Allison. Among them: during Joel’s 23-year tenure, he grew Baylor from a $1-billion asset healthcare system to $10 billion today; the merger with Scott & White; heading up 45,000 employees, 48 hospitals and countless other undertakings resulting in Baylor being one of the top ten not-for-profit healthcare companies in the country and the leading not-for-profit in Texas.

While Joel will officially retire on his birthday (Wednesday, February 1), he will remain as an advisor to Jim Turner. This relationship dates back to their days at Baylor University, when Jim was on the basketball team and Joel played football.

The Edith O’Donnell Institute Of Art History Lecture Hosted Keynote Speaker Philippe De Montebello For Heavy-Hitting Art Lovers

Once again The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History Lecture didn’t disappoint on Tuesday, November 29, at the Dallas Museum of Art. With world-renowned art authority Philippe de Montebello as the keynote speaker, it was no wonder that some of Dallas’ art elite were on hand for the lecture and dinner. Here’s a report from the field:

Bill Solmon, Peter O’Donnell, Gay Solomon and Edith O’Donell*

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at The University of Texas at Dallas hosted a lecture and dinner on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA). Dr. Richard C. Benson, President of The University of Texas at Dallas; Dr. Richard R. Brettell, Founding Director of The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History; and Dr. Agustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, welcomed over 250 guests including William Jordan, Susan Marcus, Robert Brownlee, Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly, Joanne Stroud, Carole and John Ridings Lee, Linda and Bill Custard, Dan Patterson, Mary McDermott Cook, Leslie Benson, Gay and Bill Solomon, Beverly and Don Freeman, Brenda Berry, Rima and Eric Lee, Patricia Patterson and Catherine Rose for the third annual event.

Leslie and Richard Benson*

Carole and John Ridings Lee*

Patricia Patterson and Catherine Rose*

William Jordan, Susan Marcus and Robert Brownlee*

As guests arrived, they mingled over cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres in the Museum’s concourse before convening in the Horchow Auditorium for the evening’s lecture.

Dr. Arteaga welcomed attendees to the DMA and thanked them for their support of the evening, before introducing Dr. Benson. Dr. Benson gave a brief introduction of The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at UTD, a center for innovative research and graduate education in the history of art. Founded as a partnership between UTD and the DMA, the Institute links one of the country’s great public art collections with one of the finest public university systems in the world.

Dr. Brettell then took the podium and shared details about some of the Institute’s exciting partnerships, including the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples. Museo di Capodimonte Director Sylvain Bellenger followed, providing the history of the museum which is located in the Palace of Capodimonte, as well as images of the palazzo and its renowned collections.

Sylvain Bellenger, Philippe de Montebello, Agustin Arteaga and Richard Brettell*

Dr. Brettell returned to introduce the evening’s featured speaker, Philippe de Montebello, professor of History and Culture of Museums at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and past director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Montebello enthralled the crowd with his lecture about “The Multiple Lives of Works of Art,” by sharing beautiful images as well as his extensive knowledge and expertise.

For more information, visit The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.

* Photos provided by Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History

JUST IN: 2017 Equest Gala Plans Announced For Field Of Dreams With Kathy And Jeromy Fielder As Co-Chairs

From the left: (back row) Alanna Sarabie, Andrea Reich, Gretchen Darby, Dare, Keetha Hanlin, Regina Bruce, Melissa Vullo Bell and Renee Farinella; (front row) Dianna Pietra, Deve Sandord, Kathy Fielder and Britt Harless*

Despite last night’s dreary, wet weather, the horse-loving Equest crowd headed over to Samuel Lynne Galleries. The draw was not a new exhibition on horses. Rather it was the kick-off reception for the 2017 Equest Gala. Upstaging the art on the walls were the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare. It was the pair’s first visit to the gallery and vice versa.

Lili Kellogg, Jocelyn White, Lynn McBee and Susan Schwartz*

On hand to hear the news were Samuel Lynne

Co-Founder/artist JD Miller and his artist wife Lea Fisher Miller, Dan Pritchett, Deve Sanford, Mimi Noland, Nicole Barrett, Doug Murray, Georgette Doukas, Alanna Sarabie, Andrea Reich, Gretchen Darby, Keetha Hanlin, Regina Bruce, Melissa Vullo Bell, Renee Farinella, Dianna Pietra, Britt Harless, Debbie Murray, Regina Bruce, Heather “Miss Texas Teen” King, past Equest Chairman of the Board/Gala Chair Jocelyn White, Equest Co-Founder Susan Schwartz and Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser.

Laura and Jason Cope*

JD Miller*

Equest CEO Lili Kellogg revealed the news of the night. This year’s theme will be “Field of Dreams” with Co-Chairs Kathy and Jeromy Fielder and Honorary Co-Chairs Lynn and Allan McBee.

It will take place on Saturday, April 29, at Texas Horse Park with “gourmet southern cuisine, craft cocktails, live music and much-desired live and silent auction items.”    

There will be a demonstration of how Equest is making such a difference in peoples’ lives, head patting with Texas Horse Park residents and dancing to Texas Country Music. What were you expecting — minuets?

While sponsorships start at $5,000, Lili announced that “the first Gala sponsor to contribute a minimum of $15,000 or more” would receive an original horse photo donated by photographer Laura Cope.

For smart folks who reach the VIP status, the horse-ing around will start at 6:30, while the rest of the herd will hit the doors at 7. Since there is no on-site parking, shuttles will be available.

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

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

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

The Dallas Arboretum will be closed on Christmas Day. And while the official word is that this closure allows the staff to be with their families and friends, the unofficial word is that there is an exclusive party taking place in the DeGoyler House.

Reserved annually for this festive event, the stately mansion is where Santa parties with Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer after delivering toys and before heading back to the North Pole.

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

In addition to the eggnog, decorated cookies and fruitcake (yes, Santa does like fruitcake, especially from Corsicana), the highlight of this year’s occasion is the hundreds of Santas provided by members of the Junior League of Dallas at The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition.

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

The Claus Collection Santa Exhibition

By Monday morning Santa and his crew will have headed home, but the collection of Kris Kringles will still be on display along with the 12 Days of Christmas throughout the grounds until Sunday, January 8.

For your consideration, check the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for a smattering of the Saint Nicks.

Dallas Museum Of Art Speakeasy’s Raffle Is Gonna Be The Bargain Of The Shakened, Stirred And Styled Season

Dallas Museum of Art’s Speakeasy celebrating is going to have such a bargain raffle on Saturday, February 4, at the DMA. If you can afford a cup of coffee at Ascension, you can afford a couple of chance tickets. But first, here is the lineup of the five raffle packages:

  • The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package:  Lavish in the thoughtful comfort and luxury of The Joule.  With dramatic art installations, unique retail boutiques, a world-class spa, clever design, award-winning food and drinks and some of the best service in town, The Joule is seen as the cultural epicenter of downtown. Enjoy a one night get away in deluxe accommodations with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $100 gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler. 
  • Fossil® Q Wander rose gold stainless and Q Marshal in brown leather: Q Wander and Q Marshal are Fossil’s newest digital display watches that connects seamlessly to your phone. The tech-savvy dial with touchscreen functionality tracks everything from daily steps to calories. Notifications alert you of incoming calls and texts. *Powered by Android Wear™ (but compatible with iOS and Android wear phones) this smartwatch tracks activity, connects to your favorite apps, receives display notifications, and has customizable faces and interchangeable strap options to fit your style. Noticeable design details include slim lugs on Q Wander and a rugged bezzle on Q Marshal for an updated design look on a smarter watch. 
  • Victor Tangos and Bella and Chloe:  Enjoy a $150-shopping spree at Bella and Chloe/Brethren Boutique. Touting men’s and women’s boho wears, this shop is known for precious metals and stones from all around the world. Bella and Chloe is an American made brand known for the effortlessly cool, unbound, and bohemian soul translating culture through style and youthful freedom. Then stroll across the street to Victor Tangos wear you have $100 on the house! Always in the top ten of places to grab a craft cocktail and savory meal, Victor Tangos is the home to Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chef Kirstyn Brewer!   
  • Martini glass, c. 2001 by Valeri Timofeev*

    Ultra-Luxe Roxor Gin Experience: Six tickets to a private curator tour through the “Shaken, Stirred, Styled” exhibition. Then, enjoy an exclusive Roxor cocktail-making class, perched 19 floors above Klyde Warren Park and the DMA, in a private residence. The owners of this Dallas-distilled gin will explain how gin is made and the unique botanicals used in Roxor. Each guest will enjoy crafting three cocktails, complemented by fashionable hors d’oeuvres. A Roxor memorable experience!

  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #1Jessi Klein is the Emmy and Peabody award-winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series “Inside Amy Schumer.” Growing up gawkish and a late bloomer, Jessi Klein never identified with the conventional standards of modern femininity. Instead she viewed herself as a tomboy who found her voice through comedy. In her outrageously funny and unapologetically candid breakout book, “You’ll Grow Out of It,” Klein compiles a perceptive collection of confessional essays that offer readers a relatable glimpse into exactly what it means to be a woman in today’s world.  Package winners will receive reserved seating, tickets to the event, one copy of the book, and fast track passes for the book signing following the event.   Saturday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.              
  • Arts & Letters Live VIP package #2:  Arts & Letters Live presents “Happy Hour!” A talk, cocktail sampling, and performance inspired by “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”  6:15-7:00 p.m. Pre-performance talk/Q&A and cocktails in the DMA’s Founders Room with David Wondrich, one of the world’s foremost authorities on cocktails and their history; author of the book Imbibe!, which won a James Beard Award.   7:30 p.m. Happy Hour! Performance: The DMA’s exhibition “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail” packs just the punch required for five acclaimed musicians to create an adventurous concoction of rhythm, music, and text, to be enjoyed responsibly for one night only. Songs will range from Mozart, Offenbach, and Verdi to Cole Porter and Joni Mitchell. This marks the ninth collaboration of Arts and Letters Live with artistic programmer Ryan Taylor, whose creative process combines art, music, and literary excerpts.  Package winners will receive two tickets to the pre-event talk/Q&A, cocktails, a copy of the book “Imbibe!,” reserved seating,  and two tickets for the performance.  Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sounds good. But let’s think about stupendous great. Chance tickets will be going for $1 each. Hello? One buck? Ten dimes? Yup! And to make it even better and easier for shy types, the raffle tickets are available online, so you don’t have to chat it up with anyone.

The winners will be announced at 11 p.m. the night of the fundraiser, but you don’t need to be present to win.

Martini glasses (File photo)

But then you’ll want to be on the scene. Besides blushing and hollering when your name is called, you’ll want to be part of the jazz babies, who are going to be adding to the “Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail.”

So, why not splurge and go high hog with VIP tickets for the party, buy a fistful of chance tickets and party the night away?

BTW, get there early because self-parking will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.