MySweetWishList: AT&T Performing Arts Center

According to AT&T Performing Arts Center Director of Education and Community Engagement Glynis Brault,

“Happy holidays, fellow Dallasites!

Motown the Musical*

“The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center passionately believes that everyone deserves to experience the power and wonder of the arts. Our wish this holiday season is that you’ll join us in our efforts to educate, entertain and inspire audiences from every part of North Texas.

“The Center has a unique program called Community Partners. Working with social service agencies, we provide tickets to individuals and families who face challenging circumstances or have little to no access to the performing arts. Through this highly collaborative solution to the problem of arts access in North Texas, the Center provides approximately 1,500 free tickets each year to a variety of partner organizations. However, as a nonprofit arts foundation which presents shows rather than produces them, the Center must purchase the tickets we use for this program. Currently, Community Partners is supported by the visionary Donna Wilhelm Friendship Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts and individual contributions to our annual fund – from generous supporters like you!

AT&T Performing Arts Center **

“And the outcomes are exciting! Just ask Kamica King, a music therapist at The Bridge, a Community Partners agency which serves the homeless community. Last year she brought a group to see Grammy Award-winning blues musician Keb’ Mo’.

“’I wanted to say a huge thank you for the opportunity to bring Bridge guests to see Keb’ Mo’,’ said Ms. King, who turned the concert into a classroom and concert experience! ‘The cohort enjoyed learning about Keb’ Mo’ and his music, loved the show and had really great reflections on the experience as well. This would not have been possible without the generosity of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. You all do tremendous work to make the arts accessible and we are truly thankful. It is an honor to be a Community Partner!’

Winspear Opera House***

“Well, the feeling is mutual! We’re honored to partner with The Bridge. The same goes for all of our Community Partners which include The Family Place, HopeKids North Texas, Jonathan’s Place, Jubilee Park & Community Center, Lumin Education, Nexus Recovery Center Inc., Resource Center, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Uplift Education – Peak Preparatory, Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, Wesley-Rankin Community Center and Wilkinson Center.

“Our wish this holiday season? That you’ll help us continue serving all these great partners and the people they serve!

“Likewise, if you represent an agency that you’d like to see involved in Community Partners please let us know.

“Happy Holidays!”

-By Glynis Brault, AT&T Performing Arts Center director of Education and Community Engagement

* Photo credit: Nate Rehlander, courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center
** Graphic provided by AT&T Performing Arts Center 
***Photo credit: Carter Rose, courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center

JUST IN: Annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green Is Relocating From The Mansion To AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Sammons Park

Don’t plan on heading to the Mansion for the annual TACA Lexus Party On The Green, because it’s moving to the Sammons Park in the AT&T Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 12, with former Cattle Baron’s Chairs Katherine Wynne and Tia Wynne as the co-chairs.

Katherine Wynne (File photo)

Tia Wynne (File photo)

Is it because of the Mansion’s mega-renovations? According to TACA Carlson President/ Executive Director Wolford McCue, “TACA’s mission is to support the performing arts community, so not only is the AT&T Performing Arts Center the perfect backdrop for TACA Party on the Green, it also provides us more space to showcase several of our beneficiaries. Tia and Katherine have planned an incredible evening with local celebrity chefs and performances by TACA supported arts organizations, all with the goal to raise critical funding for the local arts.” 

Party on the Green (File photo)

It will have the traditional wine cork pull, music and silent auction. As of today, the participating chefs will include: Chef Dean Fearing of Fearings Restaurant, Chef John Gilbert of G Texas Custom Catering, Chef Jeffrey Kollinger of Tillman’s Roadhouse, Chef Sader Matheis of Salum Restaurant, Chef Sonny Pache of Ocean Prime and Rosewood Ranches Waygu Beef, Chef Tom Parlo of Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Chef Janice Provost of Parigi, Chef Daniele Puelo of CiboDivino, Chef Gianni Santin and Chef Tida Pichakron of Haute Sweets Patisserie, Chef Andrew Swanson of Wolfgang Puck and Chef John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas.

Presented by Highland Park Village, the event tickets are on sale. VIP tickets (translation: early-bird entry of 6:30 p.m.) are $500 and general admission for the 7:30 p.m. start at $375.

MySweetWishList: AT&T Performing Arts Center

According to AT&T Performing Arts Center President/CEO Doug Curtis,

Doug Curtis*

Doug Curtis*

“The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center’s wish is simple: to enrich the community through the performing arts. For as little as $40 dollars, you can provide an experience that will bring joy to a child or family during the holiday season, and memories to last well beyond that.

“When you donate to the Center, you help fund our Open Stages education program, which allows students to learn from Broadway performers, enjoy professional performances and receive career training in the technical arts.

“We also partner with nonprofits like The Family Place, Jonathan’s Place, Jubilee Park, Lumin Education, Nexus Recovery Center, The Ronald McDonald House, Vickery Meadow and the Wilkinson Center to donate tickets to their constituents.

“This holiday season, we wish that more people could access the arts on the Center’s campus, in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Please consider making a meaningful contribution:

AT&T Performing Arts Center**

AT&T Performing Arts Center**

  • “$40 buys an individual ticket for one of our Community Partners
  • “$160 gives a family of four a holiday memory at one of our performances.
  • “$250 buys dinner for students on our campus learning about the performing arts.
  • “$500 covers the transportation for 100 students accessing the Center’s education programs this month.
  • “$1,000 will enable one of our partnering Dallas ISD schools to attend a Broadway show!

“The arts are a powerful tool to educate students, enrich families and strengthen the community. Please support them by making a tax deductible donation today!”

-Doug Curtis, AT&T Performing Arts Center President

* Photo credit: Carter Rose 
** Graphic provided by AT&T Performing Arts Center

“Letters To Jackie” Sell-Out On November 14 At 7:30 P.M. May Result In Second Showing At 10 P.M.

The word about the screening of the film “Letters to Jackie” on Thursday, November 14, at the Winspear had just been out less than 24 hours when 1,283 tickets were already reserved. And that was before the e-blast hit eboxes! Since the sellout number is 1,500, organizers consider the 7:30 p.m. show to be officially sold out.

But what to do about all the folks who wanted to see the 90-minute movie presented by the AT&T Performing Arts Center?

How about adding another showing of the film at 10 p.m.? According to AT&T Performing Arts Center VP of External Affair Chris Heinbaugh, “This will allow time for the Q&A after, for the garage to empty and for the hall to be quickly cleaned between programs.”

As soon as all the deets are nailed down and tickets are available, we’ll let you know.

By the way, among the actors taking part in the reading of the letters that were sent to the late First Lady following her husband’s death were Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Frances McDormand and Betty White.

Roger Nanney’s AT&T PAC Chairman’s Dinner Got In The Swing Honoring Bess Enloe, Caren Prothro And Deedie Rose

Deedie Rose, Caren Prothro and Bess Enloe*

Deedie Rose, Caren Prothro and Bess Enloe*

Their second annual Chairman’s Dinner on September 16 at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House capped a busy day for the people who run Dallas’ AT&T Performing Arts Center. Earlier in the day the PAC board of directors had held its annual meeting, voting to make three of its most prominent directors—Deedie Rose, Caren Prothro, and Bess Enloe—the board’s first-ever lifetime trustees.

The dinner in the C. Vincent Prothro Lobby of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House also was a sort of bittersweet one for PAC Chairman Roger Nanney. While it marked great success for the Center—it just finished its second straight year in the black financially—it also marked Nanney’s final year as board chair. A search committee is looking for his successor.

Don and Ellen Winspear*

Don and Ellen Winspear*

While guests including Sarah and Ross Perot Jr., Adriana and Guillermo Perales and Ellen and Don Winspear prepared to enjoy a three-course feast by Wolfgang Puck Catering, Nanney and PAC CEO Doug Curtis threaded through the Prothro Lobby, greeting those at the exclusive gathering of directors, major donors and sponsors and supporters like old friends.

Roger Nanney*

Roger Nanney*

“It’s been great fun to see the Center become as successful as it has,” said Nanney, who’s been on the board since 2002 and was first elected chairman in 2010. “We raised the money, built the buildings, and then had to start up a new business. We learned how the place needs to operate. We’ve had a stable management team, and the venues are creating more revenue opportunities than we could have imagined.”

That’s important, he stressed, because it’s hit attractions like “The Book of Mormon” and the “Seinfeld” show that support the PAC’s resident companies including the Dallas Opera, the Texas Ballet Theater and the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico. Nanney’s thoughts on leaving the chairman’s post? “I’ll be a part of this forever,” he replied.

Sara and Chris Peck and Doug Curtis*

Sara and Chris Peck and Doug Curtis*

Not far away, meantime, Curtis, who is the PAC’s longest-serving employee as well as its chief executive, said he was surprised by how quickly the Center had become successful. So how does one do that? “With good business practices and sticking to your principles,” Curtis said. “We’ve been disciplined with our annual budget, and we’ve had to be nimble,” since not every PAC offering can be a “Book of Mormon.”

However, Curtis added, significant challenges remain. The Center needs to “broaden” its reach to more people in North Texas, he said, and, most importantly: “We still have some money to raise to pay for the buildings.” A capital campaign will begin soon to address that, he said, and he hopes it will be a short one.



Later, guests like Jeanne Marie Clossey, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, and Lynn and Allan McBee finished their meal (black kale and spinach salad, seared halibut) by heading for a sliced-to-order pie bar from Emporium Pies. As the diners lined up for their desserts, many were swaying to the lively, soul-pop presentation of Motown classics by the band Cuvee.

Dance floor*

Dance floor*

As the evening began winding down, we asked Caren Prothro and Bess Enloe their thoughts about being named PAC lifetime trustees. “I’m flattered and honored,” Enloe said. But “it’s kind of a ‘sentence’ too.” Agreed Prothro, laughing: “They’ve ‘sentenced’ us to more work!” Then the PAC grande dame turned serious. “What an honor it is,” Prothro said. “It feels like the Center’s momentum, everything, is going in the right direction.” And this momentum, she added, will only help the Dallas community, especially its corporate community, realize the importance of becoming even more involved in the arts.

* Photo credit: Carter Rose

Me Thinks We’ve Got A Winning Combination Of Shakespeare Dallas And The AT&T Performing Arts Center

There are those who can recall times when Bob Glenn beat his brains out producing the Shakespeare Festival. Despite Bob’s being gone from active participation, his beloved productions of Shakespeare continued on to become known as Shakespeare Dallas. It’s been a treasure, but relegated to outdoor venues in the summer and educational programs.

Today a change has been announced and a big one at that. Thanks to the Mankoff Family Foundation, “a new artistic collaboration that over the next five years will present” The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

That means that during the months of September, October, November, January, February, March, April and May, monthly staged readings in the Nancy B. Hamon Hall in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House will take place with local and regional actors and directors on stage.

“Shakespeare’s timeless work connects with diverse audiences on every level, and now all of these works will be presented in one place in the span of a few years,” said Doug Curtis, acting president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. “This is exactly the kind of creative, even ambitious programming Dallas expects this Center to present.”

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare will utilize a staged reading format with simple props, lighting and costumes to keep the focus on the poetry and brilliance of the text. The performances will take place on Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings, encouraging participation by a wide range of Dallas’ theatrical artists and audiences alike.

The 2012-2013 season is tentatively scheduled to have:

  • September 23 and 24 — Much Ado About Nothing
  • October 14 and 15 — Othello
  • November 25 and 26 — The Taming of the Shrew
  • January 13 and 14 — The Winter’s Tale
  • February 17 and 18 — Henry VI Part 1
  • March 10 and 11 — Henry VI Part 2
  • April 14 and 15 — Henry VI Part 3
  • May 19 and 20 — Richard III

“We, obviously, have a passion for Shakespeare and his entire catalogue of work,” said Shakespeare Dallas’ Raphael Parry. “This unique partnership really allows us to utilize our decades of experience in order to share all of this, including his lesser known works, with Dallas audiences.”

Seating will be limited to 200 people per performance, so when the tickets are made available for purchase, hop to it. 

The Bard and Bob are probably so pleased with this announcement. Nice one, Mankoff Family Foundation.

TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction Item #2: Behind-The-Scenes Ultimate Arts Package

If you think you know the AT&T Performing Arts District, you may just surprise yourself and a guest with the offerings in this TACA auction package.

Behind-the-Scenes Ultimate Arts Package (Value: Priceless)

Dallas Arts District

When the AT&T Performing Arts Center was created, it provided a playground where artists and lovers of art could celebrate the performing arts. However, for even the most high-ranking ticket holders, there were certain off-limits reserved for the performers and management. That was until now. Thanks to the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater Center, The Dallas Opera and TITAS, two people will have these five opportunities to witness the PAC from the other side of the curtain.

  1. Tickets and backstage tour of AT&T PAC’s In the Heights (March 13-25, 2012) at the Winspear
  2. On-stage participation with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra during a rehearsal with Maestro Jaap van Zweden at the Meyerson
  3. A bird’s-eye view from two floors above the stage in the stage manager’s booth for the DTC’s production of The Tempest (September 27 -October 9, 2011) at the Wyly
  4. Viewing of the sitzprobe of The Dallas Opera’s The Magic Flute (April 9, 2012) at the Winspear
  5. Premier seats to TITAS’ La Fete du Ballet Gala Command Performance on March 9, 2012, at the Winspear and post-dress rehearsal private dinner with the dance stars in a private home on March 8, 2012.

This package will change the way you look at theater from now on.

Welcome Mark Weinstein To Dallas

Starting June 1 the AT&T Performing Arts Center will have a new CEO — Mark Weinstein. Dallas Morning News Scott Cantrell reports that after a nationwide search, Mark was selected to fill the void left by former CEO Mark Nerenhausen, who left last July.

Most recently Mark W was executive director for the Washington National Opera.

‘nother AT&T PAC Exec Type Departs

On the heels of Mike Granberry‘s Sunday story in The Dallas Morning News about the “challenges” facing the AT&T PAC after its first year, word has just arrived that another PAC exec type if packing her stuff.  VP of External Affairs Jill Magnuson has turned in her resignation.

But she’s just going down the block to handle the external affairs for the Nasher Sculpture Center.


Annette Strauss Square Dedicated With VIP’s And Sunshine

The dedication Thursday of the Annette Strauss Square in the AT&T Performing Arts Center demonstrated how the efforts of both natural-born and adopted Dallasites are paying off. As hundreds arrived for the noon dedication, the staff was ready to handle the diverse age groups. Armed with everything from attendants with wheelchairs to golf-cart limousines, organizers realized that many of the late Annette Strauss‘ friends and associates might need some assistance getting to the outdoor lawn that can seat 2,400. The event also proved how design architects Foster + Partners, London had made the facilities user-friendly with its ramps for all.

It was a good thing for people like June McGuire, (pictured with Pete McGuire) who was in cowboy boots and on crutches due to some foot damage. Lawrence Marcus, natty as always, opted for a wheelchair, while Caroline Rose Hunt looked like a Bryon Nelson Golf Tournament vet as she was driven by in her cart.

Among those arriving on the gently sloping lawn were PAC neighbors (Dallas Symphony’s Paul Stewart, Dallas Theater Center’s Kevin Moriarty and Dallas Opera’s Suzanne Calvin); city leaders, both past and present, (former City Council members Adlene Harrison, Veletta Lill, Mary Poss and Craig Holcomb pictured right with his longtime partner Hector Garcia, whom he married in Washington the past Saturday); the media (Bob Miller, Cheryl Hall, Scott Cantrell, Tim Rogers and Peggy Levinson); and those who recalled the very early days witnessing Annette organize some of Dallas’ most successful fundraisers during a time before computers, cell phones or even fax machines (Phyllis and Ron Steinhart, Katherine Bull, Linda Custard and Ruth Altshuler).

But it was also a day of celebration for the dedication of the Shannon and Ted Skokos Pavilon with its rigging for lighting and sound equipment.

Speaking of lighting and sound, it was interesting to note that the spotlights were on and the production crew was sheltered under two small tents. The lights were really unnecessary, with the perfect weather proving to be a bit too perfect. Thanks to the noon sun shining at full thrust, the event programs proved to be multi-fundation as they turned into fans and shading for many. Charles Simmons, ever the gentlemen, held his program over Margaret McDermott to protect her from the day’s rays.

But the program moved quickly with brief addresses by Howard Hallam, Mayor Tom Leppert and SMU’s Gerald Turner, but it was Annette’s widower Ted Strauss (pictured) who stole the show with a twinkle in his eye. Said Ted:

  • “Sixty-three years ago, Annette and I moved into our apartment here on Hyer Street January 2. On January 3rd, something happened that would change my life forever — Annette opened a charge account at Neiman Marcus. Early on I knew what a stimulus program was.
  • “I said to her one day, ‘You spend more money than I earn.’ She said, ‘Ted, that’s no problem. You just have to earn more.’
  • “I remember I was concerned that she wasn’t spending enough time at home with our children then. And I noticed there were notes around left for the girls (the Strauss daughters Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr) whom she chided frequently. The notes had ‘MOM,’ so I thought that’s for mom. That meant ‘Meetings On Monday.’ And that’s the way she conducted our house. City Council (meetings were) scheduled for Wednesday; Nancy and Janie for Monday. And it worked out pretty good.
  • “She became a dedicated supporter of TACA and so many other institutions. And she worked so hard to save our wonderful symphony when it was threatened  with bankruptcy.  On the night that this magnificent hall (the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center) across the way opened, there were picketers and Annette was harshly criticized for so actively supporting something so frivolous during tough times. Annette just smiled. She knew that a difficult economy was temporary. The glorious Meyerson was permanent.  And I think that judgment has been vindicated.
  • “Now as I look over at the beautiful Arts District, some people call it a miracle. But I know from living with Annette that something like this doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work and not just from one person. The efforts of the Dallas leaders that are here today — Caren (Prothro),  Deedie (Rose), Bess (Enloe), Veletta (Lill), Howard (Hallam), the incomparable Margaret McDermott, Nancy Hamon and many, many others have made this Arts District what it is and they will continue to do what is right for this city.
  • “I came home one evening to our house and noticed Nancy and Janie sitting on the curb. And I went inside and I said, ‘Annette, what are they doing sitting on the curb?’ She said, ‘Well, Janie (pictured second from left with, from the left, Cappy McGarr, Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich and Sue Strauss) didn’t handle herself very well today and I had to chide her. And she began crying, so I left the room, but I listened. And Nancy came in and said to her little sister, “Don’t cry, Janie. We won’t be here long. We’re Spanish princesses who have been kidnapped and they’ll be here to pick us up anytime.”‘ With that Janie went outside and waited for the carriage to come.
  • “It’s been 12 years since (Mayor) Ron Kirk called me December 1998 and told me that the City Council was honoring Annette with Annette Strauss Square. This beautiful venue which I think is a people’s park. It would prove to be true. Annette never knew that because she was already sick. She would have been so proud of it today; I think she does know it. As I look out today and look at you individually that I care about so very much, I believe Annette Strauss is home.”

Then it was time for the official ribbon cutting, but not before a performance of “Because of You” with vocalists John Campione and Laura Smolik with dancers from the Meadows School of Arts. Just as the performance was concluding, the dancers picked up a long green ribbon and presented it for cutting (pictured). At that point the Skokoses, Strausses and speakers with bigger-than-a-microwave scissors attempted to cut the ribbon. First to succeed were Shannon (pictured) and Ted. The team of Howard, Mayor Tom and Gerald tied with Sue and Ted Strauss for second place. Being a bit challenged by the size of the scissors and the stubborn ribbon, Nancy and Janie (pictured left with, from the left, Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich) succeeded in completing the mission. Guess Spanish princesses don’t cut ribbons very often.

Then it was off to a seated luncheon in the C. Vincent Prothro Lobby of the Winspear, where the final challenge of the day was handled: Getting everyone to take their seats. It was a coming together of many who didn’t want to stop recalling their favorite Annette stories. But eventually they did, only to discover that the composition of each table couldn’t have been better if had been in charge.

At one table interior designer John Bobbitt, who had just finished work on the Eddie Chiles designer showhouse in Fort Worth, discussed the pros and cons of iPads with Ron and Gail Berlin. Ron had just finished reading The Big Rich.  . . Patsy Donosky was made keeper-of-his-hat by tablemate Wick Allison momentarily. . .  Mary Suhm reported that she saw a “light at the end of the tunnel” regarding the Dallas Animal Shelter. . .  Strauss relatives including nephew (Rick Strauss with wife Diana) and Annette’s grandkids Kathryn and Elizabeth McGarr were on hand. Elizabeth’s friend Matt McCue (pictured left with Elizabeth) is an author and has written An Honorable Run about cross country. . . Speaking of Elizabeth McGarr, her “other grandmother” Carolyn Cobb (pictured) was proud as punch about Elizabeth’s reporting accomplishments for  Sports Illustrated. . .  Interior designer Laura Hunt, who just completed her office move from one spot in Highland Park Village to another and completed her show house at the Ritz, looked cool despite the sweltering heat. . . Ellen Winspear compared notes with Shannon Skokos about the Skokos-Winspears’ recent trek to Africa. Don’t be surprised if Shannon has another book with fabulous photos in her future.

As guests departed, one was heard to say, “I’m amazed at the range of people here today.” The person evidently didn’t know Annette. Her range knew no boundaries.

JUST IN: Silver Hogue To Join AT&T Performing Arts Center

Park Cities/Preston Hollow/Oak Cliff People reporter Silver Hogue is leaving the journalism world to be external affairs coordinator for the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Her last day at the People Newspapers is August 17.

JUST IN: PAC’s President/CEO Mark Nerenhausen Resigns

Remember last Friday when we told you that Jacob Cigainero had resigned as pr for the Dallas Theater Center and a month ago when we told you that Maria May had resigned as marketing head for the AT&T Performing Arts Center?

Well, there must be something in the PAC water system. Another resignation was just announced and this one is a biggie — PAC’s President and CEO Mark Nerenhausen.

Until Mark’s replacement is found, PAC’s Senior VP and General Manager Doug Curtis will be handling the chores.

Let’s hope this is the last resignation announcement coming from the PAC for a while. . .  please!!!