RENT Leaves no Feeling Untouched!

Written by Scott Rigtrup, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Bass Concert Hall played host venue to the opening night of the 20th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Broadway play RENT on October 13, 2017.  Being in attendance was to say the least, historic!

(L to R) Skyler Volpe, Kaleb Wells RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2017.

(L to R) Skyler Volpe, Kaleb Wells RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2017.

Set in the late 90′s in New York City, a young group of impoverished artists squatting in an old dilapidated warehouse, band together as they face seemingly insurmountable struggles in pursuit of their youthful hopes and aspirations.

The palette of characters paints an intensely colorful tapestry as their lives joyfully and sorrowfully weave together. The young musician vexed by the death of his lover struggles to discover “that perfect note”.  Yet, he finds himself falling hopelessly and fearfully in love with the vivacious striptease dancer who is ensnared in her own life threatening drug addiction.

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Meanwhile, the aspiring film maker astutely records the nuances of their eclectic community as he longs to feel connected to the people before him in his camera lens.

Subsequently, a former squatter marries in to money and purchases the very warehouse he once lived in because of his dream of turning it into an institute for the arts, which ironically unveils the tyrannical landlord in him as he threatens to evict the very friends he once lived side by side with.

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All the while, the community watches helplessly as the incredibly big hearted “friend to all” springs further alive by meeting the love of his life. Heartbreakingly so, his new hysterically flamboyant cross dressing boyfriend soon succumbs to the ravages of AIDS in his fledgling partners loving arms.

RENT leaves no feeling untouched.  The feverish pitch of youthful hope and aspiration, countered by the walloping blows of despair and anguish are ever so gently balanced by the weaving of the abiding thread of reassuring love that undoubtedly conquers all and that is the textile of life.

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Based on the original direction by Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, RENT), Evan Ensign restages this 20th anniversary tour.  Marlies Yearby (Tony Nomination, RENT) serves as choreographer.

The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include Cinderella, MAMMA MIA!, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Vocalosity, and Crazy For You.

South Texas Ranching Families Give Generously to the Briscoe Western Art Museum

Gifts Help the Briscoe Highlight the Contributions of Texas Ranching Culture and the Legacy of the American West 

The Briscoe Western Art Museum announced on October 11 recent significant gifts it has received from several South Texas ranching families, including Wyatt Ranches, San Vicente Ranch LTD, the “Tex” Elliott family, and the Kate Marmion Charitable Foundation.

“The Briscoe Museum is deeply grateful for these generous gifts from some of South Texas’s most revered ranching families,” said Michael Duchemin, President & CEO of the Briscoe Museum.  “The legacy and impact of Texas ranching culture is indelibly tied to the mission of the Briscoe in preserving the history and heritage of the American West.”

Associates at Tasajillo Div. with Lynn Wyatt for Harpers Bazaar

Associates at Tasajillo Div. with Lynn Wyatt for Harpers Bazaar

The pergola/stage area in the Briscoe’s McNutt Sculpture Garden, a lush outdoor public space and courtyard featuring bronze sculptures by leading Western artists, will now be known as the “Wyatt Ranches Stage,” thanks to the benevolent contribution of Wyatt Ranches. This is the first gift to the Museum from Wyatt Ranches, whose administrator, Bradford Wyatt, has served on the Briscoe Museum’s board of directors since January 2017. Established in 1965 and headquartered in Texas, Wyatt Ranches operates an assimilation of cattle ranching divisions in Colorado, Tamaulipas (Mexico), South Texas, and West Texas.  Mr. Wyatt lives in Realitos, Texas. His mother, Lynn Wyatt, is a well-known philanthropist and matriarch of the Wyatt family.

Enrique Guerra Sr, Enrique Kiko Guerra, Rebecca Guerra and Jose Che Guerra

Enrique Guerra Sr, Enrique Kiko Guerra, Rebecca Guerra and Jose Che Guerra

Two of the most significant pieces on display in the Briscoe Museum galleries have been generously donated to the Museum by San Vicente Ranch, LTD (Linn, Texas) and the Guerra family.  The ornate gold and steel ceremonial sword and leather scabbard, dated 1852, that once belonged to Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna and a Silk-Embroidered Spanish Viceroy Saddle from the mid-1700s, are now a part of the Briscoe’s permanent collection. On the third floor of the Museum is a gallery named for the Guerra family that includes rare artifacts, saddles, and relics from their extensive private collection. Che Guerra is the incoming 2018 Briscoe Board Chair, and Kiko Guerra is a featured artist in Briscoe’s McNutt Sculpture Garden with his bronze masterpiece “El Caporal” that pays homage to the Mexican Vaqueros that once led cattle through this region.

Ben, Rebecca Ruthardt, Jannifer, and Stephen Elliott

Ben, Rebecca Ruthardt, Jannifer, and Stephen Elliott

Since December 2016, several members of the “Tex” Elliott family have committed three-year pledges to the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The family patriarch was lifelong rancher Albert Sager “Tex” Elliott, who passed away in 2013. The Elliott family has holdings in El Bigote Cattle Co. LLC, Gates Mineral Company, Gates Espejo Ranch and Alamo Ranch in New Mexico, after which the A Bar Gallery at the Briscoe is named. Elliott’s wife of 46 years, Jannifer Elliott, is a proud member of the museum’s first docent class, and his daughter, Jessica Erin Elliott, has served as Briscoe Board Chair for the past two years and David B. Elliott, “Tex’s” brother is also a major contributor to the Museum. Other members of the “Tex” Elliott family who have given to the Briscoe include Caleb Gates Elliott and late wife, Kelley, of Lubbock; Jason Sager Elliott and wife, Robin, of Oak Point; Benjamin Galbraith Elliott and wife, Stefani, of Uvalde; Stephen Elliott and wife, Weslie, of Georgetown; and Rebecca Elliott Ruthardt and husband, Tate, of Lubbock.

Janey Briscoe Marmion

Janey Briscoe Marmion

The Kate Marmion Charitable Foundation, based in Uvalde, gifted the Briscoe Museum with major operating grants in 2016 and 2017, and sponsored a gallery during the Museum’s capital campaign. The Foundation was named for the late Janey Katherine “Kate” Marmion, daughter of Janey Briscoe Marmion and James R. Marmion, and granddaughter of the late former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Additional support is received annually from Governor Briscoe’s children: Jill and Dolph “Chip” Briscoe, III, Janey Briscoe Marmion, and Cele and John Carpenter.

“Each member of these notable South Texas ranching families embodies the core values of the late Governor Briscoe and his wife, Janey,” said Duchemin. “Their continued philanthropy has been a cornerstone in establishing the Briscoe as one of the premier Western Art Museums in the region.”

J Wayne Stark Galleries at Texas A&M University Brings Critically Acclaimed “Women Painting Women: In Earnest” Exhibition to Texas

TAMU welcomes touring show of 30 contemporary female artists from around the world

Women Painting Women (WPW), an online resource and web-based community that has showcased more than 430 contemporary women painters from across the globe, has announced its first ever traveling museum exhibition of 53 paintings from 30 contemporary female artists titled “Women Painting Women: In Earnest”. The exhibition takes place at the J. Wayne Stark Galleries at Texas A&M University from October 18 through December 16, 2017. Curated by WPW co-founders Alia El-Bermani and Diane Feissel and co-sponsored by the Wright Gallery at the College of Architecture, the exhibition honors the human spirit and explores the complexity of being a woman today. Admission is free.

“Women Painting Women: In Earnest” is a collection of paintings that avoids voyeuristic depictions and delves into such concepts as identity, role association, fragility with dignity and emotional complexity. The women depicted in the paintings vary in age, race and their pose to reflect the modern woman. “To see this show is to live more than the female experience,” wrote Elizabeth Jackson of ArtSee Magazine. “The psychological complexity of the portraits, the emotional intensity, and the humor—all are fundamental aspects of what it is to be human. The view here is sensitive and compellingly complicated.”

“Each artist looks beyond the surface of her subject, beyond mere replication of the physical world before her, in search of deeper realities,” said co-founder Alia El-Bermani. “ These artists have found a freedom to avoid voyeuristic depictions of the female form to examine honest and sometimes personal narratives about the struggles and resilience of the indomitable contemporary woman.”

Texas artists featured include: Felice House (Austin), Jennifer Balkan (Austin), Candice Bohannon (Fort Worth) and Karen Offutt (Austin). International artists include: Carmen Mansilla (Madrid, Spain), Kamille Corry (Florence, Italy) and Anna Wypych (Gdynia, Poland).

For those unable to visit the exhibition, an 82-page color catalog is available for purchase here.

Founded by artists Alia El-Bermani, Diane Feissel and Sadie Valeri as a blog in 2009, WPW has grown into a community of female artists whose work helps to expand and redefine how women are represented in fine art. The group shares inspiration and techniques while gaining exposure through events, exhibits and social media. Since the first exhibition in Charleston, South Carolina, the co-founders of Women Painting Women have helped organize numerous group exhibitions in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

There will be an afternoon painting demonstration with a live model on October 18th from 12-3pm at the Wright Gallery in the College of Architecture followed by a panel discussion on October 19th from 10-11am.  The opening reception takes place at the Stark Gallery from 5:30-7:30pm on October 19th. All events are free and open to the public.  Exhibit hours are Tuesday – Friday, 9am-8pm and weekends from 12pm-6pm. Latest information available here.

Crave Artisan Chocolate Creates Signature Flavor for Zach Theatre’s 85th Anniversary Season

“Diamond Crunch” Available Now Exclusively at Zach Theatre

ZACH Theatre and Crave Artisan Chocolate

Signature Flavor “Diamond Crunch” Vanilla and Espresso Chai Chocolate Bark available now to celebrate ZACH Theatre’s 85th Anniversary Season

NOW through the ZACH Theatre 2017-2018 Season

ZACH Theatre | 202 S. Lamar Blvd. | Austin, TX 78704

www.zachtheatre.org

www.craveartisianchocolate.com

Crave Artisan Chocolate has created a signature chocolate flavor to honor ZACH Theatre’s 85th Anniversary.  “Diamond Crunch” Vanilla and Espresso Chai Chocolate Bark was inspired by the vibrant community of Austin along with involvement of ZACH Theatre’s spirit and ties to Austin. Krystal Craig, owner and founder of Crave Artisan Chocolate worked to create a taste that captures Austin’s on-the-go, vibrant and playful, but also casual, laid back and versatile attitude to express the similar feeling one experiences when attending a ZACH Theatre production.

The notes in this blend of vanilla, chai and espresso represent these shared characteristics with the stronger playful aspect coming from the sugary crunch as a nod to ZACH’s 85th Diamond Anniversary.  “Diamond Crunch” Vanilla and Espresso Chai Chocolate Bark is available now exclusively at ZACH Theatre through the 85th Season.

Craig explains why she crafted this exclusive flavor for ZACH Theatre, “As an Austin native, having the opportunity to commemorate ZACH’s special 85th anniversary means a lot. Working with other local businesses fuels inspiration in me to develop new flavors and chocolate products. Additionally, and more importantly to me, ZACH Theatre is a staple Austin landmark I know and appreciate after growing up and experiencing the way this city has grown and changed.”

Commercially producing chocolate since 2005, Krystal Craig was born and raised in Austin. Named as a “Rising Star of Chocolate” by the Austin Chronicle, “Top Pick” by Austin Monthly and highly regarded by ZAGAT’s landing her name on multiple lists, Krystal seemed like the perfect person to capture the essence of ZACH’s Anniversary Season. Working with chocolate encompasses the full scope of Krystal’s passions in art, business, people and health. Just like theatre, chocolate is a craft requiring a collaboration of patience, practice and developed technique. It supports creative drive while providing challenge, and comes with the best end result of making smiles.

ZACH’s 85th Anniversary Season opens with the musical gem Singin’ in the Rain, based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film in special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.  Singin’ in the Rain will play ZACH’s Topfer Theatre September 27 – October 29, 2017 under the direction of Abe Reybold, Associate Artistic Director of ZACH Theatre with musical direction by Allen Robertson and choreography by Dominique Kelly.

** ZACH’s full 17-18 Season schedule attached **

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour Coming To Austin October 13 – 15, 2017 Tickets on Sale Friday, August 18 at 10:00 A.M.

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts

The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour

October 13 – 15, 2017

                        Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. 

Bass Concert Hall | 2350 Robert Dedman Drive | Austin, TX 78712

Tickets start at $30.Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.comtexasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall ticket office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com.

(L to R) Danny Harris Kornfeld, Kaleb Wells RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

(L to R) Danny Harris Kornfeld, Kaleb Wells
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

Ticket buyers are reminded that the Bass Concert Hall ticket office and all Texas Box Office Outlets are the only official retail ticket outlets for all performances at Bass Concert Hall. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that Bass Concert Hall is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

(L to R) Skyler Volpe, Kaleb Wells RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

(L to R) Skyler Volpe, Kaleb Wells
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The show received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 to ecstatic reviews and transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996. RENT is winner of the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is one of only six musicals to win both awards.

Based on the original direction by Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, RENT), Evan Ensign restages this 20th anniversary tour.  Marlies Yearby (Tony Nomination, RENT) serves as choreographer.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include CinderellaMAMMA MIA!, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Vocalosity, and Crazy For You.

TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS is situated on the main campus of one of the largest and most prestigious research universities in the country.  Texas Performing Arts serves The University of Texas at Austin campus and the Austin community at large through a diverse season of world-class fine arts performances, educational activities, and collaborative partnerships.  Texas Performing Arts presents an international season of music, theatre, dance, and conversation in our multiple venues, as well as the best in touring Broadway productions and concert attractions. As a university-based arts center it is also committed to serving the academic mission of the College of Fine Arts by supporting the work of our students, faculty and staff on our stages, classrooms, studios and production shops; and in the educational outreach programs it provides for the Austin community.

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com, under the supervision of 9 time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO). Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Dear Evan Hansen, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Hairspray, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, School of Rock and The ProducersBroadwayAcrossAmerica.comBroadway.com

Presented by Texas Performing Arts. Broadway Across America provides production services for Texas Performing Arts. Sales tax exempt pursuant to Texas Tax Code Section 151.3101(a)(3).

Baywatch Star Gena Lee Nolin Joins Sharknado 4

Gena Lee Nolin

Gena Lee Nolin

Photography courtesy of Shandrew PR.

Former Baywatch Star Gena Lee Nolin has joined the cast of Syfy’sSharknado 4: The 4th Awakens.” Nolin will join Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, and David Hasselhoff as member of the elite ‘ASTRO X’ Technology team who help fight the sharknado threat.

Currently filming, “Sharknado 4” is a production from The Asylum, who headed the Sharknado previous Sharknado films. Anthony C. Ferrante returns to direct the original screenplay written by Thunder Levin.

Nolin is best known for her role as ‘Neely’ on “Baywatch” and as ‘Sheena’ in Sony’s “Sheena: Queen of the Jungle” TV Series.  She recently completed a role in the feature film “Killing Hasslehoff,” which also stars Ken Jeong, Jon Levitz, and Justin Bieber.  Nolin is repped by Abrams Artists.

We’re thrilled to feature Gena in our July / August Issue.  Congrats Gena.

Featuring the Classic What a Woman Wants By the Electrifying Maria Johnston

Featuring What A Woman Wants, a compilation of amazing music performed by Maria Johnston.

Lyrics are composed by William Jackson and Clarence Ferguson, Jr., and arranged and produced by William Jackson, Clarence Ferguson, Jr., and Maria Johnston.

Listen, enjoy, and pick up your personal selection of music from What A Woman Wants.

Something Rotten! is an Absolute Thrill Ride of Entertainment!

Written by Scott Rigtrup, Entertainment Correspondent for InFluential Magazine 

The completely original new musical Something Rotten! directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin), with music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe Award and Tony Award nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Tony Award nominees Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O’Farrell, opened at the Bass Concert Hall, May 30 – June 4, 2017.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

I attended Opening Night of this hilarious Broadway hit.  The range of music, dialogue, humor and eras spanned from the Renaissance to modern-day and left me feeling dizzy with glee, like a child stumbling off a roller coaster ride, laughing uncontrollably, while racing to back in line for another go-round!

From L: Rob McClure, Adam Pascal and the cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

From L: Rob McClure, Adam Pascal and the cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Irreverent, only begins to describe the follies that ensue as the aspiring playwrights, Nick and Nigel Bottom, desperately pit themselves against Shakespeare, their arch rival, in creating the next big theatrical hit of the era.  Needless to say, the most unimaginable plots of love, lust, spying, deceit and rivalry spill onto the stage as an incredibly unwitting soothsayer foretells to Nick Bottom the future of theater performances, being full of song, dance and acting, all at the same time.  This, in turn, using the term loosely, “inspires” the confounded Bottom brothers to create the first Musical ever!

Autumn Hurlbert and Josh Grisetti. © Jeremy Daniel.

Autumn Hurlbert and Josh Grisetti. © Jeremy Daniel.

As I sat myself for this performance, I buckled up and expected nothing less than the most comically disorienting re-write of theatrical history known as of yet to man . . . and attendees had to keep arms and hands inside for the ride at all times!

From L: Rob McClure and Jeff Brooks. © Jeremy Daniel.

From L: Rob McClure and Jeff Brooks. © Jeremy Daniel.

The New York production opened in April 2015 on Broadway and continues performances at the St. James Theatre through January 1, 2017. Three of the current Broadway principals will be reprising their roles on tour: Rob McClure as Nick Bottom, Adam Pascal as Shakespeare and Josh Grisetti as Nigel Bottom.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel.

The award-winning design team of Broadway veterans includes Scott Pask (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design), Phil Reno (music direction / conductor), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and casting by Telsey + Company/Bethany Knox, CSA.

Something Rotten! is an absolute thrill ride of entertainment!

Stay up-to-date with what’s going at Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, TX by visiting www.texasperformingarts.org.

Sunday Tea is So Delightful When Hosted by Ballet Austin Guild

Interview Conducted and Written by William Jackson, Chief Business Officer, of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential

Capacity crowd raised close to $40,000 for the Ballet Austin’s Academy Youth Scholarship Fund

On Sunday, April 30, a capacity crowd of 270 distinguished guests convened at historic Hotel Ella in bustling downtown Austin, to enjoy Ballet Austin Guild’s presentation of An Afternoon in Wonderland, its first annual Sunday Tea.

Three generations of Arts enthusiasts enjoy Sunday Tea.

A wonderful family of three generations of Arts enthusiasts enjoy Sunday Tea.

Guests enjoyed a delightful selection of finger sandwiches, sweet pastries and scones while sipping on tea and champagne, of course! As a prelude to Ballet Austin’s performance of ALICE (in wonderland), the Guild celebrated with fun decor, costumes and festivities for guests of all ages. Amazing raffle baskets were available with proceeds going to Ballet Austin’s Academy Youth Scholarship Fund. The Guild’s annual spring fundraiser makes classical ballet training available to any child with a passion and desire to learn, regardless of their family’s economic situation.  Close to $40,000 was raised during Sunday Tea and the Guild couldn’t be more thrilled.

It’s all about presentation at Sunday Tea! It really is.

Even the young ones were captivated and paid rapt attention.

The young distinguished guests were captivated and paid rapt attention.

The guests were lovely and quite distinguished, indeed.

The guests were lovely and quite distinguished, indeed.

Of Note: 2017 marks the 42nd anniversary of Ballet Austin Guild, a non-profit organization supporting Ballet Austin’s educational and community programs benefiting over 57,000 Central Texans each year.

Before the exciting Sunday Tea commenced, I had the pleasure of chatting with Marianna Symeonides, President, Ballet Austin Guild and Cassandra King, Spring Fundraising Chair, and gained insight into what makes them InFluential women people should know, and what’s most thrilling about the Sunday Tea.

Marianna Symeonides, President, Ballet Austin Guild.

Marianna Symeonides, President, Ballet Austin Guild.

Cassandra King, Spring Fundraising Chair;

Cassandra King, Spring Fundraising Chair.

InFluential Magazine:  What makes you smile with joy? 

Marianna Symeonides:  Giving back to those in need brings me great joy.  Also, it brings me great joy when people use the simple words “Thank You”.  They are such simple words, but they mean so much, to so many.    

Cassandra King:  What makes me smile with joy is whenever I’m with my family and friends.  

 

InFluential:  Marianna, tell us about Ballet Austin Archives.

Marianna:   I moved to Austin in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree in Information Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. For my capstone project, I launched the Ballet Austin Archives. I’ve also had the privilege to work with archival records at the Austin History Center where the Ballet Austin Archives will reside in the near future.

 

InFluential:  Cassandra, what do you consider your most important role as Spring Fundraising Chair?

Cassandra:  I take great pride in having the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective that continues to relate to Ballet Austin Guild and Ballet Austin.  As much as I can, I plan to be a Chair who is actively involved.  With respect to the Spring Tea, my goal was to sell 150 tickets, but we sold 270!  With the support of an amazing team, we more than accomplished our goal.

 

InFluential:  Did you and / or members of your family pursue ballet as an art form?

Marianna:  I’ve studied ballet for a year.

Cassandra:  I studied ballet for 19 years.

 

InFluential:  Why are the arts important to society?

Marianna:  The arts must continue to be an integral part of a diverse and growing society. The arts serve as a means of connecting and engaging people.  And, truly the arts have continued to play an integral role because the positive impact has been part of our society through eons of time.

 

InFluential:  How do you remain inspired?

Cassandra:  What keeps me inspired is being around happy people of all ages, colors and creeds.  The arts provide opportunities for people from all backgrounds to come together toward a common goal.  I’m inspired to see this happening and the awesome benefits that result.

 

InFluential:  How do we best keep families enthused about the arts?

Cassandra: What we’re doing through Ballet Austin Guild is continuing to whet the public’s appetite about the happenings within our organization, and that of Ballet Austin.  We’re taking advantage of many media outlets to shine a bright spotlight on what we have planned for this season and beyond.  For example, we’ve had segments on several media outlets where we’ve emphasized that our events are family focused.  Yes, even the guys are very welcomed.  The arts are for everyone.

 

InFluential:  What is the vision for An Afternoon in Wonderland?

Marianna:  Ballet Austin Guild has held a spring fundraiser for 33 years, which is considered a very long time. As such, with the debut of Sunday Tea, we want to bring forth a new concept with a fresh perspective.  It’s important the entire family feels welcomed to participate.

Marianna and Cassandra, your goals were accomplished!  We congratulate you both for a delightful Sunday afternoon providing a wholesome family friendly opportunity to socialize and raise much needed funds in support of Ballet Austin.

Notables in attendance were Molly Beth Malcolm, Austin Community College Vice President of Community Engagement and Public Affairs, along with Ballet Austin’s Artistic Director, Stephen Mills, and Executive Director, Cookie Ruiz.

Molly Beth Malcolm, Austin Community College Vice President of Community Engagement and Public Affairs and her husband.

Molly Beth Malcolm, Austin Community College Vice President of Community Engagement and Public Affairs and her husband.

Ballet Austin's Artistic Director, Stephen Mills.

Ballet Austin’s Artistic Director, Stephen Mills.

Ballet Austin's Executive Director, Cookie Ruiz.

Ballet Austin’s Executive Director, Cookie Ruiz.

Brianna McKinney, VP of Communications, Ballet Austin Guild and Mary Mandel, PR Co-Chairs, Spring Event, Ballet Austin Guild.

Brianna McKinney, VP of Communications, Ballet Austin Guild and Mary Mandel, PR Co-Chairs, Spring Event,
Ballet Austin Guild.

We look forward with great eagerness for Sunday Tea 2018!

The Briscoe Presents George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio

Exhibition showcases rare, vibrant images of 19th century Native Americans

The Briscoe Western Art Museum is pleased to present its summer exhibition showcasing a very rare deluxe set of George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio. This edition of 31 hand-painted color plates is one of only three known sets still in existence. Catlin’s Portfolio is among the most famous color plate books relating to North America’s Native populations produced in the 19th century.

Plate 1. North American Indians.

Plate 1. North American Indians.

George Catlinwas one of the first artists to venture along the western reach of the Missouri River to study and document the Native peoples of the region. From 1832 to 1837, Catlin spent the summer months sketching the tribes of the Great Plains and then finished his pictures in oils during the winter. Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio contains the lithographic prints resulting from his years of painting, living with, and traveling amongst tribes such as the Mandan, Sioux (Lakota), Blackfeet, Crow and several others.  Overall, Catlin painted around 600 highly realistic and powerfully projected portraits of Indians, carefully recording their dress, culture, and way of life.

Plate 5:  Buffalo Hunt, Chase.

Plate 5: Buffalo Hunt, Chase.

In addition to publishing the Portfolio, Catlin also spent from 1837 to 1852 touring the United States, England, France, and Holland, exhibiting his collection of paintings with examples of Native American arts and crafts. He was accompanied by representative members of the Indian tribes he painted during this time. Financial problems in 1852 caused Catlin to lose his collection. He spent his later years making trips to South and Central American, sketching the Native peoples there.

Plate 21:  Ball Players.

Plate 21: Ball Players.

The Briscoe’s Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio exhibition is FREE for members and with paid Museum admission and will be on display from June 23 – September 4, 2017. The exhibition also includes excerpts from the documentary film, Frontier Visionary: George Catlin and the Plains Indians,produced by the Smithsonian American Art Museum1 and a reference reading area. The Briscoe Museum offers extended hours and free admission every Tuesday from 4:00-9:00pm.

1Frontier Visionary: George Catlin and the Plains Indians (Washington, DC: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2002)

About The Briscoe Western Art Museum:

The Briscoe Western Art Museum, named in honor of the late Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. and his wife, Janey Slaughter Briscoe, preserves and presents the art, history and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs and public events reflective of the region’s rich traditions and shared heritage. Located along the San Antonio River Walk, the museum’s campus includes the restored 1930s former San Antonio Public Library building, which now serves as the museum space with nine galleries on three levels; the three-story Jack Guenther Pavilion, used for event rentals and programs; and the outdoor McNutt Sculpture Garden. For more information about The Briscoe Western Art Museum, visit BriscoeMuseum.org, follow on Twitter @BriscoeMuseum or “Like” on Facebook @TheBriscoe.