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!

Ballet Austin Guild Presents “An Afternoon In Wonderland” Tea

Ballet Austin Guild presents its 33rd Spring Fundraiser

A Sunday afternoon tea in anticipation of the Ballet Austin Season Finale, Alice (in wonderland).

Sunday, April 30, 2017, from 1-3 p.m.

Hotel Ella, 1900 Rio Grande Street, Austin, Texas

Support for Ballet Austin’s Youth Scholarship Program

Tickets: $65 adults, $35 children, available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ballet-austin-guild-presents-an-afternoon-in- wonderland-tickets-31161146829

 Event Information:

Please join Ballet Austin Guild as we present “An Afternoon in Wonderland,” our first Sunday tea. Enjoy 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), we will be celebrating with fun decor, costumes and festivities for guests of all ages. Amazing raffle baskets will be available, and all proceeds go to Ballet Austin’s Academy Youth Scholarship Fund. Your ticket purchase makes classical ballet training available to any child with a passion and desire to learn, regardless of their family’s economic situation. Help us reach our goal in raising $40,000 for the Youth Scholarship Program!

About Ballet Austin Guild:

Celebrating our 33rd year hosting our Spring Fundraiser, Ballet Austin Guild continues its mission in supporting and promoting Ballet Austin in its commitment to excellence in dance through fundraising, community, and education. We are a group of dedicated volunteers who have supported and furthered the mission of Ballet Austin for over 40 years. The Guild consists of energetic volunteers who want to learn more about ballet and contribute to one of Austin’s finest cultural institutions. The Guild is open to anyone with an interest in promoting Ballet Austin. For more membership information, please visit our
website, https://balletaustinguild.org.

Ballet Austin Guild Hosts Annual Spring Fundraiser “Boots, Bowties and Tiaras”

Highly anticipated evening cocktail party and live auction benefits

Ballet Austin Academy’s Youth Scholarship Program

Ballet Austin Guild is pleased to announce a special evening fundraiser event, benefiting Ballet Austin and youth scholarships. Guests are invited to don their cowboy boots, tiaras and bowties for the annual spring event taking place on April 21 at Trinity Hall in downtown Austin.

The evening will feature a live auction, Ballet Austin Guild’s famous raffle baskets, beverages and hors d’oeuvres from local vendors and more.

The live auction, first added in 2015, features lively competition for exciting prizes like last year’s “His and Her Package,” which included an Epiphone electric guitar, customized and signed by Tito Beverage of Tito’s Vodka; an orange-diamond “Paisley Pendant” necklace from Benold’s Jewelers, and a one night stay for two with a round of golf at Omni Barton Creek. Raffle items include vacation packages, jewelry, and gift cards to area restaurants and more.

This year marks the 41st anniversary of Ballet Austin Guild, a non-profit organization supporting Ballet Austin’s educational and community programs benefiting more than 57,000 Central Texans each year. Last year’s outstanding efforts raised more than $35,000 net for Ballet Austin Academy’s Youth Scholarship Program, providing the opportunity for classical ballet training to many students who would not otherwise be able to afford classes.

“The Guild’s annual fundraiser is rewarding in many ways, and it provides a chance to see firsthand how Ballet Austin is shaping our community,” said Guild President Ann Downing. “We have the opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of young students by sharing the love of dance and helping them to develop discipline, self confidence and a lifelong passion for the arts.”

For ticket information, please click here.

Ballet Austin Guild Announces Their Spring Fundraiser

Ballet Austin Guild is Thrilled to Announce Their Spring Fundraiser

Boots, Bowties & Tiaras

Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016

Location: Trinity Hall – 311 E. Fifth St.

Time: 6:30-9:30pm

Rustic, dapper, and glitzy; the evening cocktail party will feature a live auction, Ballet Austin Guild’s famous raffle baskets, and more! Last year’s outstanding efforts raised over $35,000 net for Ballet Austin Academy’s Youth Scholarship Program. We have set the bar even higher in 2016 and hope you will be a part of this special event. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

2016 marks the 41st 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.

Hot Cars Heats Up The Night!

Photography by Eryn Chandler of LewChan Photography

The Getaway Motor Club, unique co-working space, venue, and private motor club in the Govalle area of East Austin, was the scene of Ballet Austin Guild’s new spring fundraiser, “Hot Cars and All That Jazz.” Co-Chairs Lorelei McDevitt, Terri Rumin, Vanessa McElwrath, and VP of Fundraising Events, Jessica Johnson spearheaded the event. Austin’s chic gathered with two goals in mind: generating maximum fun and maximum fundraising. A departure from the Guild’s traditional fundraising luncheon, the evening cocktail event attracted as many men as women and a sizable group from the very stylish under-40 crowd.

Councilmember Ellen Troxclair & Caleb Troxclair

Councilmember Ellen Troxclair & Caleb Troxclair

Guests mixed, mingled, and danced on both the upper and lower levels of the club as Austin’s “First Lady of Jazz”, Pamela Hart and Friends rocked the night with their signature selection of jazz, R&B, and soul. Word has it that several friendly but high-spirited games of pool were won and lost in the game room hidden away up top. Delicious bites and beverages were enjoyed at high cocktail tables illuminated with a soft glow from below. The beautiful classic cars displayed around the edge of the dance floor brought back sweet memories for many and were the background of numerous hot-rod “selfies”.

Ballet Austin dancers James Fuller, Ed Carr, Oliver Greene-Cramer, Orlando Canova

Ballet Austin dancers James Fuller, Ed Carr, Oliver Greene-Cramer, Orlando Canova

Arriving by limo directly from their Studio Spotlight rehearsal of Swan Lake at the Butler Dance Education Center were Ballet Austin dancers, Elise Pekarek, James Fuller, Ed Carr, Oliver Greene-Cramer, and Orlando Canova. Surprise VIP was Joy Womack, ballet dancer with the Kremlin Ballet, who was in town visiting her family and escorted by her father, Clay Womack.

Cookie Ruiz, Ballet Austin Executive Director

Cookie Ruiz, Ballet Austin Executive Director

Ballet Austin Executive Director Cookie Ruiz engaged the guests by emphasizing the role of the Ballet Austin Guild through their incredible volunteer and fundraising efforts. She expressed sincere gratitude for the focus of the evening’s event that was to support the Ballet Austin Academy scholarship program.

Guild President Socar Chatmon-Thomas, Ballet Austin dancer Orlando Julius Canova, David Yurman Manager Jeremy Rathke

Guild President Socar Chatmon-Thomas, Ballet Austin dancer Orlando Julius Canova, David Yurman Manager Jeremy Rathke

Ballet Austin Guild President and local realtor Socar Chatmon-Thomas surprised and delighted the gathered crowd as she took to the stage to wearing yet another of her many hats, that of professional auctioneer. Socar had patrons laughing and cheering as they fought to outbid each other during the live auction. Quieter support was underway at the tables laden with beautifully wrapped raffle packages as guests hurried to stuff ticket boxes hoping for the win.

Sally and Brennon Hensley

Sally and Brennon Hensley

The Ballet Austin Academy’s youth scholarship program was the beneficiary of the evening’s fundraising efforts. Bill Piner, director of the Ballet Austin Academy, offered these thoughts, “With the goal of making classical ballet training available to anyone with a passion and desire to learn the art form, the Ballet Austin Academy scholarship program is instrumental in providing this opportunity to many students who would not otherwise be able to afford classes. The Ballet Austin Guild’s contribution to this goal is invaluable.”

Event Co-Chair Lorelei McDevitt

Event Co-Chair Lorelei McDevitt

Lorrie Garcia and Event Co-Chair, Terri Rumin

Lorrie Garcia and Event Co-Chair, Terri Rumin

Visit Ballet Austin Guild at www.balletaustinguild.org.

Ballet Austin Guild Presents “Hot Cars & All That Jazz” Featuring Pamela Hart

Ballet Austin Guild presents its annual spring fundraiser “Hot Cars & All That Jazz” on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at Getaway Motor Club in east Austin.

The evening cocktail event from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. features live Jazz/R&B/Soul music  by Austin’s First Lady of Jazz, Pamela Hart, with a tribute to the late, great Timothy Curry. Event proceeds benefit Ballet Austin Academy youth scholarships.

2015 marks the 40th 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.

$75 per person.

For Event Sponsorship levels and benefits, please visit our Annual Spring Fundraiser page.

Getaway Motor Club is located at 3700 Thompson Street, just off Airport Blvd. and Springdale.

Hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, live music, dancing, raffle packages, live auction and more in a setting of classic cars, jazz and Austin chic. Cocktail attire recommended.

Pamela Hart, Austin’s First Lady of Jazz Stars in Hot Cars & All That Jazz

Ballet Austin Guild members were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of jazz great, Timothy Curry, on February 7, 2015. The Timothy Curry/Will Dunlap Project was slated to perform at the Guild’s new spring fundraiser, “Hot Cars and All That Jazz”, on Thursday, April 30 at the Getaway Motor Club. The Guild is pleased and honored to announce that Pamela Hart and Friends will be taking the stage that evening. Pamela Hart, “Austin’s First Lady of Jazz,” is frequently seen performing at The Elephant Room on Congress Ave., the Paramount Theatre, and One World Theatre. She’ll be performing Jazz/R&B/Soul music with her band at “Hot Cars & All That Jazz,” including a very special number in tribute to the late Timothy Curry.

Debut: Ballet Austin Guild’s “Innovative” New Spring Fundraiser!

Ballet Austin Guild is excited to introduce a new evening cocktail fundraising event, “Hot Cars and All That Jazz”, benefitting Ballet Austin Academy’s youth scholarship program. The Guild, inspired by Ballet Austin’s commitment to “Classically Innovative” productions, moves in a bold new direction following the highly successful 20 year run of their classic luncheon fundraiser, “Women On Their Toes”. Through the move to an evening event, Ballet Austin Guild hopes to inspire and encourage an even broader, more diverse group of patrons to join them in support of this important cause. The curtain rises on the new affair at a private motor club housed in a discreet warehouse in east Austin.

Guests will be surrounded by Austin’s chic and a gorgeous array of classic cars as they enjoy an evening of live music featuring Blues legend Timothy Curry and The Timothy Curry/Will Dunlap Project, delectable hors d’oeuvres, libations, dancing, raffle packages, live auction, and more. Bill Piner, Director of Ballet Austin Academy, offered these thoughts, “With the goal of making classical ballet training available to anyone with a passion and desire to learn the art form, the Ballet Austin Academy scholarship program is instrumental in providing this opportunity to many students who would not otherwise be able to afford classes. The Ballet Austin Guild’s contribution to this goal is invaluable.” Ballet Austin Guild President, Socar Chatmon-Thomas, couldn’t agree more stating, “I’m extremely excited about our new format and unique venue. Our goal is to continue being a valuable Ballet Austin partner by raising funds to help insure that any Central Texas youth who has the desire to dance can AFFORD to dance!” Lorelei McDevitt, 2015 Spring Fundraiser Chair of “Hot Cars & All That Jazz” recalls the impact of dance lessons on her life, “As a former student of the ballet since age 7, I can’t stress enough what gains I made as a child, and eventually as a teenager, gaining the confidence I needed to succeed. Ballet training is a discipline barre none! ”

Ballet Austin Guild
“Hot Cars and All That Jazz”
Thursday, April 30, 2015, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Getaway Motor Club, 3700 Thompson Street, Austin, TX 78702
Proceeds benefit Ballet Austin Academy’s youth scholarship program
Now available online at $75 per person. Event sponsorships available starting at $1500. For more information, contact:
Lorrie Garcia
PR Chair
Ballet Austin Guild
512-432-5346
pr@balletaustinguild.org

For ticket information visit here.

About Ballet Austin Guild
Ballet Austin Guild, a nonprofit subsidiary of Ballet Austin, is an all-volunteer organization with a mission to support and promote the interests of Ballet Austin in greater Austin and its surrounding communities through educational programs, fundraising, and special events. 2015 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Guild. Over the past 21 years, the Guild has raised more than a half-million dollars benefitting Ballet Austin and over 57,000 Central Texans each year. Through its membership of enthusiastic ambassadors of dance and volunteerism, the Guild has supported Ballet Austin since 1975. Visit Ballet Austin Guild at www.balletaustinguild.org.

Welcome Socar Chatmon-Thomas as President of Ballet Austin Guild

Socar Chatmon-Thomas

Socar Chatmon-Thomas

InFluential Magazine is pleased to welcome Socar Chatmon-Thomas as the 2014 / 15 President of the Ballet Austin Guild.

Ms. Chatmon-Thomas brings with her a love of dance and movement which has been a part of her life starting with fond memories of learning the Waltz as a young girl, at the feet of her father and modern forms of dance, at the feet of her mother. Also, she has been gifted to have experienced formal dance training from a young age. Fortunately this love of the arts has continued into adulthood and she and her husband have encouraged their children to have a love for the arts.

The Mission of Ballet Austin Guild is to support and promote the interests of Ballet Austin through educational programs, fundraising, and special events and Ms. Chatmon-Thomas plans to uphold this Mission while keeping a fun and festive atmosphere. As she said recently at the 2014/15 Kickoff Gala, “I’m pleased to be your President this season and I plan to make sure we accomplish many great things while having plenty of fun”. Knowing this lovely and spirited lady, we know she will take an active lead in doing just that.

Congratulations to Socar Chatmon-Thomas! You have our full support and we look forward to a thrilling year, filled with tremendous accomplishments.