Society / Profiles

Dallas Opera’s Mega Supporter Looks to Laura Bush as a Role Model, Loves the City’s Giving Spirit and Can’t Wait for First Sight

How Kim Hext Makes a Difference

BY Caroline Lidl // 10.01.19
photography Ana Hop

In its third year, NorthPark Center’s Luxury Ambassador program boldly merges the worlds of fashion, art, and philanthropy, by way of celebrating the city’s top influencers and the nonprofits they support.

NorthPark’s chosen few embody a rare-air kind of style — a droup that contains equal parts fashion sense, civic leadership, and larger-than-life personality. Now, we spotlight Kim Hext and her love for the Dallas Opera — and one of the most unique arts and fashion partnerships out there.

That would be First Sight, the Dallas Opera’s opening weekend celebration that takes place at the Winspear Opera House on Thursday, October 17. The next night is First Night at the Dallas Opera with The Magic Flute premiering.

First Sight/First Night is chaired by Kim Hext and her husband Greg Hext. Hext talked to PaperCity about it all:

Why The Dallas Opera?

NorthPark has been a long term partner with the Dallas Opera and a true advocate for the arts. It is an honor to highlight Dallas’s world-class opera with a world class partner like NorthPark.

A benevolent memory.

Working with The Dallas Opera has given me an insight to the “business of the arts.” Getting to take a peek behind the curtain has made me appreciate the scope of the work that goes into bringing world-class productions and talent to Dallas.

Philanthropic influencers.

Even in high school, I always felt a sense of purpose when I volunteered. There have been so many people that I have had the opportunity to work with that always serve with enthusiasm. Every one of of those volunteers have shaped my perspective.

Role Model. 

Laura Bush, for her grace and for her commitment to literacy.  She is a true role model for giving back and working to create a better world.

NorthPark Center is at the center of combining art and fashion. Describe your own art and fashion interests.

I enjoy following trends and watching the careers of designers. I am drawn to classical styles and great fabrics. My art interests have grown over the years. I am really drawn to Impressionism and sculpture.

The perfect day.

I love to travel. . . I really love to travel.  The perfect day would be waking up in a new location ready for a new adventure.

Your day job.

I have never had a traditional career. For 13 years I was the feature correspondent for Scuba World TV Series that was syndicated to the Travel and Discovery channels. Then, I spent 20 years as the national spokesperson for Buick Motor Division of General Motors, before retiring eight years ago.

Now, I have the most rewarding career, even though it is not a paid position — community volunteer. Giving your time and experience to better our community can be more than a full time job.

Looking forward.

Dallas is a vibrant city. There are so many wonderful events and nonprofits doing so much for our community.

I am really excited to see our plans for The Dallas Opera’s First Sight/First Night come to life. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Winspear Opera House. I am thrilled that the Winspear family will be serving as the honorary chairs, and during the event we have the opportunity to thank them for their gift to the city.

It is also the 30th anniversary of one of Dallas’ nonprofits that serves the homeless and at-risk children of North Texas, Hope Supply Co. It’s hard to believe that every night in Dallas 1,110 children don’t have a home to return to. I am really looking forward to their year-long celebration and helping them raise awareness.

There is so much else to look forward to in 2019: welcoming a new music director to The Dallas Symphony; saluting the  advancement of the cure with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society during the annual St. Valentine’s Luncheon and Fashion Show; serving the Aging Mind Foundation seeking the cause of Alzheimers; shopping for a cause at the Salvation Army Auxiliary’s Fashion Show and Luncheon; applauding the Texas Ballet Theater world premiere of Pinocchio taking the stage; honoring the advancements of the American Heart Association during the GoRed Luncheon and Cotes du Coeur Gala; working with the world class Dallas Zoo to further their mission; helping TACA support the arts in Dallas during the Silver Cup Luncheon and Party on the Green; seeing Cattle Baron’s Ball continue to support the American Cancer Society; and ending the year celebrating the work of The Crystal Charity Ball Committee.

The highlight of the year. . . celebrating our son’s graduation from Southern Methodist University in May. Pony Up!

NorthPark memory.

We have a family tradition of spending the first Sunday afternoon of December shopping at NorthPark, enjoying the beginning of the holiday season. We still love stopping to see Scrooge, the trains, and enjoy my only Starbuck’s gingerbread latte of the season! Every Santa picture of our son, Preston, has been taken with the iconic NorthPark Santa.

The hustle and bustle, the ringing of the Kettle bell, the Angle Tree, and spending time together. . . thank you NorthPark for a perfect holiday setting.

Advice to your younger self.

Enjoy every day. Work hard, be positive, show up, and be present!

On the horizon.

I hope to take one day at a time, celebrate my friends and family, and smile!

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