Society / The Seen

Super Celebrities Given Prestigious Texas Medals

A Night of Stars Rocks Austin

BY // 02.24.17
photography Miguel Angel

Depending on one’s personal penchant for stars, it could have been Renée Elise Goldsberry, Tony Award winner for Hamilton, or CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley or veteran singer/actor/producer Kris Kristofferson who evoked the most goosebumps among fans lining the red carpet that led to the biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards evening in Austin.

The heady lineup of talent, recognized in a variety of categories, made this one of the most powerful Medal of the Arts events since it founding 18 years ago. Taking bows as award recipients was a heavy contingent from Houston which included Lynn Wyatt recognized as individual arts patron, Houston Ballet’s Lauren Anderson recognized for dance, Yolanda Adams for music, Jaclyn Smith for television, Kenny Rogers for lifetime achievement and, of course, the talented Goldsberry, who was honored for theater.

In a further nod to Houston’s role as talent incubator, native Houstonian Debbie Allen hosted the evening. She was joined by emcees Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs, and real estate magnate Guillermo Nicolas, both of San Antonio.

Rounding out the awards were Eloise and John Paul DeJoria of Paul Mitchell/Patron tequila recognized as corporate arts patrons, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre for arts education, the Tobin Endowment as foundation arts patron, Leo Villareal for visual arts, Dallas’ Frank Welch for architecture and John Phillip Santos for literary arts.

The bright lights shone on the stars in ceremonies at the University of Texas Bass Concert Hall with dinner following in an elaborately-decorated party tent (think crystal chandeliers and pink lighting) on the Bass plaza. In another nod to Houston, the party tent decor was orchestrated by The Events Co. with Richard Flowers at the helm. For many guests, highlight of the night was the retro performance by Kenny Rogers along with Charlie Sexton, Jack Ingram, Vikki Carr, Kristofferson and the Gatlin Brothers.

The awards are sponsored by the Texas Cultural Trust.

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