In an awards ceremony at Dallas’ gorgeous Winspear Opera House last Thursday, the Texas Cultural Trust—a nonprofit organization that raises private money to heighten arts awareness in Texas— announced its 2011 honorees for the 2011 Texas Medal of Arts Awards, which recognizes Texas talent in film, television, literature, journalism, music, theater, media, and the visual arts.
Since the awards began in 2001, 59 Texas luminaries have joined a cast of honorees that includes actor Tommy Lee Jones, playwright Horton Foote, author John Graves, sculptor Glenna Goodacre, singer Lyle Lovett, actress Phylicia Rashad, photographer and screenwriter Bill Wittliff, musician Ornette Coleman, journalist Walter Cronkite, artist Robert Rauschenberg, and a host of other individuals and groups with interests in the arts and entertainment industry.
This year’s honorees include mezzo-soprano and civil-rights icon Barbara Smith Conrad, author Robert M. Edsel; educator and author Tom Staley, director of the Harry Ransom Center in Austin; internationally acclaimed artist James Drake; the Alley Theatre in Houston; the grocer chain H-E-B; journalist Bob Schieffer; Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden; Golden Globe-nominee Bill Paxton; musicians ZZ Top and Ray Benson, and philanthropists Ernest and Sarah Butler.
Medals will be presented during an awards show, gala dinner, and after-party concert at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin on March 1. For details about attending the event, see www.txulturaltrust.org.