In February, Jaclyn Smith will be honored for her work in television, Kris Kristofferson will be honored for his work in all sorts of things and Kenny Rogers, the Gambler, gets a lifetime achievement award from the Texas Cultural Trust.
They are but three of the Texans to be honored at the ninth biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards Feb. 21-22. The awards will take place for the first time ever at the University of Texas at Austin.
This celebration will include a Stars of Texas brunch at the Governor’s Mansion, an awards show with special musical performances and a gala dinner.
“The Texas Medal of Arts Awards recognizes those whose artistic talent and generous philanthropy have shone a spotlight on the vibrant artistic culture of our state,” said Texas Cultural Trust Executive Director Jennifer Ransom Rice. “People from all over Texas and from all artistic disciplines are honored and celebrated as we raise awareness about how vital the arts are to our state’s economy and our children’s education. We hope for continuing and expanding support for the arts for future generations to appreciate, embrace, and enjoy.”
The 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Awards honorees:
Corporate Patron: John Paul & Eloise DeJoria, Paul Mitchell/Patrón Tequila, Austin — The hair care mogul is one of the state’s most enthusiastic and well-respected philanthropists.
Multimedia: Kris Kristofferson, Brownsville — Songwriter, singer and actor. If you have never seen him in Scorsese’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” you really should get on that.
Television: Jaclyn Smith, Houston — One of the greatest Charlie’s Angels who ever lived.
Individual Arts Patron: Lynn Wyatt, Houston — Vanity Fair called her “the best little socialite in Texas.”
Dance: Lauren Anderson, Houston — The brilliant ballet dancer became, in 1990, only the second African-American female dancer to be promoted to principal dancer at a major American ballet company.
Music: Yolanda Adams, Houston — Pretty much the most popular gospel singer alive, Adams has sold more than 4 million albums in the U.S. alone.
Arts Education: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas — The company, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, is the only predominately minority professional dance company in the five-state area of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico.
Film: Janine Turner, Euless — Sure, she was in “Cliffhanger” and “Dr. T and the Women,” but she will forever live in our hearts as Maggie O’Connell on “Northern Exposure.” (She was also note-perfect as Katie McCoy on “Friday Night Lights”).
Foundation Patron: The Tobin Endowment, San Antonio — One of the state’s biggest private charitable foundations.
Visual Art: Leo Villareal, El Paso — The visionary installation artist grew up in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso.
Architecture: Frank Welch, Dallas — You may recognize the master Texas Modern architect from such work as a lot of homes in Highland Park and some really cool looking schools.
Literary: John Phillip Santos, San Antonio — The poet and filmmaker was the first Mexican-American Rhodes scholar.
Journalism: Scott Pelley, San Antonio — Pelley has been the anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News” since 2011 and was the CBS News chief White House correspondent during the second Clinton administration.
The Texas Medal of Arts Awards has presented 99 medals to 105 Texas luminaries. Former award winners include: Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Dan Rather, Neiman Marcus, Margaret McDermott, Barbara Smith Conrad, Tommy Lee Jones and more.