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2011 Texas Medal of Arts Awards Honorees Include Ransom Center Director Staley

By Jennifer Tisdale

Texas Medal of Arts Awards
Texas Medal of Arts Awards

The Texas Cultural Trust has announced honorees for the 2011 Texas Medal of Arts Awards. The honor, inspired by the National Medal of Arts, has been bestowed upon 59 Texas leaders and luminaries in the arts and entertainment industry for creative excellence and exemplary talents since its inception in 2001. This year’s honorees include:

•Lifetime Achievement – Barbara Smith Conrad: Mezzo-soprano and civil rights icon whose voice has filled renowned opera houses throughout the world (Pittsburgh, TX);

•Literary – Robert M. Edsel: Author and founder/president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art which received the 2007 National Humanities Medal (Dallas, TX);

•Art Education – Tom Staley: Educator, author, and Director of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX);

•Visual Arts – James Drake: An internationally acclaimed artist honored with inclusion in the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennial and whose work is in the permanent collections of over 30 museums around the world (Lubbock, TX);

•Theatre – Alley Theatre: Internationally recognized company and recipient of the Tony Award (Houston, TX);

•Corporate – H-E-B: Grocer with 329 stores and 76,000 employees in 155 communities throughout Texas and Mexico; boasting a long history of supporting the arts throughout the state (Kerrville, TX);

•Journalism – Bob Schieffer: CBS News Anchor of the Weekend Edition and broadcasting hall of famer (Ft. Worth, TX);

•Multi-Media – Ray Benson: Nine-time Grammy™-winning front man of the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel and co-writer of the play A Ride With Bob based on the life and music of Bob Wills (Austin, TX);

•Individual Patrons – Ernest and Sarah Butler: Major donors to Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Long Center, Ballet Austin, University of Texas School of Music, and the Austin Lyric Opera (Austin, TX);

•Film–Actress – Marcia Gay Harden: Oscar®-winning actress with roles in such films as Pollock, Millers Crossing, The First Wives Club, and Mona Lisa Smile (UT Austin Graduate, Austin, TX);

•Film–Actor – Bill Paxton: Four-time Golden Globe® nominee and star of Tombstone, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, Titanic, and hit HBO series Big Love (Ft. Worth, TX);

•Music – ZZ Top: Legendary band that has sold over 50 million albums worldwide with eight Top 40 hits including “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man”; Ranked in the top 50 of VH1’s “Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” (Houston, TX).


Harold Billings

Well-deserved recognition.

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