Keeping up With the Joneses

Big-deal Dallas patrons orchestrate Texas-size reveal for 2015 Medal of Arts Awards

Big-deal patrons orchestrate Texas-size reveal for 2015 Medal of Arts

Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx, who hails from from Terrell, Texas, is being honored in the film category.  Jamie Foxx/Facebook
Dan Rather
Dan Rather is being honored in the television category.  Photo courtesy of Dan Rather
Warren Weitman, Margaret McDermott, Eve Reid at Art Ball 2014
Dallas' Margaret McDermott is being honored in the individual arts patron category.  Photo by Hoyoung Lee
Haley Anderson, Meredith Counce, Gene Jones, Ruth Altshuler, Charlotte Jones Anderson, echelon gala
Ruth Altshuler (second from right), standing between Texas Medal of Arts co-chairs Gene Jones and Charlotte Jones Anderson, will receive the Standing Ovation award. Photo by Kelly Alexander
Jamie Foxx
Dan Rather
Warren Weitman, Margaret McDermott, Eve Reid at Art Ball 2014
Haley Anderson, Meredith Counce, Gene Jones, Ruth Altshuler, Charlotte Jones Anderson, echelon gala
Dallas philanthropic duo Gene Jones and daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson summoned the press, Texas Cultural Trust board members and friends, and arts patrons to AT&T Stadium on January 14 to announce the recipients of the Texas Medal of Arts Awards 2015. The charitable prowess of the co-chairs and the enormity of the venue were only hints of the greatness to come at next month's ceremony in Austin.
 
The big day began with a press conference, during which Anderson and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel spoke about the important work being done by the Texas Cultural Trust, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and how excited they are about this new and remarkable group of honorees. 
 
"We have a belief that the arts and sports truly do belong together," Anderson said. "When we set out to build AT&T Stadium, we knew that we needed to attract people beyond the world of sports. We wanted to reach beyond the fields and reach people with a collective interest in the arts." 
 
With that, they announced this year's Medal of Arts recipients, who hail from all over the Lone Star State: 
  • Music: T Bone Burnett (Fort Worth)
  • Film: Jamie Foxx (Terrell)
  • Dance: Kilgore Rangerettes (Kilgore)
  • Visual Arts: Rick Lowe (Houston)
  • Literary Arts: Lawrence Wright (Austin)
  • Theatre: Robert Schenkkan (Austin)
  • Architecture: Charles Renfro (Houston)
  • Television: Dan Rather (Wharton)
  • Television: Chandra Wilson (Houston)
  • Corporate Arts Patron: Dr Pepper Snapple Group (Plano)
  • Individual Arts Patron: Margaret McDermott (Dallas)
  • Multimedia: Emilio Nicolas (San Antonio)
  • Arts Education: Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Dallas)
  • Standing Ovation Award: Ruth Altshuler (Dallas)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: The Gatlin Brothers (Seminole)

Post presser, it was time to celebrate. Attendees indulged in a lavish lunch that concluded with an art-inspired baked Alaska dessert. Throughout the two-hour affair, Anderson and Benson again took the stage and announced the honorees to guests who weren't at the morning conference. Charles Matthews, Texas Cultural Trust board chair, offered his sincere gratitude for everyone's support.

Anderson and Benson also offered a little taste of what's to come at the main event (luncheon, awards and gala dinner) taking place February 24-25 at the Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin: performances by Benson, the Gatlin Brothers and maybe even honoree Jamie Foxx.

Other VIPs expected to attend are emcees Troy Aikman and Joe Buck and former first lady Laura Bush, herself a former Texas Medal of Art winner, who is presenting the Standing Ovation Award to Ruth Altshuler. 

Other past honorees include co-chairs Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones, emcee Ray Benson, Eva Longoria, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Walter Cronkite, Lyle Lovett, Anheuser Busch Companies, Texas Monthly, Neiman Marcus, and Exxon Mobil.