What: Dallas Black Dance Theatre Founder's Luncheon
Where: Hilton Anatole
The 411: About 650 Dallas Black Dance Theatre patrons filled the Hilton Anatole Imperial Ballroom for the 22nd and final Founder’s Luncheon.
The event honored longtime supporters and introduced a new fundraising initiative, the Ann Williams Legacy Society. So named for DBDT founder Ann Williams, the society is meant to be an exclusive group of peers committed to the long-term sustainability of the 41-year-old dance company, executive director Zenetta Drew explained.
Three other honorees — Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash, and Linda Todd — were recognized for their support of the organization for more than two decades. The Rev. Lelious Johnson and Kimberley Runnels served as the event chairs, while Fox 4 News anchor Clarice Tinsley emceed the luncheon.
The artistic highlight of the luncheon was provided by the group's own dancers. DBDT: Encore! dancer Herman Houston III performed the solo "A Change is Gonna Come" by Dianne Grigsby, and Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Allegro Performing Ensemble graced the stage in the work "Mandiba" by Katricia Eaglin.
Williams founded DBDT with a dream of providing a place where African Americans could dance professionally. In more than four decades, its dancers have performed on five continents, 15 countries, and across America. The Founder’s Luncheon proceeds benefit the company’s community outreach and educational programs that share the art of dance with more than 20,000 students (grades K-12) in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
Who: Charley Pride, Rozene Pride, Melissa M. Young, Nycole Ray, Lucy Billingsley, Doug Curtis, Verna G. Brown Mitchell, Thalia Matherson, Rev. Claude O. Maples, Rev. Patricia Maples, Gloria Lockett, Joleen Chambers, Jeanette Allen.