As an inaugural recipient of a Texas Medal of Arts Award in 2001, Emmy-winning choreographer and actress Debbie Allen returned to hometown Houston Tuesday to join the Austin-based Texas Cultural Trust in announcing its 2013 honorees. Among them are Gene Jones and daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson, recipients of the Individual Arts Patron Award.
The announcement festivities were held in the Houston Ballet Center for Dance, where arts patrons from across the state — including Patsy Donosky and Jones — settled in for the luncheon program hosted by Texas Cultural Trust board member Patricia Dewhurst, wife of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
Taking a break from her role in Grey's Anatomy, for which she directed this season's third episode, Allen told the gathering that with these awards, "Texas is acknowledging and claiming the diaspora of great talent that has gone out of Texas and is making a difference in the world."
Allen, whose home base is in Los Angeles, saluted the impact of arts worldwide by adding, "The most powerful diplomacy we have is cultural diplomacy."
Jones and Anderson are joined by fellow honorees sculptor James Surls, comedians Joe Sears and Jaston Williams of Greater Tuna fame, musician Steve Miller, and Desperate Housewives' Ricardo Chavira. They will be honored at the March 5 gala in Austin along with institutional winners the Kimbell Arts Foundation, Houston Ballet, Texas Monthly, and Big Thought and founder Gigi Antoni.