Date(s) - 02/10/2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Brentwood Entertaiment Complex
A Celebration of Arts & Humanities in Southeast Texas
February 10, 2019
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Brentwood Entertainment Complex
4201 S Major Dr
Beaumont, TX 77707
Tickets also available at the door.
Hearts for the Arts is upon us again, that one time of year the Southeast Texas Arts Council seeks to bestow recognition on the members of our community who are so important to the arts and humanities. Truthfully, once a year seems an inadequate ode to our philosophers and philanthropists, but on the other hand were we to grant honors at the rate the people of this area deserve we might never do anything else! Happy problem, that.
Determined therefore to make the best of what opportunities we have, SETAC invites you all to join us on February 10th at the Brentwood Entertainment Complex in Beaumont, TX, where we’ll congratulate this year’s awardees on a job very, very well done.
Hearts for the Arts 2019 Awardees
Outstanding Achievement in the Arts
This well-known artist is an American rhythm and blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. She is best known for her R&B chart-topping hit, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” that was released in 1962.
She was born in Beaumont, Texas, and attended Hebert High School. She played piano as a child, but switched to guitar, which she plays left-handed. Inspired by blues artists Guitar Slim and Jimmy Reed, and pop acts Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee, she won several local talent shows and created an all-female band, Bobbie Lynn and Her Idols.
Unusual for the time, she was a female African American singer who both wrote most of her own songs and played a lead instrument. Soon she was touring with such musicians as Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Otis Redding, James Brown, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, the Temptations, and even B.B. King. She appeared at the Apollo Theater and twice on American Bandstand.
Though long overdue, SETAC would like to recognize Barbara Lynn with the Rex and Ruth Goode Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.
Outstanding Arts Educator
This amazing woman’s family immigrated from Mexico in 1921 and landed in Silsbee, Texas. All of her life, she loved the arts and loved children. She became an art teacher and taught at Beaumont’s All Saints Episcopal School for 43 years.
She and her husband loved to travel, and those travels were opportunities to amass a spectacular collection of world art and culture. Every year her students were treated to extraordinary experiences as she transformed her classroom into places and times they would most likely never see. They visited and experienced Egypt, Africa, China and more and enjoyed the food, music, and traditions of these faraway places. She would also take her collection on the road to other schools and museums.
Because of her creative drive to reach and enrich the lives of the children she taught, SETAC would like to recognize Celia Coleman as the Outstanding Arts Educator for 2018.
Outstanding Arts Patron
Anna Gentry Smith
You might not have known her from movies or television, but she was a star who regularly performed on stage at Silsbee Little Theater. Her delight at the opportunity to act or direct was contagious, and everyone loved the results. She was a quick study and understood immediately how to process a part.
She loved the arts and was a member of Silsbee Little Theater from its inception in 1957. She supported the Silsbee Library, the Performing and Visual Arts Council, and the Ice House Museum and Cultural Center. She once lent her talent to the entertainment part of one of their fund raising events “A Boarding House Supper.” She delivered a monologue as the owner and operator of a particular boarding house in Silsbee in the early 1900s. It all started out well enough as the guests dined boarding house style, but her comments and concerns about some of her boarders were delivered with such hilarity, choking became a serious concern.
SETAC believes it’s important to recognize those whose love and passion of the arts energize and mobilize others. This is why SETAC is pleased to name Anna Gentry Smith as the Outstanding Arts Patron for 2018.
Outstanding Business in Support of the Arts
The Music Studio (Chris Jetton)
One of the keys to growth in Downtown Beaumont is the presence of active spaces with novel happenings and a dedicated group of involved people. The Music Studio at 215 Orleans Street is just such a place. While nominally a place for music lessons, the Studio has opened its arms to artists of all stripes, utilizing its spare walls as gallery space and opening extra rooms as work spaces for local artists. It hosts an annual arts festival called New Orleans on Orleans, and you can bet you’ll find the Studio’s presence at just about any other downtown Beaumont event. For that reason, SETAC would like to recognize the Music Studio as our 2018 Outstanding Business in Support of the Arts.
Outstanding Administrator of the Arts & Humanities
If you haven’t been to the Museum of the Gulf Coast lately, you’re missing an opportunity to see some spectacular changes and improvements that have been happening now for the past few years. The Museum has always been a bright star in Port Arthur, but after a change in partnership with Lamar State College and the Port Arthur Historical Society, some scrambling occurred. One important change was that of leadership, and Dr. Sam Monroe knew just the guy. Calling his friend and colleague out of retirement, this gentleman (and he is the epitome of the word gentleman) stepped in and took the helm.
He sought and acquired the funding needed to upgrade the exhibitions with interactive kiosks at each station, and increased membership to record numbers. And this past year, the museum broke all previous records with more than 15,000 visitors.
These improvements and the renewed energy that emanates from the Museum now are a direct result of the leadership of Tom Neal. For these reasons, SETAC would like to recognize him as the Outstanding Administrator of the Arts and Humanities for 2018.
Outstanding Outreach by an Arts
Gloria and Robert Moreno
There is arguably no better example of community outreach to educate and entertain than those of this lady and gentleman. For several years, they steered the ship of the Mexican Heritage Society’s ballet folklorico program. Though the organization has existed for many years, it was through their extensive efforts to present their activities to a broader audience that allowed many of those with no Hispanic heritage to enjoy and appreciate Mexican culture.
Two years ago, this couple and their granddaughter formed the Southeast Texas Ballet Folklorico. They continue to provide presentations to a variety of groups including schools, civics groups, churches, and more.
For their successful efforts to educate and enrich their community through the beauty of Mexican music and dance, SETAC would like to recognize Gloria and Robert Moreno for their Outstanding Arts Program.
Outstanding Commitment to the Humanities
This gentleman had a vision to preserve the heritage of the African American community in Orange. The city is rich with talent in sports, music, and education. He wanted to recognize the vast contributions his community has made to the area and set out to make it a reality.
It has been a struggle since he first came up with the idea in 2012, but he created a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and acquired a building for the Orange African American Museum. For the last couple of years, he has worked to raise funds to refurbish the building which will house exhibits to honor the likes of Bubba Smith, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and educator Emma Wallace. The hope was to open it in 2018, but tropical storm “Harvey” has delayed his plans. Tenaciously, he and his organization continue to fundraise. SETAC hopes to give him a hand this next year.
For his efforts in raising awareness of the history and accomplishments of the African American community in Orange, SETAC honors Henry Lowe for his Outstanding Commitment to the Humanities for 2018.
Outstanding Organization in the Humanities
Orangefield Cormier Museum Volunteers
The Orangefield Cormier Museum is a hidden gem in Orange County’s treasure box. Paul Cormier, an Orangefield oil man, amassed an extensive collection of toys, oilfield equipment, historical artifacts, and memorabilia over the years and created a museum to house his collection. Inside of one of his buildings he constructed a series of “storefronts” to replicate the main street of Orangefield in the 1920s. It includes a gas station, jail, saloon, bank, soda shop, café, general store, and more. The second building holds a representation of the old skating rink and the old Orangefield High School that was affectionately referred to as the “Alamo.” The school setting contains original bricks from the school, and the skating rink has the original skates and floorboards.
The museum was Cormier’s pride and joy for many years, but it was rarely seen. When Cormier’s health started failing, his children donated the museum to Orangefield ISD. A dedicated team of volunteers curate the collections. Since the school acquired the museum, other acquisitions have been added Comier’s supporters, Orangefield members of the military, and former students of the school. They were also gifted the contents of the former Telephone Museum in Beaumont.
The volunteer organization provides tours for area schools and the public is offered access every third Saturday of the month. They also open upon request.
For their tenacious commitment to preserving the history of Orangefield and Southeast Texas, we honor the Orangefield Cormier Museum docents as Outstanding Volunteers in the Arts and Humanities for 2018.