TACA (The Arts Community Alliance), with chairmen Nancy Carlson and Lynn McBee, welcomed more than 800 attendees to the 2017 TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon, presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Neiman Marcus, on March 7, 2017 at the Hilton Anatole.
The day began with a patron reception in honor of this year’s awardees, Nancy A. Nasher and Walter B. Elcock, recognized for their outstanding volunteer leadership and contributions to the arts in North Texas. Sponsors, past recipient and family members joined Nasher and Elcock in the Wedgewood Ballroom as they mingled and enjoyed harpist Alison Read. On view were portraits by Gittings of the 2017 Silver Cup Award recipients.
During the reception, Donna Wilhelm, TACA board chairman, presented the recipients with a beautifully wrapped Neiman Marcus box, which upon opening revealed the prestigious Silver Cup awards bearing their names. The 2017 honorees were then joined by some past recipients in attendance, including Rebecca Fletcher, Jim Wiley, Caroline Rose Hunt, Don Glendenning, Kern Wildenthal, Elaine Agather, Lucilo Peña, Brad Todd, Ruben Esquivel, John Eagle, and Elaine Agather, for a commemorative photo.
As patrons and luncheon guests proceeded to the Chantilly Ballroom, members of the Uptown Players, a TACA Grand Award recipient, entertained with a theatrical performance encouraging guests to take their seats. Mistress of ceremonies Lee Cullum, syndicated columnist and television commentator, welcomed everyone to the 39th Annual Silver Cup Award Luncheon.
Rabbi Nancy Kasten led the invocation, followed by Cullum’s return to the podium to introduce TACA Grant Award recipients Baya Kakouberi, artistic director of the Blue Candlelight Music Series, and Quinlan Facey, both on piano. As Kakouberi and Facey played, attendees enjoyed a lunch of a trio of dips served with crudité and pita chips, followed by a second course of chicken salad in bib lettuce, a pimento cheese quiche, a quinoa salad with diced vegetables, and dessert of chocolate truffle, mini lemon curd and blueberry tart and a macaroon.
Cullum then introduced Elaine Agather, a 2008 TACA Silver Cup Award recipient and chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Dallas, Silver Cup co-presenting sponsor, who spoke about the company’s commitment to supporting TACA and the arts and her congratulations to the honorees.
Wilhelm shared TACA’s mission as champions of artistic excellence in performing arts organizations, and the nonprofit encourages innovation, collaboration and engagement through financial support, stewardship and resources. In 2016, TACA distributed $1.5 million in grants and supported approximately 3,000 performances and productions, attended by more than one million individuals in North Texas. In 50 years, TACA has grown from a single annual charity event to a year-round comprehensive provider of grants and services, having provided more than $26 million to the local arts community.
Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications for The Neiman Marcus Group, Silver Cup Award co-presenting sponsor, introduced the 2017 Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts performers, Ndumiso Nyoko, tenor, and Brian Bentley on piano. Nyoko and Bentley mesmerized the audience with their performance of “La donna e mobile (Woman is Fickle) from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).
2016 Silver Cup Award recipient James E. Wiley, Jr. along with Jeremy Strick, director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, via video, introduced 2017 recipient Nancy A. Nasher.
Nancy Nasher is the president and owner of NorthPark Center. A graduate of The Hockaday School, Princeton University and Duke University School of Law, she has dedicated her professional and personal life to the betterment of Dallas as a real estate leader and one of the city’s greatest advocates for the arts.
Thanking TACA for this tremendous honor, Nasher remarked that through her exposure to the arts early on from her parents and throughout her life, including many art forms such as sculpture, painting, symphony, opera, dance and theater, helped shape her into the person she is today.
“I have the unique opportunity to advocate for the arts through my work at NorthPark Center, a retail establishment which brings together culture, commerce and community like no other shopping center in the world. We view NorthPark as a ‘shopping museum’ with over 150 modern and contemporary artworks on display. We also view it as a venue for the performing arts, offering our visitors free access to the most important cultural institutions in our region, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Opera, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and countless other professional, community and school groups,” she said.
As well, Nasher shared her pride in her family’s support of the arts through the creation of the Nasher Sculpture Center 14 years ago in Dallas’ Arts District, which has since become the crown jewel of Dallas and a world-class destination for the visual and performing arts. She thanked her family, friends, advocates for the arts and longtime colleagues, with special recognition to her husband David, and her children Sarah, David and Isabelle.
In closing, she said, “Art has the ability to connect individuals and the power to elevate communities. It creates dialogue, fosters ideas, challenges perspectives, inspires creativity and is a common bond for all people that transcends social, geographic, economic and political boundaries.”
2016 Silver Cup Award recipient Rebecca Enloe Fletcher along with John Eagle, 2011 Silver Cup Award recipient and trustee of Dallas Museum of Art, via video, introduced 2017 Silver Cup Award recipient Walter B. Elcock.
Elcock is unique among volunteers who support the arts. He is a trustee of the Dallas Museum of Art, having previously served as chair, president and interim director. Prior to that, he retired from Bank of America after 39 years in various management roles.
Under his leadership, Bank of America has become a reliable sponsor of exhibitions and programs at the Dallas Museum of Art, as well as a source of significant support for the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and the Nasher Sculpture Center. He is a graduate of University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and studio art.
Elcock began by thanking those who nominated him, before sharing how he became interested in the arts.
“Arts and culture were not a staple in my family growing up. We were literate and enjoyed music, but it was not a central theme,” he said. “For me it all started just trying to get a blind date, who was an art major, interested in me; never knowing I had found the two great loves of my life at the same instant. For better or worse and certainly richer or poorer, all that I could get credit for needs to go to my muse Laura.”
Regarding the recognition of the Silver Cup Award from his recent ‘tour of duty in the Arts District and at the DMA’ he remarked, “All this hoopla is recognizing someone for doing what he loves with people he loves. I have been deeply rewarded by those experiences themselves. You know what I mean. For some it’s being backstage after a performance; for others, watching and listening to a rehearsal.”
He added, “Here’s a bit of advice for TACA and for all of you; let’s raise the bar a bit and make it more challenging for a cultural hedonist like me to be singled out. In our world today, that new bar must be about courage… We have to face reality; we have communities of people living here who wonder when we will speak to their art or their culture. We have communities of people who need art to provide sanctuary and hope.”
In conclusion he said, “I have no doubt we are fully capable of solving those issues and many more like them but only if we have courage to identify them, and in the context of the world we live in today, as it is and not as we wish it where. I will close with a quote from a great American Angela Davis, ‘I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.’”
After the Silver Cup presentations, keynote speaker Kate D. Levin who oversees the Arts Program at Bloomberg Philanthropies and is a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, shared her insights on the transformative impact of the arts on communities.
She spoke to the importance of research for cultural organizations in order to communicate their importance and impact on the community to city leaders who are going to invest scarce resources into their organizations.
She also shared that the challenge still remains for smaller cultural institutions, as it is more difficult to gauge their economic impact, as compared to larger institutions, which can track their success through attendance or economic activity. To that end, Bloomberg Philanthropies is supporting small and mid-size cultural organizations in cities around the U.S., including Dallas, that contribute to local economy, identity, and quality of life.
Of the six cities in their current Art Innovation and Management (AIM) program, Dallas has been the most engaged with the highest participation rate in management seminars and greatest percentage of board members involved.
In closing, she said, “Culture is complex and it is endlessly important. I’m excited about all you continue to do and look forward to all the future holds for Dallas.”
As the day came to a close, Cullum thanked all in attendance for their support of the TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon and TACA’s 50th year.
A special thank you to the 2017 TACA Silver Cup Sponsors:
Co-Title Sponsors - J.P. Morgan and Neiman Marcus; TACA Ticket Sponsor - Paradox Compensation Advisors; Valet Sponsor - The Dallas-Fort Worth Lexus Dealers; Program Sponsor - NorthPark Center; Menu Sponsor – Charlie and Moll Anderson Family Foundation; Host- Hilton Anatole; Sforzando Sponsors ($25,000) - Nancy and Clint Carlson; Laura and Walter Elcock; Carol and Don Glendenning / Locke Lord; and Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger; Concerto Sponsors ($10,000) - Jennifer and John Eagle; Marguerite Steed Hoffman / Cindy and Howard Rachofsky; Gene and Jerry Jones; Holly and Tom Mayer / Betty and Steve Suellentrop; The Eugene McDermott Foundation; and Donna Wilhelm; Sonata Sponsors ($5,000) - Diane and Hal Brierley; Dallas Museum of Art; Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Claire Emanuelson / Pam Perella; Julie K. Hersh; Al G. Hill, Jr.; Laree Hulshoff / Barbara Daseke; Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr.; Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; Catherine and Will Rose; Edward W. Rose III Family Fund of The Dallas Foundation; Peggy and Carl Sewell; and Karen and Jim Wiley / Wiley Property, Ltd.; Rhapsody Sponsors ($3,000) – Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP; Crow Collection of Asian Art; Wanda Gierhart; Fanchon and Howard Hallam; Melinda and Jim Johnson; Helen and Frank Risch; RBC Wealth Management; The Dallas Opera; and Sharon and Michael Young; Minuet Sponsors ($1,500) – Anonymous; AT&T Performing Arts Center; Big Thought Board of Directors; Communities Foundation of Texas; Dallas Black Dance Theatre; Dallas Winds; Encore Park; Gwen and Leldon Echols; Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra; Pilar Henry; HEYCO Energy Group; Junior Players; Kitchen Dog Theater; Lisa and Peter Kraus; Tara Lewis and John Swords; Nasher Sculpture Center; Deborah and Jim Nugent; Karol Omlor / Second Thought Theatre; Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek; Sammons Center for the Arts; Kit Sawers; Shakespeare Dallas; Southern Methodist University; SMU Meadows School of the Arts; Southwestern Medical Foundation; Jill E. Tananbaum Family; Theatre Three Board of Directors; Thompson & Knight Foundation; TITAS; and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal; 50th Anniversary Media Partner – PaperCity; Silver Cup Award Luncheon Media Partners – MySweetCharity; Patron Magazine; Modern Luxury; and WRR Classical 101.1FM.