Championing the Arts
One of the Lone Star State's premier patrons of the arts, the Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT), announced the return of the biannual Texas Medal of the Arts (TMAA) awards, coming in 2023. The nonprofit's signature event will take place at venues across Austin on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21 and 22, 2023.
Celebrating the creative contributions of Texans across multiple disciplines, the 2023 event will reflect and look ahead to the role the arts play in our lives and communities. Texas Culture Trust 2019 TMAA honoree Brandon Maxwell will chair the event, along with TXCT immediate past board of directors chair Linda LaMantia, and TXCT board of directors executive committee member Judy Robison.
Maxwell is the awards’ youngest recipient and the first to receive recognition for fashion design. His eponymous, ready-to-wear collection and custom creations have graced the likes of Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle, Oprah, Lady Gaga, and 2017 TMAA honoree Lynn Wyatt of Houston. LaMantia joined the Texas Cultural Trust board in 2009, a longtime supporter of the arts and education. El Paso-resident Robison is likewise a lifetime supporter, as well as a former chair and board member of the trust since 2008.
Together with leadership, the chairs convened a statewide group of experts to select the 2023 TMAA honorees across a wide variety of creative disciplines.
“The state of Texas is fortunate to have been the birthplace of a vast number of incredibly creative and talented artists in every medium,” says Robison. “It is my great pleasure to co-chair this amazing event to showcase the many accomplishments of Texas artists. After a three year delay, we are ready to present the best Texas Medal of the Arts show ever!”
Since 2001, the TMAA has celebrated 118 Texas leaders and luminaries for their creative talents, excellence, and generosity. The star-studded celebration spotlights the power of the arts to not only improve children’s education, stimulate the economy, and improve health and well-being, but also to keep us connected, engaged, and inspired. The two-day event also aims to preserve the unique and proud culture of Texas.
"The arts add vibrancy to our lives and give us the space to engage and connect with others,” says TXCT CEO Heidi Marquez Smith in a release. “This spectacular event provides an opportunity to highlight the creative genius that has been cultivated in Texas and reminds us why we need to continue to invest in the arts. The Texas Medal of Arts Awards is not only meaningful, but entertaining and inspiring!"
Each ceremony recognizes nominees from the following categories: architecture, arts education, arts patron (individual and corporate), dance, design, film, lifetime achievement, fashion design, literary arts, media/multimedia, music (performance and songwriter), television, theater arts, and visual arts. Past honorees include actors Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Tommy Lee Jones, and Eva Longoria; musicians ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and Ray Benson; Texas-born businesses Neiman Marcus, H-E-B, Exxon Mobil, and Texas Monthly; director Robert Rodriguez; media personalities Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite; writer Lawrence Wright; and many more.
The 2023 event will take place in iconic Austin venues, including the Commodore Perry and The Long Center for the Performing Arts.