Quantcast
Courtesy of Texas Cultural Trust

After releasing initial details for next year's Texas Medal of the Arts Awards (TMAA), the Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT) has revealed the full lineup of 2023 honorees — and San Antonio residents will recognize one local name.

Taking place in venues across Austin, the two-day biannual event recognizes the creative contributions of Texans across multiple disciplines, from music to architecture, film, design, and beyond. Next year's honorees also span multiple geographical regions, with recipients representing Houston, El Paso, and everywhere in between.

“We are beyond thrilled to resume the TMAA celebration, after having to postpone and cancel in 2021 due to the pandemic, with an extraordinary lineup of talented Texans who have each inspired and captivated their communities, our state, and beyond,” says Texas Cultural Trust CEO Heidi Marquez Smith. “Our organization strives to spotlight the vital role the arts play in our state and our everyday lives. Texas has such a rich cultural heritage that deserves to be recognized, invested in, and celebrated.”

So, without further ado, the 2023 Texas Medal of Arts Honorees are:

  • Arts/Health: Center for Performing Arts Medicine, Houston
  • Lifetime Achievement/Musical Theatre: Carole Cook, Abilene
  • Music: Christopher Cross, San Antonio
  • Music/Songwriter: Miranda Lambert, Lindale
  • Architecture: Miró Rivera Architects, Austin
  • Visual Arts: Deborah Roberts, Austin
  • Design: Lela Rose, Dallas
  • Literary Arts: Benjamin Alire Saenz, El Paso
  • Film/Producer: Taylor Sheridan, Weatherford
  • Dance: Septime Webre, Brownsville
  • Film/Actor: Luke Wilson, Dallas

Christopher Cross has sold over 10 million albums in his career, which has spanned more than four decades. His 1980 self-titled debut album won five Grammy Awards, including — for the first time in Grammy history — the “Big Four” most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year (also “Sailing”), and Best NewArtist. Cross also boasts an Academy Award for Best Song ("Arthur's Theme," co-written with Burt t Bacharach for the film Arthur); a Golden Globe, an Emmy nomination, and five Top 10 singles.

The TXCT's signature two-day event will begin on February 21, 2023, with the Arts Alive! Reception at Commodore Perry Estate, culminating with an Awards Show and Gala Dinner at the Long Center for Performing Arts on February 22, 2023. This year's events are co-chaired by Linda LaMantia, civic leader and artist dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts and education; Judy Robison, philanthropic advocate for prioritizing equity in access to the arts for all children; and world-renowned fashion designer and 2019 TMAA Honoree Brandon Maxwell.

Besides Maxwell, previous honorees have included Matthew McConaughey, Jamie Foxx, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Dan Rather, Neiman Marcus, H-E-B, Robert Rodriguez, Walter Cronkite, Lawrence Wright, Sandra Cisneros, Lyle Lovett, Texas Monthly, and many more. In total, the TMAA have celebrated 118 Texas leaders and luminaries since its inception in 2001.

Christopher Cross will receive a 2023 Texas Medal of Arts.

Courtesy of Texas Cultural Trust
Christopher Cross will receive a 2023 Texas Medal of Arts.
Courtesy of Kendra Scott

Texas jewelry star Kendra Scott shines with dazzling engagement ring collection

Great Scott

Already a go-to for wedding jewelry essentials, Kendra Scott is expanding into a new category with the introduction of The Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott on Monday, May 23.

This launch is the second category expansion for the Texas brand's landmark 20th anniversary — it waded into watches and watch bands in April. The Engagement Collection is available at 12 retail locations across the country, as well as via virtual appointments.

Inspired by Scott’s signature pieces, each engagement silhouette bears custom details unique to the brand’s "design DNA."

Featuring a traditional center stone (round, oval, and emerald), rings are available in solitaire, halo, and signature silhouettes with customizable options in 14 karat white, rose, or yellow gold. A singular yellow sapphire acts as the bridge of each solitaire setting and the base of each halo ring, signifying joy, optimism, and the promise of a bright future.

The bespoke customer experience includes a dedicated in-house diamond expert to guide the couple through their ring journey. The couple selects every facet of the ring, from carat weight to pavé additions to metal selections and personalized engraving. The custom rings are made to order and delivered in approximately three weeks.

In line with the brand’s continued emphasis on innovation, founder Kendra Scott decided to work with lab grown diamonds for the new collection. The debut 11-piece Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott features lab grown diamonds that are F in color (colorless), VS2 in clarity range, and available in carat weight from 0.5 to 2 carats. Price points range between $1,350–$8,150.

“For twenty years, our customers have invited us to be a part of their wedding journeys. The launch of the Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott will allow us to be the wedding destination from proposal to happily ever after,” says Kendra Scott, founder, designer, and executive chairwoman of the brand. “When creating this collection, we challenged ourselves to consider every detail. Fundamental to our design process, each ring can be customized and curated to match every couple's unique love story.”

Austin’s South Congress flagship store is one of three Texas retail stores to carry the new line, along with Dallas' Preston Center and Houston's Heights Mercantile. Customers can also make virtual appointments online.

The Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott is available in twelve retail stores across the country, including three in Texas.

Courtesy of Kendra Scott
The Engagement Collection by Kendra Scott is available in twelve retail stores across the country, including three in Texas.
Athleta/Pinterest

Texas superstar Simone Biles unveils new clothing line full of girl power

GOAT GEAR

After a whirlwind summer that saw her become a worldwide spokesperson for mental health and later an advocate for all women against predators, Simone Biles is living her best life.

The Spring, Texas native and Olympic gymnastics GOAT announced her engagement to boyfriend and Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens earlier this year, and now she has unveiled a new clothing line aimed at nurturing future stars.

Biles, 25, a seven-time Olympic gold medalist and the most decorated Olympic athlete in history, announced the launch on social media. “It’s finally happening,” Biles posted on Instagram, informing her 6.9 million followers that the limited-edition line from Athleta is available as of Tuesday, April 19. She co-created the series, dubbed Athleta Girls x Simone Biles, which her legions of fans can add to cart here.

Expect stylish athleisure aimed at girls aged 6 to 12, with streamlined tees, hooded sweatshirts, reversible vests, and more, plus bike shorts and capri pants and outerwear and accessories. The vivid items are designed with a spring and summer vibe.

But more than simply creating a perfect fit for an active life, the Biles/Athleta line aims to boost girls’ self confidence. Each article of clothing comes with a hidden message from the GOAT herself.

Biles noted to People that these hidden passages are “little love notes” that she tells herself each day, such as “you can do it,” “the floor is yours,” and “no dream is too small or too big.”

“I think [the messages] should be a daily reminder so if [wearers] ever feel down or are feeling like they can't do something,” she added, “they just look in whatever piece of clothing they’re wearing and they find that love note.”

Vaulting back from the Tokyo Games where she withdrew from competition to focus on her mental health and ultimately returned to medal, Biles told CultureMap last year that she planned to travel and spend time with Owens and her family.

Recently, she hinted at a comeback, teasing to The Today Show, “I might push it a little bit more to see.”

Courtesy of Kendra Scott

Texas jewelry maven Kendra Scott clocks in with timely new collection

Clocking In

Texas jewelry designer, founder, author, and philanthropist Kendra Scott is launching a new collection to celebrate her namesake brand’s 20th anniversary — and just in time for Mother’s Day.

A new line of timepieces and Apple Watch-compatible bands inspired by Scott’s passion for unique shapes and materials will usher the brand into a new category as the designer’s first watch collection.

Combining the functionality of a timepiece with Scott’s iconic designs, the new watches showcase the brand’s affinity for color and natural gemstones. Customers will recognize the Kendra Scott heritage shapes in six key styles, including the Alex, Dira, and Elle leather wrap. Each style features a unique, inlaid stone or shell face sourced from around the globe, ranging from mother of pearl and black mother of pearl to turquoise magnesite and abalone.

Each watch also features a GIA-certified diamond centered in the logo medallion at the 12 o’clock index, a nod to the craftsmanship and attention to detail that have made the homegrown Austin brand a household name over the years.

Price points for the new products will range from $198-$328 for watches and $128-$148 for watch bands, which are compatible with the Apple Watch Series. The collection launches in retail stores and online at KendraScott.com/watches this Wednesday, April 13.

"We are thrilled to continue to expand the Kendra Scott brand with the launch of watches, a natural next step in our product innovation," says Scott. "We all track our screen time, our scroll time, but not our time spent doing the things we love. A timepiece is a reminder that there's no better gift than the time we can spend together, and I hope that this new category helps inspire our customers to take the time to celebrate moments for themselves and their loved ones this spring.”

Scott got her start creating jewelry in a spare bedroom at her Austin home in 2002. Her company, now valued at $1 billion, currently operates more than 115 stores across the country, including two in San Antonio.

Local jewelry designer, founder, author, and philanthropist Kendra Scott is launching her first watch collection in celebration of the brand’s 20th anniversary.

Courtesy of Kendra Scott
Local jewelry designer, founder, author, and philanthropist Kendra Scott is launching her first watch collection in celebration of the brand’s 20th anniversary.
Worthy Books

Millionaire Texas jewelry maven Kendra Scott writes next chapter with dazzling memoir

Turning the page

She launched a jewelry company now valued at $1 billion. She received the national EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2017. Two years later, she was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. And she’s been a guest “shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank. And just last week, she released a bridal capsule collection in collaboration with a local blogger.

Kendra Scott, founder of the Austin-based jewelry company that bears her name, reigns as a Texas and American success story. Now, she’s telling her story in her first memoir, Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love.

The memoir, published by the Worthy Books division of Hachette Book Group, is scheduled to be released September 20. Preorders of the book started March 8.

“With a voice that’s vulnerable, wise, funny, and poignant, Kendra takes us on a journey of personal stories and tough life lessons, from her humble beginnings as a bullied middle-schooler in small-town Wisconsin, to launching a business in her spare bedroom with $500, to the devastating accident that turned her world on its axis,” Worthy Books says in a news release promoting the book.

“Through the ups and downs, her struggles and triumphs, Kendra builds a life — and a career — grounded in joy, kindness, purpose, and doing good, a life she desires for every reader,” the release continues.

Scott began creating jewelry in a spare bedroom at her Austin home in 2002. Fourteen years later, the Kendra Scott brand operates more than 115 stores across the country, including two in San Antonio, and rings up annual sales in the neighborhood of $360 million.

In 2017, Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners invested an undisclosed amount in the Kendra Scott brand. The deal valued the company at $1 billion.

In February 2021, the company announced Scott would step down as CEO of the brand but stay aboard as executive chairwoman and chief creative officer. Forbes last year estimated Scott’s net worth at $800 million.

Today, Scott is a professor of practice at the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at the University of Texas. She also serves on the boards of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“Kendra Scott is a generous philanthropist, an unwavering optimist, a devoted daughter, and a mother with a squad of strong female friendships. Her entrepreneurial spirit developed at an early age and her path to success is unique, intriguing, and certainly not an easy one,” the Worthy Books news release says. “In 20 years, she has catapulted her eponymous jewelry line, which started as a hobby in her home, into a mega-popular business that has garnered a loyal following of clientele across the globe.”

Photo courtesy of Whataburger

Whataburger says ‘I do’ with new WhataWedding collection for brides and grooms

Love at first bite

Texans planning a wedding anytime soon may want to scrap the tux and gown in favor of some new eat-your-heart-out apparel from a cherished San Antonio-based burger chain.

Just in time for wedding season and Valentine’s Day, Whataburger has released its new lineup of WhataWedding garb and accessories, augmenting its plentiful collection of burger-branded garments and gifts.

The new collection includes designs for her and him in the form of short-sleeved WhataBride and WhataGroom T-shirts, as well as a WhataWedding shirt design, each selling for $25. The sweetheart styles are part of an ongoing collaboration between San Antonio-based Whataburger and Frisco-based apparel business Tumbleweed TexStyles.

The new T-shirts are a cotton/poly blend and are available in — what else? — white for the WhataBride style and black for the WhataGroom style. The WhataWedding style comes in gray, and all three designs are embellished with Whataburger’s iconic orange brand elements.

Whataburger lovers who want to do more than wear their heart on their sleeve can also opt for an additional “touch of elegance” with the new James Avery heart charm ($72), which is crafted in sterling silver and bedecked with Whataburger orange enamel stripes.

Couples getting hitched won’t want to forget to scoop up some of Whataburger’s classic table tents emblazoned with a new “Just Married” script design ($3.99). They’re even available in five-packs for $10.99, so the bride and groom can share the love with their wedding guests.

All of the new WhataWedding designs are currently available for purchase through the online Whatastore.

Whataburger and couples: a match made in burger heaven.

Photo courtesy of Whataburger
Whataburger and couples: a match made in burger heaven.
Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

San Antonio Missions hit home run with new owners, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio's minor league baseball team scores new owners, including Texas sports legends. San Antonio's minor league baseball team is back to being locally owned — by some big names.

2. H-E-B unveils new line of merchandise for super fans, available exclusively at this store. Kerrville was chosen to launch the company's new line of H-E-B-branded merchandise, in celebration of its 117th anniversary and in honor of its first store.

3. San Antonio market continues to see prices going up and sales going down. San Antonio home sales dropped 19 percent from October 2021.

4. San Antonio Rodeo wrangles even more musical acts for star-studded 2023. Turnpike Troubadours joined the already impressive lineup for the 2023 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.

5. San Antonio children's theater adapts timeless children's book for the holidays. Magik Theatre celebrates The Velveteen Rabbit as a Christmas story, with inclusive special performances.

Steven Spielberg opens up personal history in The Fabelmans

Movie Review

For over 40 years, director Steven Spielberg has been delivering some of the most popular blockbuster movies of all time as well as a bevy of Oscar-quality dramas, a combination that’s unique to him. For his latest, The Fabelmans, he’s decided to go more personal than ever, telling a thinly-veiled version of his own childhood.

Sammy (played mostly by Gabriel LaBelle) is one of four children – and the only son – of Mitzi (Michelle Williams), a concert pianist, and Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano), a computer engineer. From an early age, Sammy is enthralled by the art of filmmaking, first remaking a train crash sequence from The Greatest Show on Earth, and gradually moving on to more adventurous stories.

Burt’s advancing career, which moves the family from New Jersey to Arizona to California, causes stress for various members of the family, most notably Sammy and Mitzi. Sammy must deal with anti-Semitic bullies, while Mitzi falls deeper into a mental health crisis. Sammy’s movies continually offer a respite for the family, though, giving him a creative outlet and the rest of them a chance to forget their troubles for a while.

Written by Spielberg – his first writing effort since 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence – and Tony Kushner, the film is heavy on emotions but presented in a way that those feelings don’t always translate. Spielberg is no stranger to depicting fraught family situations in his long career, but in showing ones from his own family, it feels like he pulled back, not wanting the scenes to be overwrought or schmaltzy.

The result is a story that isn’t as universal as some of his other films. As the film is told from Sammy’s perspective, it’s easy to get caught up in his pursuits and various discoveries as he gets older. The mindsets of the rest of the family are less clear, even though his parents and sisters are ever-present. Mitzi’s state of mind is a concern from the start, but it’s not always treated as such by other important characters.

Just as Sammy’s movies are an escape for his family, so too are they some of the best parts of the film. Sammy figuring out the process and secrets of filmmaking is informative and often thrilling, especially if you’re a cinephile. Spielberg has been considered a master for so long that watching him revisit the days when he was learning as he went is catnip for movie lovers.

In addition to being a dead ringer for a teenage Spielberg, LaBelle is a fantastic actor. It’s no easy feat to carry a movie on your shoulders, and LaBelle makes the assignment look easy. Williams’ performance will likely be more polarizing; she employs a very mannered speech pattern that works in some situations, but not all. The film also includes memorable short appearances by Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch, and David Lynch.

Spielberg has provided the moviegoing public with such pleasure over the years that he deserves to have a movie that’s mostly for him. The initial viewing of The Fabelmans left this critic wanting, but perhaps it will gain more traction on a second screening.

---

The Fabelmans is now playing in theaters.

Photo by Merie Weismuller Wallace/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Gabriel LaBelle in The Fabelmans

New self-guided tour showcases iconic Fort Worth Stockyards' many Hollywood ties

Tinseltown in Cowtown

A new self-guided tour showcasing the Fort Worth Stockyards’ many star-studded appearances in cinema throughout the years recently debuted in time for the 16th annual Lone Star Film Festival, which took place earlier this month in the Stockyards for the first time.

Called Stars of the Stockyards, the eight-stop, go-at-your-own pace walking tour guides folks to famous film sites where celebrities have stepped foot in front of Hollywood cameras. Visitors to the Stockyards can access the PDF tour map on their smart phones via QR codes (no app required) posted throughout the district, namely at hotels and tour kiosks.

"The Stockyards is a historic and celebrated destination for many reasons, but one that may be lesser known is its popularity as a filming location for some of our favorite movies and TV series," said Ethan Cartwright, VP of marketing for Stockyards Heritage Development Co.

The tour and corresponding QR codes are a permanent addition to the district, he said.

Stops on the map include the iconic White Elephant Saloon, a hotbed for Hollywood performances including several by legendary actor and martial artist Chuck Norris in the longtime TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger when the watering hole was portrayed as the fictional CD Bar. The White Elephant was also graced by country music superstar Tim McGraw and Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton for their appearances in Paramount Plus’ hit series 1883.

Also in 1883 and featured on the tour is Hookers Grill, hidden in the less flashy West side of Exchange Ave. The burger shack transformed into a gambling den in the show called The Texas House of Liquor & Sport. It’s the only building in the Stockyards that preserved the façade constructed by 1883’s production team. During operating hours, customers can order at the outdoor burger window and dine at patio tables within the two-story structure.

Cowtown Coliseum is marked on the map for its appearances in the 1983 film Tough Enough, where actor Dennis Quaid played an amateur boxer. It’s also the home of the final rodeo scene in the 1992 movie Pure Country starring country music legend George Strait.

Billy Bob’s Texas, the Stockyards Hotel, and even unassuming historic cattle pens also make the list on the tour, along with notations for the Texas Trail of Fame, which features more than 240 bronze markers honoring contributors for preserving and perpetuating the Western way of life.

Veteran actors Sam Elliot and Robert Duvall, both stars in the megahit TV series Yellowstone, are among the most recent Texas Trail of Fame inductees.

For more information and to get started on the tour, go here.