Texas Cultural Trust Announces New Board Chair

by Texas Cultural Trust

Art collector and philanthropist, Guillermo Nicolas, appointed as new Board Chairman for the Texas Cultural Trust’s Board of Directors 

AUSTIN, TX (September 19, 2023) – Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to be the leading voice for the arts in education, advocacy, and economic impact in Texas, has announced the appointment of their new Board Chairman, Guillermo Nicolas.

We are honored to welcome Guillermo as our board chairman this year. He brings over 10 years of dedication and service for the Texas Cultural Trust and a great amount of leadership within the great state of Texas,” says TXCT CEO, Heidi Marquez Smith. “His contributions have been invaluable, and I am thrilled for him to lead our board and continue his legacy of advocating for the arts across Texas.”

The Texas Cultural Trust’s Board of Directors is a statewide governing board composed of a diverse group of industry and business leaders, arts patrons, and artists who are passionate about the benefits of the arts to the state of Texas. They are charged with overseeing the organization’s long-term financial stability and strategic direction.

Guillermo is a passionate art collector and philanthropist known for his unwavering commitment to promoting the arts. Inspired by his father, he started his art journey early and pursued painting and pottery classes before minoring in art history at the University of Texas at Austin. As Vice President of the Las Casas Foundation, he gained invaluable experience, setting the stage for his philanthropic endeavors.

“I first joined the Texas Cultural Trust as a board member in 2011; my father, Emilio Nicolas, was honored with a Texas Medal of Arts Award (TMAA) in 2015; in 2017 I co-chaired the TMAA; and today, in 2023, I am honored to guide the leading organization for the arts in Texas,” says Guillermo Nicolas, former TXCT vice chair and incoming board chairman.  “I look forward to working with my fellow board members and the CEO of the Trust to increase support and awareness for the arts in Texas.”

Throughout the years, Guillermo has served on numerous arts organizations’ boards, supporting initiatives that enrich communities’ cultural landscapes. Notably, he played a pivotal role in revitalizing the Majestic and Empire Theatres and championed accessible public art, bringing renowned masterpieces to San Antonio. In 2017, he served as the co-chair for the Texas Medal of Arts Awards. With a dedication to spreading art’s impact, he has generously gifted works to institutions and has played a significant role in acquiring monumental pieces for prominent museums. 

Guillermo’s commitment to the arts continues to inspire, leaving a lasting legacy in the art world and beyond.

The 2023-2024 TXCT Board of Directors is as follows: 

  • Guillermo Nicolas, Board Chair – San Antonio
  • Leslie Ward, Immediate Past Chair – Austin
  • Lauren Anderson – Houston
  • Brendon Anthony – Austin
  • John Beckworth – Austin
  • Ray Benson – Austin
  • Kelli Blanton – Houston
  • Leslie Blanton – Houston
  • Marvin Blum – Fort Worth
  • Bruce Bugg, Jr.- San Antonio
  • Dr. Ernest Butler – Austin
  • Ito Deutsch – McAllen
  • Mindy Ellmer – Austin
  • Pat Frost – San Antonio
  • Gay Gaddis – Austin
  • Winell Herron – Houston
  • Tisa Hibbs – Tyler
  • Alexis Hunter – Corpus Christi
  • Dan W. Jackson, III – Austin
  • Renard Johnson – El Paso
  • Gene Jones – Dallas
  • Kathleen Keating – Victoria
  • Kathleen R. Kennedy – San Antonio
  • Michael L. Klein – Austin
  • Linda LaMantia – Laredo
  • Charles Matthews – Dallas
  • Whitney Hyder More – Fort Worth
  • Nancy Murray – Longview
  • Cabrina Owsley – Houston
  • Jay Propes – Austin
  • Marielle Lamy Quaid – Austin
  • Corinna Holt Richter – San Antonio
  • Judy Robison – El Paso
  • Karen Johnson Rove – Austin
  • Tania Schwartz – El Paso
  • Nancy Seliger – Amarillo
  • The Honorable Joe Straus III – San Antonio
  • Mark Watson – San Antonio
  • Pamela Willeford – Austin
  • Darrell Windham – Austin
  • Trisha Wilson – Dallas


For more information on the Texas Cultural Trust, or to make a Texas Medal of Arts Award nomination, visit www.txculturaltrust.org.  


The Texas Cultural Trust, established in 1995, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and increasing access and awareness for the arts across the state. Programs of the organization include the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Arts Access, Art Can, Texas Young Masters, Texas Women for the Arts, and Partners in the Arts. Texas Cultural Trust efforts are amplified by supporters who are instrumental in the success of leading a cohesive voice for the arts in education, advocacy, and economic impact in Texas, spotlighting the artistic excellence of the state. For more information, visit txculturaltrust.org.


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