Sarah and Ernest Butler Headshot

Sarah & Ernest Butler

Individual Arts Patrons

We moved to Austin with our young family forty-one years ago after completing two years of requiring military service. At the time, we founded the Austin Ear Nose and Throat Clinic.

We both graduated from Baylor University in Waco, and Ernest is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

We have a strong belief in the value of public education. Both of our children attended Austin Independent School District Schools and as undergraduates attended The University of Texas at Austin. Our son Robert pursued a degree in Chemical Engineering before attending University of Texas Medical Branch for his degree in Medicine. Our daughter Linda attended The University of Texas in the Plan II program before attending Baylor Law School for her degree in Law.

During the years we have lived in Austin we have participated in support of the fine arts in the Austin Community and at The University of Texas. The following is a list of our interests:

  • Butler School of Music
  • Austin Symphony Orchestra
  • Ballet Austin
  • Blanton Museum of Art
  • Austin Nature and Science Center (Dino Pit)
  • Texas Memorial Museum (now called Texas Nature and Science Center)
  • Austin Lyric Opera
  • Umlauf Sculpture Garden
  • Austin Museum of Art

Currently, Sarah is Board Chair of Ballet Austin and President of Ballet Austin Foundation. The Butler Dance Education Center in downtown Austin is the home of Ballet Austin. The Ballet Austin Academy and the Butler Community School now have the largest enrollment of any school of ballet in the United States. Sarah is a member of the Blanton Museum of Art Advisory Committee. The Blanton is the largest University of Art Museum in the United States.

Ernest is a Board of Directors member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and he serves as Chair of the Endowment Investment Advisory Committee. The Butlers have endowed the Butler Pops Series of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Concertmaster Chair.

The University of Texas Butler School of Music, one of the outstanding schools in the world, was recently named Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music in honor of their endowment and thirty-five years of support for the school. The Butler Opera Center actively trains young artists for careers in opera and it supports opera throughout the Austin community.