Tenth Biennial Event Spotlights Leaders and Luminaries of the Arts in Texas and Furthers the Trust’s Mission to Support the Arts and Promote its Impact on Education, the Economy and the Way of Life in Texas

Texas Cultural Trust’s signature and star-studded event, the Texas Medal of Arts Awards (TMAA), will return to Austin, Texas, in its tenth biennial year, on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 26–27, 2019, and will be held at various venues across the city including The Blanton Museum of Art and The Long Center for the Performing Arts.

Since 2001, the TMAA have presented 108 medals to Texas leaders and luminaries who have achieved excellence through their creative talents, as well as those whose generosity has opened doors to artistic opportunity for Texans of all ages. Proceeds from the TMAA directly sustain the Trust’s work to promote and support the arts and arts education, as well as their impact on education, the economy, and the way of life in Texas.

“Today, more than ever, we are hearing about the transformative power of the arts to not only entertain, but inspire, heal, unite, and engage people from all backgrounds around the world. The TMAA provides a unique opportunity for Texas to recognize empowering and creative individuals who have brought distinction to our great state and beyond,” said Texas Cultural Trust Executive Director Heidi Marquez Smith.

The Awards will be co-chaired by Texas Cultural Trust Board Members Leslie Blanton, dedicated philanthropist and champion of numerous arts programs and charitable organizations, and Leslie Ward, senior vice president of legislative affairs and corporate external affairs at AT&T. These prominent arts advocates and patrons recently convened a statewide group of experts across a wide variety of disciplines to select the 2019 TMAA honorees.

“As vice chair of the board of directors for Texas Cultural Trust, I am continually reminded our state is home to incredible talent,” said Leslie Ward, co-chair of the 2019 Texas Medal of Arts Awards. “It’s a privilege to work side by side with this year’s selection committee, who have volunteered their time and unique perspectives to determine which nominees exemplify the honor of the prestigious TMAA.”

“I believe wholeheartedly in the power of the arts to positively shape our great state,” said Leslie Blanton, co-chair of the 2019 Texas Medal of Arts Awards. “I look forward to talents from across Texas joining us in February to honor those who are bringing art to life in Texas and beyond.”

Nominees are considered from the following categories: music, film, dance, visual arts, arts patron (corporate, foundation and individual), media/multimedia, television, architecture, theatre, arts education, literary arts, design, and lifetime achievement.

As the signature fundraising event of the Texas Cultural Trust, the Texas Medal of Arts Awards spotlight the power of the arts to improve children’s education, preserve the unique and proud culture of Texas and stimulate the state’s economy. The Awards have celebrated various influential and talented honorees including Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Dan Rather, Neiman Marcus, H-E-B, Margaret McDermott, Barbara Smith Conrad, Tommy Lee Jones, Bob Schieffer, Debbie Allen, Robert Rodriguez, Walter Cronkite, Lawrence Wright, Lake Flato Architects, The Nasher Foundation, Sandra Cisneros, Robert Rauschenberg, Clint Black, Anheuser Busch Companies, Lyle Lovett, Texas Monthly, Robert Edsel and Exxon Mobil, among others.

For more information on the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, please visit www.texasmedalofarts.org. For more information on the Texas Cultural Trust, please visit www.txculturaltrust.org or call 512.478.5289.


The Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to be the leading voice for the arts in education, advocacy, and economic impact in Texas, spotlighting the artistic excellence of our state.  Programs of the Texas Cultural Trust include the biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Texas Women for the Arts, the Texas Young Masters, Arts & Digital Literacy, and Art Can. The Trust also supports the programs of the Texas Commission on the Arts and other qualifying state agencies. Since 2008, the Texas Cultural Trust has invested more than $3.2 million into arts awareness and education, bringing the total investment to more than $4.9 million.  For more information, please visit www.txculturaltrust.org


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