Gene Chambers Jones to be recognized with 2018 Champion of the Arts Award

Texas Women for the Arts, a program of the Texas Cultural Trust, has selected 25 arts programs across the state to receive more than $278,000 in grants at their 13th Annual Meeting taking place May 7-9, 2018 in Fort Worth, TX. A giving circle of women united in supporting arts and arts education programs across the state, Texas Women for the Arts’ mission is to awaken and nurture the artist in every Texas child. This yearly grant initiative provides privately raised dollars to arts-related programs by providing meaningful funding to arts education programs across Texas.

“Since its inception in 2005, Texas Women for the Arts has awarded more than $2.2 million to more than 180 arts organizations across Texas, and we are honored to continue this legacy in 2018,” said Heidi Marquez Smith, Executive Director of Texas Cultural Trust.

On Tuesday, May 8, day two of their annual meeting, Texas Women for the Arts will also recognize Gene Chambers Jones with the 8th annual Champion of the Arts Award for her continued support, promotion, and generosity for arts and culture in the state of Texas. A Texas Cultural Trust board member since 2007 and founding member of Texas Women for the Arts, Gene, and her daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, were 2013 recipients of the Texas Medal of Arts Award. Gene and Charlotte also chaired the Trust’s 2015 biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards.

The 2018 Texas Women for the Arts Impact Grantees are:

  • The Magik Theatre, San Antonio – $20,000.00
  • River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), Houston – $7,500.00
  • ZACH Theatre, Austin – $10,000.00
  • Young Audiences of Northeast Texas, Tyler – $25,000.00
  • Ballet Austin, Austin – $10,000.00
  • The Cliburn, Fort Worth – $15,000.00
  • City ArtWorks, Houston – $5,000.00
  • Austin Classical Guitar, Austin – $15,000.00
  • El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso – $15,000.00
  • Creative Arts Center of Dallas, Dallas – $10,000.00
  • Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Lubbock – $7,500.00
  • Young Audiences of Houston, Houston – $15,000.00
  • Kids Excel El Paso (KEEP), El Paso – $10,000.00
  • The Art Center of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi – $25,000.00
  • Chinquapin Preparatory School, Highlands – $5,975.00
  • Amarillo Symphony, Amarillo – $7,500.00
  • Rockport Center for the Arts, Rockport – $21,500.00

Additional Outreach Grants of $2,000 each were given to the following statewide arts programs:

  • Arts for Rural Texas, Fayetteville
  • Hope Stone, Inc., Houston
  • Big Thought, Dallas
  • Houston Ballet, Houston
  • Conspirare, Austin
  • Texas Boys Choir, Fort Worth
  • Lone Star Ballet Inc., Amarillo
  • Kids In A New Groove, Austin

Texas Women for the Arts 2018 Executive Committee:

  • Chair – Tania Schwartz, El Paso
  • Chair Elect – Eliza Duncan, Houston
  • Immediate Past Chair – Dawn Leatherwood, Tyler
  • Membership Co-Chairs – Mary Lynn Painton, Rockport &
  • Aurora Farthing, Lubbock
  • Nominating Chair – Kelli Blanton, Houston
  • Nominating Vice Chair – Laura Street, Amarillo
  • Program Chairs – Janis Brous, Jill Fortney, & Charlotte Tripplehorn, Fort Worth
  • Grants Chair – Beverly Bentley, Houston
  • Grants Vice Chair – Isha Rogers, El Paso
  • Governance Chair – Linda Davis, Fredericksburg
  • Board Liaison – Kathleen Kennedy, San Antonio
  • Legacy Chair – Merrill Hafner, Houston
  • Legacy Vice Chair – Dru Pipkin, Fredericksburg/San Antonio
  • Travel Chairs – Lisa Kopecky, San Antonio & Muffin Lemak, Dallas
  • Travel Vice Chair – Marie Wise, Houston
  • Chair Emeritus – Donna Axum Whitworth

“Texas Women for the Arts plays a crucial role in the fostering and developing of grants across the state as well as promoting the importance of the arts in education,” said Tania Schwartz, chair of the Texas Women for the Arts and board member of the Texas Cultural Trust. To join Texas Women for the Arts, or to learn more about program, please visit www.txculturaltrust.org/twa.


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


Texas Women for the Arts is an essential giving circle uniting the financial forces of Texas women in funding initiatives for the arts and arts education programs throughout the state.  Created by the Texas Cultural Trust and administered by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Women for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that makes a remarkable impact on the arts for our children and our culture.  Since its inception in 2005, Texas Women for the Arts has awarded $1.7 million in grants to 99 arts organizations, impacting more than a million children across the state.  For more information please visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

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