TWA Champion of the Arts

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Champion of the Arts Award

The Donna Axum Whitworth Champion of the Arts Award recognizes a Texas Women for the Arts member who has made significant contributions to the arts, statewide, and whose work has embodied the mission and vision of the organization.

Our 2023 Champion of the Arts: Leslie Ward

Leslie Ward is the president of AT&T Texas, where she leads all legislative, regulatory, governmental, and external affairs activities in the state of Texas. Alongside her professional accomplishments, Leslie has shown the sincerest commitment to the Texas Cultural Trust. She was the chair of the 2018 Texas Medal of Arts Awards and a two-term chair of the Trust’s board, both of which displayed an epic show of support beyond the call of duty. Despite the challenges the arts faced due to the pandemic, Leslie provided her unwavering support and generous financial commitments over the years, and her leadership has made an impact on lives throughout our great state of Texas. Leslie’s personal and professional experiences in building networks throughout the state have proven to be an incredible asset to the Trust, and her years of experience working with the Texas Legislature provides invaluable knowledge that helps actualize the Trust’s and TWA’s mission. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Texas Tech University and St. Edward’s University, and she lives in Austin with her husband, and they have three children. Leslie is a champion of the arts, a champion of Texas, and a champion in the hearts of all who know her.

Previous Award Recipients

Leslie D. Blanton
Judy Robison
Nancy Dedman
Jeanie Wyatt
Gene Jones
Dian Graves Stai
Sandra Gilliland
Donna Axum Whitworth
Patsy Donosky
Debbie Montford
Ginger Blanton