Angelina Arts Alliance News Release – January 23, 2015

Contact: Tracy Pinkerton, 936-633-5234 – Executive Director

Thankful for Theater Arts

In 1996 Angelina College passed a bond to upgrade their facilities, including the aging Fine Arts building. With seed money in hand, and visionaries from T.L.L. Temple Foundation, additional finances were provided to make this dream a reality. The theater would serve both the college Fine Arts students, and the entire community, by bringing professional performing artists to Lufkin. In 2001 the Temple Theater was unveiled, and with the Chamber of Commerce, and hard work of many community leaders, Angelina Arts Alliance was born. As the Executive Director of the Arts Alliance, I am thankful that you have cultivated the arts in Lufkin for the past 14 years—and in a big way. It’s no small feat to sustain a professional performing arts center in a town of 35,000 people. But you have. And it comes with great rewards.

Like the artist who came to Lufkin Middle School all the way from New York less than two weeks ago. Her name is Lyle Cogen. Lyle had a vision to teach kids about the effects of bullying, and that kindness must always prevail. She spent two days with our students using her musical/acting talents and insight to make this social issue truly come alive. Her show, Sticks and Stones, was eye opening—and I am thankful for artists like Lyle. She made a difference.

This Saturday the Arts Alliance will host the Official Band of Texas; Asleep at the Wheel. What an honor to present a band with such a rich musical history—preserving the art of Texas Swing for four decades. Ray Benson, their leader, was named Texan of the Year in 2011. I am thankful that we have a beautiful venue like the Temple Theater to welcome Ray and his band to Lufkin.

As a non-profit organization, I believe we should always be looking for ways to serve our community. This is what drives us to find the most impactful and accessible music, dance and theater events available. Theater arts provide opportunities for community outreach that have long-lasting effects. December 13th-14th The Nutcracker Ballet with Mejia Ballet International will come to Lufkin. We looked for months to find this beautiful company who shares our vision to reach out to the community with their art. Part of their mission is involving local dancers to participate in the ballet with them. What an incredible experience it will be for our 80 young local dancers, to perform side by side with some of the best ballerinas in the country! And as an added outreach, they will be teaching a ballet master class, December 13th, open to the public. I am thankful for companies like Mejia Ballet for their passion and heart to share so much of themselves.

I am thankful for theater arts. It inspires us, educates us and enriches our personal lives as well as our cultural lives. For more information you can go to our website /call us at 633-5454 and follow us on Facebook.