The land of oil rigs, ten-gallon hats and million-acre ranches is getting a Washington showcase for its performing arts next year at the Kennedy Center.
Chairman James Wolfensohn announced yesterday that the Kennedy Center will host a two-week Texas Festival in June featuring some of the state's most prestigious artists along with some lesser-known performers.
"It is an opportunity to present in the national performing arts center the best of the performing arts in individual states," said Wolfensohn. "We chose Texas, first, because there are a lot of extremely good works in the state. Secondly, it's culturally diverse, and thirdly, we had to start somewhere."
The groups scheduled to participate so far include the Houston Ballet, which will perform a world premiere by Paul Taylor; the Fort Worth Ballet; the Dallas Symphony; the Texas Boys Choir; and theatrical productions of "Camp Logan," written by Celeste Bedford-Walker; and "In the West," a series of 18 monologues by Jim Fritzler.
"There have been over 600 groups from around the state" who wanted to perform, said Wolfensohn. "We're doing a selection now ... but we'll be having every type of ballet, dance, music and cultural performance. The aim is not to make this an elitist festival, but something that shows the best of Texas."
Exxon will be the major corporate sponsor of the festival, giving $500,000 toward the estimated $2.5 million to $3 million cost of the event. Approximately $220,000 will be donated by the Rosewood Hotels/Crescent Endowment Fund.