Texas Medal of Arts Awards: The stars at night are big and bright ...

Stars fall on Austin April 3 as the Texas Cultural Trust Council hands out its annual Texas Medal of Arts Awards to some of the Lone Star State's greatest cultural heroes

You can see a ton of stars in the Lone Star State and not just by looking up at the night sky. Hang out at the Paramount Theatre next Tuesday, April 3, and you'll see enough stars to make Stephen Hawking giddy. That's when the Texas Cultural Trust Council will hand out its 2007 set of Texas Medal of Arts Awards, honoring a number of distinguished artists, patrons, and institutions that all call Texas home. The legends being recognized this year are veteran CBS News anchor and correspondent Walter Cronkite (Lifetime Achievement); author of some 50 New York Times bestsellers such as Ricochet and White Hot Sandra Brown (Literary Arts); revolutionary jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman (Music); internationally recognized African-American dance troupe Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Dance); Academy Award-winning star of Coal Miner's Daughter Sissy Spacek (Film/Television); sculptor of epic works Jesús Moroles (Visual Arts); Tony Award-winning actress (and recent visitor to town in the one-woman show Women on Fire) Judith Ivey (Theatre); photographer, director, producer, and screenwriter of Lonesome Dove Bill Wittliff (Media Multimedia); and pioneering stage director, dramatist, educator, and founding director of the Dallas Theater Center Paul Baker (Arts Education). Also receiving awards will be Houston philanthropists Diana and Bill Hobby (Individual Arts Patrons); legendary Texas retail chain Neiman Marcus (Corporate Arts Patron); and the Fort Worth-based Sid W. Richardson Foundation (Foundation Arts Patron). On Monday, the honorees will be feted at a reception at the Bullock Texas State History Museum; then Tuesday, they receive proclamations by the Texas House of Representatives and Senate at the Capitol in the morning, followed by lunch at the Governor's Mansion and dinner at the Driskill. Then it's off to the Paramount for the 8pm awards ceremony, for which CBS News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation moderator Bob Schieffer will serve as emcee. Van Cliburn and Tommy Lee Jones are on tap to present awards, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ray Benson & Friends, and Del Castillo are slated to perform. Tickets to the Texas Cultural Trust Awards are $75 and $500. For information, call 536-1414 or visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

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Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Texas Cultural Trust, Walter Cronkite, Ornette Coleman, Sissy Spacek, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bill Wittliff, Judith Ivey

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