A dozen NEA grants, an Austinite for State Artist, and Austin High takes state
• Congratulations to Melissa Miller on being named the Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist for 2011. The associate professor in the University of Texas Department of Art and Art History is one of eight artists receiving cultural appointments from the Texas Legislature for this year and the next. Also honored: Jesús Moroles, Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist 2011; Lyle Lovett, Texas State Musician 2011; David M. Parsons, Texas State Poet Laureate 2011; Karl Umlauf, Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist 2012; Bill FitzGibbons, Texas State Three-Dimensional Artist 2012; Billy Gibbons, Texas State Musician 2012; and Jan Seale, Texas State Poet Laureate 2012. The Texas Commission on the Arts received 126 nominations for 97 different artists to be honored. After panelists review the names and determine the finalists, a committee appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House makes the final selection. For more information, visit www.arts.state.tx.us/stateartist.
• Congratulations to Austin High School's Red Dragon Players on winning the 5A division of the 2011 University Interscholastic League State One-Act Play Contest on Wednesday, May 11. The group took first place with a production of Over The Tavern by Tom Dudzick, directed by theatre teachers Billy Dragoo and Tommy Grubbs. This was Austin High's second win in three years and fifth consecutive appearance at state, tying it with San Antonio Clark High School for most consecutive appearances in the contest's history. Along the way, the production earned 12 awards, with actor Catherine Schwartz being honored at every level of competition. At state, she received both the best actress award and the Samuel French Award for Excellence in Acting. In addition, Ian Erbe was named to the All-Star Cast and Nick Williams to the Honorable Mention All-Star Cast. For more information, visit www.reddragonplayers.com.