Regina Taylor

Regina Taylor, Guest Artist

Media contact:
Juliette Coulter, 214-394-5532,
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TACA Distributes $1.5 Million to Local Performing Arts Community at 2017 Grant Awards and 50th Anniversary Launch Party Event

DALLAS, Texas — January 9, 2017 — On Monday, January 9, TACA kicked off its 50th anniversary year by providing a total $1.5 million in grants, matching the largest amount ever in a single year at its annual Grant Awards Celebration. Of that total, $1.3 million was distributed to 49 local performing arts organizations of all sizes and artistic genres, including theater, music, dance and collaborative partners. The grants ranged from $5,000 to $95,000. The remaining $200,000 dollars will be distributed through TACA’s two Artistic Excellence Funds: The TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund, which supports the creation and performance of new works in Dallas, and the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund, which supports the development of local artistic residencies.

Founded in 1976 by civic leader, arts advocate and former mayor Annette Strauss, the prestigious TACA Silver Cup is awarded each year to recognize one man and one woman for their outstanding contributions to the arts in Dallas. The honorees will receive their Silver Cups on March 7, 2017, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. The luncheon is presented by J.P. Morgan and Neiman Marcus.

Three new organizations received first-time TACA grants including Blue Candlelight Music Series, Cry Havoc Theatre Co. and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. The event, presented by Bank of America, took place at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre and included hundreds of local arts managers, patrons, and volunteers.

A committee of 50 dedicated TACA volunteers spent many hours the last 12 months attending performances, as well as evaluating grant applications. The distribution decisions are based on three primary criteria: artistic excellence, administrative and fiscal responsibility and community engagement.

Wolford McCue, TACA’s new Carlson president and executive director, said, “For the 10th consecutive year, TACA will distribute more than $1 million in grants to the performing arts community to help build a vibrant and culturally strong city. TACA’s grants will support about 3,000 performances and productions that more than one million people will attend.”

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, which is being chaired by community leader Wanda Gierhart, the TACA Grant Awards included a tribute to Becky Young, TACA’s leader retiring after 18 years, as well as students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts performing a scene from the play Magnolia, written by the special guest artist Regina Taylor.

Hailing from Oak Cliff, Taylor served as the featured guest artist and emcee. Best known for her television role as Lilly Harper in the series “I’ll Fly Away,” Taylor is an actress, director and one of the most prolific playwrights in the nation. She has starred in blockbuster films including "The Negotiator," "Courage Under Fire," "A Family Thing," "The Keeper," "Clockers," "Losing Isaiah," and "Lean on Me." Taylor graduated from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in 1981 and has received honorary doctorates from Columbia College, DePaul University and Lake Forest College.

After Taylor recounted how the arts has transformed her journey, she emceed a discussion with the following artists:

  • David Cooper, Principal Horn, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Nycole Ray, Artistic Director, Dallas Black Dance Theatre Encore!
  • Kimi Nikaidoh, Artistic Director, Bruce Wood Dance Project

The TACA Grant Awards media sponsors included A+C Texas Magazine and Classical 101.1 WRR, and AT&T Performing Arts Center served as the host facility.

A Heartfelt Thanks to our 2017 Grant Awards Celebration Sponsor

  • Bank of America