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We welcome travelers to Southeast Texas where winters are mild and summers the most challenging. Whether you’re looking for adventure, entertainment, or cultural enlightenment, we boast an ideal location. Uniquely situated between Houston and New Orleans, we offer a taste of big city talent without the traffic and long lines, and a combination of ethnic flavors with our Cajun, Creole, African, Hispanic, and European ancestry. Beaumont has been working hard to develop a magnificent downtown center with much to offer those with entertainment in mind. Crockett Street has a bold variety of food and music venues, and the downtown’s new pedestrian walkways will allow visitors to stroll easily to nearby parks, museums and live theaters. Port Arthur, home of many acclaimed artists of every medium, has a unique history all its own. Visit the Museum of the Gulf Coast on Proctor Street for an opportunity to view the history of man before he walked the earth to present day. Enjoy exhibits on music, culture and more at this diverse museum. Orange too, has much to be proud of. Home of the Stark Museum of Art, the historic Stark House Museum and the Lutcher Theatre where shows stop from across the world to perform, this small town will charm the most sophisticated visitor. We’re also pleased to announce the launch of our new website. We are the center of information for arts and cultural events in Southeast Texas. To find out what’s up, anytime and anywhere, visit us at setxac.org.

Off Ramp

Sue Bard, Executive Director Southeast Texas Arts Council
On the cover: Jim Clark, director of the Lutcher Theater in Orange, cruises the Off Ramp in a 2009 Corvette courtesy of Granger Chevrolet in Orange.


Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org


symphony's the ticket for top talent
The Symphony of Southeast Texas is composed of some 65 musicians who audition for their positions and are paid for season rehearsals and performances. Musicians come from communities through Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. Many of the orchestra's principal musicians are on the faculty at Lamar University. Several Lamar University students who have performed in the orchestra go on to receive Symphony scholarships. The SOST is supported by hundreds of individuals and businesses throughout the area, as well as by the Southeast Texas Arts Council and the Texas Commission on the Arts. It is supported locally by the state and national award-winning Symphony League of Beaumont, providing generous financial and logistical support. Open to anyone interested in working on behalf of the SOST, the League boasts a membership of more than 500. An SOST season includes four Master Series Concerts plus a Pops Concert, Holiday concert, four free Youth Concerts, and a free Fourth of July concert in conjunction with the City of Beaumont. For tickets, call 409-892-2257 or log on to www.sost.org.


The Symphony of SouthTipton comes to Beaumont



east Texas is proud to welcome Chelsea Tipton II as its Music Director and Conductor. from his position as Resident Director of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, with numerous recent guest appearances with leading orchestras nationwide. Recently, Tipton stepped in at the last minute for Robert Spano to conduct an all-Geshwin season finale with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The New York Times applauded Tipton for “(leading) sweeping and vibrant performances of "Rhapsody" and "An American in Paris." He earned a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from the Eastman School of Music, with additional studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, Maine. As a clarinetist, Tipton has performed with several orchestras, including the Rochester Philharmonic, the Heidelberg Festival Opera Orchestra (Germany), and the Chicago Sinfonietta. He has appeared on the NBC Today Show with Wynton Marsalis and has performed as a studio musician on recordings with a variety of artists.

Master Series 1: October 17, 2009
Maestro Tipton’s Premiere Performance! Shostakovich: Festive Overture Mozart: Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

Master Series 2: November 21, 2009
Lily Afshar, classical guitar Weber: Oberon Overture Rodrgio: Concierto de Aranjuez Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 “Reformation”

Symphony Pops: January 23, 2010 Chelsea Tipton II
Symphony Pops Concert The Best of Broadway

Master Series 3: February 27, 2010
Mariangela Vacatello*, piano
*Finalist, 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Suppe: Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 Dvorak: Symphony No. 8

Master Series 4: April 10, 2010
Symphony Chorus Evelyn Lord, narrator Copland: A Lincoln Portrait Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy”
Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org



Doc's curiosity creates a collector
By MARIBETH JONES Editor, Off Ramp Magazine

Though he calls himself "just a little peon in comparison to some collectors," Dr. Hervy Hiner's resume as an art collector is no less interesting. The Pittsburg, Texas, native was on staff at his alma mater -- Houston's Baylor College of Medicine -- when, in the late 80's, the call came for a kidney specialist in Port Arthur. Hiner accepted the position that would take him into his own as partner in Southeast Texas Nephrology Associates. At about the same time the young doctor began to collect art, some miles east in Lafayette, Louisiana, a self-taught Mississippi artist named William Tolliver was languishing. His construction job had dried up and he didn't think his realistic paintings of landscapes and people of the Deep South were any good. His wife disagreed, and took nine paintings to Lafayette gallery owner Bob Crutchfield, who examined the paintings and was speechless. The nine paintings sold in 10 days, and Tolliver's mastery of representational abstract expressionism came into its own. Back in Port Arthur, Dr. Hiner's medical practice was doing well. In his spare time, the self-described
Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

loner enjoyed reading the profiles on art galleries in Architectural Digest. One, about the Royal Gallery in New Orleans, caught his eye. So did a painting by an artist named William Tolliver. "A friend of mine happened to know the owner, a man by the name of Bob Crutchfield (one and the same)," Hiner remembers. "He set up a special viewing." It was the beginning of a fascination with the personal journeys of artists, especially African-American artists like Tolliver, "not so much for their ethnicity," he says, "but for unconventional pieces. Every artist has a particular connection that grabs you. Hits you and reveals a mythology." Now hooked into a collectors' network, Hiner began to receive auction catalogs and more invitations.He soon ran out of

room to display his collected works. "I've always had things in storage," he says, standing inside a bank vault that contains his favorite and most valuable pieces. His Beaumont home is one large, carefully appointed exhibit space, and pieces hang in his office. Another venue for the Hiner collection is his own Suga's Deep South Cuisine and Jazz Bar in downtown Beaumont, managed by Hiner's brother-in-law, Rod Weatherly. Recognizing that some artists are too commercial, Hiner will defend that moment a work of art captivates us, urging us to learn more about it. "You collect what appeals to you, and that becomes a learning process," he says. It is obviously a rewarding avocation for a busy man with a curiosity for research.

Artists who get prime exhibit space (after Tolliver) in Hiner's collection include John Biggers, painter-sculptor-teacher who established the art department at Texas Southern University; North Carolina-born artist and humanist Romare Bearden; New Yorker Norman Lewis, who documented the Civil Rights movement; Elizabeth Catlett's captivating light-and-shadow sketches; Eldzier Cortor's uplifting of black women as the "spirit of eternity," Charles Austin, George Miller, Gordon Parks -- the list goes on. The oldest canvases in Hiner's collection are late-18th century portraits by Joshua Johnson, one of the earliest known African-American artists. Robin Duncanson's 19th-century landscapes have a special place in the bank vault, as does a limitededition collection by Harlem Renaisssance artist Jacob Lawrence. Folk art by Joseph Delaney piques Hiner's interest with its ghostly narration of African-American colloquialisms, and a large stand of primitive sculpture and ritual pieces adds to the collection. Unassuming about his status as a collector, Hiner does enjoy rare moments spent in front of a canvas when the discussion goes deep. He enjoys images that make him stop. Think. Or simply give reverence to the creation, much like Bob Crutchfield did upon seeing the first paintings of William Tolliver nearly 30 years ago. "I was silent," he said, "not because of anything other than complete awe."

At bottom, Dr. Hiner in the collection vault. Below, an original oil by Harlem Renaissance artist Jacob Lawrence hangs in Hiner's home..

Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org


Museum of the Gulf Coast readies for Rauschenberg
As host of the first-ever Robert Rauschenberg Tribute Exhibition this fall, featuring works inspired by the abstract art of Rauschenberg, the Museum of the Gulf Coast joins an international effort to remember the Port Arthur-born artist. The exhibit is on view through October 22. In the debut competition, the museum received 76 entries from 22 states and one foreign country, representing 188 different works. Themes such as global consciousness and concern for the environment -- often present in Rauschenberg's own work -- are evident in a number of entries, along with elements reminiscent of his sense of humor and unconventionality. "Anything for Bob," replied Susan Davidson, senior curator for the Guggenheim Museum in New York, when asked to be juror for the exhibition. Davidson selected the works for exhibition and winners of the competition. The Museum of the Gulf Coast is located at 700 Procter Street in Port Arthur. For more information, call 409.982.7000 or go to museumofthegulfcoast.org.

Rauschenberg Tribute entries. Left: The Light, handmade collage and digital print, by Nan Stombaugh, Houston. Above: Landfall, painting and collage, by Catherine Bruhn, Spring. Below, New Deli, pigmented digital output, Rick Sherman, Miami.


Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

Lamar University student-faculty showcase marks 20th year of crowd-pleasing song and dance
Adding to the unique entertainment mix available in Southeast Texas is the annual excitement of Lamarissimo!, the acclaimed off-campus showcase for Lamar University student and faculty talent. 2010 marks the 20th year of this spotlight on emerging talent in music, theatre and dance. Season tickets and gift certificates for the 20th anniversary season are now on sale through Lamar University's Department of Music, Theatre & Dance. Performances include the Cardinal Singers and Lamar Dance Company, Grand Chorus and A Cappella Choir, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, Jazz Bands and Faculty Artists. The season begins with Wind Ensemble and Concert band Tuesday, Oct. 6. The season continues with Faculty Artists, Thursday, November 5; Holiday Choral Concert, Sunday, December 6; Jazz Bands on Tuesday, March 2, 2010; and the Cardinal Singers and Lamar Dance Company on Thursday, April 29, 2010. The holiday concert will begin at 3 p.m. in the Jefferson Theatre, 345 Fannin St. in downtown Beaumont. All others start at 7:30 p.m. in the Julie Rogers Theatre, 765 Pearl Street, in Beaumont. Season tickets, priced at $40 for adults and $20 for students, include admission to all five concerts. Lamarissimo! gift certificates may be used for purchase of adult season tickets. Individual concert tickets are $15 for aduls and $10 for students. They are available before each concert. Call 409.880.8144 for additional information.

Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org


Humble banker's turn-of-century home stands tall in history of Orange, Texas
As the 19th century was drawing to a close, Orange, Texas, was a thriving lumber and mill center with some billion feet of pine and cypress in Orange County and 35 billion more towering astride the Sabine River to the north. By 1879, timber processing in Orange skyrocketed to 82,000,000 shingles and 75,000,000 board feet of lumber annually. With nine sawmills and six shingle mills located there by 1881 -- and making use of the new rail link to Houston -Orange emerged as the timber-processing capital of the South, a position it retained for 40 years. In 1902, a man who had worked his way from clerk to board chairman at First National Bank of Orange took advantage of the region's abundance of prime native pine to build a home for his new family, having married just three years earlier. But it wasn't a big, elaborate Victorian design as many were building to herald their new-found wealth in the new century. Jimmy Ochiltree Sims had come from humble beginnings and the home he built was distinctive in its simplicity and practicality. It remains an example of upper-middle-class life at the turn of the 20th century. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. The two-story home is constructed of prime native pine with a finished attic, balustrade porches, five fireplaces, and a slate roof. It was occupied by the Sims family from 1902 until the early '70s when it was sold to the City of Orange and donated to the Heritage House of Orange County Association, Inc., with the provision that it would be moved and renovated as a historical museum for Orange County. It is now located at 905 Division Street, about a block south and west of its original location on property owned by Orange County and leased to the Heritage House Association. The house is restored as it was in 1919, when major modifications were made to the 10
Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

original six-room, two-story structure. It abuts the historical preservation district and is adjacent to the Central Plaza. The Heritage House hosts annual events including the Christmas Open House, the Past Times Celebration, and Trace of Old Lace fundraiser. ✒mbj

Artifacts Collections: Vintage clothing, shipbuilding tools, timber and shingle making tools, and oil field equipment Research Collections: Historic photos, census reports, marriage records, cemetery records and shipbuilding. Library: Open to general public, 200 reference books, 1000 photographs.

Oct. 17, 10-3 p.m. -- Past Times Days. Live demonstratons of butter churning, quilling, quilt-making and other turn-of-the-century activities. Children's games and refreshments. Dec. 1-3 -- Christmas With Santa. 5-8 p.m.. nightly with free full-house tours and refreshments. Spring 2010 -- Trace of Old Lace style show and luncheon featuring vintage wedding dresses

Adults - $3.00 Seniors - $2.00 Students - $.50 Members - Free Phone: 409-886-5385 Open Tuesday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed Saturday through Monday and all major holidays. Weekend tours available by appointment. The Facility is wheel-chair accessible and other services are available upon request for persons with disabilities.

Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org


Kitchen in Heritage House, Orange.

Southeast Texas Historic Home Guide
HERITAGE HOUSE MUSEUM, 905 W. Division St., Orange. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Weekends by appointment. Admission $1. 409-886-5385. JOHN JAY FRENCH MUSEUM, 2975 French Road, Beaumont. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays. Adults $3. Senior citizens $2. Children $1. Group reservations required. 898-3267 or 898-0348. Built in 1845, one of the oldest houses in Beaumont. French, a tanner and merchant from Connecticut built this simple Greek revival house, opened a tannery and trading post. THE KIRBY-HILL HOUSE MUSEUM, 210 W. Main St., in Kountze, 77625. 409-246-8000 or 246-3107. Open for free tours noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays. Admission free, donations welcome. Built 1902 by James L. Kirby, brother of lumber baron John Henry Kirby. Furnishings, pictures, artifacts and documents date from 1832. LA MAISON BEAUSOLEIL, 701 Rue Beausoleil in Port Neches Park. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Open on request. Free. 409-832-6733 or 722-1688. Built early 1800s. Authentic Vermilion Parish Acadian home with mud-and-moss walls. Transported by barge down the Vermilion Bayou to the Intercoastal Canal and into the Neches River to Port Neches Park. Les Acadiens Du Texas restored the home. THE McFADDIN-WARD HOUSE, 1906 McFaddin Ave., Beaumont. Guided tours of the house by reservation 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday Saturday. 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays. Carriage House is open for self-guided tours the same hours. Full tour $3. Carriage House only $1. Fully restored with original furnishings. 1906 Beaux Arts Colonial and grounds span a city block. 409-832-2134. POMPEIIAN VILLA, 1953 Lakeshore Drive, Port Arthur. Tours available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Adults $2. Children under 12 free. 409-983-5977. Built in 1900 for Isaac Ellwood, "the barbed-wire king,'' who sold it to James Hopkins, president of Diamond Match Co, who traded it to George Craig, early president of The Texas Company, forerunner of Texaco. ROSE HILL MANOR THE WOODWORTH HOUSE, 100 Woodworth Blvd., Port Arthur. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Group reservations required. Free. 409-985-7292. One of the oldest landmarks in Port Arthur. Built 1906 for R.H. Woodworth, early mayor of the city. A two-story classical revival structure of wood construction. W.H. STARK HOUSE, 610 Main St., Orange. Tours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission $2. Admission to adults and children 14 and older. Stair climbing essential. Reservations requested. 883-0871. Stark House is a careful restoration of an 1894 Victorian home typical of a wealthy Southeast Texas family. The 15room, three-storied structure shows the influence of several architectural styles. 409-883-0871. CHAMBERS HOME, 2240 Calder Ave., Beaumont. Tours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. with last tour starting at 3. Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Groups can reserve tours not within regular hours. Free. 409-898-0348.


Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

THEATRE, FILM, DANCE, MUSIC Beaumont Community Players Beaumont Civic Center Julie Rogers Theater Lutcher Theater, Orange Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Beaumont Community Players Lutcher Theater, Orange Lutcher Theater, Orange Beaumont Community Players Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont Lutcher Theater, Orange Beaumont Community Players Lutcher Theater, Orange Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont Beaumont Community Players Stark Park, Orange Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont Beaumont Community Players The Foreigner Playhouse Disney LIVE! Lamarissimo! Wind Ensemble Most Valuable Player: Jackie Robinson Beaumont Boys Bash Presented by Tracy Byrd, Mark Chesnutt & Zona Jones Parsons Dance Lamarissimo! Faculty Artists Strega Nona The Musical Nuncrackers: Christmas Musical Peter & the Wolf Chasing George Washington The Santaland Diaries Lamaarissimo! Holiday Choral Concert Frog and Toad Dealt a Deadly Hand: Dinner Theater Goodnight Moon & Runaway Bunny Lamarissimo! Jazz Bands CHICAGO the musical 8th Annual Art in the Park Lamarissimo! Cardinal Singers/Dance Brigadoon

Keep the date ... venue directory on Page 23.

Sept 4-5. 11-12, Sept 13, 1:30 p.m. Oct 6 Oct 21, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Oct 23-25 Oct 30, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Nov 5 Nov 9, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Nov 11/13-14, 19-20, 27-28 Nov 13, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Dec 3, 9:30 @ 11:30 a.m. Dec 4-5, 11-12 Dec 6 Jan 11, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Jan. 15-16, 22-23, 29-30 Jan 19, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. March 2 March 5-6, 11-12, 13, 18-20 March 27 April 29 April 30, May 1, 7-8, 13-15

Felix Fox-Harris: Somethin' Out of Nothin' Art Museum of Southeast Texas Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur Cityscapes: Works of the Photorealists Art Museum of Southeast Texas Late 19th-Early 20th c. paintings/prints Art Museum of Southeast Texas Frank Gerriets "There is Music on the Wall" Beaumont Art League Sam Keith: Canvas Images Beaumont Art League Dana Dorman: Spectacles Art Studio,Inc. The Madonna as Muse: Rene Alvarado Art Museum of Southeast Texas Eyes to Fly With: Graciela Iturbide Art Museum of Southeast Texas Robert Rauschenberg Tribute Exhibition Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur Pistols: Dazzling Firearms Stark Museum of Art, Orange Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day participating venues Rauschenberg Juror reception Museum of the Gulf Coast ongoing Sept 5 & 19, 2p.m. through Sept. 27 through Sept. 27 through Sept. 30 through Sept. 30 Oct. 3 - 31 Oct 10-Jan 3 Oct 10-Jan 3 through Oct 25 through Oct 24 Sept 26 Sept 27, 2-4 p.m.


Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

Entwined across the Ages: Illuminated Manuscripts and Tapestries Hans Molzberger: Return/Ruckkehr SETX Collects: Nineteenth Century Works Artistic Bonsai Show 8th Annual Art in the Park Rusty Scruby: Playing in the Sand Virgil Grotfeldt: 274296

Stark Museum of Art, Orange Art Museum of Southeast Texas Art Museum of Southeast Texas Shangri La, Orange Stark Park, Orange Art Museum of Southeast Texas Art Museum of Southeast Texas

Nov 21-Jan 30, 2010 Jan 23-April 11 Jan 23-April 11 Jan 12-23 Mar 27 Apr 24-July 11 Apr 24-July 11

Rauschenberg Tribute opening Playhouse Disney LIVE! Texas Centennial: Neglected No More! Most Valuable Player: Jackie Robinson Haunted Halloween Tours Strega Nona The Musical Peter & the Wolf Chasing George Washington Frog and Toad Goodnight Moon & Runaway Bunny Museum of the Gulf Coast Beaumont Civic Center McFaddin-Ward House Lutcher Theater, Orange John Jay French Museum Lutcher Theater, Orange Lucher Theater, Orange Lutcher Theater, Orange Lutcher Theater, Orange Lutcher Theater, Orange Aug 30 2-4 p.m. Sept 13, 1:30 p.m. Sept 24, 6:30 p.m. Oct 21, 9:30 & 11:30 Oct 30 Nov 9, 9:30 & 11:30 Nov 13, 9:30 & 11:30 Dec 3, 9:30 @ 11:30 Jan 11, 9:30 & 11:30 Jan 19, 9:30 & 11:30

FIRST FRIDAY in Groves First Thursdays at the Mildred Bldg. TEXAS PECAN FESTIVAL Annual Beer Tasting Event Pancakes & Prevention on the Plaza and Flamin' Hot Car Show 21st Annual Harvest Festival Bizarre Bizzaar Heritage House Past Times Days Fall Family Day Scarecrow Walk Art Festival Free Family Arts Day Autumn Fair Holiday in the Park-West Orange Heritage House Christmas with Santa A Very Merry Main Street Market: The Junior League of Beaumont McFaddin-Ward Christmas tours Christmas Caroling at Shangri La Beaumont Holiday Festival-Parade Fire Museum of Texas Open House John Jay French Candlelight Tour McFaddin-Ward House Open House WH Stark House Holiday Open House 8th Annual Art in the Park Lincoln Avenue, Groves Corner Calder/MLK, Beaumont Groves Art Museum of Southeast Texas Fire Museum of Texas, Beaumont Heritage Village Museum, Woodville Beaumont Art League Heritage House Museum, Orange Stark Museum of Art Shangri La Botanical Gardens Art Museum of Southeast Texas Shangri La Botanical Gardens Heritage House Museum, Orange 701 Main Street, Beaumont 1906 Calder @ Third St., Beaumont Shangri La, 2111 Park, Orange Downtown Beaumont 400 Walnut, downtown Beaumont 3025 French Road Beaumont 1906 Calder @ Third, Beaumont Stark House, Orange Stark Park, Orange First Fridays, 6-9 First Thursdays, 5-9 Sept 17-20 Oct 1, 6-10 p.m. Oct 10, 8-5 p.m. Oct 16-17, 9-5 p.m. Oct 17, all day Oct 17, 10-3 p.m. Oct 17, 10-2 p.m. Oct 20-Nov 15 Oct 31, 10-2 p.m. Nov 14 Nov 17 Dec 1-3 Dec 2-5 Dec 2-Jan 3 Dec 8, 6:30 p.m. Dec 5 all day Dec 6, 1-4 p.m. Dec 6, noon-3 pm. Dec 10, 5-8 p.m. Dec 15 & 17, 5-8 Mar 27

Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org



Beaumont Boys
MakING a differencE at home
Local country music stars Tracy Byrd and Zona Jones will team up with Beaumont native and Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Kevin Millar for the 2009 Beaumont Boys Bash Oct. 23-25 benefitting the Children's Miracle Network, Netcasters Youth Ministries, the Garth House, the Boy Scouts, and the Humane Society. Individuals, businesses and organizations throughout Southeast Texas support and participate in this annual weekend extravaganza "with the boys." In an industry where careers are often decided in committee, Tracy Byrd has held fast to his own creative vision and has never been afraid to take the road less traveled. That unbridled spirit prevails on his newest release, "Different Things." Raised on a working West Texas ranch, Zona Jones spent most of his days on horseback. At night, he listened to music -- everything from rock to blues. But his true love was Country in the traditional mold. And, for all three Beaumont Boys, the first love ... is home. Millar played baseball for Lamar University and entered the major leagues in 1993. He has played for the Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and is currently with the Toronto Blue Jays. Byrd says, "It's given me a lot of joy over the years to witness how well Millar has done in the big leagues. The Bash is the perfect chance for us to do something together and at the same time help others."

Tracy Byrd, Zona Jones and Kevin Millar are committed to bringing their star talent back where it began in 2009's all-star charity event, the Beaumont Boys Bash. Events unfold Friday, October 23.

Songwriters' Night Concert & Crawfish Boil Texas Hold 'Em Tourney 5K Run/2K Walk Golf Tournament Friday, Oct. 23 Saturday, Oct. 24 Saturday, Oct. 24 Saturday, Oct. 24 Sunday, Oct. 25

Need more info? www.beaumontboys.com
Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

Come pay your respects to Gatemouth Brown. Cost: One jar of grape jelly
By MARGARET TOAL Beaumont Enterprise
“I won’t limit myself to one type of music. There’s a lot of universe out there, and what is the universe? Music!” -- Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown

Those words are now marked in stone for the world to see. The Grammy-winning musician buried in Orange, Texas, has a polished granite marker at his gravesite, along with new jars of grape jelly. And soon he’ll be getting a Texas Historical Marker. The Texas Historical Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown signs autographs after a performance in Beaumont during Commission gave Brown the Rockin' Blues Festival, 2004. Photo by REN BRUMFIELD special approval to receive the marker without the usual 10-year waiting period. Brown fits the definition for significance, He evacuated to a relative’s home in Orange only his fame spreads beyond Texas and the nation. and ended up at a Port Arthur hospital for treatment His music is celebrated around the world. of a heart problem. He left the hospital without a Brown was born in Vinton, La., across the doctor’s release, and died at his great-niece’s home river from Orange, on April 18, 1924. His parents in Orange. moved to Orange when he was a few weeks old. His funeral was held on Sept. 17, 2005, and He and his siblings grew up in the community in a he was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Orange. musical family where he learned to play a variety of A week later, Hurricane Rita hit the city and blew instruments. away his flowers and temporary marker. He was considered a master guitar player Then on Sept. 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike sent with his long, thin fingers gliding gracefully along several feet of water through Orange. Brown’s casket the strings. He also played fiddle, viola, mandolin, was one of 33 that floated out of their concrete surharmonica and drums. face vaults. After serving in the Army during World War Brown was returned to his resting place and II, he developed a unique blend of music with blues, in March 2009, his daughter, Celeste Biles, with other jazz, country, zydeco and Cajun. Though he won relatives and friends, gathered to unveil the marker. the 1982 Grammy award for best traditional blues, The black granite design features a cutout of his he hated his music being labeled. He liked to say he trademark Gibson Firebird guitar and a portrait on played “American Music, Texas Style.” He used that ceramic tile. as the title of his 1999 CD that included Big-Band Eric Demmer, who played saxophone with jazz sounds blended with his unique talents. Brown for years, played his composition “Grape Brown’s other recordings included a country Jelly” at the gathering. He said Brown liked to eat album with Roy Clark and songs with Eric Clapton. grape jelly on everything and would ask for it even In 2005, the 81-year-old musician was living in fancy restaurants. Ike washed away the jars of on the water in Slidell, La., outside of New Orleans jelly left by fans, but the family replaced them. when Hurricane Katrina was headed toward the Gatemouth Brown’s final resting place can be city. At the time he had lung cancer. Rolling Stone seen on Simmons Drive in Orange, less than a mile Magazine reported he had refused treatment. south of Interstate 10 from the Old Hwy. 90 exit. Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org 17

SEASON ON! Director thrives at center of world-class act: Lutcher Theater celebrates 30th season
By MARIBETH JONES, Editor Off Ramp Magazine Jimmy Carter is president. A Coca-Cola costs about forty cents. There is an oil shortage. "Dallas" is one of the hottest TV shows, and Gloria Gaynor brings hope to the charts with her power anthem,"I Will Survive." Also in February of 1980, "Mister Showmanship" -- aka Liberace -- takes the stage in Orange, Texas, ushering in a new era of entertainment in Southeast Texas as the first performer in the Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts. The 1,450-seat proscenium hall is the largest between Houston and Jacksonville, FL, with annual attendance of approximately 30,000 adults and children. As a destination for the finest in performing arts, from traveling Broadway plays to musical groups, one-man shows and children's programming, the new theater is a priceless gift to Southeast Texas from the Nelda C. & H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation. But most importantly, serious theater-goers in Southeast Texas have found a home. And the theater embraces them. "Our patrons tell us they feel like family when they come here, and that is also how we see our patrons. It's a family mindset that has made a difference for the Lutcher over the years," says a proud Jim Clark, managing director of the Lutcher for the past two decades. economic instability. What we learned then, we see happening again but to a much smaller degree. "The stories we hear about arts organizations in California are examples of extreme loss of programs. Organizations that stay true to their original mission can weather economic storms, if you make smart, timely decisions,and in good times prepare for hard times, you'll be alright. "True, we have seen other performing arts series come and go from the area. But our Lutcher Theater Service Guild volunteers have been steady major ambassadors for us." Laughing, Clark adds, "We do see some of our patrons as our rich aunts and uncles and hope for their support, but we also see a majority of our patrons as our cousins, nieces and nephews who we are obligated to look out for and educate about the performing arts."

Vietnam vets and a mountain of dog food
Asked to cite some memorable moments from the past decades, Clark quickly takes the cue. But his answers require neither feigned pride nor a critic's witty praise. "In 2005 we presented 'Miss Saigon' at the Lutcher. Our local Vietnam Veterans group brought their museum artifacts and set up a display in the lobby. The Vets came because of their pride in service and desire to share history with audience members and they wanted to promote their local museum. Many did not and could not step in and watch the show, precisely because of the memories. But between performances we invited the cast members to share dinner with the Veterans. Many of the cast members were Vietnamese descendants and had never had the opportunity to visit with soldiers who served in the war. "The exchange of stories, the reflection on how the war had affected both the soldiers and the citizens, made the evening special. It enriched the actors' outlook on the characters they were portraying and it enriched the lives of the ex-soldiers, as they shared their stories." A second reminiscence is more recent. "In 2008, Lutcher Theater sponsored a

Clark is doing what comes naturally
It's only natural that the Lutcher would be family-centric considering Clark himself has theater in his blood. What teenager wouldn't try to follow in his father's footsteps -- when father is the serviceman in charge of coordinating entertainment for NCO clubs? From Arkansas to Oklahoma to the classroom and beyond, Clark has always found himself on or around the stage. At the Lutcher, that has meant in good times ... and bad. "The 1980s were hard on arts organizations. Those of us who went through that period have a good understanding and appreciation for the adjustments we need to make during times of


Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

A pet food drive to benefit the Humane Society of Southeast Texas during the Lutcher Theater's performance of "Annie" resulted in 3.5 tons of donations. The star of the show posed atop the heap. Such community-centric events are standard fare for the Lutcher's 20-year director, Jim Clark.

pet food drive for the SE Texas Humane Society in conjunction with the performances of "ANNIE." Lutcher patrons brought 3.5 tons of pet food to the two performances. Staff members carried 40 lb. bags of food from patrons in cars in the drive through. By evening's end a ceiling-high mountain of pet food filled the lobby."

Ensuring a theater legacy into the future
Which brings us to the next 30 years. Programming for children has been a focus of Clark's repertoire since he arrived. As a result, the Lutcher is a veteran grantee of The Kennedy Center Program for Young People. The program features workshops designed to teach teachers how to bring arts into the classroom. Less than 20 U.S. theaters have been accepted into the program. "In 1989 when I arrived here, I saw the need to develop more educational programming. From one to two shows a year and three to four thousand students, We've grown to 14,000 kids a year. We look for international and national shows that are of the highest caliber, and are highly acclaimed. We review the TEKS requirements for Music, Theater, and Art

for area students and present programs that area teachers can use to help their students meet those requirements. We began to offer area teachers the opportunity to learn how to incorporate the arts into core classroom teaching." After the closing lines and the curtain calls, Clark is ever at the exit, smiling and getting feedback from as many people as he can. "Years ago, one of our patrons was on the way out and I asked him if he enjoyed the show. He said, 'I've never been to a show here that I didn't enjoy.' For a second I thought it was because of our selection of shows and I was feeling pretty proud, but then he said, 'But, I learned along time ago, it's how you approach a show. If you go in planning to enjoy the evening, you will, and so I enjoy every show I see.' That's a mindset I am envious of; it's too bad many of us don't take that approach to life as a whole." The 30th Anniversary of the Lutcher Theater promises an exciting season with -- one more time -- something for everyone. Season details are on the next page. You should definitely plan to enjoy your evening.
Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org


LYLE LOVETT and his Large Band Four-time Grammy winner puts on a show full of wit, wisdom and Texas-sized storytelling. OCT. 26. PARSONS DANCE in collaboration with East Village Opera A high-energy mix of contemporary American dance, opera and rock music.OCT. 30. RIVERDANCE The thunderous celebration of Irish music, song and dance will play for Farewell Peformances. NOV. 20, 21, 22. THE WIZARD OF OZ Follow the yellow brick road with Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion to Emerald City. DEC. 5, 6. JIM BRICKMAN Beautiful World Christmas. America's most popular piano artist performs everyone's holiday favorites. DEC 14. LEADING LADIES Hilarious comedy features English Shakespearean actors who cross gender barriers in a wild rush for a fortune. DEC. 18 GROOVEALOO Renowned freestyle and hip-hop performers celebrate the heart and soul of dance. FEB. 26. ROMEO AND JULIET From the company that presented The Three Musketeers comes the timeless story of unrequited love. APR 8. CHRIS BOTTI Brilliant trumpeter, composer and Grammy Award-winner thrills with his contemporary jazz style. APR. 17 FAMILY SPECIALS Jan. 17 Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny March 28 The Man Who Planted Trees

Get a season pass to see 4 or more shows during the Lutcher Theater's 30th anniversary season and save up to 15%. Reserve 8 or more shows and get guaranteed prime orchestra seating. One free ticket exchange is allowed, and payment is interest-free with 6 or more shows. Reserved parking is available with full package and $500 contribution. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and 90 minutes prior to showtime. Call 409.745.5535 or 800.828.5535 or visit www.lutcher.org.


Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org

Live, local theater opens new era on a new stage
On a trip through Beaumont, set your GPS to 4155 Laurel Ave. Or call 409.833.3387. Or log onto beaumontcommunityplayers.com You might be lucky enough to intersect with a run of live theater you won't find anywhere else. The all-new Betty Greenberg Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Beaumont Community Players, the Margaret Bolton School for the Performing Arts and the Mamie McFaddin-Ward Auditorium. With a proud, 80-year history of mentoring young thespian talent and consistently producing sell-out seasons, the BCP 20092010 season packs a wallop well worth the trip.

THE FOREIGNER Sept. 4-5, 11-12, 17-18, 19.
Laugh-out-loud ensemble comedy brings together a group of oddballs in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia.

NUNCRACKERS: The Nunsense Christmas Musical Nov. 13-14, 19-20, 27-28
Tune in to the first TV special taped in the Cable Access Studio built by Reverend Mother in the convent basement. Songs include "Santa Ain't Comin' to Our House." Need we say more?

Happy Holidays from the Stark Museum of Art
An extraordinary collection of art greets visitors to the Stark Museum of Art in Orange. The collection focuses on the stunning land, dramatic people and diverse wildlife of the American West. But this holiday season one exhibit has its roots far from the American West. "Entwined Across the Ages: Illuminated Manuscripts and Tapestries" is the Stark's annual holiday offering. Between November 21 and January 30, visitors can view medieval illuminated manuscripts within a setting of twentieth-century wall tapestries inspired by medieval arts. The exhibit highlights the variety and richness of manuscript illustrations in the Book of Hours and inclues images of the Christmas story. It also reveals how the medieval arts influenced artist Lorenz Kleiser of the Edgewater Tapestry Company, who revived the art of tapestry weaving in the modern era. The Stark Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10-5. Special group tours are available with reservation. For more information, call 409.886.ARTS (2787).

Writer David Sedaris' account of his experience working as an elf in Macy's department store. Witty, sardonic, unpredictable.

DEALT A DEADLY HAND: Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Jan. 15-16, 22-23, 29-30
The first legal gambling casino in the Poconos is the setting for the BCP's hilarious dinner theater.

CHICAGO March 5-6, 11-12, 13, 18, 19, 20
The well-loved musical of stage and screen tells the story of aspiring star Roxie Hart who murders her lover in 1920s Chicago and is sent to death row alongside another "Merry Murderess," Velma Kelly. CHICAGO will be the debut performance on the theater's Mamie McFaddin-Ward Auditorium. Funded by the McFaddin-Ward Heritage Foundation and Rosine Wilson, the 250-seat auditorium features an expansive tribute stage with a love story of its own.

BRIGADOON April 30, May 1, 7-8, 13, 14, 15
The timeless Scottish fantasy about a town that disappears into the Highland mist and returns for only one day every one hundred years. Songs include "I'll Go Home with Bonnie Jean" and "Almost Like Being in Love."
✒mbj Off Ramp • Fall/Winter 2009 • www.setxac.org


Merchant partners show they have big hearts for the arts year-round.
The Southeast Texas Arts Council relies on the goodwill of communities, businesses and individuals without whom our own efforts wouldn't be enough. Off Ramp magazine likes to recognize those merchant partners without whose time and support and in-kind contributions we would not be able to get the good word out on SETAC-sponsored programs each year. In appreciation of our supporters, we hold our "Heart for the Arts" recognition banquet in February of each year.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Balboa Company F. Christian Meyer RMT Greg Busceme Lutcher Theater MCM Elegante’ McManus Fine Gifts and Accessories Museum of the Gulf Coast On Stage Hair Design Purse Strings Suga's Deep South Cuisine Symphony of Southeast Texas Texas Coffee Company World Gym Express Coastal Paddler KVLU Beaumont Art League Stacie Jannise

Southeast Texas Arts and Culture Directory
(area code 409)
Art Museum of Southeast Texas Beaumont Art League Beaumont Ballet Theater Beaumont Civic Ballet Beaumont Interfaith Choral Society Beaumont Community Players Brown Center Clifton Steamboat Museum Dishman Art Gallery Edison Museum Fire Museum of Texas Gladys City Boomtown/Spindletop Gold Coast Fine Arts Association Heritage House Museum of Orange Ice House Museum John Jay French House Museum Kirby-Hill House Museum Lutcher Theater La Maison Acadiens & Dutch Windmill McFaddin-Ward House Museum Museum of the Gulf Coast Orange Community Players Police Department Museum Port Arthur Little Theatre Pompeiian Villa Rose Hill - Woodworth House Shangri-La Botanical Gardens Southeast Texas Youth Symphony Stark Museum of Art Texas Artists’ Museum Texas Energy Museum The Art Studio, Inc. Vuylsteke Dutch Home W.H. Stark House Museum 832-3432 833-4179 892-4441 838-4397 898-1634 842-4664 880-8904 840-9334 880-8141 981-3089 880-3927 835-0823 833-9321 886-5385 385-2444 898-0348 246-8000 745-5535 722-0279 832-1906 984-6445 882-9137 838-3825 727-PALT 983-5977 985-7292 670-9113 892-2257 883-6661 983-4881 833-5100 838-5393 984-6101 883-0871

Getting You Recognized is Our Business. 409-838-1636


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