“Art,” a poet once wrote, “is man’s nature; nature is God’s art.” If this is so, and I think that it is, I would add: Texas is the human artist’s ultimate muse. And Texas is God’s masterpiece. No one who has the good fortune to be born or even just live in Texas ever needs to be taught what beauty is — one need only open one’s senses to the varied bounty that surrounds and abounds here. In the Texas sky, in her earth, and in her wildflowers are colors enough to paint a thousand canvases. A symphony plays through her streams, her thunderstorms, and her birdsongs. Texas leaves no writer without a tale. And just the fact of being Texan seems ample training for the dramatic arts.
– Dan Rather
Master of Ceremonies, premier Texas Medal of Arts Awards, March 2001.