Brandon Maxwell’s luxury women’s fashion brand was born out of the desire to make women feel beautiful. Focusing on craftsmanship, the entire collection is designed in New York City, and Brandon’s integrity is present throughout the process. His brand is worn by many influential women, including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tiffany Haddish, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Lady Gaga. Brandon was awarded the 2018 Woolmark New York Semi-Final Prize, the 2016 Fashion Group International Rising Star Award for Womenswear, the 2016 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear, and was a finalist for the 2016 LVMH Prize. Brandon is a judge on the 2019 re-launch of “Project Runway” on Bravo TV.
Stephen Harrigan is a novelist, journalist and screenwriter. Among his eleven books of fiction and non-fiction, the best known is The Gates of the Alamo, which was a New York Times bestseller and won numerous awards. Harrigan’s newest book, to be published in October 2019, is a sweeping history of Texas from earliest times to the dawn of the 21st Century. Throughout his 45-year career Harrigan has been closely identified with Texas Monthly, where he is a writer-at-large and has been publishing articles and essays since the magazine’s founding in 1973. Among the many movies Harrigan has written for television are HBO’s “The Last of His Tribe” and TNT’s “King of Texas.” For two decades he taught at UT’s prestigious James A. Michener Center for Writers and is a founding member of the Texas Book Festival.
Elaine Molinar and Craig Dykers, together with their colleagues, established the international architecture, landscape and design studio Snøhetta in 1989 after winning the competition to revive the Alexandria Library in Egypt. This was later followed by commissions for the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion and Times Square in New York City, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Calgary’s Central Library in Canada, among others. The firm has grown to include studios in New York City, Oslo, Paris and Hong Kong. In addition to their work with architecture and landscape, their studio includes numerous graphic and branding design projects including the design of Norway’s new national currency, which went into circulation in 2017. Their work has been widely publicized throughout the world and received numerous international awards including the Mies van der Rohe Prize for European Architecture, The Aga Khan Prize for Architecture, several World Architecture Awards, a Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects, and an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Recent works include the new French Laundry kitchen and grounds in Napa, the Museum of Environmental Sciences under construction in Guadalajara, Mexico, the upcoming El Paso Children’s Museum and expansions and plans for the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha and the Blanton Museum in Austin. Both Craig and Elaine have lectured and taught internationally and are members of several boards committed to cultural life. The two graduated from the University of Texas in Austin School of Architecture during the 1980s, where they met. They have been together and working together since that time, and have often been referred to informally as ambassadors of Texas in their work worldwide.
The Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts is one of the first schools of its kind in Texas and was the brainchild of the Laredo Independent School District Superintendent, the late Vidal M. Treviño. It was his vision to provide a unique school where students can develop and refine their innate talent and creativity, prepare for higher education and succeed in a globally challenging world. With a mission to provide a comprehensive educational program of artistic training in the Schools of Communications, Visual Arts, Dance, Music, Theatre Arts and the School of Academics, the school offers cutting-edge programs in a multi-cultural setting with emphasis on creative development and college preparation. During its twenty-five years of existence the dedicated directors, faculty, staff and students have continuously fulfilled the school’s mission with outstanding results and achievements. Dr. Martha E. Villarreal, who has been at the helm for the past ten years, has elevated this school to new heights.
Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award-winning actor who made his mark on American cinema through his roles in the critically acclaimed films Dallas Buyers Club, Dazed and Confused, A Time to Kill, and many others. Matthew was born in Uvalde, Texas, and attended Longview High School. In addition to being one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men, Matthew is also a producer, director, and philanthropist. Through his just keep livin Foundation, he is empowering high school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future.
Mark Seliger was born in Amarillo, Texas, and attended Houston’s High School for Performing & Visual Arts. After studying graphic art and photography at East Texas State University, he moved to New York where he began his editorial career. From 1992-2002, as chief photographer for Rolling Stone, he shot over 125 covers. He later worked with Condé Nast at Vanity Fair and GQ until 2012. He has published numerous books, including: Mark Seliger Photographs (Abrams, 2018), On Christopher Street (Rizzoli, 2015), Listen (Rizzoli, 2010), In My Stairwell (Rizzoli, 2005), Physiognomy (Bullfinch, 1999) and When They Came to Take My Father: Voices of the Holocaust (Arcade, 1995). His photographs are part of the permanent collection of the Houston Fine Art Museum, as well as the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Trenton Doyle Hancock’s drawings and paintings pull from his own personal experience, comics, superheroes, and pop culture references, creating a mix of characters and plots demonstrating universal concepts of light and dark, good and evil, and the grey in between. Trenton was raised in Paris, Texas, earned his BFA from Texas A&M, and currently lives and works in Houston. His artwork is in several permanent collections, including the Dallas Museum of Art, TX; the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. In 2019, Hancock will open his largest exhibition to date at MASS MoCA, MA.
Established in Austin in 1991, Conspirare is a Grammy-winning and internationally recognized choir with a reputation for “expanding the boundaries of choral performance” (Wall Street Journal). Led by founder and Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare is comprised of soloists from around the country and their extensive discography includes 11 releases on the Harmonia Mundi label. Conspirare’s ambitious mission is to engage the power of music to change lives. Through its artistic excellence, creative programming and educational endeavors, the organization has established itself as an agent of change and a bedrock of the Texas arts community and beyond. Conspirare performs a full annual season in Austin and Central Texas where it has received ongoing recognition from local organizations and critics, and Craig Hella Johnson was named Texas State Musician.
Jennifer Holliday catapulted to stardom 35 years ago in the smash Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, with her show-stopping performance as Effie “Melody” White, the iconic role which garnered her a Tony Award for Best Actress in A Musical. She was discovered at age 17 while singing in her church choir in Houston, Texas by dancer Jamie Patterson, who persuaded her to move to New York City, where she made her Broadway debut in Vinnette Carroll’s Your Arms Too Short To Box With God as a featured soloist. Beyond Broadway, Ms. Holliday appeared as Lisa Knowles on the Fox TV dramedy, Ally McBeal. She has also enjoyed a successful recording career, winning Grammy® Awards for her mesmerizing performances of “And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going” (1982) and Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” (1985). Ms. Holliday has also received rave reviews for her first album in two decades, The Song Is You (2014).
Born William Royce Scaggs in Canton, Ohio on June 8, 1944, he grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, where he spent his teenage years immersed in the blues, R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll. While attending school in Dallas, he played in local combos. After several years as a journeyman musician around Madison, WI and Austin, TX, Scaggs spent time traveling in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, eventually settling in Stockholm where he recorded the album Boz.
Returning to the U.S. in 1967, Scaggs joined the Steve Miller Band in San Francisco, performing on that group’s albums Children of the Future and Sailor, before launching his solo career with 1968’s seminal Boz Scaggs LP, recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL for Atlantic Records. Scaggs continued to mine a personalized mix of rock, blues and R&B influences, along with a signature style of ballads on such influential ’70s albums as Moments, Boz Scaggs & Band, My Time, Slow Dancer and 1976’s Silk Degrees. The latter release became a massive commercial breakthrough, reaching Number Two and remaining on the album charts for 115 weeks. It spawned three Top 40 hit singles: “It’s Over,” “Lido Shuffle” and the Grammy-winning “Lowdown.” Subsequently, “We’re All Alone” from that same album, would become a #1 single for Rita Coolidge. Silk Degrees was followed by the albums Down Two Then Left and Middle Man, and such hit singles as “Breakdown Dead Ahead,” “Jo Jo” and “Look What You’ve Done to Me.”
Despite his ’70s successes, Scaggs spent much of the 1980s out of the music-biz spotlight, traveling, opening a family business, fathering young children and founding the San Francisco nightclub, Slim’s, He returned to the studio after an 8-year hiatus and released, Other Roads, Some Change, Dig, the Grammy-nominated Come on Home, the unplugged Fade Into Light, the in-concert retrospective Greatest Hits Live as well as a stint touring with Donald Fagen’s New York Rock & Soul Review; all while continuing to maintain a loyal audience in the U.S. and overseas, particularly in Japan. A pair of albums of jazz standards, But Beautiful and Speak Low, the latter topping the Billboard Jazz chart, demonstrated Scaggs’ stylistic mastery, as did the Southern-flavored Memphis and the rhythm & bluesy A Fool to Care.