Please join us in congratulating Ginger Blanton, winner the 4th annual Champion of the Arts Award, in recognition of her outstanding commitment to support the arts and arts education throughout Texas.
Ginger has served as President of the HCC Foundation since 2008. In her leadership role, she has been a tireless advocate on behalf of educational opportunity for all Houstonians and an active fundraiser on the Foundation’s Opportunity 14 Development Council. Her efforts are helping to secure funds for the $30 million endowment campaign in support of HCC’s Opportunity 14 Scholarships to ensure the scholarship is available for future generations. Her board memberships include Pink Ribbons Project, CanCare Inc Advisory Board, Brookwood Advisory Council, Salvation Army Women’s Guild and the Governing Council of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Ginger was incredibly pleased and appreciative to be given this honor.
This year’s award was presented by Texas Monthly in partnership with Omega. The award was generously created by Texas Monthly four years ago, and is given in honor of a member’s contributions to the arts statewide, as well as her work to embody the mission and vision of Texas Women for the Arts. Past recipients include Donna Axum Whitworth, Patsy Donosky, and Debbie Montford.
Patsy Donosky, 2012 Champion of the Arts Award
When you think of Texas Women for the Arts, you’d be hard pressed to do so without thinking of Patsy Donosky. A founding member of Texas Women for the Arts, she is a long-standing member of the Texas Cultural Trust board of directors, as well as a tireless advocate and supporter of the arts in her home community of Dallas. She has served as board or advisory council member to numerous arts organizations from the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Museum of Art, to the SMU Meadows Museum and School of Art. Texas Women for the Arts was honored to recognize her with the 2nd annual Champion of the Arts Award during their annual meeting in El Paso.
Patsy attended Southern Methodist University from 1954 to 1957, earning her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in journalism and religion. While at SMU, she served as Senior Class Officer for Kappa Alpha Theta; she was also a member of Theta Sigma Pi and was on Dean’s List for four years. Patsy also attended Lindenwood College for Women from 1953 to 1954, participating in Alpha Lambda Delta.
Patsy served as the Chairman of the Texas Cultural Trust Council from 1999 – 2001 and was a founding member of Texas Women for the Arts (a giving circle of Texas Cultural Trust). She has helped to advocate for the arts by serving on numerous boards, such as: the Advisory Board of the Friends of WRR Classical 101, the Executive Committee of Southern Methodist University Dedman College, and the Director’s Circle of SMU School of the Arts Meadows Museum. She has served on the Gala Act I Executive Committee as well serving as the Co-Chair for Special Underwriting for the Dallas Center for Performing Arts. Patsy is an Inner Circle Member of the Dallas Opera’s Board of Trustees. She has also served on the Advisory Boards for the Women’s Board of the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, and the Charter 100 of Dallas; Patsy also serves on the Board of Directors at Zale-Lipshy University Hospital. Additionally, she serves on the Dallas Symphony League President’s Council and is involved with the Dallas Museum of Art.
Donna Axum Whitworth, 2011 Champion of the Arts Award
Donna has held many titles since serving as Miss America in 1964: university instructor, author, television executive producer and TV hostess, professional speaker and civic leader. Her Miss America scholarship was used to complete her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees at the University of Arkansas in Speech/Drama, Radio/TV/film. In 1988, Donna was named a Distinguished Alumnus.
What She is Doing Now:
Donna now serves as a member of the University of Arkansas Chancellor’s Advisory Board and served on the Steering Committee of the Campaign for the 21st Century, which raised $1 billon, $46 million. Her contribution named the new Fitness Center. Heavily involved in the arts on the local, state and national levels, Donna is Past Chairman of the Texas Cultural Trust. In that capacity, she created two giving circles, Founders for the Arts and Texas Women for the Arts. TX Women has grown to over 200 members from throughout the state and has awarded over $568,000 in grants to outstanding arts organizations all over Texas. In 1994, Donna received a Presidential Appointment from President Bill Clinton to the President’s Advisory Committee for the Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She served as Special Events Chair on the Executive Committee. In 2001, Donna was elected to the National Committee for the Performing Arts, where she served as Chair of the Executive Committee. In Fort Worth, Donna is a member of the Van Cliburn Foundation’s Board of Directors, the Fort Worth Symphony’s Executive Committee and the Texas Christian University College of Fine Arts Advisory Board. Donna served as President of Imagination Celebration, a Kennedy Center program that has served the public schools in Fort Worth for over 20 years This program serves to bring the arts into the schools and coordinates the teaching with the teachers. On April 26th, Donna will receive the 1st Champion for the Arts Award as selected by the TX Women for the Arts and sponsored by Texas Monthly and Harry Winston Jewels.
In 2004, Donna was the first Miss America elected to the Miss America Board of Directors. She serves on the Executive Committee as 1st Vice Chair, Co-Chair of the Judges Committee and Co-Chair of the State License Committee. The Miss America Organization is the largest provider of college scholarships and assistance in the world.
Her faith is a stronghold of her life and is reflected in her service to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as an Advisory Board member working in the areas of Women’s Ministries and Seminary Advancement.
Donna and her husband, J. Bryan Whitworth make their home in Fort Worth, TX. He is a retired Executive with ConocoPhillips and is now Of Counsel with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz in New York City. Between them, they have five children and ten grandchildren.