Hersh calls for collaboration with arts, mental health issues

From TACA Staff Reports

This year’s sold out 40th TACA Silver Cup Award luncheon, attended by more than 800 guests and chaired by Melinda Johnson, celebrated four decades of vital support for the arts in Dallas through TACA (The Arts Community Alliance). Founded in 1976 by arts advocate and former mayor Annette Strauss, the TACA Silver Cup is awarded each year to one man and one woman who contribute richly to the cultural fabric of the community through their devotion to the arts.

This year’s honorees were Julie K. Hersh and Donald J. Stone. The event featured heartfelt speeches delivered by the honorees, as well as performances by TACA grant recipients.

Hersh is president of the Hersh Foundation, an advocate of mental health awareness, and a generous philanthropist. She serves as board chair for the Dallas Theater Center, is an AT&T Performing Arts Center trustee, and supports many other organizations. She is also a board member for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Foundation and former board president of Dallas Children’s Theater.

The author of “Struck by Living: from Depression to Hope,” Hersh is passionate about connecting the disciplines of theater arts and mental health research. In her TACA address, she initiated a call to action for “radical collaboration” in the arts community.

Stone is a philanthropist, civic leader, businessman, fundraiser, and one of Dallas’ most loyal supporters of all the arts. Often working behind the scenes on campaigns for numerous cultural organizations — among them Voices of Change, Fine Arts Chamber Players, and Orchestra of New Spain — he also is past chairman of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Stone and his wife, Norma, are passionate advocates for new music and established the Norma and Don Stone New Music Fund at the Dallas Symphony Foundation.

At the event, Stone spoke about his love of philanthropy and the life-enriching joy he has gotten from supporting many local organizations.

Members of Dallas Black Dance Theatre performed the world premiere of A Precious Stone in honor of Stone.

“As TACA enters its next half century of providing support to arts organizations, we celebrate the philanthropic support of individuals, organizations, and corporations who understand the importance of the arts to a vibrant community,” said Wolford McCue, Carlson president and executive director of TACA.

Revenue raised at the successful event was 10 percent higher than in 2017.

Established in 1966, TACA’s mission is to champion artistic excellence in performing arts organizations and encourage innovation, collaboration and engagement through financial support, stewardship, and resources.

Pictured, from left to right, are: Wolford McCue, Melinda Johnson, Julie Hersh, Don Stone and Michelle Thomas. Photo courtesy of TACA