Last week was busy with back-to-back meetings. and I attended events and functions that I wouldn’t normally. (Golf anyone?)
I won’t go into the details of every event and meeting, but it’s safe to say that I was kept busy and support for Take the Stage is growing in the Houston community. There is a spirit of collaboration and working together that is pretty amazing here.
In the midst of this flurry of activity, there is one meeting that does stand out during this week. I will share. I was at an SMU event, my alma mater, sponsored by the National Center for Arts Reasearch, and it was here where I chanced to meet Billie Pucciarello. And, after chatting and sharing a glass with her well after many of the guests had left this country club, I think I found one of the biggest advocates for arts education in the city. Billie had spent her career as a professional dancer around the world and as a arts educator and choreographer/director for youth in Houston running her own studio – not to mention she has a stock for kids musicals that rivals your mother’s closet with two BIG storage units just of costumes and props! She is now retired, but her spirit is nothing short of electric. There was a synergy immediately and one thing led to another – I was at her home the next day eating lunch and chatting about everything: career, family, the importance of performing arts education. Her close friend Yvonne Steely joined us for lunch that afternoon, and Yvonne is an incredibly talented composer/lyricist who has had her work produced all over the US including Off-Broadway. Yvonne graced us by playing a few selections from her original musicals. The only thing I regret is not having videotaped her singing and playing piano! It was an inspiring afternoon and encouraging to know that there are passionate people out there like Billie and Yvonne who believe in this project.
Billie, myself and Yvonne October 31st, 2013