How many people does it take to stage a performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest? Go behind the scenes with SMU Meadows as hundreds of community actors and volunteers bring a musical adaptation of the Bard’s epic play to life.
Reflecting their passion for connecting the arts to the community through public spaces, Gene and Jerry Jones have committed $5 million to transform the east entrance to SMU’s Owen Arts Center along Bishop Boulevard.
Congratulations to Michael Aronov ’98, who won a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Featured Role for Oslo, and Andy Blankenbuehler, who attended SMU in 1989 before launching a professional career, for receiving his third Tony as Best Choreographer for the musical Bandstand.
“I met Michael Jordan during the first week of my internship,” recalls Mark Lau ’06. “Right then I knew that Nike was the place I wanted to work.” Now global director of the company’s EKIN Experience, Lau stays in touch with fellow Mustangs as co-president of SMU’s Portland alumni chapter.
Strong academic records, writing talent and a love of journalism translated into scholarships for two Meadows School of the Arts students. In their winning entries, Jacquelyn Elias ’18 explored “the intersections of coding and journalism to tell stories in the truest way,” and Hannah Ellisen ’18 focused on the positive impact of investigative journalism.
SMU alumna Kamica King ’13 created the music therapy program at The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center in Dallas, where singing, listening and talking about music helps therapy participants deal with stress, connect with one another and feel accepted for who they are.
Michelle Merrill ’06, ’12, assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, is among 11 recipients of 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards for young conductors with promising careers. Merrill is in her second season as assistant conductor and Phillip and Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador with the symphony.
Interview magazine profiles SMU alumnus Lionel Maunz ’01, whose fourth solo art show, “Fealty”, opened recently at New York’s Bureau gallery. Rachel Small writes, “… the subtle emotional impact of Lionel Maunz’s art, mostly iron sculptures and pencil drawings, is one of a raw, profound pain expressed in such a delicate and measured manner so as to avoid staid aspirations of idealism or cynicism.” Maunz earned a BA in 2001 and an MFA in 2004 from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
Carl Pankratz ’03, ’06, city councilman for the City of Rowlett, Texas, and vice president/legal counsel for Capital Title, was recently named to the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list of the area’s top young business executives and entrepreneurs. The rising stars are recognized for their work both professionally and in the community. Carl Pankratz '03, '06 Pankratz specializes in closing industrial, multi-family, office and retail properties, as a commercial escrow officer; oversees the real estate firm’s legal department; and manages more than 200 employees. His service to the community of Rowlett, the growing city in northeast Dallas County that he calls home, is equally multidimensional. Active in civic affairs, he was elected to the Rowlett City Council in June 2011, having previously been a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment. He has drafted several key ordinances, including an ordinance to reserve oil and gas rights for the city and a program that requires outside vendors to carry a “pink badge” when soliciting homes. Currently, he is drafting an oil and gas drilling ordinance. He also is co-founder of the Rowlett Association of Non-Profits, a network of more than 100 arts, service and support organizations. A passionate champion of and participant in the arts, Pankratz has starred in more than eight productions with the Amateur Community Theatre of Rowlett and has been selected for the Texas [...]
EXCERPT The following story about SMU alumna Amber Venz '08 and Baxter Box '11, who holds an M.B.A. from SMU's Cox School of Business, is from the September 2, 2013, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas start-up puts together fashion bloggers, shoppers and retailers By Hanah Cho Personal stylist Amy Wells Havins dishes on her latest fashion picks and catalogs her outfits on her blog Dallas Wardrobe. With a few clicks, her readers can purchase those Gap shorts or that Marc Jacobs bag featured on the blog. With every online sale, Havins gets a commission. “Maybe someone doesn’t hire me to take them shopping. [But] they shop with me online,” said Havins, 27. Driving the sales engine behind thousands of fashion and lifestyle bloggers like Havins is Dallas-based rewardStyle. The 2-year-old start-up provides the back-end platform that not only helps bloggers make money from their content but also drives sales to retailers. ... RewardStyle expects to drive nearly $150 million in sales to its retail partners by the end of the year, said Amber Venz, co-founder and president. The projection is two to three times the revenue its style publishers generated for retailers a year ago, Venz said. “As the numbers show, these content creators are driving a lot of commerce,” said Venz, 26. “Retailers understand that. That’s why they’re willing to pay for it.” The startup has attracted 2,500 U.S. and international retailers. They [...]