Duncan’s cup truly runeth over when it comes to talent — we have world famous artists, musicians, actors and more which is one reason why a group of citizens have decided to try and honor those talents with an Arts Hall of Fame (AHoF).
Martha Burger is the chairperson of the AHoF board and said the seed for the project was planted by Ed Apple.
“Ed Apple approached me that Duncan needed to establish a music hall of fame to recognize the many musicians who have come from, through or are still in Duncan. He named David Hooten and David Briscoe and others,” she said. “He
mentioned this to me on more than one occasion. At about the same time, I was working on the Membership and Marketing Committee of the Simmons Center Foundation Board of Directors (the M and M Committee) and knew that one of the things we needed to do was to upgrade the lighting and sound in the Simmons Center Theater.”
Burger thought blending the two concepts would help both the talent of the area and theatre fundraising.
“The Simmons Center theater is a gem for Duncan but at 28-years-old, original lighting and sound equipment have become unsustainable and are quite expensive,” Burger said. “The original endowment for the Simmons Center is used by the entire center and is not dedicated specifically for the theater. While general upkeep and maintenance was kept up, there was no large fund for replacement of these major components.”
While Apple was interested in a music hall of fame, the M and M committee thought because it was mostly going to be a fundraiser for the theatre, it should include all of the arts.
“Duncan has an amazing history with the arts that continues today,” Burger said. “Chisholm Trail Arts Council, Duncan Little Theater, various dance studios, the Middle School Music program and many others are among local arts groups that routinely use the Simmons Center theater and we wanted to include them as part of the event.”
The committee wanted to make a fun fundraiser so they decided to do something a little different. They will be hosting a “Grammy” style evening on Jan. 19 2019. There will be performances interspersed with people being inducted into the inaugural class of the hall of fame.
Headliners for the Duncan Area Arts Hall of Fame spectacular are pianist and singer David Briscoe, trumpeter David Hooten and vocalists Laura Leighe Gossett Stockton, Danielle Flesher Webb and Chris Cowan. All are originally from Duncan and have pursued musical careers throughout the country.
Inductees were nominated by the local arts councils, groups and performers and then narrowed down by the AHoF committee.
The first inductees, in three categories, into the Duncan Area Arts Hall of Fame are:
Pathfinders: Individuals or organizations who have had profound impact on the development and evolution of culture and the arts in the Duncan Area
• Civic Auditorium Foundation/Civic Capers
• Chisholm Trail Municipal Band
Patrons: Noteworthy individuals or organizations who have given prolonged and exceptional service to the artistic and multicultural activities in the Duncan area
• The McCasland Foundation
• The Simmons/Alspaugh Family
Artists: Noteworthy individuals or groups who, through a substantial body of work in an artistic discipline, have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments that have brought benefit, entertainment, and recognition to the Duncan area community
• Gay Faulkenberry, artist
• David Hooten, trumpeter
• Tsianina Storms, pianist
• The Good Ol’ Geezers (Bob Gilmore and Bill Davis), Bluegrass Duo
On Friday, January 18, 2019, there will be a Meet-the-Performers reception in the Chisholm Trail Hall of the Simmons Center. Performers and inductees will be available to meet and greet their Duncan friends.
Tickets will be on sale at the Simmons Center, 580-252-2900, beginning Dec. 3. Prices of tickets are $25, $50 or $75.
Combination tickets for the Hall of Fame Show and the Friday night Performers’ reception are also available for $45, $70 or $90. (Tickets to the reception only are $28).
For updates check out the “Duncan Area Arts Hall of Fame” on Facebook.