Cultural Art Happenings
 December 2014  

Any age. Any talent. Any dream. 

That's the motto for the hit TV show "America's Got Talent," which is having open auditions Jan. 29 in San Antonio.  

But that motto also aptly describes the arts opportunities right here in Abilene. Art lessons. Dance classes. Adult and children choruses. Bands. Community theater.

You don't have to be a certain age, at a particular talent level, to fulfill your dreams to explore your artistic side!   

Check out all the arts events happening in December in Abilene. Just maybe, you'll find a dream worth fulfilling. Don't forget to stop by the museums, galleries, studios and cultural attractions this holiday season and stock up on gifts - especially ones made by local artists.
We support ibuyBIGCOUNTRY!     

Artfully Yours,

Lynn Barnett

Executive Director

Abilene Cultural Affairs Council 

325.677.1161 

City Sidewalks features KTXS TV Christmas Lights Parade features
The Abilene Downtown Association presents an evening of family fun as you rediscover the charm of Christmas in downtown at the annual City Sidewalks event on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Merchants, museums and galleries open their doors for an evening of holiday cheer. Activities include the KTXS TV Christmas Lights Parade, community tree lighting, entertainment, food, shopping and more. The festivities start at 5 p.m., with music beginning at 5:30 p.m. The parade is at 6:30 p.m. The tree lighting is at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go here.

ACU Opera presents Christmas story

 The Abilene Christian University Department of Music presents ACU Opera's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" on Wednesday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 6. The opera tells the story of a disabled boy named Amahl. His life is forever changed when three kings stop at his home on the way to deliver gifts to the Christ child. Show times are 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Paramount Theatre and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children/students.  

Philharmonic holiday concert features Super Bowl champ
Celebrate the joy of the holidays with vocalist and former tight end from the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts Ben Utecht, Abilene High's Pure Gold show choir, and the Abilene Philharmonic. Ben will sing holiday favorites from his Dove Award winning album "Christmas Hope." There are two shows on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Abilene Civic Center. The matinee at 3 p.m. is priced to welcome families. General admission tickets are $5 for children ages 6-17, $10 for college students, military personnel, and senior citizens, and $15 for adults. Children under 6 free. The evening concert is at 7:30 p.m. Reserved seating tickets are $18 to $42.
Center plans 'stache bash for December ArtWalk         
Everyone is encouraged to sport a mustache at the December ArtWalk! These can be created, taped, painted, etc. The downtown wide event, which is 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, is hosted monthly by the Center for Contemporary Arts and sponsored this month by the Abilene Downtown Association. The theme is "Christmas 'Stache." Some businesses will offer a discount or small gift to customers who have a mustache that day. The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature will have a free art activity related to the Eric Rohmann "My Friend Rabbit" exhibit. At 7 p.m., Jay Moore will present a history talk at The Grace Museum on "The Steepled People of Abilene (And Their Sacred Spaces for Spreading Potluck Suppers)." The talk ties into Kelly Fearing's exhibit "Lucid Dreams," which is on display at The Grace until Jan. 10. The Center for Contemporary Arts will screen winners of the 2014 24fps International Short Film Festival, and will feature "Tableau Vivant," a new exhibit by Twig Capra in the Photo Gallery.
Classic films feature guardian angel, second chances

The Historic Paramount Theatre has two classic films this month: "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed and Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel."

The first is a Christmas classic about a man (Stewart) whose desperation puts him in the hands of a guardian angel.1946, black and white, 132 minutes. Paramount Film Director Robert Holladay will discuss the film's history at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13.

"Carousel" (1956, color, 128 minutes) is a musical about a low-life carny barker given a second chance to make things right with his family. This special New Year's Eve film is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31. For tickets, go here


ACT performs "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"  
Abilene Community Theatre presents the hilarious story  of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" about a couple struggling to put on Christmas pageant with a group of unruly kids. They are faced with casting the Herdman children - the most inventively awful kids in history. You won't believe the mayhem - and fun - when the Herdmans collide head on with the Christmas story! This delightful comedy is adapted from the best-selling young adult book of the same name by Barbara Robinson.
Christmas carols will ring out in Chorus Abilene concert

"Christmas Around the World" features all four choirs of Chorus Abilene in concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at Abilene Christian University's Cullen Auditorium. The Classical Chorus will perform a grand and glorious movement from John Rutter's "Gloria." Youth choirs will present arrangements of carols such as "Sleigh Ride," "Deck the Halls," "Sing We a Glad Noel," and "Dashing through the Snow." The evening closes by inviting the audience to sing along with the 100 onstage voices. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, students, and military and are available from Chorus Abilene, 325-673-SING (7464), or at the door.  

"Wicked" music in lineup for holiday Broadway show 

Neil Berg's "Broadway Holiday" promises to take audiences on a journey through America's great songbook when it comes to the Abilene Civic Center at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16. The show has five Broadway stars singing hits ranging from classic shows such as "My Fair Lady" and "South Pacific" to ground breakers such as "West Side Story" and "Chicago," to current blockbusters such as "Jersey Boys" and "Wicked." The show will also feature much-loved holiday tunes. The night includes a band and Abilene choir children taking the stage. For tickets, go to www.celebrityattractions.com or call the civic center box office at 325-676-6361. 

The Grace Museum offers watercolor art class

Join The Grace Museum for a Watercolor Art Class featuring artist Tamberley Thomas from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4. This class is open to all skill levels. Supplies are provided along with expert instruction. Tamberley was born in Canada, grew up in Houston, and graduated from Baylor University and Baylor School of Law. She took classes at the Houston Watercolor Society for several years and has competed in international shows. She lives in Albany and has an Abilene art studio.


BOOK BUZZ: Take a tour of Frontier Texas! with new book

The editors of "Frontier Texas!: A Journey through the Wild West" have close ties with the Western heritage center in downtown Abilene featured in the new coffee table book. H.C. Zachry, an Abilene business owner, artist and civic leader, helped coordinate the establishment of the state-of-the-art museum. Jeff Salmon serves as its executive director, and Kim Snyder is a board member. The new book includes much of the text and visuals that visitors experience at the heritage center. ACU Press, 176 pages, $39.99.


 

DECEMBER 1-4

The art students at McMurry University welcome you to come by the Gypsy Ted Student  Art Gallery to shop for gifts. They will have little paintings and photographs, ceramics, jewelry and surprises. Gypsy Ted Gallery on Sayles Blvd. and Hunt Street. Open 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.

 
DECEMBER 1, 7:00 PM
"O Holy Night" - The Gary Morris Concert, will take place at the Paramount Theatre. Morris is a country music legend and Broadway veteran. This Christmas concert benefits Healing Waters Fly-Fishing and will feature Revolution Strings with Sheryl Thomas. Purchase tickets here.

DECEMBER 2 - 26th Annual City Sidewalks

Annual downtown celebration with KTXS Christmas parade. Sponsored by the Abilene Downtown Association. Abilene Community Band will perform in front of the Paramount.

5-6:30 p.m. AISD music

6:30 p.m. Parade

7:30 p.m. Tree lighting

 

DECEMBER 2, 9:30 and 11:00 AM
Tot Spot for little ones and their parents. Paid registration required to attend.

The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St. │ 325.673.4587 │ www.thegracemuseum.org

 

DECEMBER 3, 6:30 PM 

ACU Opera's annual tradition of performing the family-friendly production "Amahl and the Night Visitors" continues across Texas this year. This opera is a Christmas tale reminding us of the beauty of generosity, the transformative nature of forgiveness and the miraculous gift of sacrifice. The Abilene performance is at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets: $10 for adults and $5 for students. Any donations received will help fund ACU Opera's mission trip to Germany and Italy.  

Abilene Christian University Department of Music
ACU Drive │674.2199 │www.acu.edu/academics/cas/mus 

 

DECEMBER 3, 7:30 PM
Band concert at Cullen Auditorium.

Abilene Christian University Department of Music
ACU Drive │674.2199 │www.acu.edu/academics/cas/mus 

 

DECEMBER 4, 9:30 or 11:00 AM

Tot Spot offers children ages 3-5 and their parents or guardians the opportunity to expand their large imaginations through hands-on activities and gallery games. After the program, we invite children with an accompanying adult to enjoy the art and history galleries as well as the children's museum. This event requires a paid registration.

The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St. │ 325.673.4587 │ www.thegracemuseum.org

 

DECEMBER 4, 6:00 PM

"Watercolor Class"

Artist Tamberley Thomas will lead this class for adults. Participants will learn the basic of watercolor; however, all skill-levels are welcome. All materials provided. This event requires a paid registration.

The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St. │ 325.673.4587 │ www.thegracemuseum.org

 

DECEMBER 4, 7:00-9:00 PM

"I'll Be Home for Christmas" celebration with refreshments and silent auction at First Baptist Church, 1333 N. 3rd St. The night includes performances by Abilene Star Chorus and friends and Wylie Junior High Chorus. Tickets are $10 or free for ages 12 and under. For more information, contact Martha Womack at 325-232-6972.  

 

DECEMBER 4, 7:00 PM  

The Noise presents hard rock concert "In this Moment: Black Widow Tour" at the Abilene Civic Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. Opener: 12 Ft. Ninja, 3 Pill Morning and Starset. Headliner: In This Moment. Tickets are $25. For information, contact Rock 108 at 325-676-5395. 

 

DECEMBER 4, 8:00-11:00 PM
Neon Parrot Lounge presents live music from Peace of Blues, a blues and rock band. Tickets available at the door. All ages welcome. Cash bar available. 
Address: 173 Pine St.
Phone:  (325) 701-9996
Website: www.peaceofblues.com 

 

DECEMBER 5, 9:30 or 11:00 AM

Tot Spot offers children ages 3-5 and their parents or guardians the opportunity to expand their large imaginations through hands-on activities and gallery games. After the program, we invite children with an accompanying adult to enjoy the art and history galleries as well as the children's museum. This event requires a paid registration.

The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St. │ 325.673.4587 │ www.thegracemuseum.org

 

DECEMBER 5, 7:00 PM
Mark Preston in concert at McMurry University. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go to the Dyess We Care Team. Mark was a member of the Air Force's Tops in Blue performing group in his youth. After an honorable discharge, Mark sang in Las Vegas and later performed on a TV variety show, "The Bob Braun Show."  He's opened for Phyllis Diller and toured with "The Lettermen" for 10 years and was later inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. 

 

DECEMBER 5, 7:30 PM
"Christmas Time is Here" concert at Paramount Theatre. Free. Abilene's premier adult show choir performs at this 16th annual holiday concert.  

Celebration Singers

 www.celebrationsingersabilene.com   

 

DECEMBER 5, 7:30 PM
Abilene Christian University's Christmas Vespers performance will fill First Baptist Church Abilene with the sounds of Christmas music, poetry, and prayer. The ACU tradition will be celebrating its eighth year and is free and open to the Abilene community. 

 

DECEMBER 6 - Abilene Philharmonic Concert

3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Abilene Civic Center

"Pops I - Holiday Pops with Ben Utecht." Your holiday favorites, including "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "O Holy Night," and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" sung by former tight end for the Super Bowl winning Indianapolis Colts, Ben Utecht along with Abilene High School's Pure Gold show choir.

Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra

401 Cypress, Ste. 520 │ 677.6710 │ abilenephilharmonic.org 

 

DECEMBER 7, 1:00-4:00 PM

Tour the historic Swenson House mansion decorated for the Christmas holidays. Great picture opportunity for the family! $10 per person; children are free. 

 

DECEMBER 11, 10:00 AM
Children's Museum Reading of Santa Calls

Readings are held for families on the famous mini-Paramount stage. A book is read to children and their families. After the reading, there will be an art activity in the children's diner.

This event requires a paid registration.

The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St. │ 325.673.4587 │ www.thegracemuseum.org

 

DECEMBER 11 - ArtWalk

5-8 p.m. Theme: Christmas 'Stache (Stash)   

Bring the family to historic downtown where restaurants, shops, museums and galleries await you! Hosted by the Center for Contemporary Arts. Sponsored this month by Abilene Downtown Association. The Center will screen winners of the 2014 24fps International Short Film Festival, and will feature "Tableau Vivant," a new exhibit by Twig Capra in the Photo Gallery.    

 

DECEMBER 11 - ArtWalk activity

5-8 p.m.

"My Friend Rabbit" - the art of Eric Rohmann.

National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature

102 Cedar St. 325.673.4586  www.nccil.org 

 

DECEMBER 11, 7:00 PM

"History Talk: Abilene's Sacred Spaces"

Abilene storyteller, Jay Moore, presents The Steepled People of Abilene (And Their Sacred Spaces for Spreading Potluck Suppers), highlighting the founding churches of Abilene, their structures and stories of the founders.

The Grace Museum
102 Cypress St. │ 325.673.4587 │ www.thegracemuseum.org

 

DECEMBER 11, 7:30 PM 

Abilene Community Band's 2014 Christmas Concert at the Paramount Theatre.

 

DECEMBER 12-13 - Paramount Film Series: "It's A Wonderful Life"

7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday

6:30 p.m. Friday: Robert Holladay lecture on film

This Christmas classic stars Jimmy Stewart as a good man whose desperation puts him in the care of a guardian angel.

Historic Paramount Theatre

352 Cypress │ 325.676.9620 │ www.paramount-abilene.org 

 

DECEMBER 12-13 - "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"

Children's production.

Abilene Community Theatre

809 Barrow │ 325.673.6271 │ abilenecommunitytheatre.com 

 

DECEMBER 13 - Chautauqua Learning Series

11-12 p.m.

Casey Eichhorn and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

Buffalo Gap Historic Village

133 N. William St.│ 325.572.3365 │ www.buffalogap.com 

 

DECEMBER 13 & 20
Breakfast with Santa (four sessions): Saturday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.; Saturday, Dec. 20, 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Admission to the zoo included, along with breakfast and a holiday craft. RSVPs will be taken starting in November by calling the gift shop.

Abilene Zoo
2070 Zoo Lane │ 325.676.6085 │ www.abilenezoo.org 

 

DECEMBER 13, 2:00-9:00 PM

"Fa-la-la in the Forest" at Abilene State Park. Drive through the park to view the campsites decorated by campers. To start off the festivities, selections from "The Nutcracker" to be performed by Dance Ltd, School of Dance at 2 p.m. at the CCC building. Refreshments will be served 6 to 8 p.m. Santa is expected to make an appearance.

  

DECEMBER 13, 7:30 PM 

"Christmas Around the World!" featuring the Adult and Youth Chorusesin ACU's Cullen Auditorium. Tickets: $15/adults, $12/senior citizens, students and military. 

Chorus Abilene

1174 N. 1st St. │ 325.673.SING │ www.chorusabilene.net  

 

DECEMBER 14, 1:00-4:00 PM

Tour the historic Swenson House mansion decorated for the Christmas holidays. Great picture opportunity for the family! $10 per person; children are free.   

 

DECEMBER 16 - "Neil Berg's Broadway Holiday"

7:30 p.m. Abilene Civic Center

The Broadway in Abilene series presents "Neil Berg's Broadway Holiday" direct from New York. Five of Broadway's brightest stars will take audiences on a journey through Broadway history with the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Stephen Sondheim and more.

Celebrity Attractions

800.869.1451 │ www.CelebrityAttractions.com 

 

DECEMBER 17, 12:00-1:00 PM

ArtFilm: Award winners from the 2014 24fps International Short Film Festival, which originally took place at the Paramount Theatre.

The Center for Contemporary Arts

220 Cypress St. │ 325.677.8389 │ www.center-arts.com 

 

DECEMBER 18 or 19, 10:00 or 11:00 AM

"What's for Lunch?" pre-schooler class ages 3-5. Each class will feature a combination of animal encounters, crafts, activities and books. Classes are typically held the third full week of the month on Thursday or Friday in the education classroom at 10 or 11 a.m. Pre-registration is required. Classes limited to 20. Contact the Education Department at 325-676-6487 or zoo.education@abilenetx.com to sign up.

Abilene Zoo

2070 Zoo Lane  325.676.6085 www.abilenezoo.org

 

DECEMBER 19-21
The final season of "A Texas Christmas Carol." Set in Depression-era Texas, this classic Dickens tale of Scrooge visited by three ghosts is told by a small troupe of actors who play multiple parts. Written by Barry Smoot and featuring local performers, this will be the final production of this script for a few years.  

Historic Paramount Theatre

352 Cypress │ 325.676.9620 │ www.paramount-abilene.org 

 

DECEMBER 20 

Last day of "Silver" exhibit by Artist Members in honor of the Center's 25th anniversary. Last day of screenings of award-winning films from the Paramount Theatre's 24fps International Short Film Festival winners.

The Center for Contemporary Arts

220 Cypress St. │ 325.677.8389 │ www.center-arts.com   

 

DECEMBER 22, 6:00-8:00 PM

Opening reception for Twig Capra's photography exhibit "Tableau Vivant" will include a live tableau performance piece by the artist.

The Center for Contemporary Arts

220 Cypress St. │ 325.677.8389 │ www.center-arts.com 

 

DECEMBER 27, 8:00-11:00 PM

Neon Parrot Lounge presents live music from the Chris Beall Band, an americana band. Tickets available at the door. All ages welcome. Cash bar available. 
Address: 173 Pine St.
Phone:  (325) 701-9996
Website(s): www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Beall, www.chrisbeallmusic.com 


DECEMBER 30, 5:00 PM
"Amahl and the Night Visitors" Sweetwater performance.

Abilene Christian University Department of Music
ACU Drive │674.2199 │www.acu.edu/academics/cas/mus 

 

DECEMBER 31 - Paramount Film Series: "Carousel"

7:30 p.m.

An inspirational 1956 musical about a low-life carny barker given a second chance to make things right with his family.

Historic Paramount Theatre

352 Cypress │ 325.676.9620 │ www.paramount-abilene.org 

 

ONGOING and ON EXHIBIT

 

THE GRACE MUSEUM 

"Altered States" consisting of three exhibitions

-Kelly Fearing: "Lucid Dreams" through Jan. 10

-Julie Speed: "Paper Cut" through Feb. 14

-Keith Carter: "Ordinary Mysteries" through Feb. 14

 

NATIONAL CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATED LITERATURE

 

Through JANUARY 30
Exhibit: A retrospective of art from Eric Rohmann.

 

Family Fun Saturdays at the NCCIL 

A come-and-go program offered by art educators who help children create art in the style of the artist currently featured in the gallery.

 

 

IRA M. TAYLOR MEMORIAL ART GALLERY

Frost Art Building at Hardin-Simmons University.  www.hsutx.edu 

 

HSU Senior Show

December 1-12
Reception: TBD

 

ACU DOWNTOWN GALLERY

Cockerell Galleries and Studios, 1133 N. 2nd St.

 

Annual Big Country Art Association Competition
Show runs Nov. 13 (ArtWalk) through Dec. 6 (when work is to be picked up).
Categories include Painting and Drawing, Photography, Sculpture, Ceramics, etc.

 

Texas Our Texas, Dec 9-11.
An exhibit and silent auction of AHS artworks in various media. 
The auction supports the acquisition of art supplies/equipment for AHS AP-Art students.

Opening Reception- Tues, Dec 9, 6PM-7:30PM

 

 

ABILENE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Pre-School Storytime

Held year-round at 10:45 a.m. on select days at all three library locations.

 

THE CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS

 

EXHIBITS  

 

Through December 20
Silver  Center Artist Members
Jane Breed Gallery and Gallery 3
24fps International Short Film Festival Winners  Screenings of the top award winners from the 2014 festival
Gallery 4
Re-Imagine  Recycled Art Competition Exhibit sponsored by For the Love of Nature
Emerging Artists Gallery

 

COCKERELL ART STUDIOS & GALLERY

1133 N. 2nd, Second Floor | 325.829.7975 | www.cockerellgalleries.com | Carolyncc52@yahoo.com 

 

DECEMBER
Artists of The Cockerell Art Studios - Upstairs will run their Group show "Giftables" Dec. 1 through Dec. 31. Opening reception will be during December's ArtWalk on Thursday, Dec. 11. Gallery hours: M-F, 10-5
 

 

Arts Calendar

 


Hearts for the Arts  


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Tell Us What You Think 

We want to hear from you! Please let us know what you would like to see included in this newsletter as well as any other ideas you have to strengthen Abilene's cultural arts community. Send your emails to Sidney Levesque at sidney@abilenecac.org 

or Executive Director Lynn Barnett 325.677.1161 / lynn@abilenecac.org