New organization bringing culture to HSB

john Arthur martinez performs with a band at the 2016 FiestaJAM on Lake Marble Falls. martinez will be the inaugural headline act for the Horseshoe Bay Cultural Enrichment Society on May 12 at Quail Point.

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

A new organization, the Horseshoe Bay Cultural Enrichment Society Inc., has been formed to bring world-class entertainment and educational programming to this small city which straddles the Burnet and Llano county line.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit group will hold its first official event at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at Quail Point Lodge with a concert featuring local favorite john Arthur martinez and Houston-based Centralis String Quartet, which will have its inaugural performance. Tickets are $35 per person and available online at hsbenrichment.org.

Mike Maine, president of the HSB Cultural Enrichment Society, said the group is similar to one he and his wife, Sue, were involved with in the southwest Florida town of Boca Grande, located on Gasparilla Island.

The Friends of Boca Grande Community Center — also a private, not-for-profit group — would host lectures, musical programs and movies at the county-owned community center nearly every day for six months for the “snowbird” population of older residents in the area.

Part of the charm of the community there is that there is so much to do and so many cultural things available for residents,” Maine said. “When we moved here fulltime in 2011, we started to do the things we had done when we lived in larger city: we bought symphony tickets or went to the Zachary Scott Theatre or saw shows at UT, but pretty soon I began to worry about getting home at 11 p.m. with 10,000 deer on the road and you can't have a drink with dinner because you worry about being stopped.

That led me to conclude what we need in Horseshoe Bay is some sort of cultural experience for our residents. Friends of ours also were saying the same thing; they couldn't keep going to Austin because it is too tough of a drive.” 

Maine said two years ago, he began working with local residents Christine Reed and Michele Shackelford to determine the interest in putting together a not-for-profit group. Initial meetings “to test the water” showed a surprising amount of interest, Maine said, with as many as 60 people attending.

People said we ought to move forward and we decided the organization needed structure, so we formed a 501(c)(3) and filed for IRS approval for tax-exempt status. That process took well over a year, but we knew there were a lot of people who said they would be willing to donate if they knew their donation was tax-deductible.”

A board was established with Maine as president and Reed as development chair. Joining them as directors are vice president Dick Nelson, secretary-treasurer Andy Thurman, marketing and sales chair John Borota, and IT and media guru Rick Pitts.

Maine said he reached out to good friend and fellow Kiwanian, music producer Robert Linder, for assistance and was able to convince Linder to join the organization as a performing arts advisor and consultant. Linder's presence also brought john Arthur martinez on board as entertainment because the two men co-founded FiestaJAM on Lake Marble Falls.

Maine said he, Linder and martinez turned to the Beatles for inspiration for the upcoming concert.

The Beatles may have started as a Liverpool rock band, but they wrote what has turned into some of the most beautiful music arranged by symphonies,” Maine said. “john Arthur had written some great new stuff (for his new album, “San Antonio Woman”) and I suggested why not share that with a classical string quartet.

I was just dreaming out loud, but Robert said, 'Why not, let's try it?' He and john Arthur latched onto the idea immediately and we sent six of his new songs to Los Angeles to have a professional arranger work on them for strings.”

At the May 12 concert, the quartet will initially play some traditional string melodies before martinez takes the stage to perform a regular set. At the end of the show, the two acts will combine to perform martinez' newly arranged material in a first-of-its-kind performance in Horseshoe Bay.

Our goal is 200 tickets to be sold and we are already three-quarters of the way there,” Maine said. “After the show, we will have a wine and hors d'oeuvre reception and people will be able to drive home when it is still light outside.”

Maine said Quail Point Lodge offers a “perfect facility” to offer entertainment and educational programming. The lodge is owned by Horseshoe Bay Property Owners Association and Maine is the current president of that organization as well.

The POA board has been searching for something we can do to make an impact in the community as we concluded this cultural idea has merit,” Maine said. “We would like to make Quail Point into a more culturally centered facility where the whole community can be invited to a wide variety of events throughout the year.

This will not be a membership deal and it is not exclusive to Horseshoe Bay residents, but it is focused here because that is where we saw the need.”

On Oct. 21, the Austin Jazz Band will perform with singer Lisa Clark at Quail Point Lodge. The Austin Jazz Band is an 18-piece big band which performs swing music from the golden age. Clark is the daughter of Grammy-award winning bassist and arranger Buddy Clark and a songwriter/pianist who performs with her own band, Lisa Clark's Swingin' Caravan.

In November, Texas A&M geneticist Dr. David Threadgill will give a lecture on genetics and the genome project at Quail Point. The date of that lecture is to be determined.

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