Houston Press awards local individuals or organizations that have made animpact in the local arts community with a MasterMind Award. Each winnerreceives a $2,000 check from the Press. The MasterMind Awards is sponsoredby Stella Artois. The winners will be featured in a special section ofHouston Press, and will be honored at the event on January 28. Last year’swinners included:
- Horse Head Theatre Co: From the company’s ambitious production of Abby Koenig’s Spaghetti Code, which dabbled in the touchy subjects of abortion and infertility; to playwright Timothy N. Evers’s The Whale; or, Moby-Dick, for which Horse Head erected a geodesic dome on the banks of Buffalo Bayou and engaged the audience in the shared goal of trying to escape; to helping create the immersive experience for the regional premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (produced by Stages Repertory Theatre), these creatives really made us sit up and take notice. The bar has been set.
- EMERGE: The EMERGE program at Houston Independent School District has grown exponentially since 2010’s trial fellowship by then-teacher Rick Cruz and a team of volunteers. From helping 14 students in its inaugural year — most of them first-generation college-goers — to this year’s growing ranks of 700 to 750 kids, EMERGE has paved the way for students to attend Ivy League and Tier One colleges and universities.
- University of Houston’s Moores Opera Center: For five years in a row, the school’s productions have earned top honors from the National Opera Association; this year Rappaccini’s Daughter won first place in Division V, while the local premiere of Frau Margot placed second. It was October’s production of Jules Massenet’sManon, however, that best demonstrates the school’s ability not only to take on massive productions, but also to make them seem effortless.