The Angelina Arts Alliance is wrapping up another successful season of performing arts and educational programs at the Temple Theater and around the community. We know that this season was one for record books and one in which extraordinary accomplishments were achieved.

This year, the Arts Alliance served a record 33,376 adults and children at the Temple Theater and at various locations around Angelina County, not including The Pines Theater. This attendance number represents a 65% increase in our annual attendance from the year before and demonstrates our commitment to reaching more people in East Texas through the performing arts, which in turn enriches our community on many different levels.

We also know from ticket sales that 48% of ticket buyers came from outside of Angelina County.

In addition to our growing audience, we also grew financial support of our mission with a first-time grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of the Black Violin concert, a partnership with Impact Lufkin. We also received a first-time grant from the Galveston-based Moody Foundation in support of the same performance.

The Angelina Arts Alliance leadership also is growing and changing. Beginning in August, we will be welcoming Monique Nunn with Lufkin ISD to our board of directors, and Angelina College instructor Benetha Jackson will serve on the Arts Alliance Programming Committee. We are excited to have these two exemplary community leaders join us.

Every year we raise the bar in terms of excellence in performances and in providing our community greater opportunities to engage in the performing arts regardless of age, race, background or income level.

Our commitment to increasing access to the performing arts, regardless of the location, has never been so apparent and will only continue to grow with the future Pines Theater programs now under our direction.

On Sept. 10, the Angelina Arts Alliance will reveal the 2020 Pines Presents Series at the Pines Theater for everyone to enjoy. We are very excited about the new Pines Theater season, not only because it’s wonderful, but it also represents the feedback we received from the community about future Pines Theater programs.

Coming soon are several outstanding performances you won’t want to miss. We kick off a new season at the Temple Theater with country music legend Charlie Daniels on Sept. 7.

Also in September, the amazing gypsy Jazz and Western swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown will perform at The Pines Theater on Sept. 14. Tickets for both shows are available at the Temple Theater box office. Single tickets for all Temple Theater shows go on sale at 11 a.m. Aug. 5. Tickets for Hot Club of Cowtown are available now for only $20.

I look forward to sharing more about how the arts have a positive impact on our community.

Jennifer Allen is the executive director of the Angelina Arts Alliance. Her email address is jallen@angelina.edu.