Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Car showcase brings luxury vehicles to Irving

To commemorate its 30-year anniversary, Park Place Dealerships presented the Luxury and Supercar Showcase at the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas on Saturday, Sept. 9. The event raised $30,000 for the Momentous Institute, which provides social emotional health services for children and family members.
“We couldn’t think of a better group,” presenter Deborah Ferguson said. “When we invest in our children, we all win.”
Featured Park Place automobiles included the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom in its Texas debut; Bentley’s first luxury SUV, the Bentayga; and the Bugatti Chiron valued at $3 million.
A collector’s showcase also allowed private owners to display their automobiles, from a 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, seemingly straight out of a Prohibition-era mob movie, to a gleaming 2015 Lamborghini Huracan.
Bachendorf Crystal trophies were awarded to the first place winners of four competition divisions: Vintage (pre-1973), Classic (1973-1999), Contemporary (post-2000) and Exotic or Supercar. Best in Show, Chairman’s Choice and Salesmanship Club Choice winners received original sculpture “Spirit of Park Place,” commissioned from Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin especially for the event.
Jeff Wildin won best in vintage class for his 1933 McMagna, while Michael Mann’s 1996 Porsche 911 Twin Turbo beat out the rest of the classic category. Best in the contemporary class went to Paul Grussendorf’s 2009 Aston Martin DBS, while Eddie Lee’s popular 2009 Koenigsegg CCXR took the exotic/supercar class award.
The Salesmanship Club award went to Corky Helsmund’s 1952 MG Roadster, and the Chairman’s Award to John Lee’s 1938 Bugatti 57C Atalante. John Wampler took home the Best in Show award for his 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the oldest automobile in the collector’s showcase.
Other booths included a display from NorthPark Center, a variety of food stands, a Nespresso display and multiple food trucks.
Artist Lisa Daniels, who designed the poster and programs for the event and sold her paintings of automobiles at a booth, appreciated the variety of eras represented in the show.
“I think it’s different for this area, because it tied together the old and new cars and showed the history,” Daniels said.
Dusty Attic Toy Show, which works with a variety of charity events throughout the year, set up a track with toy cars for children to play with.
Near the track, 2-year-old Camila de la Vega played with one of several electric toy cars set out for children to ride in.
The family is staying at the Four Seasons, waiting out Hurricane Irma as it sweeps over their Miami home. They heard about the showcase from the hotel and decided to go primarily so Camila’s father could enjoy the exhibit, but the toddler seemed to enjoy her time there as well.
“Her favorite thing to do is to sit in the front of [her dad’s] car,” her mother, Veronica de la Vega said. “She calls it the ‘beep-beep.’”
Lee Brookshire admired a model similar to the 1955 Jaguar he once owned for a total of one day. After the vehicle’s broken tie rod caused him to drive off the road and down an embankment, his family asked that he avoid buying anything older than a 2018 model.
“My wife said, ‘Promise me one thing: that you won’t buy any more old cars,’” Brookshire said.
He admired the newer Rolls-Royces, as per his wife’s request, for another practical reason.
“When you’re 81, it’s easy to get in and out of,” Brookshire said.
Carolyn Alvey, who managed public relations for the event, was glad the attendees found something exciting.
“It could definitely become an annual event,” Alvey said.

Texas community colleges launch Texas Guided Pathways

Austin, TX — The Texas Success Center (TSC), a division of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), is pleased to announce the partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Greater Texas Foundation, T.L.L. Temple Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation to launch an ambitious five-year effort to implement Texas Pathways reform across all 50 community college districts in the state.

Texas Pathways is an integrated, system-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent and structured educational experiences that guides each student effectively and efficiently from the selection of their high school degree program, to entry into higher education, to attainment of high-quality credentials and careers.

Texas Pathways is patterned after the American Association of Community College (AACC) Pathways Model launched nationally in 2015. Texas Pathways is built upon three important design principles.

1) colleges’ program redesigns must pay attention to the entire student experience, rather than to just one segment of it,

2) a guided Pathways redesign is a framework that helps unify a variety of reform elements around the central goal of helping students choose, enter, and complete a program of study aligned with their goals for employment and further education, and

3) the redesign process starts with student end goals for careers and further education in mind and “backward maps” programs and supports to ensure that students are prepared for employment and education at the next level.

The opportunity for quality employment and a rewarding adult life largely depends upon completing an academic credential. The state’s new plan for higher education 60x30TX, recognizes that for Texas to remain competitive and prosperous it will need 60 percent of its 25- to 34-year-olds to hold a quality certificate or degree by 2030.

“Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) is pleased and excited to support the TSC’s Texas Guided Pathways initiative. GTF supports efforts to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete a postsecondary education. The design principles of Texas Guided Pathways embody each of the components of our mission in a highly structured, scalable, and student-focused way. We look forward to working with TSC on this important endeavor to improve education outcomes for students across the state,” said Ralph Rushing, Chair & Interim Chief Executive, Greater Texas Foundation.

“Community colleges play a critical role in educating our future workforce, and thirteen colleges in East Texas serve about 25 percent of all Texas community college students. Pathways will ensure more Texans succeed in college and that our region is economically competitive,” said Dr. Wynn Rosser, President & CEO, T.L.L. Temple Foundation.

“Building on emerging research and experience in the field, Texas Pathways reflects the Texas Success Center’s commitment to support all 50 Texas community college districts’ student success efforts through a comprehensive implementation of this model,” said Dr. Cynthia Ferrell, Executive Director, TSC. She continued, “And we are so very grateful for the support of our partners at these incredible foundations as we all work to make all make Texas students successful.”

“We expect that Texas Pathways will have an enormous impact to students and the state given its scale across the more than 700,000 students who attend a Texas community college. It has the potential to radically change how students enter and get through the higher education system and efficiently achieve a quality certificate or degree,” said Jacob Fraire, President & CEO, Texas Association of Community Colleges. 

SOURCE Texas Association of Community Colleges

Keep Irving Beautiful seeks volunteers for annual Trash Bash

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) invites the community to attend the 26th annual Trash Bash on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Volunteers will meet at T.W. Richardson Grove Park, along the Campion Trails, for a morning of community service, food, and fun. For the sixth consecutive year, the Trash Bash is being held in conjunction with National Public Lands Day, and will be one of many similar events occurring across the country that day. The nation’s largest single-day event for public lands raises awareness of environmental issues like litter, and encourages everyone to lend a hand to make a difference in their communities. Volunteers of all ages are invited to participate. KIB will provide supplies such as litter pickers, trash and recycle bags, and gloves. Lunch will be provided after the cleanup, and volunteers will have the opportunity to register for prize drawings and learn about reptiles, fossils, and water conservation at various exhibits. KIB is also holding a canned food drive to benefit the Baptist Benevolent Ministries of Irving (BBMOI). Volunteers who bring a canned or other non-perishable food item to donate will receive an event T-shirt (while supplies last).

T.W. Richardson Grove Park is located at 333 E. Interstate Highway 635 (LBJ), Irving, TX 75039.

Please register online by Sept. 22, at For more information call the Keep Irving Beautiful office at (972) 721-2175.

SOURCE Keep Irving Beautiful

Toyota Music Factory crescendos into debut

The newly renamed Toyota Music Factory debuted to the public on Saturday, Sep.9 with a performance by the rock band ZZ Top.

“This has been a long time coming; we’re thrilled it’s here,” said Danny Easton, COO of Live Nation North America Concerts. “From our standpoint and Live Nation’s standpoint, it gives us so much more flexibility as promoters and bookers in the market because of the different configurations and the way we set up the building. We’re excited about the volume of acts we are getting involved with in the next 30 years.”

Development on the venue began over a decade ago, and ARK, the site’s developers, came on roughly five years ago. Easton says Irving was chosen because the city really wanted the project and was in a central location.

“To have a partnership with a city that is really desirous of a facility like this, that’s a big plus to start with,” Easton said. “If you look at Dallas-Fort Worth on a map and you put your finger in the center of it, it’d be pretty much Irving. We feel like we’re really giving people a shot to come from all over the Metroplex. It’s really not that far of a drive from Fort Worth, from Frisco and all of those places.”

The venue, which opened a week later than expected due to construction delays, has been in full-court press over the last month to meet an early September deadline.

“We had one of the wetter spring and summers on record and so we had a bunch of little weather related delays,” Easton said. “It just cumulatively balled together to put us behind. Rick (Lazes) and Noah (Lazes) of the ARK group have been working the construction crews as hard as they possibly could. It’s been pretty much a sprint to the finish.”

A day before its debut, the $200 million Irving Music Factory gained Toyota as a title sponsor. The car company recently moved its headquarters to Plano. That means the Pavilion at Irving Music Factory will now be called the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory.

One of the amenities of the new space is the artists’ lounge that Easton hopes will attract prime time performances.

“I’ve been backstage to a lot of places in the country and I would put the backstage amenities here up against anywhere that I’ve been, which were key for us,” he said.

The 2,000 seat indoor venue hosts a $40 million convertible concert venue that has the ability to open up to an outdoor seating area and accommodate up to 8,000 fans. The pavilion also has the ability to convert into a smaller, more intimate venue.

“It’s the first time in the world anyone’s built a building that can have an indoor facility and also turn it into an amphitheater in a few minutes,” said Rick Lazes, co-founder and CEO of ARK. “That gives us a lot of flexibility no one’s ever done before.”

The opening marks a new wave of entertainment destinations for the Irving area with the Westin Irving Convention Center Hotel opening later in the year.

The site will continue rolling out more than 25 restaurants, entertainment venues, the Alamo Drafthouse, and office space through the remainder of the year. According to Lazes, a new site will open roughly every two weeks for the remainder of the year. The last piece will be the Sambuca restaurant opening at the end of the year before a final New Year’s celebration.

Graphic novels exhibit puts comics in spotlight

The Irving Arts Center became a little more animated with the new exhibit: “BAM! It’s a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels.”

Featuring the works and publications of five popular children’s graphic novel authors/illustrators, including author of “Miki Falls” and how-to-draw instructor Mark Crilley, “Babymouse” author Matthew Holm, author of the “Lunch Lady” series Jarrett Krosoczka, New York Times bestseller and author of the “Big Nate” series Lincoln Peirce, and Eisner Award-winning author of “SMILE” Raina Telgemeier, the exhibit formally opened on Sept. 9.

The exhibit comes to the Irving Arts Center courtesy of The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene, Texas. The Irving Arts Center has been partners with NCCIL for many years and each year hosts several exhibits from the organization.

“I was particularly interested in getting this [exhibit] to Irving, because it focuses on graphic novels,” said Marcie Inman, director of exhibitions and educational programs for the Irving Arts Center. “A lot of their other exhibitions tend to be picture books for younger kids. Graphic novels really span into the pre-teen and teen years. With this particular exhibit, it’s really nice because we have some books geared towards elementary-age kids as well as middle school kids and teens. I really wanted to have something a little different that would appeal to older kids.”

Inman enjoys bringing NCCIL exhibits to Irving because of both their educational and artistic value.

“The whole genesis behind NCCIL was wanting to give artistic credibility to these writers and illustrators as well as recognizing that children’s literature is an important genre,” Inman said. “These are some of the first books kids are exposed to and it needs to be good literature. Part of the whole success of early childhood and elementary-age books is the combination of words and images.”

To celebrate the new exhibit, the Irving Arts Center put on a comic-drawing event, “Comically Yours,” on Sunday, Sept. 10. Children were encouraged to draw their own comic books using the works of the authors featured in the new exhibit as inspiration for their works. Shelia Cunningham, an art instructor for events at the Irving Arts Center, said being both writer and artist is not as easy as people may think and she respects the often times difficult work these authors/illustrators do.

“The illustrators are fabulous. I think it’s really hard for illustrators to distill big ideas down into one little panel or have that very graphic representation for what’s going on [in the story],” Cunningham said. “I think it’s really hard, but they do a super job.”

Kathy McMahon, an employee with the Irving Arts Center, started reading graphic novels at a young age. She said one reason these novels are so popular is because they appeal to people of all ages and all interests.

“I grew up with comic books, and of course they were very engaging back then,” McMahon said. “I began to appreciate the fact that, even as adults, there are graphic novels that appeal to mystery or adventure, and it’s very much a medium for all ages.”

Marcie Inman feels graphic novels are not just appealing and entertaining for children, but they can also serve an educational purpose in teaching children who have trouble reading regular books.

“I think scholars and academics are starting to recognize the benefits of graphic novels for young readers,” Inman said. “In studies, they show that kids who may have problems reading or may have some learning issues often do very well when they’re exposed to graphic novels with the combination of the images, the text and the way to follow the narrative. It’s really starting to improve reading levels for certain kinds of young students.”

The exhibit will be on display in the lobby of the Dupree Theater until Jan. 28.

Set the date!

Irving Main Street Event
September 15 – 6 to 10 p.m.
September 16 – Noon to 5 p.m.

Irving Heritage District 217 S. Main St. Irving, TX. Free Admission, Free Parking.This annual street festival in the heart of the Irving Heritage District celebrates the hometown feel of Irving with attractions for all ages. Each year thousands of people attend this family affair, which offers live music, the Manifolds on Main Street Car Show, free rides and activities for children, food and shopping.

Ballet Folklorico at Cozby Library
September 16, 2 p.m.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a performance by Sima Ballet Folklorico! Stop by the Cozby Library and Community Commons to enjoy the bright costumes and traditional Mexican music and dance. All ages welcome to attend.

Laughs by the Lake brings community together

“I just came to get out of my house,” comedian Dorie Mclemore told a roaring audience sprawled out on lawn chairs and picnic blankets at Lake Carolyn.

While some of the estimated 1,500 visitors of the fourth annual Irving Laughs by the Lake event may have just needed to get out of their homes for a couple hours, many more seemed drawn by the comedy performances, free food and scenic evening lake view.

The event, presented by Frontier Communications and the City of Irving, was held on Sept. 1. Dallas-based Comedian Q hosted Mclemore, Troy Walker and three-time Daytime Emmy winner Ben Bailey. In-N-Out Burger gave two hamburgers, a soft drink and chips to each of the first 1,000 attendees, while Fuzzy’s Tacos sold food and beer.

“I had never booked a comedian before,” said Jasmine Lee, city of Irving special events coordinator. “The main goal was to get a wide range of styles so everybody can laugh at least once.”

For the first time, this year’s event featured a contest for local comedians. Hannah Vaughan, Todd Justice, and David Jessop, were chosen as finalists by a panel to compete onstage for a cash prize and the title “Irving’s Funniest Comic,” determined by an audience vote.

“Normally you turn down an outside event,” said Justice of Carrolton, who won about 70 percent of the vote. “Comedy is not normally an outside event and we made it work tonight.”

Justice said the speaker system and generator allowed the audience to hear and participate, and the crowd’s closeness to the stage and ample laughter set the scene for good performances.

To make the event more accessible for comedians and the audience, Lee and her team have been working to make changes based on feedback from past years.

“The biggest change was to push people to sit closer to the stage,” Lee said. “Comedy is interactive, and our comedians last year told us that would be helpful. We put out a rope around the stage and made people sit in front of the rope. When that area filled up we just moved the rope back.”

“I think the setup is a lot better this year,” said Ernesto Banuelas, who worked at last year’s Laughs by the Lake event. “People have a really nice view now [that the stage faces the lake].”

Changes based on surveys passed out last year include free on-site grass parking which, though limited, proved popular with the crowd. In years past, attendants had to pay for private parking or use Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Orange Line to Las Colinas Urban Center Station. The city of Irving also provided a complimentary shuttle bus service to the Tower 909 parking garage and Las Colinas Urban Center station.

In the past a band followed the hired comedians but this year the comedy showcase replaced the live music. The audience was asked to vote on their phones for their favorite of the three 5-minute acts.

All of the comic acts were free of adult language and themes and families brought dogs on leashes and children in strollers. According to Lee, Laughs by the Lake is also intended to provide an inexpensive community experience for Irving’s adults.

“Every resident deserves some type of event,” Lee said. “We do a lot for elementary-age kids and families, which is great, but we also wanted people to be able to have a fun night out with the community.”

Set the date!

Butterflies and Busy Bees
September 13, 6-7:30 P.M.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about the pollinator garden at the Make A Wish Foundation in Las Colinas, 6655 Deseo, Irving, TX 75039. A dedicated team of Dallas County Master Gardeners have developed and maintained this garden for six years.

The evening will begin with two Master Gardener speakers. Barbara Andersonwill talk about the history of the partnership between DCMGA and MAW – how and why the garden was started, how it has grown, and what it means to the Make A Wish Foundation. Linda Seidel, a past DCMGA President, will speak about the benefits of planting pollinator (host and nectar) plants.

A self-guided tour of the garden will follow, with Master Gardener docents, plus a plant list and diagram of the garden. Come enjoy the evening in this beautiful setting and take ideas home to use in your own gardens. This event is free and open to the public

Ballet Folklorico at Cozby Library
September 16, 2 p.m.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a performance by Sima Ballet Folklorico! Stop by the Cozby Library and Community Commons to enjoy the bright costumes and traditional Mexican music and dance. All ages welcome to attend.

“A Child’s Passport to Wonder” sparks imagination

David Hira, a magician, entertainer, and comedian, entertained families with different skits by performing “A Child’s Passport to Wonder” at the Irving Art’s Center on Thursday, Aug. 24.

The one-man show was organized by Irving Noon-Day Lion’s Club as a fundraiser for eyewear to benefit local students.

Hira performed several routines including balancing acts, puppet shows, escapes, making tables fly, an imaginary worm circus, and a retelling of an ancient story by using a traditional Japanese Nankin Tamasudare, or Nanjing Lily, a rare bamboo mat.

Through storytelling, Hira explored countries and cities around the world. He told the audience to imagine the theater as an airplane, and together they explored Moscow, India, Paris, Mexico City, and lastly a small farm in Rock Valley.

“My favorite part of the show was when the table started to fly,” said Grant (8). “You don’t have to be from that culture to appreciate it.”

“The puppet show part was very funny,” said Elliot (10). “I learned the imagination can go wherever you want it to go.”

“I enjoyed traveling to different locations and learning about different cultures,” said Joy, mother of Grant and Elliot. “I found out you can put your creativity to work while also entertaining others.”

Throughout his performance, Hira interacted with the audience by asking them to participate in several acts and calling guests onto the stage.

“The reason I decided to create this show was because I saw too many kids who didn’t even know how to make a paper airplane,” Hira said. “They never made one in their life. Their moms and dads love them to death, but they are so busy they have forgotten to show them basic creativity.

“When I go to restaurants, I see these poor kids with their parents playing with IPads, computers and phones, and they are missing all of life and all of the memories they can make.

“This is a morality play. It’s so much fun, but it teaches everyone in the end that our greatest national resources are children’s imaginations. It’s good to have those skills on the computer, but there is nothing that replaces a mom, a dad, and a grandparent sitting down and learning how to make a rubber band play gun or whatever else.

“It’s part of life, and its part of an upbringing,” he said. Making memories is what this show is all about.

“This show will run for probably a couple of more years. I’m not a young guy anymore. I am a grandpa myself. When I saw my own grandson, I just wanted, before I retire one day, to make a difference. If I could change the world one auditorium at a time, if I could inspire one kid, then I think that this show, and my life, and this stage would have been worthwhile.

“We can all do something, but not everything, and this is the something I can do,” he said.  

A Child’s Passport to Wonder served as a fundraiser for the Lion’s Club, which helps people in communities who cannot afford eye care and eye exams.

In prisons, 75 percent of inmates are functionally illiterate at the 12th grade level and 19 percent are completely illiterate. Eighty-five percent of all juveniles who come into contact with the juvenile court system are illiterate.

 “Did you know prison rates are high because of illiteracy, because kids couldn’t even see the blackboard,” Hira said. “It always comes down to something as simple as vision. It’s a statistic that’s true.”

According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), 60 percent of students who are unable to read proficiently by the fourth grade will have a higher chance of ending up in jail or on welfare.

“There are a lot of groups out there trying to change that,” Hira said. “We can change that by identifying kids when they are young and see if they are having trouble with vision. If we can help them to receive glasses, then we can change their lives forever.

“A huge amount of people are in prison because they couldn’t see or they couldn’t learn. When people made fun of them, that was the end of it. That’s why I’m glad this show is supporting the local Lion’s Club.”

Mark your calendar!

Blood Drive
September 2, noon to 6:00 PM

Gift of Life Blood Drive will be held in conjunction with Carter Bloodcare at the Irving Mall from noon to 6:00 PM. The Carter Bus will be parked at the south entrance near Las Lupes Restaurant. The blood donations will benefit the children who are treated at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. 


Heritage House
September 3, 3pm-5pm

In honor of the 1936 wedding of Charles and Catherine Schulze, Catherine’s wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses will be featured in the bridal gown display during the monthly Heritage House tour. Admission is free. Bridal gowns dating from the 1880s to a mid-century informal gown from the 1950s will also be displayed. Located at 303 South O’Connor, the Heritage House was built in 1912 by C. P. Schulze, brother of one of Irving’s co-founders. This restored pioneer home has been designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. 

Mary’s Playhouse in the back garden area will also be open for tours during the first Sunday tour times of 3pm-5pm. This rebuilt chicken coop of the 1920s was the playhouse of young Mary Schulze. It contains many original toys of the Schulze children as well as vintage items. Families are encourage to visit.

Guests on Sunday, Sept. 3, will receive a complimentary copy of the Irving history book “Rails to Wings” by Norma Stanton.


Healthy Aging Program at Cozby Library
September 7, 7:00 p.m.

September is Healthy Aging Month! Dr. Michael Forster and Dr. Meharvan Singh with University of North Texas Health Science Center will discuss cognitive health and aging. Learn what steps you can take to help care for your brain. For more information please stop by the Information Desk, call 972-304-3658 or email