Guests arrived at Rice University's Glasscock School of Continuing Studies on September 14 to be met with balloons and ballerinas on stilts. The greeting was indicative of the eclectic celebration still to come at FestEve! A Night for the Arts, an evening of "artistic entertainment" by the Community Artists' Collective.
Mayor Sylvester Turner served as honorary chair, while his daughter, Ashley Turner, and Boulevard Realty owner and City Council candidate Bill Baldwin co-chaired the event. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo led the live auction.
Board member Sarah Trotty—who co-founded the Collective in 1987 with executive director Michelle Barnes—guided the program and awards presentation, which honored Winell Herron (H-E-B group's vice president of public affairs) and Lester Marks (Houston art czar) as Patrons of the Year and Prairie View A&M educator Ann Johnson as Artist-in-Action. The Collective also launched the Beverly P. Harmon Service Award in honor of the past president with a presentation to her daughter Hilary Green in memoriam.
Promising "A Night for the Arts," the program delivered with poetry by Deborah DEEP Mouton and Troi Speaks, music by the Carver Jazz Band and Houston Jazz Collective, salsa with Danny Asberry and Sharon Burns, ballet, live painting by Habibah Haugstad, sketched portraits by Gretchen Morris-Williams, DJ Daniel Daigle, comedy by Dave Dawson, and performance by the Urban Souls Dance Company. Cuvee's Culinary Creations provided hearty hors d'oeuvres.
Mayor Turner congratulated the Collective for the evening and for its years of cultural service to the community. In further celebratory fashion, Ashley Turn led the crowd in an early "Happy Birthday" singalong—the mayor turns 64 today.