And The MasterMind Winners Are.....

Last fall the Houston Press asked readers to send in nominations of people who were breaking new ground in the arts around here.

The lucky winners have been named and will be getting a $2,000 check at a dinner Saturday and -- perhaps more importantly -- they are profiled in the Press today. (Well, maybe the check is a bigger deal.)

It's all a part of the Press' Artopia bash, dedicated to food, booze, art and fashion.

Who are the MasterMinds?

A husband/wife team of visual artists, a group of high school videographers and their dedicated teacher and an alternative theater company.


-- Patrick Medrano and Katy Anderson: a husband/wife team of visual artists who specialize in different mediums and who combined their talents and work to transform an abandoned building into an East Texas art mecca. Medrano paints and sculpts; Anderson is a photographer. Together they formed the Fodice Foundation and are working to restore an abandoned school building and host artist residencies.

-- Hightower High School's Broadcast Academy: a group of high-school broadcast students in the Fort Bend Independent School District working under the direction of teacher Ted Irving. The work produced by his students has won awards that include 14 national Telly Awards and an Emmy for a 60 Minutes-style program about breast cancer. They have also been working on a wetlands documentary that is funded, in part, by the Captain Planet Foundation, a pro-environment program started by media magnate Ted Turner.

-- Nova Arts Project: a new member of Houston's alternative theater scene carrying live performances. Formed by Amy and Clinton Hopper, as well as Jenni Rebecca Stephenson, in 2005, after Stephenson and Amy Hopper graduated from the University of Houston with master's degrees in directing, the non-profit Nova Arts debuted with the original play Stella ... Stella for Star and followed it up with planned seasons of shows that included "updated" versions of classic Greek plays and Shakespeare, peppered with contemporary works like Dan Dietz's wild tempOdyssey and Maria Irene Fornes's challenging The Conduct of Life.

Congratulations to all.

-- Richard Connelly


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