Supporting the Arts in East Texas

Marshall Regional Arts Council

FOUNDED: May 1979

INCORPORATED: February 12, 1982

The Marshall Regional Arts Council was formed in 1979 under the leadership of Dr. Gwin Morris. Dr. Morris was Academic Dean of East Texas Baptist University at the time, and served as the first President of the MRAC.


Kenneth Carlile 1981-1982               Bob Smith 1983-1984                 Tony Bridge 1984-1985                   Connie Ware 1985-1989                Marjorie Perkins 1989-1991

RADM Sam Moore 1991-1992         Sandy Toussaint 1992-1994       Pat Smith-Gasperson 1994-1995   Geraldine Mauthe 1995-1996        Donald Parks 1996-1997

Joann Ilies 1997-1998                      Beverly Harris 1998-1999          Mark Dimmitt 1999-2000                 Leonard Dumas 2000-2001           Dr. Joe Green 2001-2002

Nancy Conwell 2002-2003               Ben Z. Grant 2003-2005            Christina Anderson 2005-2006        Tiffany Ammerman 2006-2007      Tommie Ritter-Smith 2007-2008

Hal Cornish 2008-2009                    Dr. Frank Lower 2009-2010       Nancy Simpson 2010-2011             Dr. Jerry Hopkins 2011-2012        Dr. Frank Lower 2012-2014

Dr. Darrell Roe 2014-2015               Tom Coker 2015-2016

The arts council began receiving funding from hotel/motel tax revenues is 1983, and also began a limited presenting program. In recognition of the organization's outstanding performances the City of Marshall increased its financial support and continues to fund the organization through a yearly contract for services. The arts council served as a catalyst in the construction and furnishing of the theater at the Marshall Convention Center, one of the largest performing theaters in East Texas since opening in 1984. In 1984-1985 the arts council began presenting a limited series of programs and workshops with grants provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts. In May 1985 it assisted with the opening of the Michelson Museum of Art in Marshall. In October that year the arts council hired Rock Kershaw as its first executive director. Under the leadership of professional staff, programs were expanded to include a performing artist series (4-7 events annually), single ticket attractions, a grant program, technical assistance for regional arts and cultural organizations, and an annual membership campaign.

 Executive Directors

Jim Bob McMillan 1987-1992              Lisa Campbell 1993-1994                 Virginia Brown 1994-1996                  Clayton Crenshaw 1996-1999            Geary Buxton 1999-2000

Shannon Howard 2000                       Joyce Weekly 2000-2002                  Geraldine Mauthe 2002-2005             Joyce Weekly 2005-Present