History of Regional Arts Council | Marshall Convention Center


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
Frances Hurley 2016- 2019

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 2005-2018
Madeline Marak 2018- present