Patty Granville, Garland’s First Lady of the Arts, will be honored with an Obelisk Award by Business Council for the Arts Nov. 17. Garland Cultural Arts Director Granville will receive the Juror’s Award at the 33rd annual Obelisk Awards in Dallas.
The Obelisk Award has honored businesses, nonprofits and individuals for their extraordinary support of arts and culture in North Texas since 1989. Business Council for the Arts encourages, inspires and stimulates businesses and municipalities to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community.
Michelle Norris, Cultural Arts Supervisor at the City of Garland, nominated Granville. Norris notes in the nomination that “Granville is the embodiment of cultural arts in Garland. She has served as the Cultural Arts Director since 1982, and the legacy she leaves behind with her retirement at the end of August is vast.”
Granville Performing Arts Center
Patty Granville opened the Garland Performing Arts Center in 1982, and the center was renamed the Granville Performing Arts Center in 2003. She has continued to pursue the cultural arts for Garland and its residents throughout her nearly 40 years of service. One of the founders of Garland Summer Musicals (GSM) in 1983, Granville has served as their Producer since the first show.
A strong proponent of Garland Civic Theatre and Garland Summer Musicals, Granville advocates for them. She also performs and directs for them. In 2002, the Garland ISD Fine Arts Division named their annual High School Theatre Awards Program in Granville’s honor.
Vision of the Arts
Along with the Garland Cultural Arts Council, she launched one of the first major public art pieces, “Vision of the Arts,” created by renown sculptor Barvo Walker. This sculpture helped spur a public art movement throughout the Downtown district. In her final years at the helm of the Arts Center, Granville worked diligently to complete a Cultural Arts Master Plan to lead Garland’s cultural arts into a new and creative future.
Granville will continue her support of the arts after her Aug. 27th retirement. Next spring, she will direct “Something Rotten” for Garland Civic Theatre. She also plans to continue supporting and performing with Garland Summer Musicals. Her years of dedicated support of the arts, along with her service building an artistic community in both Garland and regionally, serve as a testament to her legacy as an icon for the arts.
Patty Granville Background
The talented performer moved to Texas in 1973, after graduating from William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia. She had established a musical career in college, playing the romantic lead in their famous outdoor drama “The Common Glory.” She also hosted a children’s TV show as “Miss Patty” on the nationally syndicated “Romper Room.”
In Texas, Granville performed with such theatre groups as Casa Manana, Country Dinner Playhouses, and Granny’s Dinner Theatre. In 1978, she composed a musical album for the Southern Baptist Radio called The Little Christmas Angel that aired nationally. She also produced and choreographed the Press Club of Dallas Gridiron show for many years, with Bob Glenn as Director and Bill Bauer as musical director.
After being hired as the Managing Director of Garland Center for the Performing Arts in 1982, she established the Performing Arts Center Guild. She hosted an Arts in Action Cable TV Show and Arts in Action newsletter that communicated the availability of the arts to residents.
With the creation of Garland Summer Musicals in 1983, the community enjoyed a major theatrical endeavor. Well-known artists are allowed, through Guest Artist Actor’s Equity Contracts, to work with performers of all ages in a professional production company.
The Dallas Community Colleges were also invited to participate in GSM, adding an educational link with the arts for students wishing to earn college credit while receiving professional training.
Director Buff Shur
Buff Shur, longtime Director of the Garland Summer Musicals and a former Broadway actor who has also appeared onstage with Granville in several shows, said, “Patty has a photographic memory. She can take a script and in a few days have her part completely memorized. Not only will she know the music and lyrics, but the actual blocking onstage. Patty is not only a dynamic leader of the performance hall here in Garland, but a fine actress in her own right. When she asked me to come to work here, she said her goal was to create summer musical productions here in Garland on the same type of professional level as the Dallas Summer Musicals.”
Besides her degree in Theatre and Speech from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., Granville has a Master’s in Theatre from UNT. She has performed in numerous shows for GSM, including 1996 when she co-starred with the late, legendary Broadway performer John Raitt in South Pacific. She also starred in Hello Dolly, 42nd Street, Mame, Annie Get Your Gun, The Will Rogers Follies, Anything Goes, Gypsy, CATS, 9 to 5; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Carnival, and I Do! I Do!
Garland Civic Theatre
Favorite roles in GCT productions include Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard; Queen Eleanor in The Lion in Winter; Grizabella in CATS; Queen Elizabeth in Mary Stuart; and Mame in Auntie Mame. She has also directed several musicals for GCT, including Charlotte’s Web; The Fantasticks and the Rat Pack Lounge.
Granville is being feted by the City of Garland with a retirement party Aug. 27. She looks forward to “retiring to my two favorite volunteer jobs, producing Garland Summer Musicals and directing Garland Civic Theatre shows.” She will have an office at GCT. Granville is married to retired Garland dentist Dr. Hamp Holcomb. He has performed onstage with his talented wife in GSM roasts and in such musicals as “Mame.” She has one daughter, Nicole, and two granddaughters, Rachel and “G.”