Janet Coker and Sean Johnson receive $1000 donation to theater from J. Michael Cannon of Cannon Motors in Oxford.

HOUSTON -- Cannon Motors of Oxford and Chickasaw Equipment of Houston have each made $1,000 donations to the Houston Council of the Arts’ Theater Restoration Project Fund.

“We are so thankful for these two businesses joining our community in bringing arts back to Houston,” says Sean Johnson, Chickasaw Development Foundation Director.

“The restoration of the theater building, along with a general increase in cultural activities in general will be one of the drivers of making Houston a more attractive place to live and visit.”

Johnson says that the theater, once completed, will be a place for people to gather for concerts, plays, movies and other events.

The theater project is being managed by the Houston Council of the Arts; a group formed in early 2020 with a first task of producing events as fundraising efforts for the theater’s renovation.

According to Janet Coker, the Council’s director, the fundraising efforts have been well received by the community.

“We began with two sold out dinner theater shows in February of 2020. Of course, COVID shut us down for a while, but we were able to begin with events again in September with an outdoor concert featuring Nathan Carlisle in front of the theater and then another sold out Christmas Show at the Old Ford Place. We have our first show of 2021 at the High School Auditorium this weekend.”

The council reports that the fundraisers have brought in close to $18,000 going toward renovations.

“Of course, none of this would be possible without the help of so many people, including Lanny Wilson who produces the shows, Nathan Carlisle for bringing the performances together, Mark and Sarah Juckes for allowing us to use their space for the Christmas show, and a host of others who’ve helped in little ways and big over the course of this project.”

“Again, we’d like to thank Michael Joe Cannon of Cannon Motors and Frank Alford of Chickasaw Equipment for their generous donations to this effort.”

The next program, “Best of Broadway with Nathan Carlisle and Friends”, will have two shows this weekend at the Houston High School Auditorium. Tickets are limited due to social distancing and there will be two showings: a Saturday night show beginning at 7 pm, and a Sunday matinee at 3 pm. Tickets are available by calling Sean Johnson at 662-316-9557 or Janet Coker at 662-456-8585.

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