SPA's Fall Luncheon Features THE HELP Author Kathryn Stockett Today, 10/10

SPA's Fall Luncheon Features THE HELP Author Kathryn Stockett Today, 10/10

Society for the Performing Arts (SPA), Houston's premier performing arts presenter, will host its 16th Annual Fall Luncheon today, October 10, 2012, at 11 a.m. in Jones Hall. This year's Luncheon, chaired by Lucinda Loya, with Karen Pulaski serving as the Honorary Chair, will feature guest speaker Kathryn Stockett, author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Help.

The event will be held on the Jones Hall stage with catering by Jackson & Company, and whimsical décor by Rebekah Johnson of Bergner & Johnson. Kathryn Stockett will be signing books immediately following the luncheon.

SPA's Annual Fall Luncheon is one of two special fundraising events held each season to raise money for the organization's Education and Outreach Program, Beyond the Spotlight, which takes performing artists into the community for unique learning experiences. Through such activities as music and dance master classes, artist residencies, teacher workshops, lecture/demonstrations, creative writing/choreography programs and student matinees, SPA is able to enrich the lives of more than 125,000 underserved children and adolescents in the greater Houston area annually.

In 2009, Society for the Performing Arts established the annual Ann Sakowitz Performing Arts Advocate Award to present at its Fall Luncheon each October to commemorate National Arts and Humanities Month. This award, named in memory of SPA Founding Board Member Ann Sakowitz for her dedication to the arts and her commitment to SPA, recognize an individual who, through their support and advocacy, champions the performing arts. This year's award will be presented to Mariquita Masterson. Past recipients include Mrs. Sakowitz's daughter, Lynn Wyatt, as well as Patricia Hubbard and Patsy Fourticq.

Tickets and tables are still available. Individual tickets start at $250. For underwriting opportunities and ticket information, contact William Tayar at 713-632-8103 or email

Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, was born and raised in Jackson, Miss. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. She currently lives in Atlanta with her family.

At the outset of the civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., three unique women unite to share the stories of dozens of the city's black servants, who have been kept voiceless for too long. Skeeter is fresh home from college, with big dreams of becoming a journalist, though her mother just wants her to find a husband. Aibileen, a black maid, is the heart and soul of her household, now working on raising her seventeenth white child. Her best friend Minnie, is the best cook in the city, but can not find a job because of her tendency to speak the cold truth. Together, these three unforgettable ladies launch a crusade to collect the stories of the town's silent servants, and try to tear down the unspoken racial barriers that traverse the homes and hearts of everyone in Jackson. In 1962 Jackson there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another. The Help is Stockett's first novel, which has since become an Academy Award-winning film.

Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world's finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.

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