LONGVIEW, Texas — Arts!Longview has named the founder of the Longview Ballet Theatre the recipient of the organization's first lifetime achievement award for artistic excellence.
Pat George Mitchell, the founder and artistic director of Longview Ballet Theatre, will receive the recognition on Jan. 28, 2023 at Arts!Longview’s first Honors Gala.
The committee for the gala chose Mitchell as the first honoree for her contributions during her 50-year service as artistic director of Longview Ballet Theatre.
She founded the ballet company in 1972 and over that time, Mitchell has led 50 ballet productions for it. Mitchell has choreographed more than 150 ballets and taught more than 1,000 dance students in her 53-year career, according to the Arts!Longview announcement.
She has helped bring professional guest artists from New York, Miami, Salt Lake City and other areas to the local stage in Longview.
Arts!Longview Executive Director Christina Cavazos said the Honors Gala will be an opportunity for the organization to recognize the accomplishments of people like Mitchell.
“For these reasons and more, we are proud to honor Pat George Mitchell with Arts!Longview’s first Lifetime Achievement Award for Artistic Excellence,” Cavazos said. “Her work over the past 50 years exemplifies the mission of Arts!Longview.”
Mitchell, who plans to end her career with the Longview Ballet Theatre after the performance of "Cinderella,” said she feels honored to be recognized.
"Cinderella" is scheduled for March 4 to 6 at the Belcher Center.
“I feel my old job is done here, and I am about to embark on what my new job might be. However, I do know I have given everything I have to develop a dream and because of that, I am OK,” Mitchell said. “This life of ours just simply goes by too quickly when you have fallen in love with the music of your heart and the dance of your life.”
The Honors Gala will also serve as a way for Arts!Longview to celebrate with its supporters. The back-tie event will have a 1920s theme of “The Great Gatsby."
Proceeds will go toward Arts!Longview to help spark the love of the arts, history and culture to celebrate and enhance Longview’s creative community, according to the announcement.