2018 CKW LUXE STAR AWARDS
Astral Light Award
Robin Angly: A Patron of the Arts Who Makes a Difference
CKW LUXE is proud to announce that Robin Angly is our honoree for the Astral Light Award. This award goes to a philanthropic woman who has devoted her life to art, music, or science and made a positive difference to people within those communities, and those affected by those communities, by inspiring and transforming their lives.
“If you want arts organizations to survive, you must not only step up and support those that are established, you must also take the risk and support those that are new.” – Robin Angly
Houston native Robin Angly can’t remember a time when music wasn’t a major part of her life. When she was five years old, she started taking piano lessons. Voice lessons came later. This began a romance with music that would continue for the rest of her life. Her eclectic taste in music as she was growing up led Robin to listen to soprano Joan Sutherland and jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and to fall in love with the music of Bach. She went on later in life to sing in the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) and the Houston Symphony Chorus.
All these connections with music, and her love for it, have led Robin to become an important patron of the arts in Houston following in the footsteps of her predecessors who made Houston what it is today. HGO, Houston Symphony, Da Camera, Ars Lyrica, and Inprint, are all institutions that have benefited from her unwavering support. It is said of Robin that her “tireless advocacy and generous support of many of Houston’s leading cultural organizations has been crucial to artistic growth, financial sustainability, and long-term impact in the community.”
As loyal supporters of HGO, Robin and her husband, Miles Smith, have been members of its Founders Council since 2010. The Founders Council is vital to the company’s ongoing artistic success. Its members make a commitment of monetary gifts over a three-year period that help secure the company’s future. Robin is also on the HGO Board of Directors and a member of its Laureate Society. As well, Robin and Miles have made generous donations to HGO special events, the Young Artists Vocal Academy, and HGO’s Ring cycle. Soon, Robin will be moving into a leadership position at HGO. She has learned over the years that if you are a substantial contributor to the arts your voice should be heard.
Her fondness for Inprint, Houston’s premiere literary arts nonprofit organization whose programs support and engage readers and writers of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction, is especially evident in her support of The Senior Memoir Workshops. It is one of her special causes. The program, which is so important to seniors, was in danger of being lost. Thanks to Robin’s dedication and efforts, it is still very much alive. Robin believes this is one of her “best accomplishments at Inprint.” She attends the program’s annual readings and marvels at the power of the words she hears. Many of the writers recall difficult situations while growing up, including family problems and segregation. Their memories provide a moving window into the Houston of the past and should not be forgotten.
A member of the Ars Lyrica Board of Directors, along with her husband, Robin has been active in helping the director, Matthew Dirst, attain his wish list for the company. At a gala last year, at which she and Miles were honored, Robin asked Dirst what would be required to take Ars Lyrica to the next level. Together, they agreed a fully staged opera by Handel would be the answer. That dream is on its way to becoming a reality with the opening of Agrippina in November of 2018. With its stellar cast, its debut with the company is sure to be a resounding success.
Robin’s work with the Houston Symphony includes supporting composers in residence at the company. Some of the composers whose work she has helped bring to fruition are Gabriela Lena Frank who created a multi-lingual requiem and Jimmy López who composed Bel Canto, an opera commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and showcased by PBS. López is now working on a symphony.
Robin also supports Da Camera of Houston, home to chamber music and jazz. She is a member of its executive committee. As well, Robin understands the importance of the next generation in the continuation of Houston’s arts legacy. For that reason, she has the great pleasure of working with young people, teaching them to give back and encouraging them to do so by becoming involved in the arts.
Because of her tireless and generous support of Houston’s cultural community, Ars Lyrica honored Robin at a concert in February of this year as part of its movement to recognize some of Houston’s leading female philanthropists. It is especially appropriate at this time as Ars Lyrica honors women in the musical culture of the 17th and 18th centuries with its Artful Women series.
CKW LUXE would like to congratulate Robin Angly on being the Astral Light honoree. As the embodiment of the award, Robin has been, and continues to be, an essential piece of the mosaic that supports the Houston arts community. Her part in that structure ensures artists will keep on creating masterpieces, audiences of every kind will be enlightened and entertained, and new believers will be brought into the fold. Robin’s enthusiasm, undying spirit, understanding of what should be done and how to get it done, and her active involvement in every aspect of the arts in Houston, has left a positive imprint on members of its community as well as those who are influenced by it.