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Posted on: August 25, 2021

Cultural Arts Director Patty Granville Retires

Patty Granville-360x250

Patty Granville has long been credited as the driving force behind the success of the cultural arts program in Garland. The performing arts building was renamed in her honor in 2003.

As Granville retired in late August after more than 39 years with the City, the Cultural Arts Director was also recognized for her pivotal role in the survival and rebirth of Downtown Garland.

With hundreds of performances per year, the Granville Arts Center was fueling Downtown Garland as a destination long before the City’s reinvestment in infrastructure and the addition of residential projects.

“The thriving Arts Center was the source of momentum in the Downtown area,” City Manager Bryan Bradford said.

The building’s value to the community was recognized when voters agreed on an expansion in 1997. The construction of its special events facility, The Atrium, started in 2001. Highland Park, Irving and Richardson are among many cities that modeled their arts venues after Garland’s.

“It was ahead of its time,” Granville said. 

It was the building itself that drew its future namesake. After working television, theater and five plus years booking shows across the nation for Dinner Theatres Inc., Granville was changing course and heading to law school. But there was a job advertised to run an unfinished facility in Garland, where she lived, so she decided to take a look.

“It was every theater person’s dream,” she said. And within the community were others who had the same dream – those who had supported the City’s shift from a convention center to an arts center. Together they created the Garland Cultural Arts Commission and built the foundation of the City’s current arts community and programs.

"I don't know of anyone who improved the quality of life more," said former Parks Director Bob Hall.

Counting rehearsals and The Atrium, City arts facilities now book nearly 1,000 events per year.

“The arts are a key to economic development,” Granville said. “People come to a community because they want parks and arts and schools. I do feel like we’ve been a driving force. And I feel very happy to have been involved.”

Finally, in 2017, came the improvement they worked hardest for, according DeAnne Driver, chair of the Garland Cultural Arts Commission. That was the addition of a unique expression of the city's diverse talents in dance, music, theater and the visual arts; public art that the commission felt was a final piece of the puzzle. Garland's Vision of the Arts, a 2.5-ton bronze masterpiece, now stands 18 feet high at the entrance drive of the Granville Arts Center.

"You showed us the powerful thigs that can happen when someone combines their passion with public service," Bradford told Granville. "It's impossible to overstate your contributions to this community."

And the hits keep coming. Granville will be honored Nov. 17 with the Juror’s Award at the Obelisk Awards, presented by Business Council for the Arts. The Obelisk Awards honor businesses, nonprofits and individuals for their extraordinary support of arts and culture in North Texas.

While retired from the City, Granville plans to continue to work with Garland Summer Musicals and Garland Civic Theatre – for which she directed three shows last season.

“A lot of people think doing the shows is my job. That’s my volunteer side,” Granville said. “I’m retiring to go to my volunteer life!”

And to those organizations, this is not the end, but the start of a new chapter.

"Patty has been our driving force," said Stan Luckie, president of Garland Summer Musicals. "We all love her vision, her energy, her power to push us to do things we didn't know we were capable of doing."

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