The Paramount Theatre

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Anniversary Gala

2017 Anniversary Gala

Saturday, May 13

We hope you’ll celebrate with us as we continue our tradition of being the best live music venue in Austin. Along with our Gala Co-Chairs, Catherine Wilkes and Sharon Francia, and our Board of Directors, we are thrilled to announce this year’s Gala will feature Earth Wind & Fire on Saturday, May 13, 2017. We’ve also booked more amazing live music for the night with DJ Soul Sister, Bobby Patterson & the Disciples, D-Madness, and Jackie Venson!

If you are new to the Paramount Gala this year, please keep in mind this is a BIG night of BIG entertainment and fundraising. The event has sold out for the past seven years. The doors open at 6pm, and you’ll be captivated all night long with music, open bar, a seated dinner in an air-conditioned tent on Congress Avenue, dancing in the streets (literally), and the best auction in town! The attire is everything from Pops of Polyester to Dazzling Disco and anything in between. Covered parking will also be provided for guests.

As always, thank you for your very generous support. Mark your calendars NOW for May 13th and plan to join us for this special evening of music, friends, food, and celebration! Let’s kick off our next century in style.

Gala Co-Chairs

Sharon Francia
Catherine Wilkes

Gala Auction Co-Chairs

Sydney Sharples
Susan Trobaugh

2017 Host Committee

Taylor King Ellison
Jamie Barshop
Bill and Julianne Brackin
Judy and Patrick Cantilo
Ken and Lorrie DeAngelis / Austin Ventures
Sharon Francia
Dave and Ana Martin
Mary Murchison
Liz and Duff Stewart / GSD&M
Ms. Julie Tereshchuk and Dr. Trevor Richards
David and Catherine Wilkes

2017 Auction Committee

Amanda Andrew
Cathy Benouis
Barbara Formichelli
Wendy Griessen
Chrissy Hand
Jeannie Olson
Lisa Parker
Stephanie Duprie Routh
Chloe Sharples
Dana Twombly

Packages and Tickets


  • Complimentary beverages for you and your guests throughout the evening
  • Dinner in the tent on Congress Avenue
  • Recognition in the gala program and throughout the 2016-2017 Season
  • Complimentary secured parking for the evening


Join the waitlist

  • One prime orchestra or mezzanine seat at the performance in the Paramount Theatre
  • Reserved seat for one at table at post-show event on Congress Avenue

ST. CECILIA TABLE (8 seats): $4,000 – SOLD OUT

Join the waitlist

  • Eight orchestra or mezzanine seats at the performance in the Paramount Theatre
  • Reserved table for eight at post-show event on Congress Avenue

MARQUEE TABLE (8 seats): $6,000 – SOLD OUT

Join the waitlist

  • Eight Prime Orchestra seats at the performance in the Paramount Theatre with full bar and champagne served at your seats during the show and private bar service all night long for you and your guests
  • Half Page Ad in gala program and recognition from stage at the event
  • Five special limited edition screen print posters specific to this event (autographed if available)

MARQUEE TABLE UPGRADE: $3,000 (Exclusive for Current Century Club Members) – SOLD OUT

Join the waitlist


Add unlimited chilled Champagne, White Wine, or Red Wine* service at your seats in the auditorium for the evening – $150 fee per choice (for all three, the fee is $450 for the whole night).

*Can only be purchased in conjunction with tickets or tables.


  • Full Page Color Inside-Font Cover of 2017 Gala Program – $5,000 (1 Available)
  • Full Page Black and White in 2017 Gala Program – $1,000


Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire, America’s seventh top-selling musical group of all-time was born in Chicago in 1969. With a signature sound beyond categories and a groove as deep as the soul of the planet, the band’s legendary journey has set the standard for music of all genres.

One of the most important, innovative, and commercially invincible contemporary forces of the 20th century, Earth, Wind & Fire has released a total of 23 albums. They have recorded eight #1 R&B singles and eight Double Platinum Top 10 Pop Albums. EWF has earned more than 50 Gold and Platinum albums and sold over 90 million albums worldwide, earning them a solid spot on the list of all-time best selling music artists.

Earth, Wind & Fire’s career achievements and their music influences impacted music history. They have been inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2000) and The National Academy of Recording Arts & Science (NARAS) bestowed its highest honor, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, totaling nine Grammy Awards for the group. The ensemble has also earned Lifetime Achievement honors from ASCAP, NAACP, and the BET Awards.

Many contemporary artists and superstars–including Usher, Beyoncé and Prince —are self proclaimed Earth, Wind & Fire fans. Alicia Keys has said that EWF ” the best band ever” while Mary J. Blige showed her love for the band in her own version of the band’s hit “Imagination.”´ The Black Eyed Peas took the stage with EWF with a performance at the XXIX Super Bowl, and again when opening the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

The worldwide EWF fanbase also extends to include heads-of-state. President Bill Clinton invited the group to the White House in 2000 as special guests at a State dinner and, in February 2009, President Barack Obama invited Earth, Wind & Fire to perform in the East Room at the White House for the first social event of the new administration, declaring in an interview with Rolling Stone that EWF were “rhythm and blues and pop staples for me.”

In April of 2014, lead singer Philip Bailey released his memoir SHINING STAR: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire. Shining Star is a story of triumph and challenges —chronicling the band’s iconic rise to the top.

Three of the group’s principle members–Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson–have each earned honorary doctorate degrees from the Columbia College in Chicago. Philip Bailey and founder Maurice White have earned doctorate degrees at Berklee College of Music.

DJ Soul Sister

Known worldwide as the “queen of rare groove,” DJ Soul Sister has hosted her “Soul Power” show on WWOZ FM and “right on party situations” for nearly two decades in her native New Orleans. One of the longest-running live dj artists in New Orleans, the veteran radio programmer and host of the longest-running rare groove radio show in the U.S., vinyl collector, crate digger, party promoter and tastemaker is highly regarded and respected not only in her hometown, but around the globe.

Bobby Patterson & the Disciples

Bobby Patterson has been singing R&B, southern soul, and funk in his hometown of Dallas for over half a century. He released countless singles for local and regional labels in the 60s and 70s, and his original tunes have been covered by artists as diverse as Little Willie John (“Let Them Talk”), Albert King (“That’s What The Blues Is All About”), the Fabulous Thunderbirds (“How Do You Spell Love?”), and Jeff Tweedy (“She Don’t Have To See You”). Patterson’s latest album, 2015’s “I Got More Soul”, was produced by Paramount music booker and bandleader Zach Ernst.


The Austin Chronicle-dubbed “Stevie Wonder of Austin” has attracted the most discerning boogie funk aficionados for more than two decades as Austin’s premier classic soul composer, D-Madness (a.k.a. L. Dwayne Jackson). The blind, one-man fusion band is known for his live looping of drums, bass, keyboards, vocals/cheek percussions and synching up with diverse, talented musicians.

Jackie Venson

Jackie Venson’s “…astonishing mix of raw soul, superb musicianship and laid back grace…” (Austin American Statesman, June 2014) has been compared to the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and fellow Austin native Gary Clark, Jr. Originally a classical pianist, Venson picked up the guitar and made the giant leap from the tradition of classical music to the raw and gritty blues. She is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter with an out of this world voice.

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