Patty Granville Retirement
Patty Granville has officially announced that she will be retiring at the end of this month, August 2021. Supporters of local theater should not panic. Come September Patty will no longer be an employee of the City of Garland. Patty was hired by the COG in 1982, nearly forty years ago. The City could not have realized at that time that they had hired a petite powerhouse of a woman who would use her talent, determination and intellect to create what has become the Patty Granville Arts Center, as it stands today.
Patty Granville did not contribute millions of dollars to get her name on the place, it was purely sweat equity. She had been its first employee, and after decades of successful growth, the City decided to put her name on the place. She is stepping down from her responsibilities as Garland’s Cultural Director, but not from the stage. She recently commented, “I am leaving my paying job, and taking on a volunteer position”. She is physically moving out of her offices at the Granville Arts Center, and into a space on Walnut Street recently obtained by the Garland Civic Theater, a non profit community theater company that has been in existence for nearly half a century.
Granville has not only overseen operations at the Arts Center and Atrium, but she also led the charge on the renovation and subsequent operations of the Plaza Theater on the downtown square. In addition to those duties, she has also produced and performed in Garland Summer Musicals. She plans to continue bringing audiences to the GSM, and she will no doubt be taking on acting roles for Garland Civic Theatre. The on stage Patty Granville is not retiring.
Granville Retirement Celebration
August 27, 2021…The Granville Arts Center was buzzing with activity as folks arrived to celebrate Patty Granville’s retirement with music, speeches and gifts. It was also Patty’s birthday, so she had multiple reasons to celebrate. As guests entered they were handed purple face masks by a young lady stationed just inside the door. We were handed the masks and told that they were purple because it was Patty’s favorite color.
The lobby was decorated with a top hat theme, and Patty was welcoming her guests wearing a clear plastic face mask, and of course, wearing purple. The fear of contracting the COVID 19 Delta variant certainly inhibited guests who would normally have been shaking hands and hugging as they recognized one another at this type of event. In this case, recognition itself was difficult due to the masks. It was 2:30 pm, and just after lunch for most of the attendees. There was a spread of light snacks consisting of the elements of a charcuterie board, and a huge display of beautiful, freshly made pies being served by Tracy Dowd, affectionately known as “The Pie lady”. Tracy is the owner of Piefalootin, a popular Garland pie shop.
Just before the program began, a pianist began playing, “One Singular Sensation”, and a chorus line magically appeared in the middle of the lobby. That touch of musical theater seemed to pop up out of nowhere, much to the delight of Patty and her guests. That very appropriate surprise was planned and performed by Patty’s staff, much to the delight of all. There was a festive atmosphere as Mitch Bates, Deputy City Manager & COO, stepped up to a microphone to begin the program of reminiscences by several speakers, ending with Patty and her acceptance of a gift of a miniature version of the “Vision of the Arts” sculpture, the 2.5-ton bronze masterpiece commissioned by the Garland Cultural Arts Commission. (The beautiful bronze sculpture has been gracing the entrance to the Granville Arts Center complex since 2014.) Mayor Scott LeMay read a proclamation declaring August 27th “Patty Granville Day”.
The guests had been standing up, quite close together, in order to listen to the speakers, some of whom continued on for quite a while. Delores Elder Jones was there, carrying her camera and snapping up a storm. Masked or unmasked, she seemed to be getting shots of everyone present. Among the crowd were former mayors Ronald Jones and Bob Day. Several council members, past and present, were also among the guests in attendance. At the end of all the speech-making the crowd was told that it was time for dessert. At that point it seemed like almost everyone was lined up around the very tempting assortment of pies for samples.
While vacating her offices at the Granville Arts Center, and retiring from her position of Cultural Arts Director, Patty plans to continue producing Garland Summer Musicals. David Fisher is now serving as Garland’s new Director of Cultural Arts.