Houston Newsmakers: Celebrating a ‘Year of Joy’

Skating party evolves into year round program

6th Annual Year Of Joy skating party is just one part of the nonprofit's focus (Year of Joy)

It started as a simple idea by Houston Chronicle Lifestyle and Culture Columnist Joy Sewing.

Now six years later a “Year of Joy” has literally become a year of focused activities designed to positively impact children from underserved communities.

“I hope we’ll have more children who feel great about themselves and are empowered to do whatever they’re called to do,” she said. “That really is what you want. You want children to have high self-esteem and know they can go out into the world and achieve and be great.”

“The Christmas Shoes” provides heart-warming life lessons

The little boy wanted more than anything to buy a pair of shoes for his dying mother.

That is the premise of “The Christmas Shoes” production by the A.D. Players at the George Theater.

Michelle Elaine plays the part of another mother with holiday problems and says The Christmas Shoes has a special message.

“I think audiences are going to be thinking about faith, family, and forgiveness. There is a lot of room for forgiveness in our lives,” she said. “My character desperately needs it and needs to allow herself to receive it.”

Edison Arts Foundation hopes to change community

Charity Carter always wanted to perform. Life got I the way of that ambition but not in the way of fulfilling her dream of providing art space for a community that sorely needs it.

“The core value of our foundation is family, community, arts. And when we work together collaboratively we can get things done,” she said.

The Edison Arts Foundation and a new Cultural Arts Center will be the centerpiece of a Missouri City community where an eyesore now stands.

“We will be the home of the Cultural Arts Initiative and the Houston Urban Nutcracker. We’ll partner with the Ensemble Theater. We’ll be a second location, a satellite for them to have a mini-season and Jazz Houston, Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra and so many others.”

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