LCRA awards $25,000 grant to the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts

New public address system will improve sound quality at Round Top venue

June 13, 2023

LCRA representatives present a $25,000 grant to the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts for a new public address system. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured in the front row, from left to right, are: Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Tom Oney, LCRA chief people officer and executive vice president of External Affairs; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; James C. Dick, founder and artistic director; Susan Ashcroft, board of trustees; Margie Lovell, development/grant writer; and Pat Johnson, development associate. Back row, from left: Larry Birkelbach, site maintenance manager; Jeff Hepp, creative director; Lamar Lentz, managing director; Mark Massey, Round Top mayor; Joseph Young, guest conductor; and Stephanie Van Dresar, administrative assistant.

ROUND TOP, Texas – The James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts will purchase a new public address system for the Festival Concert Hall at the Round Top Festival Institute, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $26,540 in matching funds from the foundation, will help pay for a new controller, touch panel, speakers and other equipment to enhance the sound quality in the hall and create a better experience for visitors. “For the past three years, we’ve been working with only one operable speaker,” said Pat Johnson, associate curator of collections/development associate. “Our system is outdated, and the aged speakers are nonrepairable and obsolete.” Johnson said remarks delivered from the stage are difficult to hear without the help of a properly functioning public address system. Performers have sometimes had to bring additional equipment to help ensure the audience can hear them. “As a performing arts center, you have to have a good sound system,” Johnson said. “The current system is nearly 20 years old and has served the venue well, but it’s time for us to have updated technology that is also energy efficient. The new system will enhance the experience for visitors and increase the facility usage, which will benefit the community.” James Dick, the namesake, founder and artistic director of the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts, said he is grateful to have the funding to replace the original sound system. “Our 1,000-seat concert hall attracts thousands of visitors each year, and it is utilized year-round,” Dick said. “Audiences come for concerts, ballet performances and other events; business groups and service organizations come for conferences and retreats; and local high schools perform their seasonal concerts and graduation ceremonies in our hall. We deeply appreciate LCRA’s commitment to our continued service toward the promotion of the arts and education.” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said event centers such as Festival Concert Hall help showcase artists and help community members build connections. “This hall welcomes visitors from across town and across the country,” Wilson said.  “Not only does it support the local community by providing a place where people can come together for performances and fellowship, it also supports the local economy, as many times out-of-town visitors spend money at local businesses such as restaurants and hotels. LCRA is proud to support artists and the Round Top community to make visits to this concert hall more enjoyable for future generations.” Johnson said the project has been in the works for a while. “Receiving this grant gives me goose bumps because LCRA gave us a grant for the original sound system back in 2005,” Johnson said. “LCRA is in our backyard, so this grant feels local. It means everything to get this kind of support, and it’s amazing to see how many communities have benefitted from the grant program.” The community grant is one of 34 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit

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