Vienna, VA—Terre Jones, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts’ President and CEO, was recognized in rare fashion this past Saturday, September 8, 2012 as the National Park Service bestowed a rare Honorary Ranger Award in celebration of his tireless commitment to promoting the grandeur and artistic significance of U.S. National Parks. The award was presented by Peggy O’Dell, National Park Service’s Deputy Director for Operations, at an event preceding the world premiere of Face of America™: Spirit of South Florida at Wolf Trap, the seventh installment in the signature performance series created by the Foundation.
O’Dell praised Jones’ strong passion for the country’s national parks, as well as his dedication to strengthening the ongoing partnership between the Wolf Trap Foundation and the National Park Service. Subsequently, she presented Jones with an honorary plaque and a traditional ranger hat in recognition of his outstanding efforts to showcase the natural and cultural heritage of the parks through the performing arts.
“In creating Face of America™, Terre Jones has taken the magic of Wolf Trap one step further, using the arts to celebrate not only this park, but parks all across the nation.” said Peggy O’Dell, Deputy Director of Operations, National Park Service.
“I am honored and deeply touched to receive the Honorary Ranger Award from our partners in the National Park Service,” said Jones. “The national parks bring joy to millions of people across the country, but they are also crucial in the preservation of our country’s wildlife, natural environment, and diverse culture. I have found a great deal of artistic inspiration in their landscapes and history, and feel grateful for the opportunity to tell their unique story through our exciting collaboration with the NPS in the Face of America™ series.”
The Face of America™ concept was developed by Jones in the late ‘90s as a millennium project that uses the rich language of the performing arts to celebrate the diverse people, histories, and landscapes that exist in and around its fellow national parks across the country. Since the series' debut in 2000, Wolf Trap has produced seven commissions that combine film and original dance performances in national parks to portray the spirit and essence of the country’s national treasures. Face of America™ has steadily grown in stature and reputation, while extending Wolf Trap’s role as America’s only national park for the performing arts beyond the stage.
Audiences at the world premiere event at Wolf Trap on September 8 had the unique opportunity to take an artistic journey through Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Dry Tortugas National Park and Everglades National Park. The special performance featured an original Wolf Trap commission from internationally acclaimed Parsons Dance, live on-stage, and an unforgettable soundtrack highlighted by a live performance from GRAMMY-nominated, Cuban-American timba band Tiempo Libre, and recorded music from multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird. Combined with HD video footage of Parsons Dance captured while performing in the Parks, the program had audiences on their feet dancing to the infectious rhythms of Tiempo Libre, and awe-inspired by stunning natural beauty of these majestic Parks and movements of eight world-class dancers as they mimicked birds, alligators, and the immense power of a hurricane and resiliency of the Florida people in its aftermath. The evening concluded with the dancers joining Tiempo Libre for a rollicking dance party in Wolf Trap’s orchestra pit, as the huge screen showcased the buzz and energy of Miami, Fl., demonstrating the close proximity of this 7+ million person city to these national parks and the largest ecosystem in the Western hemisphere.
About The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Catherine Filene Shouse (1896-1994), produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally and internationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues, the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. In partnership with the National Park Service, the 7,028-seat Filene Center annually showcases an extensive list of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theater, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns operates year round, and during the summer months is home to the GRAMMY-nominated Wolf Trap Opera Company, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, scholarships, and a nationally recognized internship program that was included in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2009 List of “Best Places to Intern.” As part of its ongoing commitment to protect and preserve the environment, Wolf Trap offers metro access and is a founding member of the Green Music Group. Terrence D. Jones is president and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.