Each year The Leigh Bess Boone Foundation awards a stipend to outstanding interns and volunteers in the visual and performing arts.
This year we were pleased to award two stipends to two awesome interns – Rod Todd and Gretchen Breland!

Gretchen Breland
Nominated by Rothko Chapel
2014 LBB Award Recipient

Gretchen Breland is an artist and a strong supporter of the arts and non-profit sector. She joined the Rothko Chapel Guild as a founding member in 2012 and volunteered weekly in the Chapel greeting the many guests who visit from all parts of the globe and guarding Mark Rothko’s 14 monumental paintings.  In 2013, Gretchen began interning as an office and archives assistant.  Prior to her time at the Chapel, Gretchen worked as a custom framer at various high-end frame shops, and as an Adult Services Page at the Cinco Ranch Library. Gretchen has served as a garden volunteer and a program and curriculum designer at the Krause Residential Treatment Center and a supporter of Katy ArtReach. She is an active painter and has donated her work to behavior health hospitals spanning two states. Gretchen holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Ceramics from Louisiana State University.

Rod Todd
Nominated by Mildred’s Umbrella Company
2014 LBB Award Recipient

Rod Todd is honored to be a recipient of this year’s Leigh Bess Boone Award. Rod became a member of the Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company 5 years ago after admiring MU’s work over many previous seasons. As a MU company member Rod works in multiple capacities; Acting- both in main season shows and the MU Children’s Outreach program, Tech work- from sweeping floors, to painting and building sets, Stage Managing and finally, under the tutelage of Artistic Director Jennifer Decker, Production Managing and Directing small projects. Rod, who’s retired, is always happy to lend a hand in whatever role is needed to make sure the show goes on.

Previous Recipients

Alyssa Stephens
Nominated by Aurora Picture Show
2012 LBB Award Recipient

It is such an honor to be the first recipient of this generous gift from the Leigh Bess Boone Foundation. Interning and volunteering in the non-profit arts played such a vital role in my education. With this gift I was able to continue to be involved in the arts community as well as finish my B.F.A. at the University of Houston. I am proud to say that I am now employed at an amazing non-profit organization, where I can continue to spread my knowledge and passion for art.