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Stark Museum of Art to Host “Welcome to Color” Exhibition

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Add a splash of color to your summer with a visit to the Stark Museum of Art’s Community Art Gallery exhibition, “Welcome to Color: Stark Cultural Venues Coloring Book” on view from May 27, 2023, through October 28, 2023.

The exhibition features original contour line drawings created by SMA Teaching Artist Karen Leonard that highlight the unique locations and collections at the Stark Museum of Art, The W.H. Stark House, Stark Park, Lutcher Theater, and Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.

Visitors can also enjoy a time-lapse video of the artist creating one of the drawings from beginning to end, view oversized special edition prints colored by visitors to the museum in 2022 and 2023, and pick up copies of this year’s coloring sheets to work on at home.

Admission is FREE.

For more info, visit their Facebook page.

Orange Library to Host New Adulting 101 Class

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On the third Tuesday of each month from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, the Orange Public Library hosts “Adulting 101”, a program designed to introduce an “adulting” skill.

Join Michael Cole on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm for a presentation on being safe with personal data on a smartphone. This program is designed for ages 16 and up. A library card is not required to attend.

If you are interested in attending, please contact the Orange Public Library at 409-883-1086.

Stark Museum to Host Largest Published Book in the World

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The Stark Museum of Art invites the public to come and see the Guinness World Record certified largest published book in the world, I Am Texas, at the Stark Museum of Art from May 10 through July 29, 2023.

An ode to Texas from the perspective of a child, the seven-foot-tall book captures what the Lone Star State means to 1,000 young Texans in third through 12th grade from more than 80 school districts through stories, poetry, and artwork. The exhibition features 12 Southeast Texas student artists and authors.

“We are delighted to host the I Am Texas book at the Stark Museum of Art and celebrate the creativity of Texas students, especially the 12 student artists and authors from Southeast Texas,” said Executive Director of Stark Art & History Venues Trina Nelson Thomas. “As a museum of Western art, we celebrate the West, and Texas is a big part of that story.”

The book was created by The Bryan Museum and the iWRITE Organization, whose mission is to build student confidence through writing, along with New York Times bestselling author and illustrator team Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos, creators of the “Ordinary People Change the World” series. They published I Am Texas with the help of Phillips 66, the official sponsor of its production.

“We were ready to do something big for our 13th book, and nothing is bigger or more exciting for kids than getting published plus breaking a world record,” said Melissa Williams Murphy, iWRITE founder, and executive director of The Bryan Museum.

The 12 Southeast Texas student artists and authors featured in the publication are: Maya Alvarado (Port Neches), Bront Ballew (Port Neches), Carlee Dupuy (Orange), Kaitlyn Figueroa (Port Neches), Riley Gonzales (Deweyville), Lydia Gragg (Port Neches), Ava Huckaby (Port Neches), Kolbe Hughes (Deweyville), Jaydon McConathy (Deweyville), Kari Medlock (Port Neches), Chloe Prettyman (Deweyville), and Hannah Tait (Orange).

I Am Texas is sponsored by PHILLIPS 66, Title Sponsor; H-E-B, Publishing Contest Sponsor; The Texas Center at Schreiner University, Education Sponsor; McCoy’s Building Supply, Book Tour Sponsor; Taste of Texas Restaurants, Texas Committee Sponsor; Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, School Book Grant Sponsor; The Summerlee Foundation; The Hamill Foundation; SHESPACE; Bella Becho, Book & Print Bindery; Houston Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club; Foxmark Manufacturing Branding Solutions.

The Stark Museum of Art is located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas, and is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge. For more information about the museum or “I Am Texas,” visit or call (409) 886-2787.


LSCO, Industry Partners Announce Creation of Golden Triangle Fame Chapter

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Pictured, left to right: FAME Founding Members: Sean McFarland, ISS/Buna Electric Motor Service; Robert Lovelace, Dow Sabine River Operations; Mike Culbertson, International Paper; Carrie Phillips, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company; Dereck Cloeren, Cloeren Incorporated; John Fielder, United Rentals; Dr. Tom Johnson, Lamar State College Orange; Pooja Tripathi, FAME USA

Lamar State College Orange and local industry partners announced a partnership today to create a chapter of the national Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education Program (FAME). The Golden Triangle FAME Chapter will allow students to achieve specialized education in the skills needed for rapidly evolving industry positions while earning two-year associate degrees with potentially zero student-loan debt. Students supported by Core Member industry partners will simultaneously undergo on-the-job training. The chapter is only the fourth FAME Chapter in Texas.

The founding industry partners include:

  • International Paper (Core Member)
  • Cloeren Incorporated (Core Member)
  • ISS/Buna Electric Motor Service (Core Member)
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (Associate Member)
  • Dow Sabine River Operations (Associate Member)
  • United Rentals (Supporting Member)
  • Lamar State College Orange (Supporting Member)
  • Orange County Economic Development Corporation (Supporting Member)
  • Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas (Supporting Member)

Core Members include employers of technical talent who intend to sponsor students in LSCO’s Electromechanical Technology Program and upcoming FAME cohort. Supporting Members include any public or private sector organization which provides critical support to Core Member companies in utilizing and gaining the greatest beneficial impact from the program. Associate Members include members who have an interest in membership and/or who bring value to the chapter. Employers who will actively sponsor students through the program starting in Fall 2023 include International Paper, Cloeren Incorporated, ISS/Buna Electric Motor Service, and United Rentals.

“Billions are forecasted to be invested in Southeast Texas in the coming years in industry projects, and the creation of this FAME Chapter with our partners in the industry is another example of how we are attempting to meet the immense needs for skilled, ready-to-work employees in a Talent Strong Texas,” said LSCO President Dr. Tom Johnson.

FAME was created by Toyota and then moved to the Manufacturing Institute, part of the National Association of Manufacturers, to scale the program nationally in 2019. FAME USA now has 38 chapters supported by more than 400 company partners across 14 states. More than 1,500 students have graduated from the program nationally since 2012. The Fall 2022 graduating class was the largest ever.

“It’s been an honor working with this dedicated group to bring FAME to Southeast Texas. FAME will be an incredible asset to our region as it helps to build a locally skilled workforce pipeline in an effort to retain our homegrown talent,” said Stacey Nichols, Golden Triangle FAME board president and Global Manufacturing Training Coordinator for International Paper, who has been working for over a year to bring the program to the area.

“I am excited to see this great group of employers coming together with Lamar State College Orange to create the newest chapter in the growing TX FAME network! With an energetic group of employers and a supportive college working in close collaboration, the new TX FAME – Golden Triangle Chapter is poised to positively change the lives of participants while filling critical talent shortages. This program will make the area stronger economically while also building a lifelong foundation for success for every single student who participates. We appreciate the great local partners and look forward to supporting your continued growth,” said Tony Davis, National Director of FAME USA.

Recruitment is underway for industry partners and for students who will begin classes in Fall 2023. Students can submit an application by May 30, 2023. here. Industry partners who may be interested in joining the Golden Triangle FAME Chapter can contact Stacey Nichols (

Orange County RETREET to Replant Trees Lost to Natural Disaster

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In celebration of Arbor Day, Keep America Beautiful (“KAB”), alongside affiliates Keep Orange County Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, is pleased to launch Orange County RETREET, an effort to heal the landscape of Orange County, TX, which has been devastated by numerous hurricanes and tornados over the past decade.

“Orange County RETREET will address an often-overlooked part of the recovery process,” said Grady McGahan, Senior Director of Green Strategies & Community Development for KAB. “Trees are destroyed alongside housing and infrastructure in every natural disaster, and, of everything lost, trees take the longest to replace because you cannot rebuild them. Planting new trees brings life back to neighborhoods and produces an immense psychological impact by making decimated landscapes feel like home again.”

These trees, which will serve as powerful symbols of hope, also will reestablish the environmental identity of Orange County, providing shade, energy savings, stormwater management, pollution reduction, and myriad economic benefits for residents, as well as habitat for wildlife. Orange County RETREET will be a major investment that will leave a legacy for generations to come.

This signature tree planting event is made possible through generous contributions from Dow,Chevron Phillips, Lamar State College Orange, and Solvay, with operational support from Orange County Disaster Rebuild and a host of other local partners.

“Dow is proud to be a part of the Orange community, and of this uniquely impactful event. Orange County RETREET will be an exciting day when we all come together with our neighbors and industry partners to plant trees that will beautify and improve the environment for countless families,” said Christina Babcock, Public Affairs Leader for Dow.

How Disaster Survivors Can Request Trees

Owners of residential properties in Orange County that have been impacted by natural disaster over the past 10 years are able to visit to complete a simple online form to request that free, native trees be planted for them. The trees will be 1.5″ caliper in size, about 7ft to 9ft tall.

RETREET program staff and local partners will work with as many of those who submit requests as possible in order to determine the best planting locations at each home site. The trees will be delivered and planted by volunteers during Texas Arbor Day weekend-November 3 + 4, 2023. All owners of impacted properties can complete their tree requests online now. Representatives from RETREET will reach out as the planting event draws near to walk homeowners through program.

Inquiries about Orange County RETREET can be submitted to Jeri Irby at

Keep America Beautiful (“KAB”), the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their environment. KAB provides the expertise, programs, and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America’s communities, and empowers generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice, and other resources.

RETREET is a flagship program of KAB that redefines disaster relief by engaging communities to replant lost trees. To date, the program has brought 6,493 trees to thousands of families recovering from natural disasters in communities across North America. There is no other agency focused on this unique, important, and underrepresented part of the recovery process. As such, the RETREET program has become the national standard in this work.


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