The North Texas Peforming Arts and its Plano Children’s Theatre announces that it has received a multi-year commitment of financial support from long-time Plano patriarch, civic leader, and philanthropist, Rutledge and Susan Haggard and their family.

Joining Neiman Marcus, the Shops at Willow Bend, and other supporters, this contribution will help make possible the creation of the Willow Bend Center of the Arts, the new home of the North Texas Performing Arts and the Plano Children’s Theatre at the Shops at Willow Bend.

“The ‘Haggard Dance Studio’ at the Willow Bend Center of the Arts will provide an artistic home for our students for years to come” says Sara Akers, Founder and Executive Director of the Plano Children’s Theatre. “My first love in the performing arts was dance, and this gift enables us to expand our “triple threat” (voice, drama, dance) performing arts experience with a new emphasis on dance.”

“I consider the Plano Children’s Theatre a valuable Plano institution and a treasure of our community” says Rutledge Haggard. “We’ve always supported important causes that can make a difference in the lives of children. After attending several peformances, it is obvious the profound impact this organzation has made on our youth.”

One of the “founding fathers” of Plano, Rutledge Haggard and his family have been leaders within the Plano community since 1856, at one time farming a large part of the land in which a large portion of Plano now resides.

“Rutledge Haggard and his family have been part of the very foundation of the Plano community for generations, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have their support” says Darrell Rodenbaugh, President of the North Texas Performing Arts. “Our mission is to develop the character of youth, and we are so happy for this partnership with a man and family that personifies ‘character’ in our community.”

The twenty-five thousand square foot complex at the Shops at Willow Bend will house the new Willow Bend Center of the Arts, home of the North Texas Performing Arts and its Plano Children’s Theatre. The facility will feature two mainstage theatres, two black box theatres, two dance studios, rehearsal and practice studios, and set-build and costume space together with the offices of the North Texas Performing Arts.

The Plano Children’s Theatre and North Texas Performing Arts intend to move into the Shops at Willow Bend this Fall. For more information on program details and updates as this exciting program develops, go to

About Plano Children’s Theatre
In its 26th year of operations, The Plano Children’s Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to developing the character of youth through quality performing arts education and family entertainment. Founded by Sara Egelston Akers, PCT now operates as part of the North Texas Performing Arts, last year offering opportunities to more than 4,000 youth ages three to 18 years old to experience the impact of the performing arts through its “learning lab” training process. The NTPA vision is to enable every child, regardless of sex, religion, race, or socio-economic limitation to have the opportunity to enjoy and experience the arts.

Rebecca Silvestri

Rebecca Silvestri is the vice president of Sales & Marketing. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, publisher of Local Profile. In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher in London and the...