Soaring With Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk
WTS 2008 award recipient, Co-Founder of the Memnosyne Institute, one of our strongest supporters and dearest friends, Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk.
An artist and philanthropist, Mary Ann was born in Mexico and adopted when she was just five days old by Debra and John Thompson, who was the CEO of the 7-Eleven Corporation and a civic leader in Dallas. She grew up in Dallas, surrounded by her extended family. As a child, she experienced various health problems, including hearing loss and chronic asthma, which, combined with her ethnicity, would have made it easy to grow up feeling sorry for herself. Instead, her father taught her to see challenges as opportunities for strength and wisdom. It was her family’s example that awoke her interest in issues such as human rights, the environment and the arts. “My father taught me this world owes us nothing, yet we owe it to the world to make it a better place,” Mary Ann says.
As an artist, Mary Ann has received major awards, including ARTV’s Sculptor of the Year Award, and her company, Thompson Fine Arts, Inc., was nominated for DBCA’s Obelisk Award for donating gallery space for the Visual Arts Coalition of Dallas, which represents more than 7,500 visuals artists, and where she served as chair of the Advisory Board from 2003 to 2009.
She has also received several awards for her philanthropic and activist efforts including being recognized by Philanthropy World Magazine as a 2006 Honoree and The Foundation For Pluralism 2007 Award. She has also been selected out of the state of Texas to receive the 2008 Brilliantly You Award for excellence in Philanthropy. She has served on over 14 different boards that range from local to international in their scope, including as a current member of the Board of Trustees for The Interfaith Center of New York, Board of Advisors for The Indigenous Institute of The Americas, as well as a regular sponsor and Chair for projects such as DFW International’s/VACD’s Pablo Neruda Exhibition which featured several well-known Mexican artists and those of Mexico’s indigenous cultures. She is described by Chicago’s Woman Made Gallery, where she serves on the Advisory Board, as “a prolific artist, writer and social activist!”
Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, a woman who soars!