For the first time, two San Antonians are being honored with the Texas State History Museum Foundation’s History-Making Texan Award.
A selection committee takes internal nominations and discusses each recommended honoree at length, said Jacqui Schraad, executive director of the foundation, which supports the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.
“We try to represent the different sectors of Texas, to let people know that we’re more than just oil and cowboys,” she said. “We have leading innovators in sciences and arts and businesses and public service.”
Butt and Jiménez will be honored in February at the foundation’s annual Texas Independence Day Dinner. Event co-chair Carla Moran said Butt’s contribution to Texas stemmed from his leadership of H-E-B, where he transformed the grocery industry and with it many other aspects of society in San Antonio.
“He is an innovative and brilliant business pioneer and also a national voice in public education and administration,” Moran said in a news release. “Every Texan owes him a debt of gratitude for his tireless advocacy and for being an impactful and generous community partner. His philanthropy in education, hunger relief, military support, health and wellness, social services, the environment, diversity and the arts has transformed Texas.”
H-E-B spokeswoman Dya Campos said it is an honor for Butt to be recognized alongside Jiménez.
“The H-E-B Family admires his music and shares his deep passion for Texas,” she said in a statement. “The Bullock Museum is an important institution for sharing Texas history and creating access to quality educational opportunities for the children of Texas.”
Jiménez, who has contributed greatly to Tejano and Conjunto music, has been recognized with six Grammys (including a Lifetime Achievement Award), a Latin Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, and a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts.
For all of Jiménez’s accomplishments, few people in the state know his name, Schraad said.
“He’s world famous and often goes under-recognized in the state for his contributions and stature in the world of music,” she said.
The 79-year-old’s music has been featured in movie soundtracks, such as Y Tu Mama También, and appeared in the 2000 Woody Allen and Sharon Stone film Picking Up the Pieces. Jiménez has also collaborated with artists across many genres, including Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Dwight Yoakum, Buck Owens, and Freddy Fender. He is still touring, and will be playing at Floores Country Store in Helotes on Dec. 21.
“It is only fitting he add History-Making Texan to his deserved accolades,” Moran said.