Press Release: October 8, 2015

The Autry Honors Emmylou Harris at Its 28th Annual Gala

on October 3, 2015

Los Angeles, CA (October 8, 2015) — The Autry National Center of the American West held its annual gala on Saturday, October 3. The lively event honored Spirit of the West® award recipient Emmylou Harris, a 13-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer and songwriter. The Magnificent West gala also celebrated the beauty and diversity of Western landscapes, many of which are depicted in artworks throughout the Autry’s museum galleries.

The Spirit of the West award honors people and institutions that have made significant contributions to the art, culture, and legacy of the American West. A pioneer in the music industry, Harris embodies the Western ideals of individuality, talent, and hard work. With her captivating lyrics and voice, Harris established herself as a hallmark country singer of the 1970s and has continued onward to create a musical career spanning over 40 years.

When presenting Harris with the award, the Autry's President and CEO W. Richard “Rick” West, Jr. described Harris as an individual who "defined an entire generation with her music. She was the muse for many of us growing up in that period." After accepting her award, Harris told the audience a story of performing at the Autry in 1992 and her feelings of coming "full circle" by receiving the Spirit of the West award. She concluded her speech by complimenting Autry Co-founder Mrs. Autry for her work with the museum.

The evening was made complete with decorations inspired by the American West. Joshua trees, rock formations, and plants native to California created an immersive desert aesthetic. Vocal group The Texas Tenors entertained the audience. Combining breathtaking vocals, humor, and cowboy charm, the charismatic and talented trio performed music inspired by the worlds of country, folk, opera, and Broadway.

Dinner started with an iceberg steak topped with heirloom cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, scallions, and torn sourdough croutons finished with a crème fraiche and tarragon dressing. The entrée included a braised Kobe bavette with horseradish crèma and broccolini, charred corn polenta cake, ancho-butternut squash puree, and a mole demi-glace. The dessert was a caramel apple cheesecake with toasted walnut, apple cider caramel, and pie crust crumble. Wine was graciously provided by Au Bon Climat. Guests let loose at the after-party on the Autry’s outdoor plaza, with the lively Ventura-based Caught Red Handed.

The silent and live auctions, the latter led by DawnMarie Kotsonis (a.k.a. The Gavel Girl), featured exquisite items, notably a round-trip excursion for two on the world-class Emirates Airline to Dubai; Buffalo Hunt, a pastel and charcoal piece by renowned artist Allan Houser; a week-long travel package to a five-bedroom sanctuary in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Gene Autry’s Royal Ride Cart, a Rolls Royce inspired electric cart Gene Autry used to traverse the grounds of his hotel in Palm Springs; an oil painting by artist Jay Moore; and others.

The gala is among the largest fundraisers of the year for the Autry, supporting the educational programs of a museum devoted to sharing the diverse stories of the American West.

About the Autry National Center of the American West

The Autry is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs—including lectures, film, theatre, festivals, family events, and music—and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant of Native American materials in the United States.

Museum admission is $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors 60+, $4 for children ages 3–12, and free for Autry members, veterans, and children age 2 and under. Admission is free on the second Tuesday of every month.


Museum and Autry Store:

Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Crossroads West Cafe: Tuesday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The museum, store, and cafe are closed on Mondays.

Visit for more information.

*Please note that the museum, store, and cafe will close at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 3.