OUR VIEW: Bennett is one of city’s greatest assetsTHE POINT: Odessa Arts has picked a rare jewel to honor with the Friend of the Arts Award.

He’s a man who has shaped the arts in Odessa like no other.
Odessan Ronald Bennett has been plugging the arts scene here for 60 plus years by being involved in or even helping found everything from theater to musical events to visual arts.
Bennett has taught piano here as his “day job” and continues to do so to this day. His students are now often the children and grandchildren of students he taught during his first days in Odessa.
Bennett, along with volunteer of the year honorees, will be honored as the 2019 Friend of the Arts during the Odessa Arts Black and White Ball on April 13 at the MCM Eleganté.
He’s a fantastic choice for so many reasons.
Bennett was an early helper at the Permian Playhouse, with the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale, the Globe of the Great Southwest Theatre and many, many other arts ventures. He’s also been the fine arts critic (on a volunteer basis) for the Odessa American for almost a decade.
Bennett’s tireless love for the arts has benefitted all Odessans. Many of the programs that he had an early hand in has resulted in many young Odessans growing up with an appreciation for music and fine arts and the hard work it takes to be good at such endeavors.
Bennett has said he is “humbled” by this wonderful thing and that he has fond memories of the early days of planting the seeds of fine arts all around Odessa.
Former Mayor Larry Melton may have put it best when he said when anyone speaks of the arts in Odessa that the name Bennett surfaces immediately.
We congratulate Ronald Bennett for his many decades of service and for making Odessa just a bit more artsy than it was when he rolled into town in 1959.