Fort Worth

Fort Worth Cultural Treasure Could Lose Funding

The Littlest Wiseman has been performed for free every December since 1966

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir and its annual performances of The Littlest Wiseman is a holiday tradition in Fort Worth dating back to 1966, but this year's performances could be the last.

"Well, it's bittersweet," Executive Producer R. Kent Schmedel said. "But I'm very hopeful that we can continue both of these entities, because they are part of the fabric of Fort Worth."

The play and handbell choir have been supported for decades by philanthropists Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh personally and through their foundations, but "the foundations are moving in a different direction and funding for both groups will end on December 31, 2019," said Schmedel.

"We are asking the community for help to sustain these organizations," Schmedel said in a new release. "This is the opportunity for everyone that has been touched by either of these two extraordinary organizations to step up and financially support these distinctly North Texas traditions."

Schmedel said the bell choir and play production are put on by performers aged 9 to 20.

"We rear them in a wholesome environment where they participate in something greater than themselves," Schmedel said. "By the time they get to be the kind of young men and women that you just want to sit down and have a conversation with, it's time to move on and start over again. It's pretty special."

Donations can be made through: and, or to 500 W. 7th St., Suite 1007, PO Unit 27 Fort Worth, TX 76102.

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