Aspiring Eagle Scout Donates Bronze Sculpture to One of Nation’s Oldest Theaters

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Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts Receives Life-Size Bronze Sculpture From Proceeds of Mike Cross Concert in Honor of 153rd Anniversary

“This sculpture is a wonderful addition to the Thalian Hall Art and Archives Collection and will be enjoyed by all those who visit Thalian Hall for many generations to come.”
Tony Rivenbark, Executive Director, Thalian Hall

TJ Carter, a 15-year-old Life-Scout from BSA Troop-19 in Wilmington, NC, donated a life-size bronze to Thalian Hall in front of a sold-out crowd at the Mike Cross concert on Friday, October 21st.

For his Eagle Project, TJ decided to gift a life-size bronze sculpture called “Comedy & Tragedy” by Colorado artist Bets H. Lundeen, to the theater. “I wanted to do something special for this incredible concert hall,” said TJ. “Thalian Hall is celebrating its 153rd anniversary this month, and when I found this bronze sculpture I knew I’d discovered a piece of art that really captured the spirit of this historic theater,” Carter said.

To fund the purchase of the bronze, TJ approached legendary North Carolina singer/songwriter Mike Cross, and asked if he would like to be part of his Eagle Project. Cross, who recorded his live album, “Live & Kickin,”’ at Thalian Hall in 1981, enthusiastically agreed, and the concert date was set.

With only five weeks to put together the production, TJ utilized the support and coordinated the efforts of his entire Boy Scout troop. The scouts were involved in many aspects of the project, including poster distribution, staffing a booth to sell concert tickets at a major outdoor street festival, and helping set-up and usher at the concert. The troop also opened the show with a Presentation of the Colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

At the end of the concert, TJ presented the bronze to Tony Rivenbark, Executive Director of the hall, and was met with an overwhelming response from the enthusiastic audience. “This was a great night for Thalian Hall and Wilmington, thanks to Mike Cross and the efforts of TJ Carter and Boy Scout Troop-19,” Rivenbark said. “This sculpture is a wonderful addition to the Thalian Hall Art and Archives Collection and will be enjoyed by all those who visit Thalian Hall for many generations to come.”

Thalian Hall, built in 1858, is listed on the National Register for Historic Places, and is the only surviving theater designed by John Montague Trimble, one of America’s foremost 19th-century theater architects. It is also the home of the oldest continually operating theater company in the country.  

“It was wonderful to re-establish the connection between Troop-19 and Thalian Hall. In 1950, our troop dedicated Lady Liberty, an 8-foot tall copper replica of the Statue of Liberty, that still stands in front of Thalian Hall today,” TJ said. This was one of two hundred miniature statues dedicated around the country as a symbol of freedom, opportunity, and the strength and vitality of the Boy Scouts.

The entire event was a huge success according to Mike Cross. "Producing, staging and promoting a concert presents enormous challenges even for seasoned promoters but TJ Carter handled everything like a pro," Cross said. "I was really impressed with his organizational skills, his attention to detail and his commitment to follow up and follow through with all the things he had to do to make this event such a roaring success. Hats off to a remarkable young man for a job well done."

An Eagle Project is required of any Boy Scout who wants to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting. It must be an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, and manages for the benefit of a non-profit organization, religious group, or the community.

Media Contact:
TJ Carter
EXPOGO Displays & Graphics, Inc.
Office: 910-452-3976, Cell: 910-547-1990
Email: tom(at)expostar(dot)com

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Thalian Hall website:
Mike Cross e-Press Kit:
Mike Cross website:

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