Meet the Producer of Broadway Dreams and the Magic Behind the Joci Awards
By Shauna Forkenbrock | Photography by Jeanann Wilkinson of J Wilkinson Co
In the captivating world of the performing arts, Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace stands out as a shining star. As the Executive Director of the Majestic Empire Foundation, formerly known as Las Casas Foundation, Jaselyn brings a rich mosaic of experiences to her role with passion, dedication, and a flair for theatrical brilliance.
The Joci Awards: Where Young Stars Are Born
At the heart of Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace’s story lies the Majestic Empire Foundation, an institution deeply committed to preserving the past, enriching the present, and nurturing the future of the performing arts through preservation and through the cultivation of young performing artists. Central to its mission is the belief that the performing arts can change lives. The Majestic Empire Foundation Performing Arts Scholarship Program empowers college-bound high school students to pursue higher education. This program, now in its 16th year, offers financial support and invaluable educational opportunities such as workshops and master classes. The pinnacle of this program is the Joci Awards, an electrifying Broadway-caliber performance featuring 25 exceptionally talented performing arts high school students from 38 cities across Texas, which will be held this upcoming May 5th at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.
Jaselyn has many reasons to be gratified with the Joci Awards, “Since the inception of the Joci Awards in 2009, the Majestic Empire Foundation has proudly awarded over $1.4 million in scholarships, making us the largest scholarship funding source for the performing arts in the United States.” For the past seven years, Jaselyn has orchestrated a mesmerizing transformation, taking the Majestic Empire Foundation’s signature event, The Joci Awards, and sculpting it into a Broadway-caliber extravaganza. As the Executive Producer of this spectacular showpiece, she has elevated not only its artistic grandeur but also its impact. Affectionately dubbed the “Tony Awards of Texas,” it’s a testament to Jaselyn’s unwavering commitment to nurturing the future of the performing arts and ensuring that the spotlight always shines on the stars of tomorrow.
Jaselyn’s Trajectory Destined for Greatness
Jaselyn’s brilliance doesn’t end on the stage; it permeates every facet of her artistic journey. She’s a theatrical producer, an actress who knows the limelight intimately, a singer whose voice can move hearts, a playwright who weaves narratives that enchant, a choreographer who orchestrates movement like poetry, and a BBC/Audio Go audiobook narrator who transports listeners. Her multidimensional background is a treasure trove of creativity, and it’s this diverse expertise that she brings to the table enriched by her academic accolades. Armed with a Bachelor of Music (BM) from New York University and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the esteemed Brown University, she’s a true scholar of the arts.
A Legacy for Generations: Majestic Empire Foundation’s Enduring Impact
Jaselyn’s passionate and visionary leadership is the driving force behind Majestic Empire Foundation’s educational initiatives. She explains, “I’m dedicated to fostering a profound connection with students, schools, community organizations, and individuals throughout the San Antonio and South Texas region through our educational initiatives.” This commitment to outreach and engagement is a cornerstone of the foundation’s ethos, achieved through diverse educational and enrichment programs. One of the foundation’s key initiatives is its Masterclasses & Workshops, which provide invaluable educational opportunities for students and provides paid opportunities for teaching artists, a testament to Jaselyn’s commitment to nurturing talent and expertise in the field.
Through these multifaceted initiatives, guided by Jaselyn’s commitment and leadership in continuing education, the Majestic Empire Foundation remains unwavering in its mission to enrich the cultural tapestry of the San Antonio community and cultivate a deep appreciation for the performing arts both locally and throughout the South Texas region. Jaselyn says it best, “Through the power of the performing arts, we can change lives, inspire transformation, and create a cultural legacy that resonates for generations to come.”
Jaselyn Blanchard-Pace is more than an artist; she’s a force of nature, a visionary leader, and the beating heart of the performing arts. Her story is a testament to what one individual can achieve when fueled by passion, talent, and a relentless drive for excellence. In the world of theater, she’s a name that ensures that the show always goes on, and it does so in the grandest, most spectacular fashion imaginable.