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P.O. Box 896
Wichita Falls, Texas,76307
Backdoor Theatre is a non-profit community theatre. Our mission is to promote the performing arts through education, leadership development, and volunteerism, while providing quality entertainment to the Greater Wichita Falls area. Backdoor has a reputation fo... more.
Backdoor Theatre Board President
Live for Music-Wichita Falls, TX
Barnhart volunteers and is on the board of Backdoor after recovering from a near-death illness a year ago.Since Connie Barnhart moved to Wichita Falls more than 12 years ago with her psychiatrist husband Benny and her daughter Brianna, she has selflessly donated her time and considerable energy to nonprofits. She has volunteered with the Junior League of Wichita Falls, the Woman's Forum, the Center for Nonprofit Management, the PTA and Backdoor Theatre Board of Directors. "I love the idea of giving back to the community," she said."I feel like God has very much blessed our family and I feel an obligation and desire to do that." Before moving to the area, Barnhart taught music full-time in the Arlington Independent School District.She went from being a full-time working professional to a "quote stay-at-home mom." "I like to fill my time," she said."But I think the main reason I volunteer is I truly believe God's word that 'to whom much is given, much is required.' And that is a way to give back." Barnhart credits the Junior League as the service organization that helped her become part of Wichita Falls, introducing her to the area and other like-minded women and organizations. Through the Junior League, she came to work on events such as Christmas Magic and Falls Fest publicity and was able to discover other worthwhile organizations as well as to meet leaders from across the community. "That led to additional opportunities," she said."The women I met there got me involved in the Woman's Forum and the Hospice Golf Tournament."She also served as president of the PTA at Crockett Elementary when her daughter attended the school. Until a year ago, Barnhart took whatever opportunity she was offered just to be able to help.But an illness last year changed her outlook. "A year ago, almost exactly, I almost died," she said. While Barnhart has been active on the Board of Directors at the Backdoor Theatre for nearly four years, it became her primary volunteer focus.It was an easy decision for her because she has been around theater since high school, and because both her daughter and husband also perform there. "What's perfect about Backdoor is that it's something that I love, but it's also something that my daughter loves and something she is involved in.And now, my husband is starting the process to join the board," she said. Barnhart, an opera major in college, was also scheduled to sing with Havona this last weekend at Backdoor at the group's second performance.It just so happens that making music together was how the couple originally met at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth when her future husband played bass in her jazz band. Barnhart grew up in Mansfield, Texas, and attended college nearby at TWU, though she was born in Missouri. The Barnharts also have one daughter, who is 13 and will be an eighth-grader this year at Zundy Junior High. In addition to appearing in Backdoor presentations, she sang and acted at the Mansfield Community Theatre, where she was one of the founding troupe of members of the theater back in high school. In college, Barnhart earned a bachelor's in music education and a master's in education and enjoyed her eight-year tenure as an elementary school music teacher.If she misses teaching a little, Barnhart views her life now as a journey that involves her family and the arts. When she's not at Backdoor or doing things with her family like watching films or working on plays or rehearsing music performances, she manages to find time to read - mostly Christian self-help books - and also to decorate. Her personal goals are straightforward."I want us to continue to grow as a family, to grow in my belief, and to continue to give something back." Professionally, she is excited about the recent changes at Backdoor and seeing the community theater become healthier.
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