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The Not-So Smoke-Filled Room: Breakfast Club Talks Houston’s Arts Future

shared vision

On August 7, high-powered Houston-area cultural administrators gathered over breakfast at the Junior League of Houston to plan our arts future. The get-together, called “Building a Shared Vision,” was presented by Center for Houston’s Future and included a discussion of the Center’s 2014 Arts & Cultural Heritage Indicator Report in a collaborative round-table format.

Topics ranged far and wide, and included addressing the  increasing cost of living for artists, leveraging Houston’s diversity, promoting arts education as an audience-building tool, and bringing art to Houston’s far-flung suburbs. A summary of the talk is online.

The  discussion was moderated by Jill Jewett, Project Manager, Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), the group included Philamena Baird, Co-Chair, City of Houston Cultural Plan; Carroll Parrott Blue, Executive Director, The Dawn Project; Minnette Boesel, Mayor’s Assistant for Cultural Affairs; Tony Diaz, Host and Founder, Nuestra Palabra: Writers Having Their Say; Joseph Havel, Artist, Director, Glassell School of Art; Pat Jasper, Director, Folklife and Traditional Arts Program, Houston Arts Alliance; Susannah Parnin Mitchell, Director, Washington Avenue Arts District; Debra Simon, Vice President, Arts and Events, Brookfield Properties; Ana Villaronga-Roman, Director and Curator, Katy Contemporary Arts Museum.

Attendees included Laurette Canizares, Executive Director, Houston Museum District Association; Gwendolyn Goffe, Center for Houston’s Future Fellow, CFO, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Retired); Nancy Giles, Director of Development, Alley Theatre; Catherine Mosbacher, CEO, Center for Houston’s Future; Lilliana Molina, Co-Director, Art of the World Gallery; and Dr. Kelly Zuniga, Executive Director, Holocaust Museum Houston.

The Center for Houston’s Future, The Region’s Think Tank, is a nonprofit affiliate of the Greater Houston Partnership, in charge of researching and envisioning big picture issues, whose ultimate goal is to “to advance the Houston region as one of the top ten global communities in which to live and work.”

Photo: Ann Shaw

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8 Responses

  1. The future of Houston’s art is discussed with but a single artist among the listed attendees. Imagine the future of mathematics discussed without mathematicians, the future of medicine discussed without doctors. What kind of future is that?

  2. I was at the Petroleum Club the other day smoking some Cohiba Esplendidos with Rich Kinder, Jeff Hildebrand, John Arnold, Bob McNair and a few other ordinary Houstonians, and we chatted about art for about 15 minutes. I whipped up a list of action items covering all art in every possible medium and genre in the Houston metro area for the next 25 years and wrote it down on a napkin. The fellows all agreed that it was a world-class plan and promised to throw their weight behind it. I handed it off to my man-servant Smithers with instructions to execute the plan. You’ll be getting your instructions later this week.

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