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Houston Arts & Humanities Guide - LSC-North Harris
This guide includes the major arts organizations in the Houston metropolitan area, as well as general sites that provide information about many and varied groups.
General Sites & Multiarts Groups
- GuestLife Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau Guide to the Arts
provides nice write-ups of Houston's premier arts organizations and their calendars of events.
- Houston Theater District
at the north end of downtown is a whirlwind of activity that circles around the performing arts; the neighborhood is also home to a wide array of restaurants and special attractions.
- Houston Museum District
has 16 museums listed on its page, including the Holocaust Museum, the Houston Zoo, and the Children's Museum. This is THE page to consult when planning a museum excursion.
- Fresh Arts Coalition
is a collaborative of 15 small and mid-sized arts organizations with a shared mission: to promote the arts and participation in the arts throughout Houston.
- Miller Outdoor Theater
in Hermann Park offers plays, music, dance, and festivals March through November, and every performance is free.
- The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion
of the Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands, is an outdoor amphitheater which offers a wide array of arts events and entertainment every season, including classical music, jazz, country, rap, theater, and ballet, with both local and touring performers.
- Society for the Performing Arts
brings a broad selection of performing artists and companies from around the world to Houston.
- The Grand 1894 Opera House
brings a broad selection of performing artists and performances to Galveston.
- Lawndale Art & Performance Center
"is a nonprofit alternative space for the exhibition of contemporary works in all media, unique in its focus on Houston area artists."
- Diverse Works
"is a nonprofit art center dedicated to presenting new visual, performing, and literary art."
- Texas Commission on the Arts
"is the state agency charged with the development of a receptive climate for the arts in Texas. ... serves constituents in each of the six artistic disciplines (visual arts, theatre, dance, music, media and literature) as well as local arts agencies."
- Houston Arts Alliance (Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County)
The "Cultural Arts Council's efforts directly benefit over 200 nonprofit organizations who are committed to providing quality artistic programming to residents and visitors to the Greater Houston area."
- Houston Symphony Orchestra
currently under the baton of Maestro Hans Graf, has been making music since 1913. Many well-known conductors have headed the orchestra, including Sir Thomas Beecham, Leopold Stokowski, Andre Previn, and Christoph Eschenbach.
- Houston Grand Opera
has a well-deserved reputation for presenting fabulous productions of operatic masterpieces as well as promoting new works by contemporary composers (e.g., Nixon in China by John Adams).
- Houston Masterworks Chorus
Houston's largest independent chorus, is a community arts organization which offers performances spanning the range of choral music, from classical to contemporary.
- Houston Chamber Choir
the city's only professional concert choir, offers seldom-heard works from all musical periods, established masterpieces, and new works, especially from Texas composers.
- Houston Early Music
is an organization that brings early music specialists to Houston, giving local audiences the opportunity to hear historically informed performances of Early, Renaissance, and Baroque music.
- Guitar Houston
brings top-tier classical guitarists to Houston for five concerts each season.
- Opera in the Heights
is a nonprofit regional opera company which offers four fully staged operas every season in an intimate setting at affordable prices.
- Da Camera of Houston
offers "thematically programmed concerts" featuring international, nationally known, and local musicians in concerts that cover a broad range of repertoires, from art songs to chamber music to jazz.
- Mercury Baroque Ensemble
explores music of the 17th and 18th centuries from a variety of cultures. This small ensemble embraces performance practices and instruments authentic to the period of the music they play.
is a medieval music ensemble that performs both locally and across the country.
- Ars Lyrica Houston
presents Baroque music at various venues around the Houston area. Ars Lyrica's musicians are well-known local musicians; the group collaborates with other music groups to present a varied concert season.
- The Bach Society
at Christ the King Lutheran Church presents J. S. Bach's sacred music (Vespers) several times every season, often featuring visiting European musicians.
- Rice U.: Shepherd School of Music
offers a full concert schedule; most performances offered by students and by faculty are free.
- Houston Friends of Music
brings chamber music ensembles to Houston; concerts are presented in Stude Hall at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music.
- UH: Moores School of Music
offers a full concert schedule of student and faculty and guest artist performances at inexpensive prices. The Moores School has several performing music ensembles.
- Every December, Revels Houston
offers its holiday program at the Moores Opera House, celebrating the Winter Solstice with a different cultural perspective each year. The 2004 Christmas Revels will focus on the traditions of Scotland.
- Houston Ballet
is America's fifth largest ballet company, with a vibrant repertoire and a well-respected Academy that regularly supplies the ballet company with new talent.
- Sandra Organ Dance Company
is a contemporary ballet ensemble that seeks to educate as well as entertain; to that end it offers orientations, workshops, and after-performance talks to its audiences.
- Chrysalis Dance Company
has presented modern dance to Houston audiences since 1983; Chrysalis frequently collaborates with other arts groups (e.g., jazz ensembles) and offers new choreography.
- Several Dancers Core
founded in 1980, is a professional dance organization that presents experimental contemporary dance and movement.
- The Houston Metropolitan Dance Company
is an arts and educational organization that offers professional performances, classes for adults, classes for children, and a youth dance company.
- Alley Theatre
founded in 1947, is Houston's professional resident theater company, performing in its two-theatre complex year round.
- TUTS (Theater Under The Stars)
is Houston's musical theater company, offering entertainment since 1968 when it premiered at Miller Outdoor Theater. Recently on stage at Hobby Center, TUTS offered Flower Drum Song and Oliver, among other musicals.
- The Ensemble Theatre
is Houston's largest Black theatre company. Founded in 1976 by actor/director George Hawkins, its mission is to preserve African-American artistic expression.
- HITS Theater
specializes in professional-quality theatre training for children and in family-oriented Broadway-style performances.
- Stages Repertory Theater
was started in 1978 as Houston's "maverick" professional theater, and it still produces new works as well as modern classics. Early Stages is their program for children.
- Main Street Theater
an Equity company, was "founded to meet two needs: to offer Houston theatergoers a more varied and challenging selection of plays and musicals and to provide a venue for training, employment and exposure for our city's professional theater artists."
- The Crighton Players, the Little Theatre of Conroe
north of Houston, is a community theater founded in 1969. It is the resident theater group of the Crighton Theatre, a restored 1934 theater house considered "the Crown Jewel of Montgomery County."
- Broadway in Houston
Brings top-notch Broadway theater to Houston stages.
- Southwest Alternate Media Project
promotes the creation and appreciation of new film, video and digital work.
- Rice University Media Center
the home of film and photography at Rice University, offers independent first-run and classic films at the Rice Film, often with an international bent (e.g., an annual Iranian film festival).
- MFAH Films
program screens classic and contemporary independent films, often presenting films in conjunction with appearances by media artists, critics, and scholars whose perspectives add fresh insights for the audience.
- Landmark Theatres of Houston
The River Oaks Theatre shows a select list of non-traditional movies from around the world; they are part of the art-house chain Landmark.
- Angelika Film Center, Houston,
in the Theater District, serves up the best of independent and foreign films to Houston film buffs.
- Movie listings from 29-95 (used by Chron.com)
will steer you to all the big Hollywood motion pictures in all the big chains.
Museaums & Galleries
- Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Houston's major art museum has over 45,000 works of art, which date from antiquity to the present, in its permanent collections; the MFAH also hosts dozens of changing exhibits every year.
- Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
is a non-collecting institution that presents art of the last 40 years "through exhibitions, lectures, original publications, and a variety of educational programs and events."
- UH: Blaffer Gallery
hosts exhibits of art on the University of Houston campus and offers programs and publications that focus on arts and contemporary culture.
- Houston Museum of Natural Science,
the nation's 4th most highly attended museum, hosts visiting exhibits (on subjects as diverse as pearls, chocolate, and Vikings), the Burke Baker Planetarium, the Wortham IMAX theater, and the Cockrell Butterfly Center, plus over a dozen permanent exhibit areas.
- Houston Center for Photography's
mission is to deepen understanding and appreciation of the photographic arts; many of the Center's programs promote the work of local and regional artists.
- The Menil Collection
is the anchor of an interrelated group of small galleries and museums in the Montrose/Museum District; these include the Rothko Chapel and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel.
Other Interesting Links