Arts & Culture

Rothko Chapel Names Their New Executive Director

After months of searching, Rothko Chapel has chosen a former Houstonian as their next leader.


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David Leslie
David Leslie. Photo courtesy of Rothko Chapel.

After months of searching for a candidate, Rothko Chapel has a new executive director… and he’s no stranger to Houston. David Leslie is coming onboard as the leader of the arts nonprofit. But board member Christopher Rothko says this isn’t his first time in Houston.

“He has deep Texas roots and served as head of the Houston Interfaith Ministries a number of years ago,” Rothko says. “And I think he is going to just connect so well with people in the Houston community.”

Rothko says that Leslie comes from Oregon, where he ran Ecumenical Ministries for the past 17 years. The new executive director will be a natural fit for the chapel’s mission of serving as both an artistic space and spiritual institution.

Leslie agrees, “I kind of feel, like hmmm, maybe this was meant to be. And it sure is kind of some familiar territory with some people that I highly respect. And it’s again, just an honor to be able to be part of this mission for the next phase of the chapel’s development.”

That chapel was designed by Mark Rothko, one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. It’s regarded as being a place where religion, art, and architecture intersect. Leslie starts on June 1st. 

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