Arts & Culture

Houston’s Arts and Cultural Plan Town Hall Addresses Provocative Issues

Equity in distribution of tax revenue, sustainability of Houston’s mid-tier organizations, and updating the civic arts program were a few of the topics that made the agenda.


Town Hall speakers (from left to right): Minnette Boesel, Margie Reese, Debbie McNulty

The turnout for Wednesday night’s town hall meeting was so much larger than expected, that a hundred additional chairs had to be carried into the gym of the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center. By the end of the night, the head count was over 200, as residents gathered to share their opinions on how to develop Houston’s arts and cultural plan. Anyone who wanted to chime in had the opportunity.

In fact, it was encouraged.

 “I just want to share a little secret with those of you in the audience tonight. You can tell me anything. I need to know everything that you’re thinking,” said Margie Reese, a consultant hired to help with the planning process.

And people did step up to speak — from Houston Grand Opera’s Perryn Leech, to a man who washes dishes at a local restaurant.

That was basically the mission of the meeting, as Reese explained afterward.  

“A lot of individual artists were here, people representing major cultural institutions were here, but also classroom teachers and neighbors. People that live in Houston, that care about Houston. So I think we did accomplish that a great deal.”

From here, the committee will read through and evaluate the hundreds of comments, develop a strategy for how to implement them, and, ultimately be presented to the mayor for approval.

Those who couldn’t make the meeting are encouraged to share their thoughts in this survey.


Houston Grand Opera’s Managing Director Perryn Leech took a moment to express the importance of developing a robust Department of Cultural Affairs within the city. Photo courtesy of Melissa Ragsdale Darragh.


Eddie Robinson

Eddie Robinson

Morning News Anchor

A native of Mississippi, Eddie started his radio career as a 10th grader, working as a music jock for a 100,000-Watt (Pop) FM station and a Country AM station simultaneously. While the state's governor nominated him for the U.S. Naval Academy, Eddie had an extreme passion for broadcast media, particularly...

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