It's long been rumored (at least in the Houston ballet world, such as it is), but theHouston Business Journal
let thecat out of the bag
: the Houston Ballet is hoping to build a large, expensive facility downtown near the Wortham Center to consolidate its far-flung operations.
The Houston Chronicle followed up today with more details on the proposed project.
The proposed project that will cost at least $53 million, a big chunk of which will have to be raised from private funds.
Our first thought was "A huge fund-raising drive for the ballet in this economy? Lotsa luck."
Turns out our first thought might be wrong.
Insiders say a large portion of the needed money has already been pledged, thanks to an underground campaign that's been going on for a year or so. The daunting figure still needed isn't actually as big as it appears at first blush. (Thanks, gas-price gouging!)
The ballet is being tight-lipped about specific figures, however. Spokesman Andrew Edmonson tells Hair Balls only that "Houston's economy is not going to be hurting anytime soon" and charitable donations are not expected to dip that much nationwide.
If the country's general economic downturn hits Houston, however, the first thing off the wish list might be an expensive new home for the ballet. So it's far from a done deal yet.
But if we can't get an improved ballet out of four-dollar gas, what can we get?
-- Richard Connelly
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.