Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts
When Discovery Green opened downtown, a piece sponsored by the Mitchell Center and composed by Stephen Montague of London, “Horn Concerto,” was performed by deftly honking Art Cars. This is just one of many examples of how this organization merges the funky with the refined to bring original experiences to Houston audiences. Founded in 2003 on the campus of the University of Houston with a $20 million permanent endowment from one of the city’s most progressive philanthropic clans, the Mitchell Center encourages arts groups to collaborate on productions. The goal, in the words of director Karen Farber, is to create “a total experience.” Past projects have included the City-Soundscapes series when the Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade was transformed into an outdoor stage with a succession of gigantic sound and light shows under the stars, and a reinterpreted production of Bertolt Brecht’s classic Good Woman of Setzuan, helmed by New York director Kim Weild, with an original score commissioned by the Mitchell Center that was written and performed by the Houston Symphony.