It was very much an insider's gathering at art collector Judy Nyquist's home when Houston Arts Alliance board members, advisory council and friends were engaged in a conversation on the work of the Aga Khan Foundation and the prospects for an Ismaili Centre to be built on Allen Parkway.
Houston attorney Ashraf Ramji, vice chairman of Partnerships in Action, an initiative of the Aga Khan Council, shared with community notables a history of Ismaili Muslims and discussed their dedication to community service and their appreciation of art and architecture.
As for the new center, Ramji allowed that it could be some years before the building gets underway as the Aga Khan is hands-on with each project. A plot of land on Allen Parkway near the "Tolerance" sculpture, financed in large part by the foundation, has been purchased for the center, which is on the drawing board along with centers in Los Angeles and Paris. Ramji said that more Ismaili Muslims live in Houston than any other American city.
Nyquist, HAA advisory council co-chair, was joined by her co-chair Joe Dilg as well as board members Nancy Allen, Philamena Baird, Leigh Smith and Minnette Boesel and advisory council members Susie Criner, Mark Praigg, Laura Bellows and Craig Massey.
HAA president and CEO Jonathon Glus welcomed members of the Aga Khan Council including Saleena Jafry and Arif Momin. Rounding out the impressive contingent were Arthur Baird, Susie Dilg, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Jessica Crute and Houston Airport director Mario Diaz.