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Shelby's Social Diary

Culture heavyweights come together for intriguing Ismaili Centre to be built in Houston

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Jonathon Glus, left, and Ashraf Ramji at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Jonathon Glus, left, and Ashraf Ramji at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation. Photo by Marc Newsome
Eduardo Garza, from left, Jessica Crute and Judy Nyquist at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Eduardo Garza, from left, Jessica Crute and Judy Nyquist at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation. Photo by Marc Newsome
Laura Bellows and Craig Massey at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Laura Bellows and Craig Massey at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation. Photo by Marc Newsome
Jonathon Glus, from left, Philamena Baird and Duyen and Marc Nguyen at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Jonathon Glus, from left, Philamena Baird and Duyen and Marc Nguyen at the Aga Khan Foundation. Photo by Marc Newsome
Nancy Allen, from left, Eduardo Garza and Jessica Crute at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Nancy Allen, from left, Eduardo Garza and Jessica Crute at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation. Photo by Marc Newsome
Jonathon Glus, left, and Ashraf Ramji at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Eduardo Garza, from left, Jessica Crute and Judy Nyquist at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Laura Bellows and Craig Massey at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Jonathon Glus, from left, Philamena Baird and Duyen and Marc Nguyen at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
Nancy Allen, from left, Eduardo Garza and Jessica Crute at the Aga Khan Foundation presentation January 2014
"Tolerance" by Jaume Plensa
Get Directions - 2773 Allen Pkwy Houston

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.

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