Shelby About Town

Houston's hottest summer parties, celebrity shopping and a new museum leader keep it sizzling

Houston's hottest summer parties, celeb shopping and a new museum head

Before everyone leaves town for cooler climes (and, believe me, plenty of the swans have already departed), Michael and Melissa Mithoff opened their new River Oaks home to supporters of Society for the Performing Arts with a kickoff party in anticipation of the annual fall luncheon, which they are chairing.

Center of attention on this evening was Ginni Mithoff, Michael's mother, who has yet to depart for the family vacation home that she shares with husband Richard Mithoff in Park City, Utah. She will receive the Ann Sakowitz Performing Arts Advocate Award at the Oct. 9 fundraiser that will feature Molly Ringwald as guest speaker.

The hearty souls dressing up and stepping out in the heat and humidity included SPA executive director June Christensen,  Rocky and Carolyn Mafrige, Steve Mafrige, Tom Glanville, Chree Boydstun, Eileen Lawal, Cheryl Byington, Heather Holmes and Laura and Ned Davenport.

Shopping Houston

The gals at Cheeky Vintage, particularly Tina Davis, are still buzzing over excitement earlier this week when LA stylist Ali Kahn arrived to do a bit of shopping for her client, actress Mayim Bialik, for the upcoming Emmy Awards. 

Tina reports that the actress loves wearing vintage so the stylist selected several gowns and cocktail dresses for the red carpet and for parties surrounding the Emmys.

A new leader

Holocaust Museum Houston has announced that Kelly Zuniga will assume duties as the museum's new executive director on July 17. She replaces the highly-respected Susan Myers, who retired in May after having held the post for 12 years.

Zuniga joins the museum from her post as executive director of the Houston Community College Foundation. She will be charged with leading the museum through its visions for the future which include expanded outreach, an enlarged and updated physical plant and enhanced programming, that according to museum chair Mark Mucasey. He added that Zuniga was selected from a field of more than 150 candidates.

Feting a national artist

The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) saluted artist Eleanor Merritt at a reception celebrating the opening of a retrospective of her work. Based in Sarasota, Fla., the artist and family members — husband Chris Darlington, daughter Lisa Merritt, granddaughter Amara Merritt — flew in for the reception that drew collectors from across the country. Merritt  is a winner of the Women's Caucus of Art Lifetime Achievement Award and a charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The impressive coterie of collectors in town for the exhibition included Carol Fitzpatrick from Sarasota; Vicki Rowe of Portland, Ore.; Darryl Walker of Washington, D.C.; Michael Shaw of Los Angeles and Lois Lipsett Jackson of Fort Lauderdale. 

Houstonians joining the festivities included City Council members Ron Green and Andrew Burks, Carolyn and John Guess III, Dr. Helen Schilling, HMAAC board member Ursula Hall and museum CEO John Guess Jr. Following the reception, VIPs gathered at Lucille's where chef Chris Williams welcomed the group to dinner.

Tootsies Valentine's party, February 2013, Michael Mithoff, Melissa Mithoff
Michael and Melissa Mithoff, seen here at a Valentine's bash, will chair the SPA annual fall luncheon. Michael Mithoff , Melissa Mithoff Photo by © Gary Fountain
Ali Kahn, left, and Tina Davis, right at Cheeky Vintage
Ali Kahn, left, and Tina Davis, right at Cheeky Vintage. Courtesy photo
Kelly Zuniga head shot Holocaust Museum Houston June 2013
Kelly Zuniga new head of Holocaust Museum Houston.  Photo courtesy of Holocaust Museum Houston
Eleanor Merritt Opening Ronald Green, Eleanor Merritt, Lisa Merritt
City Councilman Ron Green, from left, Eleanor Merritt and Lisa Merritt at the HMAAC opening reception. Courtesy photo