Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, and the Houston Symphony are delighted to announce that longtime arts supporter and philanthropist Kitty King Powell has honored these organizations with gifts of $500,000 each. Marian P. Harrison and Nancy Powell Moore, daughters of Mrs. Powell, announced the gifts in a meeting with the leadership of the three arts organizations on August 27. The gift to Houston Ballet is intended to help support the new Houston Ballet Center for Dance, which opened in April 2011; monies directed toward the Symphony are to be used for the orchestra’s $15 million Sustainability Fund; and the gift to Houston Grand Opera is unrestricted.
Speaking for her mother, Nancy Powell Moore said, “Our mother firmly believes that the performing arts, specifically ballet, opera, and symphony, are necessities for a great city. She is proud of the city Houston has become and wants to ensure that the performing arts continue to be an integral part of Houston’s cultural growth in the future.”
“For many years, Kitty King Powell has been a devoted supporter of Houston Ballet,” commented Houston Ballet Executive Director James Nelson. “Her very generous $500,000 gift will help us to share her love of dance with a wide range of Houstonians and significantly advance Houston Ballet’s mission. We at Houston Ballet are blessed to have such a giving, visionary advocate who cares so deeply about the cultural life of our city.”
Mr. Nelson’s comments were seconded by Mark C. Hanson, executive director and C.E.O. of the Houston Symphony: “The Houston Symphony is deeply grateful to Kitty King Powell and her family for their incredible generosity. Kitty and her husband, Ben H. Powell Jr., enjoyed attending the Houston Symphony with their family over many years. Through this gift, Kitty will be supporting the Houston Symphony’s Sustainability Fund at a most exciting time in our ninety-nine-year history. She joins an august group of leadership supporters that also includes Houston Endowment, The Estate of Jean R. Sides, Bobby and Phoebe Tudor, and Mrs. Alfred C. Glassell Jr.”
Perryn Leech, managing director of Houston Grand Opera, noted, “This kind of philanthropy, coupled with civic pride, is what differentiates Houston from other cities. Kitty King Powell has steadfastly supported the arts in Houston and exemplifies our city’s optimism, generosity of spirit, and her commitment to making the future of the performing arts central to the bright future of Houston. We are honored and, of course, very grateful to recieve this extraordinary gift.”