Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan builds on over 55 years of success and defines a bold vision for the future.

Who We Are

Our Mission

Performing Arts Houston connects audiences with exceptional artists through diverse performances and learning experiences. We ignite and cultivate passion for the performing arts and together we explore the vast landscape of artistic expression to discover new understanding about ourselves, create community, inspire dialogue, and enrich our world.

Our Values


Excellence is the result of passion, intentionality, and intelligent execution. We are committed to the highest standards of programming and professionalism across the organization.

Artistic Expression

The performing arts open pathways to expressing and understanding the human condition. We invite artists from all disciplines and backgrounds to share their unique voices, delighting our audiences while pushing creative boundaries.

Equity & Inclusion

We welcome everyone to participate in the performing arts. Through intentional and equitable opportunity, we celebrate and honor a wide-ranging diversity of viewpoints, experiences, and talents, helping us grow as individuals, strengthening our organization, and supporting a community that thrives.


The connections between our artists, audiences, and communities lie at the heart of our work. We serve our city and region through performances and programs that create a sense of belonging and meaning.


In the spirit of adventure and greater understanding, we seek growth through continual learning. We challenge ourselves and our patrons, participants, partners, and artists to ask questions, gather insights, and explore new ideas.


The arts celebrate life and nourish the human spirit. We recognize and appreciate the joy inherent in our work and we seek to infuse inspiration and celebration in all that we do.

We Believe

Importance of Performing Arts and Artists

The performing arts drive the marketplace of ideas, sparking imagination and creativity in our daily lives. Artists play a vital role in society, helping us celebrate and interpret our past, present, and future.

Global Voices

Artists of all disciplines from around the world expand and strengthen our arts ecosystem. Experiencing diverse artistic voices from beyond our own community is imperative to human growth and understanding.

Performing Arts Build Community

There is no substitute for the shared experience of live performing arts. The arts are a universal language that create empathy, giving us a deeper understanding of each other and our histories, cultures, and values. When we experience the arts together, we build and strengthen community.

Equity Through The Arts

Systemic and institutional inequalities remain significant barriers for many people and communities. The performing arts can challenge inequities and contribute to a healthier society. As a presenter, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to advance education and action toward a more equitable community.

Advancing The Arts

We contribute to the greater landscape of the performing arts by creating opportunity for artists and audiences to explore, innovate, and take risks.

Access to The Performing Arts

The performing arts are for everyone and every person is welcome. All people in our community should have access to the performing arts and see themselves represented on stage.

Lifelong Learning Includes The Performing Arts

The performing arts are an essential part of life-long learning; they fuel growth, creativity, self-confidence, aspiration, and empathy.

The Performing Arts Make a Vibrant City

The performing arts are vital to the sustainability of a city and its cultural and economic well-being. A strong presenting organization completes a thriving arts and cultural ecosystem.

Where We’re Going

Our Vision

We provide the most diverse and relevant performing arts experiences in Houston. We are essential to our community, providing space for audiences from all walks of life to experience connection through the arts. Through equitable representation and opportunity, we support and amplify the voice of the artist to create positive social, cultural, and economic growth.

Vision Elements


Performing Arts Houston’s programs move art forward and represent the best of the performing arts. Through performances, arts education, and extended programming, we curate and create a season of the known and unknown, offering our audiences both the familiar and art they never imagined. The artists we support reflect the diversity of our community and world.


Everyone who engages with Performing Arts Houston, from students to patrons, artists to community partners, and staff to volunteers, participates enthusiastically and recognizes us as essential to the community. Our expanding and loyal audience reflects the breadth and diversity of Houston. We are trusted to provide a welcoming space to experience the transformational power of the arts.


Performing Arts Houston has an established organizational identity that honors our history and lights our way forward. We clearly communicate who we are, what we do, and how we do it. Our success is built on trusted relationships with artists, audiences, colleagues, and partners who know and celebrate our stories and impact.

Financial Strength

Performing Arts Houston’s financial position is strong and is sustained through consistent and effective earned and contributed income generation. Our financial strength supports our mission and provides flexibility to adapt to changing needs and pursue new ideas and opportunities.

Organizational Integrity

Quality and integrity are evident in all we do. Our people, structure, and culture support the pursuit of excellence, sustained health, equity, and long- term success. Serving on our staff or board is a coveted opportunity to effect positive change in our community through the arts.


Performing Arts Houston wishes to acknowledge the robust participation from the many individuals, stakeholders and community partners in the development of our strategic plan. We also recognize key supporters of this project, specifically the Performing Arts Houston Foundation and the many contributors to Arts Forward, Performing Arts Houston’s Relief and Response Fund.

2020-2021 Board of Directors

Willie C.W. Chiang, Board Chair
G. Mark Jodon, Vice Board Chair and Secretary

Norah G. Adams
Leah Bennett
Charles Boettcher
Chree Boydstun*
Brian Bravo
Michael Cannon
Charles D. Davidson*
Vijay D’Cruz
Theresa A. Einhorn*
Stephen Gill
Sean Gorman
Melanie Gray*†
Michael Hatfield
Jonathan Homeyer*
Shawn K. Jackson
Curt Karges*†
Emily T. Kuo
Stephen A. Lasher*
Eileen Lawal*
Theresa Mallett*†
Donette T. Manley
Ginni Mithoff
Katherine Easterby Murphy*
Michaelene Lusk Norton
James J. Postl*
Lance G. Reynolds
Ann V. Rogers*
Melanie B. Rother*†
Gloria Ryan*
Marisol Salazar
Omar Samji
Leslie Elkins Sasser
Kristina H. Somerville
H. William Swanstrom*†
Tymothi O. Tombar*†
Stephen M. Trauber*
Robert B. Tudor III
Marcus A. Watts*
Margaret Alkek Williams

*Executive Committee
†Vice President


Jim Oswald
Maria Edmundson

Leadership Team

Willie Chiang
Chuck Davidson
Theresa Einhorn
Mark Jodon
Meg Booth
Jordan Drum
Leslie Nelson

Performing Arts Houston Staff Team

Meg Booth
Jordan Drum
Brian Glass
Leslie Nelson
Helena Oliver
Jennifer Steiner
Lee Strickland
Claire Williamson

Working Group Members

Meg Booth
Willie Chiang
Shannon Crider
Chuck Davidson
Jordan Drum
Theresa Einhorn
Brian Glass
Sean Gorman
Melanie Gray
Ismael Hernandez
Mark Jodon
Emily Kuo
Katherine Easterby Murphy
Leslie Nelson
Troy Porter
Lee Strickland
Patty Tilton
Claire Williamson

Focus Groups

With thanks to the many stakeholders, peer group participants, donors, community partners, and staff who participated in focus groups and interviews.

Laurel Bashaw
Kipp Baxter
C.C. Conner
Marlana Doyle
Andrew Edmonson
Mike Espinosa
Karen Farber
Mark Folkes
Todd Holloman
Leisa Holland-Nelson
Suzanne Holyfield
Katie Jackman
Mark Jacobs
Jesse H. Jones
Barbara Kauffman
Bryan Kratish
David Lake
Lynn Lane
Deborah Lugo
Jaelyn Lyles
Steve Malashock
Rodolfo Morales
Brenda Oliveira
Susan Osterberg
Freddie Piegsa
Sam Quintero
Mary Sapp Fischer
Cissy Segall Davis
Maxine Silberstein
Kathryn Smith
Jake Speck
Jennifer Swartz
Sherman Shwartz
Stephanie Todd Wong
Terry Zeno

Meeting Hosts

Melanie Gray & Mark Wawro
H-E-B Central Market
John Daugherty Realty
Kirksey Architecture
Plains All American
Shearman and Sterling
Trinity Downtown
Truist Bank