Fine Arts

New facility centralizes arts, theater community

A new creative center for local arts organizations and a broad spectrum of artists to collaborate and showcase will enhance Houston’s community in 2015.The Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston will be located on Main Street, where over 120,000 students from nearby universities can socialize. More than 40 art groups and national experts have proposed ideas in creating a sustainable facility for Houston’s art scene. | Courtesy of The MATCH

The Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston will provide a home for artists to exhibit and perform. With award-winning architects, management services and consulting groups, the MATCH hopes to create a sense of place and culture.

Jewett Consulting, a Houston-based consulting firm, specializes in helping arts and cultural non-profit organizations achieve their goals. Jewett Consulting executive assistant Regina Romano works with president Jill Jewett as lead consultants in the MATCH project.

“In the past two years, we have developed a strong development board and worked closely with arts organizations,” Romano said. “With the help of lawyers and board members, Jill has negotiated all city agreements, including a grant agreement that provides the MATCH with annual support of $450,000.”

Romano said that she has been waiting for a spot in Houston like the MATCH for a long time.

“The facility will strengthen Houston’s arts community by filling a gap in needed visual and performing arts venues,” Romano said. “It will also provide Houston with a new, unique destination that is accessible and welcoming to people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Known theater and art venues in Houston are costly and formal. Romano described the struggle to find adequate spaces built for the arts.

“With art exhibits and performances taking place on any given night of the week, the MATCH serves as a shared space that will help groups learn from each other and gain exposure,” she said.

Director of Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts Karen Farber is a volunteering member of the Houston arts community and an advisory board member for the MATCH based at UH.

“Given the proximity to campus, I’m really excited for what it has to offer,” Farber said. “With so many young, energetic and experimental art groups at the MATCH, it will make living at UH more exciting with its vibrant and lively connection. It will complement what happens on campus.”

Farber plans to coordinate programming between the Mitchell Center and the MATCH.

“The MATCH will hold different arrangements for different groups with some resident organizations and some rental projects,” Farber said. “We are hoping to launch an annual spring festival for contemporary arts at UH and organize events at the new center.”

The 59,000-square-foot facility holds four theaters, two classrooms, several galleries and more.

“A lot more of Houston’s art scene will be seen,” she said. “This state-of-the-art facility is so important because there are too little affordable venues in Houston. Plus, it’ll bring a cross-fertilization of audiences.”

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