This distinguished panel spoke about trends, the unique characteristics of the Houston funding and philanthropic sector, and their perspectives on how to create a strong and diverse arts ecosystem ready for the second part of the 21st Century.
Jonathon Glus, the first chief executive officer of the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), provides strategic leadership to Houston’s municipal arts agency. On behalf of the city of Houston, HAA annually distributes grants to over 250 non-profit arts organizations and individual artists. Under Glus’ direction, HAA is also responsible for long-term cultural planning and development of the sector. Prior to his post in Houston, Mr. Glus was executive director of the arts and culture for the City of Pasadena, CA; executive director of the Evanston Arts Council, in metropolitan Chicago; an associate curator and exhibitions coordinator at the International Sculpture Center in Washington, D.C.; and was on the editorial staff of SCULPTURE magazine.Mr. Glus’ master’s work was in art history at the University of Illinois, and undergraduate work in urban economics and public policy at Indiana University and the University of Kent, Canterbury England.
David Lake has been a program officer at Houston Endowment since 2010, focusing on grantmaking in the area of Arts and Culture. Prior to that, he worked as foundation relations officer at UH, and held development positions at the Houston Symphony and DiverseWorks Artspace. He has also served on the board of directors of several Houston-area arts organizations, including Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, Suchu Dance Company, Infernal Bridegroom Productions, and Chrysalis Dance Company. He originally came to Houston in the mid-1980s as a faculty member in UH’s French department.
Beth Madison, Managing Director at Higginbotham, founded Madison Benefits Group, Inc. in 1983, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Higginbotham a commercial risk management and insurance firm in 2008. Ms. Madison is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist, Certified Property and Casualty Underwriter and a Chartered Life Underwriter. She served as President of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum and on the board for the Houston Chartered Life Underwriters as well as national advisory boards for multiple insurance companies.
Ms. Madison is active in Houston philanthropic activities serving as Trustee of Madison Charitable Foundation, Past Chairman of the Houston World Affairs Council, Senior Chairman of the Houston Grand Opera, Secretary for the Board of the Alley Theatre and Secretary for the Rice University Shepherd School of Music Society. She has served on the boards for The Houston Symphony, Trees for Houston, Preservation Houston and the Advisory Boards for Baylor College of Medicine Teen Clinic and the Baylor Partnership. She has been recognized for her services by ABC/13 as a Woman of Distinction in 2011 and named Ambassador in 2014. She received the Community Pillar Award in 2012 from Preservation Houston, and named Visionary Leader by the Houston Symphony 2012 and inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame 2013.
Ms. Madison received a BA from the University of Houston and has been active in supporting the Business, Music, Athletic and Engineering Schools. She was awarded the President’s Medallion and named Distinguished Alumni in 2010. Ms. Madison was appointed to the University of Houston System Board of Regents by Governor Rick Perry in 2014 and will serve through August 31, 2015.
Carroll Robertson Ray is a native Houstonian. She attended Lamar High School and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After college and raising her family, Carroll received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center where she was an editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. Carroll currently serves as Of Counsel for Andrews Kurth LLP with a specialty in Trust and Estates and Tax Exempt Organizations. She is also the proud owner of Meadowlake Pet Resort.
Ms. Ray was raised in a family tradition of community service. Her grandfather, Hugh Roy Cullen helped found the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center contributing significant financial support as well as his time to the performing arts in Houston. Her parents, Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Smith and Corbin James Robertson were also active supporters of so many Houston institutions. Therefore, it is no surprise that Carroll has been an active participant in many community organizations over the years, including serving as the first Woman to be named Chair of the Board of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and Founder & Chair of the Children’s Assessment Center, the nationally recognized public partnership serving child victims of sexual abuse. She was appointed to the Board of Regents for the University of Houston System by Governor Perry where she served as Chair of the Board. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and sits on the boards of Houston Ballet, Houston Museum of Natural Science and Texas Children’s Hospital Advisory Board, among others.
Moderator Linda Lorelle is a two-time Emmy Award winning journalist who anchored the evening news for nearly 17 years at KPRC-TV. Ms. Lorelle is also a two-time winner of the Gracie Award, given by the American Women in Radio and Television, The Stanford graduate currently moderates the weekly political talk show, “Red, White & Blue” on Houston PBS and running Lorelle Media, her multimedia production company dedicated to the art of storytelling. Ms. Lorelle has been recognized through a variety of awards: the Chron’s & Colitis Gold Key Award, the Whitney M. Young Humanitarian Award, M.D. Anderson’s Loving Hearts Caring Hands Award and the Houston Treasure Award, among others. Linda was named a Woman of Distinction in 2010 and was inducted into the first class of the Greater Houston Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009. She co-founded the Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund with her husband, Lou Gregory, which has awarded more than $3 million in college scholarships to Houston area students.