Due to damage and repairs required as a result of Hurricane Beryl, the Rothko Chapel is closed indefinitely; the Welcome House will open 11am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Please continue to check our website for updates related to opening hours as we will update as more information becomes available. 

Press Release


November 30, 2021




Houston, TX – The numbers are just in and it is official: Illumination: Rothko Chapel’s 50th Anniversary Gala, which took place earlier this month, has raised $600,000 to support the Chapel’s mission – more money than any other single event in the organization’s history.


“The gala has always been one of the Chapel’s most important fundraisers and proceeds from this event support the Chapel’s work as a premier cultural and human-rights institution, while at the same time facilitating the responsible stewardship of the extraordinary art and historic architecture in our care,” says David Leslie, the Chapel’s Executive Director. “This has never been truer than at this moment, as we emerge from the pandemic and have ever-more-urgent issues of justice to investigate.”


These critical funds allow the Rothko Chapel to better fulfill its mission to invite spiritual contemplation and engagement regardless of faith, spiritual or religious background. Since its founding, the Rothko Chapel has invited interfaith celebration and contemplation and is a space that welcomes and encourages the consideration of social issues. “The opportunity to celebrate the Chapel’s golden anniversary and the completion of phase one of our Opening Spaces capital campaign, as well as to honor a slate of remarkable community leaders, made the night feel extra special,” explains Leslie.


For more than 50 years, the Rothko Chapel has been a unique part of Houston’s cultural landscape and spiritual community, with programming that fosters mutual understanding and the importance of the arts, while addressing critical global human rights issues.


The event, which was held at The Post Oak Hotel in Houston on November 6, was attended by more than 450 people, including many of Houston’s most prominent philanthropists. The event honored:

  • Lori Cohen, advocate for survivors of human trafficking & Christopher Rothko, Rothko Chapel Opening Spaces Campaign Chair;
  • Daniella & Carlos Correa and the Correa Family Foundation;
  • Reverends Juanita & Rudy Rasmus, community leaders and pastors of St. John’s Downtown Church in Houston.


Joining on the stage to welcome these honorees was Master-of-Ceremonies, Christine Noël, KPRC anchor, and Rothko Chapel Board Chair Michael R. Piana. Houston Councilwoman Abbie Kamin delivered a proclamation in honor of the Chapel’s 50th Anniversary. Presenting the awards to the honorees were President & CEO of Houston Area Women’s Center Emilee Whitehurst, Ignacio Torras and Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston. Serving as the Presenting Sponsors of the evening were the Muriel Pollia Foundation and TokenSociety.io. Following the program, the party began with music by DJ T!NA.


The art auction curated by Barbara Davis of Barbara Davis Gallery generated more than $100,000 in revenue for the organization. Bidding was offered exclusively through Artsy with winning bidders spanning from coast to coast with one work ending up in the home of a collector in Hong Kong. The silent auction of luxury items and experiences was chaired by Christina and Troy Porter with Steve Wyatt and Joyce Echols.


Among those in attendance were:


Event Co-Chairs/ Sanford L. Dow and Isabel and Ignacio Torras


Auction Co-Chairs/ Joyce Echols and Steve Wyatt; Christina and Troy Porter Auction Chairs; Barbara Davis of Barbara Davis Gallery


Attendees/ Maconda and Sacha Abinader; Mary and Bernando Arocha; Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl; Frederika Brecht; Hiram Butler; Mara and Erick Calderon; Brian Ching; Terry and Martin Cominsky; Daniella Correa; Jim and Whitney Crane; Gayle and Mike DeGeurin; Martha and Blake Eskew; Alison de Lima Greene; Melanie Lawson and John Guess; Dr. Ricardo Flores; Ann and J. Kent Friedman; Virginia and Lee Lahourcade; Nancy Littlejohn; Trini Mendenhall; Micheline and German Newall; Judy and Scott Nyquist; Marilyn Oshman; Carrie and Al Pepi; Jessica Phifer; Lauren Rottet ; Hannah and Seth Siegel-Gardner; Christopher Gardner and Gary Tinterow; Phoebe and Bobby Tudor; Lynn and Allen Turner; James Vincent; and Lynn Wyatt.


Also at the event were partners and staff from Architecture Research Office, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, and Linbeck Group – the team which is overseeing the design and construction of the restoration of the Chapel itself and the expansion of the overall campus.


A link to images of the event can be found here.

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