Houston Arts Groups Begin Tallying Damage From Hurricane Harvey

Although news continues to develop, the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) and the Houston Ballet, which share space at the Wortham Theater Center, have suffered flooding damage from Hurricane Harvey at that facility.

At the time this article was written, the HGO’s website has been out of service for two days and scattered reports have been coming in about known damage.

In advance of the storm, the ballet moved costumes up to the main stage level:

Operawire.com reports the basement is completely flooded while KHOU-TV news tweeted that floodwaters have reached two main performance areas.

One Twitter user posted a video showing flooding from Sunday evening at the Theater District Garage, which is only two short blocks from Wortham:

Slippedisc.com reports the building’s generators have been shut down and if there’s one good lesson to learn from the flooding of Nashville Symphony’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center in 2010, mold can become one of the greatest concerns. The longer power remains unavailable, the more that problem becomes paramount.

If you aren’t already aware, several Houston arts organizations endured terrible damage in 2001 when Tropical Storm Allison passed through that area. The Houston Symphony suffered some of the worst damage but the HGO and Houston Ballet had their fair share of flooding damage as well.

As the storm subsides, we’re certain to see numerous support efforts develop in the wake of official news updates. Stay tuned for updates here as they develop.

UPDATE 2/29/17, 10:15am CT

The HGO posted the following update on their Facebook page:

HURRICANE UPDATE from HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech and Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers Our great…

Posted by Houston Grand Opera on Monday, August 28, 2017


About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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