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A Note From Mark Folkes, President & CEO

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Dear friends,

Last month the Hobby Center welcomed back, for the first time since 2020, school buses full of students to attend the Discovery Series, a matinee performance series provided completely gratis to local schools. We partnered with Main Street Theater to present performances of Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! The Musical! in Zilkha Hall. Each show was at full capacity with a waiting list for participation! It was a complete joy for our team to welcome students back to the Hobby Center in this way—many visiting for the first time and having their first professional performing arts experiences.

In April another Hobby Center program took centerstage in a big way: touch tours! This initiative was created by the Hobby Center team in 2015 to deepen the experience of visually impaired patrons at Broadway Series performances. Before select performances, participants are invited to join cast and creative team members on stage to experience the sets, costumes and props up close, ultimately deepening connection to the physical environment that is the play. NBC News took interest and featured a profile of this initiative on the Weekend Today Show last month. You can check it out here.

Also last month we welcomed students from Hamilton Middle School as part of a partnership with Writers in the Schools, a Houston nonprofit that connects children and youth with professional writers and spoken word artists to unlock the joy and power of storytelling and creative expression. This partnership, focused on the touring production of To Kill a Mockingbird on stage at Sarofim Hall, invited students for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Hobby Center and the opportunity to learn more about careers in the arts from production to operations to administration. This program was made possible through generous support of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Each of these programs demonstrate the impact the Hobby Center has beyond connecting audiences to the greatest from Broadway and beyond. The support of donors like you makes this impact and so much more possible.

Thanks for being part of the Hobby Center community.

Mark Folkes
President & CEO

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