Public Programs at the Rothko Chapel:

Published 08/17/2015


HOUSTON – The Rothko Chapel recently invited the public to its closing concert of the Summer Sounds on the Plaza series, whichcommemorates the 10th anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by featuring music that originated in Louisiana.

Full calendar of events at the space dedicated to spirituality, art, human rights

Creole legend Ed Poullard took the stage on Thursday, Aug. 13, and the crowd enjoyed the sounds of accordion and fiddle from blankets out on the Chapel’s plaza.

“We wanted to honor the culture of Louisiana, knowing the great loss the state suffered during the hurricanes,” program director Michelle Ashton said. “In the process, we were able to showcase the cultural influence Louisiana music has on the Houston music scene.”

Bringing unique events, talented artists and first class speakers to Houston – and hosting thought-provoking and inspiring programs – are part of the primary goals of the Rothko Chapel.

Past programs have featured leaders, heroes, artists, musicians, scientists and scholars from all over the world including Amiri Baraka, President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Brice Marden, Rigoberta Menchú, Raimon Panikkar, Nelofer Pazira, Steve Reich, Jonas Salk, Amartya Sen and Susan Sontag.

The upcoming events promise to be equally thought-provoking.

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Rothko Chapel will host “A Tale of Two Cities: From the Superdome to the Astrodome” a discussion led by Sylvia Brooks, former executive director of the Houston Urban League, Omawale Luthuli Allen, a well known and respected human rights activist, and Texas State Representative Harold Dutton, a distinguished representative of Houston. The talk will be moderated by Dr. Mtangulizi Sanyika, a New Orleanian community leader and former professor at Dillard University and TSU. Each speaker played a significant role in receiving and servicing evacuees from New Orleans in Houston. A reception follows the program.

The Chapel hosts “12 Moments: Experiencing Spiritual Faith Traditions” atnoon on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Free Day of Yoga Houston will include the Chapel in its offerings, presented in partnership with the Texas Yoga Association. The practice begins at 8 a.m. onMonday, Sept. 7.

A Twilight Meditation is slated for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, led by Joseph Newland, a long-time meditator who has sat with teachers in various traditions and is a representative of the Sufi Order International.

At the end of September, the Chapel will kick off its celebration of the 2015 Óscar Romero Awards with a film screening of “Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley” and discussion, all planned in honor of the International Day of Peace.

The film explores the current economic and political situation in Honduras in the
aftermath of the 2009 coup, the continued disenfranchisement of poor peasant farmers, and the dispossession on the Caribbean coast. Dr. Christopher Loperena will share his firsthand account of the coup and host a discussion after the screening.

“We have a number of amazing, upcoming events,” Ashton said. “And every day of the year, the Chapel is open to visitors who want to meditate and reflect -- and to see the amazing paintings by Mark Rothko and view Barnett Newman’s powerful sculpture ‘Broken Obelisk.’”

In its 40 years, the Chapel has achieved recognition as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the second half of the 20th century. In 2001 the Chapel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Chapel regularly makes top ten lists of places to visit and is a featured entry in National Geographic’s “Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations,” published in 2009.

For more information about the Rothko Chapel and the full calendar of upcoming programs, workshops and events, visit or call 713-524-9839.


About the Rothko Chapel
The Rothko Chapel is open to the public every day of the year at no charge and successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of free public programs. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary. Today it stands as a monument to art, spirituality and human rights. As an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, the Chapel depends on contributions from foundations and individuals to support its mission of creating a space for contemplation and dialogue on important issues.