Houston Ballet Receives A Record-Breaking Donation

The $10 million legacy gift was presented by Margaret Alkek Williams.

By Danielle Wright

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Margaret Alkek Williams and Houston Ballet Executive Director, James Nelson.

Image: Wilson Parish

Margaret Alkek Williams' family has a longstanding reputation for giving back. Her parents, Albert and Margaret M. Alkek have made contributions to various institutions across Texas, including a $25 million donation to the Baylor College of Medicine in 1988 and a $30 million commitment to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1993. Following in her parent's footsteps, Margaret, 87, continues her family's philanthropy legacy with a generous $10 million donation to the Houston Ballet

Williams has been a supporter of the Houston Ballet for nearly two decades, starting when she joined the Houston Ballet's Board of Trustees in 1989. Her most recent donation is the highest contribution in the institution's history. The building that hosts The Houston Ballet will be renamed the Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance in honor of the record-breaking gift. Through her leadership, she's helped build the dance institution into a world-class organization. She joined the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees in 2003 and underwrote the production of Swan Lake the same year.

New downtown entrance renamed Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance. 

Image: Wilson Parish

Alkek is honored that the studio will bear her name. She shares with Houstonia how grateful she is to continue her mission of ensuring a lasting love of dance for future generations. "Dancers —from elite company members to Houston Ballet Academy students and adult students— will be able to pursue their passion in the nation's finest dance facilities, ensuring this most beautiful art form continues to thrive for our city in perpetuity," she exclaimed 

The institution has achieved acclaimed status as the country's fifth-largest ballet company. At home in Houston, the organization teaches more than one thousand students every year and produces roughly six productions

"It is because Margaret has been such a cherished friend, enlightened leader, and generous benefactor that we will meaningfully honor her legacy in perpetuity," said Houston Ballet Executive Director James Nelson in a statement. "Her significant patronage to the Houston Ballet will forever represent cornerstones of Houston Ballet's history."

The Houston Ballet, nestled in Downtown Houston's Theater District, joins The Center for Dance's black box theater, now the Margaret Alkek Williams Dance Lab, and the Jubilee of Dance Gala, now titled the Margaret Alkek Williams Jubilee of Dance, as the third institution renamed after the benefactor now called the Margaret Alkek Williams Center for Dance.

The $10 million contribution will go towards the Houston Ballet Endowment to support maintenance and their mission to flourish dance in permanence.

For more information on The Houston Ballet, visit online or their downtown location at 601 Preston St, Houston.

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