Dr. Devinder & Gina Bhatia at a Houston Symphony Wine Auction fundraiser at The Astorian. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Dr. Devinder & Gina Bhatia are keen supporters of Houston Ballet and the Houston Symphony. (Photo by Wilson Parish)
Dr. Devinder and Gina Bhatia with Jay Jones in 2016 when they chaired the Houston Ballet Ball.
With Houston Symphony concerts relegated to virtual experiences and Houston Ballet performances on hold until December, Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia are among those performing arts patrons lamenting the devastating effects of COVID-19 on their favorite arts groups.
In this fifth in a series about those who are going the extra length to help support the performing arts during the coronavirus crisis, we visit with the Bhatias, who are ardent supporters.
The thoracic surgeon and his wife, a two-time Houston Best Dressed honoree, are long-time supporters of the ballet and the symphony. Gina serves as a board member and trustee for Houston Ballet while Devinder holds those positions with the Houston Symphony. The duo chaired the Ballet Ball in 2016, a stellar evening that earned $1 million for ballet coffers, and in 2014 they chaired the symphony Wine Dinner & Collectors’ Auction, bringing in their pal chef extraordinaire Wolfgang Puck to oversee the dinner.
‘These organizations are extremely important to us, as we believe in their success and they have so much to offer to everyone in our great city,” Gina tells PaperCity. “Houston is fortunate to be able to experience so much joy, on so many levels, within the arts.”
Like the other art loving couples featured this series, the Bhatias are fearful of what the pandemic fallout will be longterm. Finances are the key to survival of all performing arts groups and widespread community support is needed.
“Sadly, the struggles within the arts are financial, as most organizations are suffering these days,” Gina notes. “The performers are unable to perform and share their talents doing what they love. The patrons are unable to attend and enjoy the experience of the ballet and the symphony.
“The professionals and students are losing precious time rehearsing as they prepare for the next performance or showcase. Continuing to support these fabulous organizations is a necessity now, more than ever. ”
The Bhatias have been “hunkering down,” observing the safer-at-home guidelines and acting safely and responsibly since the March shutdowns.
Lamenting the loss of a graduation celebration, parties, vacations and performances from their beloved arts groups, the Bhatias say, “At the end of the day, we knew we had each other and that in exchange for all the lost happenings during the quarantine, we were given the best gift all, one that we could never have dreamed of.”
That gift, as many parents of teens and college students have remarked, is time together as a family.
“Tons of quality time that we would have never gotten otherwise in the busy spring months,” Gina says. “We have been cooking a lot and having lots of family meals together. The extra time together has been a gift and a blessing that we will forever be grateful for.
“We have been, however, extremely saddened by so much life lost and so many affected by the virus. We are praying for all.”