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New Orleans’ Garden District Is Transported to Houston For a $600,000 Performing Arts Night

Rolling Into a Kaleidoscope Ball

BY // 04.04.23

While the theme of the Performing Arts Houston Kaleidoscope Ball was “A Night in the Garden District,” the mood was clearly laissez le bon temps rouler. The evening began on Fish Plaza outside of Wortham Theater Center where Southern cocktails provided the joie de vivre and sounds from a second line band set the stage for the New Orleans style evening.

The band with traditional susaphone, saxaphone, drums and more led a spirited parade to Wortham Center’s Grand Foyer where Spanish moss (the real thing), hanging vines, Tivoli lights and bountiful florals, all in the hands of Rebekah Johnson of Bergner Johnson, set the stage.

Performing Arts Houston Kaleidocsope Ball chairs Mignon & Steve Gill (Photo by Jacob Power)

The theme was no surprise as gala chairs Mignon and Steve Gill, after graduating from Rutgers University, both earned their law degrees in Louisiana. She at LSU and he at Tulane. They began their live together in New Orleans before moving to Houston to raise their family.

The duo was part of Franco Valobra’s Mardi Gras entourage when Valobra served as King of Hermes in New Orleans in 2022. Valobra Master Jewelers’ Kristen Cannon served as auction chair for the gala which earned $600,000 for the beloved arts organization previously known as Society for the Performing Arts. Further, Valobra provided a stunning diamond pendant necklace for the raffle.

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Maria & Omar Alaoui, auction chair Kristen Cannon at Performing Arts Houston Kaleidoscope Ball.(Photo by Jacob Power)

Jackson & Company provided the tasty New Orleans gala food.

Adding to the Crescent City vibe was music from jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport of the Davenport Lounge in the New Orleans Ritz-Carlton. The “kaleidoscope” of entertainment included dinner jazz music by students from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and after-party spins from DJ Corey Greene. That late night fête rocked on until 1 am.


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The evening honored longtime Performing Arts Houston patrons Linda and Willie Chiang.

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Brian & Margaret Bravo at Performing Arts Houston Kaleidoscope Ball.(Photo by Jacob Power)

“Saturday night was a celebration of two incredible philanthropists and community leaders, Linda and Willie Chiang, as well as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this unique organization and it’s critical work,” Performing Arts Houston president and CEO Meg Booth says.

PC Seen: Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, Amy and Rob Pierce, Kristina Somerville, Rachelle and Jeff Ball, C.C. and Duke Ensell, Janet and Bill Swanstrom, Maria and Omar Alaoui, Margaret and Brian Bravo, Corina and Armando Perez, Marie and Alain LeNotre, Dr.Bhakti Khatri and Monsterville Horton, and Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones.

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