The Houston Seminar was founded in 1977 to stimulate learning and cultural awareness by sponsoring courses on political and social issues and the arts.
The non-profit organization typically offers six to eight lecture series and tours each spring and fall. Topics may include art, music, literature, dance, theater, architecture, psychology, history, politics, the environment, or current trends and events. Courses may take the form of workshops, formal lecture series, symposia, lecture/performances or guided tours. Speakers are well known in their fields and often provide new insights as well as in-depth information for their audiences.
Scheduling is varied and flexible. Courses take place at various times of day, and in various locations around the city. Some courses are complete in one or two sessions. Others meet weekly or every other week for several weeks.
Formal lectures usually include a question-and-answer period. Lecture performances feature musicians, actors, directors or critics. Guided tours provide behind-the-scenes viewing of art collections, focused community project visits, architectural walks and hidden places. Occasional study tours offer carefully planned, thoughtfully paced group travel.
A volunteer Board of Directors organizes all courses and publishes seasonal brochures and fliers. The Houston Seminar’s audience is knowledgeable and articulate; the mailing list includes about 2500 names. Attendance fees cover honoraria, expenses and overhead. Reduced fees are often available for students and teachers.