Courtesy: Nelson Byrd Woltz

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.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most Houston Seminar programs are being held remotely via Zoom. Scheduling is varied and flexible, with courses taking place at various times of day. 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 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.


  • Gail Adler
  • Vera Baker
  • Marcela Descalzi Brave
  • Diane Cannon
  • Barbara Catechis
  • Liz Crowell
  • Erika de la Garza
  • Anne Furse
  • Marta Galicki
  • Gastonia “Terri” Goodman
  • Sis Johnson
  • Lynn Kelly
  • Rainey Knudson
  • Marley Lott
  • Nancy Manderson
  • Hadia Mawlawi
  • Judy Nyquist
  • Gay Tigner
  • Emily Todd
  • Carlisle Vandervoort
  • Vallette Windham


  • Nancy Crow Allen
  • Bettie Cartwright
  • Jan Cato
  • Kathleen Huggins Clarke
  • Sandy Godfrey
  • Kate Hawk
  • Nancy F. Haywood
  • Pamela Howard
  • Josephine John
  • Emilie S. Kilgore
  • Gaye V. McCullough
  • Evelyn Thomas Nolen
  • Ann Norwood
  • Mary Flood Nugent
  • Beverly “Sam” Ramirez
  • Louisa Stude Sarofim
  • Anne Schlumberger
  • Jacqueline Andre Schmeal
  • Dorothea Shaddock
  • Hinda Simon
  • Barbara Sklar
  • Josephine Powell Smith
  • Ginger Teague