Asia Society Texas Center

Upcoming events at Asia Society Texas Center

Pakistan Arts and Culture Series

In Honor of Richard C. Holbrooke

Riyaaz Qawwali

Riyaaz Qawwali

Riyaaz Qawwali 

A concert of devotional music

Austin-based ensemble Riyaaz Qawwali presents a performance of the Islamic devotional music known as Qawwali on Saturday, April 2, at the Rothko Chapel.  


Rooted in South Asia but with a history stemming from Persia, the tradition is associated with Sufism, a mystical and devotional branch of Islam. Qawwali combines lively rhythmic cycles with soaring melody and improvisational poetry.


Presented in partnership with Rothko Chapel, the performance is the first in Asia Society Texas Center's three-part Pakistan Arts and Culture Series in honor of Richard C. Holbrooke, diplomat and former Asia Society global board chair.


The concert is part of the annual Menil Community Arts Festival, which features films, concerts, readings, and workshops hosted by nonprofit organizations in the neighborhood around the Menil Collection. For more information, visit  


Saturday, April 2, 2011 | 1 p.m. 

Rothko Chapel

1409 Sul Ross | Click for directions  

Admission is free with seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration not required.                  

modern poetry of pakistan

Modern Poetry of Pakistan (Dalkey Archive Press, $16.95 paperback)

Contributors to new poetry anthology

to explore variety of Pakistani verse

Join three contributors to the just released anthology Modern Poetry of Pakistan for readings and a discussion of the variety and richness of contemporary Pakistani poetry at 7 p.m. on May 3, at the United Way of Greater Houston.


Fahmida Riaz, a noted poet and feminist who writes in Urdu, and Hasina Gul, a well-known Pashto poet of the younger generation, will read. They will join Waqas Khwaja, a professor at Agnes Scott College and the translation editor for the volume, in a discussion of the challenges and pleasures of translating poetry across distant cultural borders.


Modern Poetry of Pakistan is the first anthology of Pakistani poetry to include contemporary work translated from seven major languages (Urdu, Bolachi, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Pashto, Seraiki, and Sindhi).


A book sale and signing will follow the event.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 |7 p.m.

United Way of Greater Houston

50 Waugh Drive | Click for directions  

Admission is free. Registration not required.   


Vision of a Buddha Paradise. Pakistan. 4th century. Schist. H. 46.9 x W. 38.2 x D. 11 in.  (119 x 97 x 28 cm). Central Museum, Lahore, G-155

Greek, Buddhist influences combine

in ancient art of Gandhara region

The art of ancient Gandhara was little known in the West until the Taliban destroyed the gigantic statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan in 2001. But it was in the Gandhara region of Pakistan (present day Bamiyan in Afghanistan, Bactria, the Hindu Kush, and the Punjab of northwest India) that the first flowering of Buddhist figural art occurred from the 1st century BCE through the 5th century CE.


Dr. Pia Brancaccio, Associate Professor of Art History at Drexel University, shows how Gandharan art blended the idealized beauty of the human form expressed in Greek sculpture with the artistic traditions of India, Iran, and Central Asia to create a global style that significantly contributed to the worldwide spread of Buddhism. Brancaccio will speak at 6:30 p.m. on June 9 in the Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.


The program is cosponsored by Asia Society Texas Center and the MFAH.  





Thursday, June 9, 2011 | 6:30 p.m. 

Brown Auditorium | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

1001 Bissonnet | Click for directions  

Admission is free. Registration not required.   

Asia Society Texas Center is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.


Special thanks to Mr. Riaz Siddiqi of Houston for his support of the Pakistan Arts and Culture Series.

HAA Logo   city of houston  rothko MFAH 

Programs coming in Spring 2011

Amb Singh

Ambassador Swashpawan Singh


The India Story:  

Increasing Engagement with the World

Swashpawan Singh, India's former ambassador to Kuwait and to the United Nations in Geneva, will deliver a breakfast briefing on India's increasing engagement with the world on Monday, March 28, at the Hess Club. Ambassador Singh was India's first consul general to Houston and has many friends in the area.  


India's growing economic, diplomatic, and military power has turned the nation into a key player, not only in South Asia, but globally as well.  It enjoys the second fastest-growing major economy and has lucrative business ties with countries around the world. A strong and positive relationship with India is essential to U.S. interests in South Asia.


Asia Society Texas Center is co-sponsoring the event with the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and The World Affairs Council of Houston.   




Monday, March 28, 2011 

Registration and breakfast buffet 7:30 a.m. | Program 8-9 a.m.

The Hess Club
5430 Westheimer | Click for map     


World Affairs Council members: $15, Nonmembers: $25  

Purchase tickets online 

Asia Society members: use promo code AsiaS  when registering online as a nonmember and receive World Affairs Council member price.  

Nina Godiwalla crop

Nina Godiwalla

BP Diversity Series  

Nina Godiwalla, author of  

Suits: A Woman on Wall Street

Author Nina Godiwalla discusses her experiences as a driven young woman entering the world of investment banking in New York City. Godiwalla's memoir explores the challenges she faced as an Asian American woman and how she reconciled her need for success with her Asian parents' expectations and the high-stress environment of the investment banking world.


Thursday, April 7, 2011 | 7 p.m.

United Way of Houston

50 Waugh Drive | Click for directions


Asia Society members free, Nonmembers $5      Register online  

dance salad

Scene from All River Red, performed by Beijing Dance/LDTX

Dance Salad Festival features

two Asian themed performances

Beijing Dance/LDTX and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company with the Ahn Trio will be among the performers at the 2011 Dance Salad Festival April 21, 22, and 23 at the Wortham Center. Asia Society Texas Center is a community partner in the annual festival, which showcases national and international dancers representing diverse dance traditions.


Beijing Dance/LDTX will perform three works, including All River Red, the company's signature piece. Created by husband and wife choreographers Li Han-zhong and Ma Bo, it interprets Stravinsky's Rite of Spring as symbol of the struggle in China to develop contemporary dance. Beijing Dance/LDTX performs at 7:30 p.m. all three nights.


Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, led by Taiwanese choreographer Nai-Ni Chen, joins the Ahn Trio from Korea and New York at 7:30 p.m. April 21 and 22 to present a groundbreaking collaborative work, Temptation of the Muses. As the trio plays live on stage, dancers slide in and around them as if propelled by the music.


Thursday, April 21-Saturday, April 23, 2011 | Performance 7:30 p.m.

Wortham Center

501 Texas Avenue | Click for directions 


Tickets: $20-$50   

Buy tickets online  

Asia Society Texas Center members: use promotional code AS2011 when purchasing online and receive 10% discount. 


For complete information on the Dance Salad Festival visit

Community Events in March

The Iranian Cultural Foundation is hosting the annual Norwuz Festival, celebrating the Persian New Year on March 20, 1-9 p.m., at Discovery Green.  

Event details and buy tickets 

The Ismaili Council for the Southwestern United States presents a special lecture: Splendors of the Fatimid Court, by Dr. Francesca Leoni, Curator of the Arts of the Islamic World at MFAH. Sunday, March 20, 3 p.m.

RSVP online | Event details 

More Information  

We are moving to our new building in the Museum District in 2012. Watch a new video that highlights the Texas Center's arts and culture programming in preparation for our opening.


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Japan Earthquake Relief Information    

You can donate your Continental frequent flyer miles to Japan Earthquake relief. Continental Airlines makes it easy to donate unused OnePass miles online. Your gift goes to help meet the transportation needs of the American Red Cross:  

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You may donate directly to the Red Cross:  

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Asia Society also recommends donating to the relief effort through the Japan Society's relief fund.  

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Please send Japan Society an accompanying e-mail at

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indicating that you are providing support as part of the Asia Society family.