Bayou City Music Series debuts in Spring 2018 at Discovery Green, Emancipation Park, and Buffalo Bayou Park

Bun B kicks off Bayou City Music Series at Discovery Green

Discovery Green, the 12-acre park in the heart of downtown Houston, kicks off its Spring 2018 Season with the Bayou City Music Series. This new concert series honors the great jazz, blues and zydeco musicians of Houston in free concerts taking place in three parks.

  • Acclaimed Houston rapper Bun B headlines the series kickoff at Discovery Green on Thursday, March 1, with opening performances by the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) Jazz Ensemble; Milton Hopkins, B. B. King’s bandleader; and Jewel Brown, former vocalist for Louis Armstrong’s Orchestra. This event takes place on the 10th anniversary of Discovery Green’s first-ever event in 2008, “One for Doc,” a concert honoring HSPVA’s nationally recognized jazz program.
  • On Saturday, April 7, Grammy Award-winning pianist and record producer Robert Glasper returns home for his first performance at the historic Emancipation Park. The HSPVA Jazz Sextet, from Glasper’s alma mater, will open.
  • The series moves to The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park on Saturday, May 19. The lineup features the full HSPVA Jazz Band; saxophonist Grady Gaines, who has recorded with Little Richard, Sam Cooke and many others; vocalist Trudy Lynn; and the ThunderSOUL Orchestra, a 14-piece orchestra featuring former students of Conrad Johnson from Kashmere High School, which was the subject of a 2011 documentary film.

This free music series resumes in September with one more event at each park. The Bayou City Music Series is made possible by the Kinder Foundation.

Planting roots: a SPARK Park Desert Initiative update

The SPARK Park at Clear Creek ISD’s Wedgewood Elementary.

In September 2016, the Kinder Foundation and Houston Endowment gifted SPARK, a Houston-based non-profit that develops neighborhood parks on school grounds, with $5 million to increase park equity in greater Houston over the next three years. Specifically, the grant was given to impact neighborhoods in ‘park deserts’ across the region by adding and/or transforming green spaces at 30 schools in 12 independent school districts.

Just over a year later, by the close of 2017, 22 of the 30 schools have been identified, and eight will have been dedicated. Continue reading “Planting roots: a SPARK Park Desert Initiative update”

Strong public-private partnerships key to rebuilding after Harvey

Public-private partnerships like Buffalo Bayou Park provide roadmap for recovery

By: Rich and Nancy Kinder

We all should be proud of our elected officials, community leaders and citizens, who stepped up to the challenge of Harvey’s aftermath. Houston is adept at weathering the storm and quickly launching into the arduous task of cleaning up. We now must prove to ourselves and the world that we are going to recover as an even better place to live, work and play.

This is a pivotal time for our city. We have the opportunity to forge a new quality of life that is even more resilient and underscores who we know we are – a visionary, 21st-century city. Now is the time to plan for an even better Houston.

Let’s think big.

Continue reading “Strong public-private partnerships key to rebuilding after Harvey”

$5.3 Million Raised and Growing Hourly for United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund to Help Those Devastated by Harvey

From United Way of Greater Houston:

HOUSTON (Aug. 29, 2017) – Even as the flooding and evacuations continue in the Greater Houston area, donations to the United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund are growing hour by hour from an outpouring of community support.  Kinder Foundation, global energy company Anadarko, Houston Texans and NFL Foundation have each donated $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund to help those in our community most impacted by Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects.

To give to the United Way Flood Relief Fund, visit or text UWFLOOD to 41444.


“Rich and I are inspired by the way Houstonians support each other during a disaster.  We have confidence our city will come through this challenge and will be even stronger,” states Nancy Kinder, President, Kinder Foundation.  “We hope our gift will inspire others to join in the relief fund. We also want to acknowledge Mayor Turner, Judge Emmett and our state and federal leaders who have worked so hard to support Houston during this phenomenal weather event.”

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The Rededication of Historic Emancipation Park

Buffalo Soldiers Houston presentation of Colors.

On June 17, during Houston’s annual Juneteenth celebration, Emancipation Park was rededicated in front of thousands of Third Ward residents. KHOU’s Len Cannon and ABC 13’s Melanie Lawson emceed the affair, which officially commemorated the historic park’s $33.6 million renovation.

Continue reading “The Rededication of Historic Emancipation Park”

MFAH breaks ground on Nancy and Rich Kinder building

Groundbreaking for the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building. From L to R: Chris McVoy, architect; Anne Duncan, vice chair, board of trustees; Nancy Kinder; Gary Tinterow, MFAH director; Richard D. Kinder, chair, board of trustees; Steven Holl, architect. Photo by Wilson Parish.

On May 31, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston broke ground on the Nancy and Rich Kinder building for modern and contemporary art. The 165,000-square-foot structure is part of the 14-acre redesign of the Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus. 

Nancy Kinder, president of the Kinder Foundation, and Rich Kinder, chairman of the Kinder Foundation and chairman of the MFAH board of trustees, marked the occasion with shovels in the ground alongside Anne Duncan, vice chair of the board of trustees; Gary Tinterow, director of MFAH; and Steven Holl and Chris McVoy, the building’s architects.

Continue reading “MFAH breaks ground on Nancy and Rich Kinder building”

“From Rendering to Reality: The Story of Buffalo Bayou Park”

Buffalo Bayou Partnership has proudly debuted From Rendering to Reality: The Story of Buffalo Bayou Park, a chronicle of and homage to the history, people, and vision behind Buffalo Bayou Park.

With a grant from the Kinder Foundation, the 100+ page, years-in-the-making book captures the legacy of the park in a beautiful and informative coffee table book. Readers will hear from those instrumental in Buffalo Bayou Park’s inception and completion, and enjoy stunning photography of the park’s most beloved offerings.

From Rendering to Reality: The Story of Buffalo Bayou Park can be purchased at Buffalo Bayou Park’s Visitor Centers at The Water Works and Lost Lake or online at

Taking Houstonians’ pulse on traffic, crime, immigration and more

Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research released its annual Kinder Houston Area Survey on May 1. Among the findings was this point of pride for our city: the majority of Houston residents would choose to stay in the Bayou City even if given a choice to move. The 36th annual survey also revealed that traffic continues to be the dominant concern, people are less worried about crime, and are increasingly supportive of immigration and gay rights.

To read more about Houstonians’ views on life in the Houston area, crime, jobs and education, demographics, and social issues, click here.

How A $10.7 Million Grant Will Improve Education In Houston

Ruth N. López Turley, Director of Houston Education Research Consortium

How can Houston’s education pipeline produce a strong workforce?

What’s the best way to address segregation facing Houston-area schools?

How can we improve bilingual education in one of the most diverse parts of the country?

And how can we develop programs that serve all students in metro Houston, even as the region faces rising levels of concentrated poverty?

Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research will explore the answers to those types of questions, and more, thanks to a $10.7 million, seven-year grant from the Kinder Foundation announced today. Continue reading “How A $10.7 Million Grant Will Improve Education In Houston”