This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on April 9, 2019.
The Spring season is bouncing into the Bayou City with Houston Ballet’s first-ever Nutcracker Market Spring Spectacular.
The Ballet’s Christmas Nutcracker Market is now one of the most anticipated events in Houston. Since beginning in 1981, the annual tradition has come to mark the start of the Houston holiday season, filled with enthusiasm, imagination and dreams for shoppers.
Patsy Chapman arrived at the Houston Ballet in 1989 and today leads the Nutcracker Market. We chatted with her ahead of the Spring Spectacular.
Who are some recognizable merchants at the Spring Spectacular?
We are so excited to have some longtime Nutcracker Market merchants join us. The Round Top Collection, a Nutcracker Market staple which has been with us for over 25 years, will be there. The Brookwood Community and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Children’s Art Project, both of which have been with us for almost 30 years and are also nonprofit organizations. I love it when nonprofits help nonprofits! Also attending will be The Royal Standard, Signs for Design, The Write Designs, Glenda Gies Designs and Amy B’s, just to name a few.
How does the Market help the Houston Ballet Foundation?
All proceeds from our ticket sales, plus 11% of everything you buy at the Market, go directly to benefit Houston Ballet, its Academy and scholarship programs. These funds allow the Ballet to bring arts education to Houston-area schools, provide free programming, performances, and classes to students, and support the national and international touring of its company. So, you’re supporting the Houston arts community while you shop… how fun is that?
What types of programs are offered through the Academy’s Education and Community Engagement?
We offer a variety of performances and dance classes, most of which are free of charge, both on school campuses and at the Houston Ballet Center for Dance.
Our Adapted Dance programs take existing Houston Ballet Education and Community Engagement programs and adapt them to populations with specific needs. For example, we offer free classes for children with Down Syndrome to emphasize strength and balance while encouraging creative expression and teamwork.
Also, in partnership with the Houston Area Parkinson’s Society, fun and energizing classes allow students to tap into their creativity and apply some of the ground-breaking approaches that are proving to benefit those with Parkinson’s.
It’s heartwarming to know that funds raised from our Markets are supporting incredible programs like these.
What are the differences between the Spring event and the event in November?
During the Nutcracker Market, we host a few different special events including an opening night Preview Party, a Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon, and a Macy’s Fashion Show and Luncheon.
The Spring Spectacular will not have any special events. Just three days of glorious shopping bliss! The merchandise for both shows differs due to the time of year. The Nutcracker Market is more holiday-themed, while the Spring Spectacular will be more seasonal (think spring and summer holidays, vacations, graduations and more).
Will the Spring Spectacular become an annual event?
We hope so! We want to continue to raise much-needed funding for Houston Ballet Foundation and by adding this show in the spring, we think we can. It’s something we have talked about for more than 10 years. We are so excited to bring this brand-new shopping experience to life, and we know it will be a lot of fun.