Winifred Wallace, one of the original members of the Houston Ballet Foundation, had a dream: to build a women’s auxiliary, or guild, to assist the goals and needs of the Foundation. Her dream came true on January 22, 1973, when the Houston Ballet Guild held its first meeting.
Houston Ballet Guild was blessed at its inception with a group of dedicated volunteers and supporters. Guided by the spirit of Winnie Wallace, many of the original members remained active for years and inspired the growth of our membership.
Houston Ballet Guild has grown from its original membership of 22 to more than 380 members with an active board of more than 50 women and men. Over the years, the Guild has expanded its commitment to the company and the academy, and has grown in its importance to the Houston Ballet Foundation. The Guild provides and array of volunteer services and significant financial support (through Nutcracker Market revenue, membership dues and donations), along with events and programs designed to educate and to generate community interest in dance.
The Guild hosts the phenomenal Nutcracker Market each year – which since its inception in 1981 has contributed more than $68.5 million for Houston Ballet Foundation. In 2016, the group raised more than $50,000 to support the stunning new production of The Nutcracker by artistic director Stanton Welch AM and has donated generously toward Houston Ballet Foundation’s Endowed Artistic Positions Fund. The Guild has also contributed more than $50,000 to the Capital Campaign and is recognized on the Donor Wall in the lobby of the Houston Ballet Center for Dance. And, for decades, the Guild has contributed $10,000 annually towards production costs for Houston Ballet News.