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Betting on the Gays. In a landmark move for the gaming industry, Harrah’s New Orleans has hired Richard Brower as its new director of LGBT and Ethnic Marketing. Most recently the strategic development and marketing director for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and a specialist in new technology, Brower provides consulting and expertise in Internet marketing and social media for various diverse groups. “New Orleans is regarded as a gay-friendly tourist town, so it is important we have someone in this position to make sure we are welcoming to all groups, no matter their sexual orientation or race,” said LuAnn Pappas, vice president of marketing at Harrah’s New Orleans.

Craft Woman. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft has promoted Anna Walker to the position of curator. Formerly HCCC’s first curatorial fellow, a two-year appointed position, Walker oversees all aspects of exhibitions, including traveling and in-house curated shows and related programming and events. “I’m excited to develop exhibitions emphasizing craft’s connection with contemporary issues, while continuing to respect the long tradition and history of craft in our society,” Walker said.

Opera News. Houston Grand Opera Chairman Glen Rosenbaum announced on April 9 that Houston Grand Opera had received a major donation of $4 million from The Alkek and Williams Foundation for the creation of the Margaret Alkek Williams General Director Chair Fund. “This gift, one of the largest in HGO’s 56-year history, will support the company and enhance its international reputation in perpetuity,” Rosenbaum said. The $4 million donation will be received in increments of $800,000 per year over five years.

More Opera News. After serving as general director and chief executive officer of Houston Grand Opera since its 2005-06 season, Anthony Freud is leaving HGO to become general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago. “We are enormously proud of the company’s achievements under Anthony’s leadership these past six seasons,” HGO board of directors chairman Glen Rosenbaum said. “While we are disappointed that Anthony has chosen to move on to Chicago, we wish him well in his new position.” Rosenbaum added that HGO and its board are currently working on a management succession plan.

Even More Opera News. Enrique Carreón-Robledo has been tapped as Opera in the Heights’ new artistic director, the group’s board of directors has announced. Carreón-Robledo, who conducted Don Carlo for the opera in January of this year, has also conducted throughout Europe, the Americas, and the Middle and Far East. His appointment is effective immediately.


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