The Pavilion's History
From its first day, The Pavilion has existed to help put the arts in your hands.
George P. Mitchell, founder of The Woodlands, along with his wife Cynthia Woods Mitchell, for whom The Pavilion is named, dreamed of creating a first-class performing arts facility for The Woodlands since the community’s inception in 1974. They envisioned the facility as a venue for classical performances and educational events, as well as popular music.
The dream became a reality when The Pavilion opened with a star-studded gala weekend in April 1990. The Houston Symphony performed April 27, Frank Sinatra April 28, and Alabama with Clint Black on April 29. Since then, it has earned praise from both artists and audiences alike. The Pavilion now presents between 50 and 65 events every March through December, ranging in style from rock to classical, jazz to country, and modern opera to contemporary American ballet.
The Pavilion is also known as The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.
Today, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman is an outdoor amphitheater located in The Woodlands, TX. Surrounded by lush forests, The Pavilion provides the Greater Houston region with an array of performing arts events, educational outreach programs and contemporary entertainment.
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is the Summer Home of the Houston Symphony, the Home Away from Home of the Houston Ballet, and a presenting venue for the Houston Grand Opera and Texas Music Festival Orchestra.
The Pavilion’s national commercial attractions are produced and promoted by Live Nation. Performing arts events, including the annual Children’s Festival, are produced and promoted by The Pavilion.
Get To Know The Pavilion
The Pavilion’s main focus is fulfilling the four pillars of our core purpose. In providing a diverse selection of entertainment, The Pavilion’s events include performances by the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet, as well as contemporary acts by some of the biggest artists touring right now. Contemporary concerts are booked and promoted by our partner, Live Nation. Proceeds from these concerts, along with generous donations from corporations and individuals, are then used to provide guests the opportunity to be exposed to more classical forms of entertainment, like symphonies, operas, and ballets. Additional proceeds from our contemporary concerts help fund educational outreach programs and other community enrichment programs.
The Pavilion offers free mezzanine and lawn seating for all Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet performances, as well as free seating at the Star-Spangled Salute and Texas Music Festival Orchestra, making the arts accessible to everyone.
We believe putting the arts into the hands of our friends is the best way to create a lifelong appreciation for learning and a deep inspiration for the arts.
Educational outreach is an integral part of The Pavilion’s core purpose.
The Pavilion uses the appeal of live performances to introduce children and families, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, to the world of performing arts.
The Pavilion has developed programs to support fine arts students, offer academic and social incentives, foster new audiences and provide community enrichment opportunities.
Did you know that The Woodlands outdoor sculpture collection is the largest of its kind for an area of its size? The Pavilion hosts four of the sculptures onsite.
Commemorative Tribute to Cynthia Woods Mitchell
Sculptor: Jay Hester, Boerne, TX
Description: Cynthia Woods Mitchell reading to children. Given by her husband, George P. Mitchell, in recognition of her love for children and passion for the arts.
Installed: Mother’s Day, 2001
Commemorative Tribute to George P. Mitchell
Sculptor: Jay Hester, Boerne, TX
Description: George Mitchell with two of his grandsons. Bronze sculpture weighing between 1,200 and 1,500 lbs.
Installed: October 23, 1997
The dedication of the “Cynthia Woods Mitchell Smokedance Garden” was held April 29, 2010, prior to a Houston Symphony concert. The dedication included a butterfly release in Cynthia Mitchell’s honor.
Ode to Joy
In 2014, eight benches were installed along The Waterway as part of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council fundraiser and awareness program. The bench is located just outside of the South Gates and is named “Ode to Joy.” California artist Dan Skaggs designed the piece.
Located approximately 30 miles north of downtown Houston, The Woodlands officially opened in 1974. The Woodlands is a master-planned community with approximately 110,000 residents and approximately 2,000 businesses. The Woodlands is well known for its extensive parks and recreation, golf, corporate headquarters, schools, places of worship, shopping, dining, hospitality, healthcare and much more. Today, there are more than 130 parks and more than 200 miles of hike and bike trails.