When you think of performing arts centers in the Houston area, chances are good that your mind goes to the theater district in downtown Houston, and not to the Humble area, best known for Intercontinental Airport, Deerbrook Mall, Humble Rodeo and BBQ Cookoff and oil. In fact, if you were to ask most people in Houston where to find a good performing arts center outside of the inner loop, Humble is probably the last place anyone would mention. They'd be mistaken.
Surprisingly, the antiquated downtown area of Humble boasts a pretty cool little PAC known as The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center, formally the Charles Bender High School, built almost a century ago, in 1929. It was Humble’s only high school from 1930 through 1965. Originally built on the location of the old Humble Grammar School that was destroyed by fire in 1929, the building was designed by architect, Harry D. Payne.
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Charles Bender High School was one of the most advanced school buildings in Harris County when it opened in 1930 because it had a built-in cafeteria. It’s interesting to note that the former Texas Governor Pat M. Neff was the main speaker at the dedication ceremony on February 22, 1930.
Over the years, the building which houses the Charles Bender Performing Art Center has had many uses, all of them educational, including high school (1930-1965), middle school (1965-1972), district administration (1974-1992), and curriculum andamp; staff development (1992-2003). In 2011, Humble ISD gave the building to the City of Humble. Under Humble Mayor Donnie McMannes, the building was restored and renovated into a fully functioning Performing Arts Center in the heart of the city of Humble. Humble alumni, Scott Brady was the architect on the project.
The newly renovated Charles Bender Performing Arts Center opened in April 2015. With a full season of exceptional performing and visual arts for the entire community to enjoy, the Bender has become a top entertainment spot for renowned artists from across the country. Some recent and upcoming performances include the likes of The Fab 5 tribute to The Beatles, Sarah Grace andamp; The Soul, The annual Night At The Ballet with Vitacca Dance Project, Urban Achievers Brass Band, a gospel performance by Vicki Yohe andamp; Orchestra Holiday Concert and much more. Check out our events section for upcoming events at The Charles Bender PAC by simply searching "Bender" in the calendar search.
Follow the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center on Facebook and Instagram or on their website.
The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center is located at 611 Higgins Street in downtown Humble and can be reached by phone at 281-446-4140
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