I’m in Houston this week for work. Got in at (ugh) 2:30 am local time Monday morning and sped off to my hotel in a shuttle van, which is how I first saw this:
This is Lakewood Church, the largest megachurch in the US today. It seats 16,000 at one time; over 40,000 people attend weekly services there. Joel Osteen is the pastor. I couldn’t find a picture of the exterior that shows how large it is, but trust me, it’s massive. In fact, it used to be the Houston Rockets’ stadium. They don’t do a lot of small in Houston.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about re-purposed spaces, so this story really grabs me. Compare the stadium-cum-megachurch space with this fairly typical Lower Manhattan space grant. Begs the question of paradigm shift: how could theater, performance art, and dance pieces exist in a space the size of Lakewood? If you were given an old basketball stadium as a permanent artistic home, what would you create or curate there?