In 1979, a group of visionary Houstonians, led by the Honorable Roy M. Huffington and future First Lady Barbara Bush, founded Asia Society Texas Center (ASTC). Currently one of eleven Asia Society Centers worldwide, ASTC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization serving not only Houston but the entire southeastern United States. While a part of the global Asia Society family, ASTC is its own 501(c)(3) and generates its own funding. The Society’s mission is to be truly Pan-Asian, focusing on cultural, economic and educational programs.
In 2010, ASTC broke ground on a new 40,000 square-foot facility in the Museum District (with chapters all over the globe, Asia Society currently has only one cultural center, in New York City). The organization engaged Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi to design a showcase building consisting of a theater, exhibit spaces (for touring exhibits from the Society’s Rockefeller Collection), meeting and event rooms, interactive resource and education center and staff offices.
In June 2010, Asia Society Texas Center engaged AMS Planning & Research to develop a business plan in preparation for Asia Society’s move into their new facility. An outgrowth of AMS’s original 2006 feasibility study and operating plan, the business plan was designed to enable Asia Society to realize a sustainable business model over the transition period and grand opening of their new facility. As Asia Society Texas Center approached the opening and operation of its own building for the first time, the organization was poised to experience considerable growth and had the opportunity to refine its vision, understand the distance between its existing operation and desired business model and employ successful strategies to achieve the required progress.