With so many new kinds and avenues of entertainment to occupy their time, it is not surprising that people sometimes forsake the traditional ones. Movie attendance throughout Houston has dropped precipitously over the course of the last twenty years, leading some theater owners to describe the situation as a crisis. The sport of golf, once a true mainstay of the area and of the business world, in particular, now seems to be on a truly terminal trajectory of decline.

There are other forms of entertainment, though, that are managing to thrive, despite having lost much of their luster with the public at large. Classical music, opera, and adopted animals ballet, for example, reached their peak in terms of mass popularity sometime in the 1950s in Houston. Despite the fact that fewer people today enjoy attending these events, there is still a vibrant scene in the area.

In order to maintain that level of vitality, people who love such arts have had to become resourceful. For centuries, these forms of music and performance were supported largely through patronage, where wealthy benefactors gave artists stipends that allowed them to focus on their craft. Although most orchestras, opera groups, and ballet troupes still rely for much of their financial support on ticket sales, a newer form of patronage is becoming increasingly important to them.

That can be seen in the activities of local business leaders like Haidar Barbouti. A real estate developer by vocation, Haidar Barbouti is also an involved member of Houston's wider community, having devoted time and resources to a number of charitable causes. As described at Haidar Barbouti's official website, he has also worked alongside others in the effort to put some of the city's most accomplished artists onto firmer financial footing.

A recent fundraiser for a local ballet company detailed at haidarbarbouti.org, for example, gave that group the money needed to ensure that its preparations for an upcoming tour would not be wasted. Needing to coordinate the lives and activities of a number of dedicated dancers, the company's leaders were unwilling to make promises that financial realities would not allow them to keep.

By raising enough money to ensure that financial problems would not make the tour impossible, then, the fundraisers essentially helped to make it happen. Although ballet is not as popular among the masses as it once was, it is clear that it remains an important part of the broader cultural landscape. Efforts of this kind, then, contribute to the health of the heritage that all Houstonians enjoy.