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Franci Neely Helps Bring Cameroon Art Exhibit to Houston


If you had to make a list of some of the most fascinating art museums in all of Houston, the Menil Collection would undoubtedly be right at that op.

Located right in the heart of Houston, it spans over 30 acres of space and includes a main gallery building that is surrounded by four additional museums. It regularly holds exhibitions of all types, all in an effort to make art accessible to the widest possible audience.

One such exhibit is called “Art of the Cameroon Grassfields, A Living Heritage in Houston.” It is taking place in the main building and it runs from February 17, 2023 to July 9, 2023. It was made possible in large part thanks to the enthusiastic contributions of local philanthropists and art lovers, with Houston local Franci Neely being chief among them. All told, it’s a very exiting exhibit to have on display for a wide range of different reasons, all of which are worth a closer look.

Celebrating Art in Houston: An Overview

As mentioned, the exhibit itself debuted in February with a question and answer session from Cameroonian artist Herve Youmbi. It was certainly a night to remember, filled with fascinating insights and a unique perspective on the world. Those who attend the exhibit can continue to browse his various art displays that include not only head dresses but also things like hats, sculptures, royal stools, and more.

All of this is put together in an effort to not only appreciate the arts, but this unique cultural heritage as well. The official language of the country is French (although most people also speak English to some degree) and it was home to an estimated 29 million people as of 2022.

This is also another in a long line of examples of how committed Franci Neely is to bringing art to as many people as she can. Once upon a time, she actually wanted to pursue a career as an actress. After realizing that this might make it difficult to financially support herself, she decided to begin a career in corporate law instead. She worked tirelessly for over 20 years, finally reaching a position of partner with Susman Godfrey, LLP. This was one of the most notable boutique law firms in the United States with offices in many major cities – although Franci Neely was lucky enough to work primarily out of the office based in her home of Houston.

Once she decided to leave the legal profession behind, she immediately returned to her true passion: the arts. She helped establish the Houston Cinema Arts Society, for example. She’s also a board member of the Moody Center for the Arts and the Menil Foundation.

Franci Neely is also directly involved with the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Here, she works on not one but two subcommittees that were put together in an attempt to increase the visibility of Islamic-based works of art as much as possible.

She’s also started the Franci Neely Foundation, which is designed to support the Islamic arts, photography, and film. Over the last few years, the Franci Neely Foundation has even created scholarships for young local musicians that want to take part in Nucleo London’s social action program.


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