About the Show

The Theta Charity Antiques Show of Houston is an annual, three-day fundraising event which dynamically impacts our community in educational endeavors, medical research and cultural arts. Founded in 1952 by the Houston Alumnae of Kappa Alpha Theta, the show has opened its doors to thousands of attendees for lecture series, gala Preview Parties, luncheons, and Designers Walks, as well as access to 50 of the finest purveyors of antiques. Our exhibitors travel from across the nation and the globe, offering museum-quality pieces, found treasures, and design inspiration for a sophisticated collector.

Solely through revenue from underwriting, ticket and advertising sales, TCAS has raised more than 7 million dollars in contributions to over 100 valued beneficiaries. The Theta Charity Antiques Show receives no monies from the sale of the luxury goods displayed. This production is fueled by nearly 300 alumnae volunteers who devote their time to creating an intimate experience for attendees with a unique theme and emphasis on close ties to the community.

This distinguished event is considered one of the top three antiques shows in the country and the highest caliber show in the South.

Having attained national prominence with spectacular exhibits of museum-quality antiques, fascinating educational sessions with acclaimed experts and more than 50 leading dealers every year, the Theta Charity Antiques Show (TCAS) is a staggering undertaking.


The Beginning

With a goal of philanthropy, the Houston Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta first endeavored to raise funds in the 1940’s and 50’s through sales of crocheted coat hangers, metal polish, magazine subscriptions and a lottery for a mink stole, each to lackluster results. Then, in 1952, they took a cue from a prominent group of socialites in New York and launched the first Theta Charity Antiques Show at the Shamrock Hotel in downtown Houston.

The Coffee Pot

Ima Hogg, known as “The First Lady of Texas”, was a philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts. Also one of the most respected women of the state in the 20th century, she played an invaluable role of service to TCAS. In 1969, Theta honored Miss Ima for her countless contributions to the Houston community with the gift of a Brittania ware fine pewter coffee pot forged by the 19th century artist Roswell Gleason. These many years later, the distinctive contours of the pot remain the recognized and beloved symbol of TCAS.

Texas Children's Cancer Center

The Theta Charity Antiques Show has contributed over $2 million dollars to the Cancer Center since 1975. Beginning in 2005, these funds supported The Donald J. Fernbach Endowed Lecture Series, which brings leading researchers and scientists to the Texas Medical Center to discuss the latest discoveries, techniques and technologies. Before his death in 2013, Dr. Fernbach was quoted as saying, “The Thetas have been one of the most consistent long-term donors to our center. Their early support and generosity made it possible for us to grow this program.” In 2011, after the Fernbach Lecture Series was completely endowed, proceeds from the Show supported a research scholar program which helps a gifted young researcher during the critical period between graduation from medical school and the establishment of a successful, independently funded research program. The Kappa Alpha Theta Research Scholar is Dr. Jodi Muscal, a rising star in the field of pediatric cancer. Her research into the development of new anticancer drugs for children whose tumors do not respond to traditional frontline therapies show great promise. In 2016, TCAS pledged to help fund the next generation of leaders within the Histiocytosis Program. Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis is an autoimmune disease which is extremely rare and difficult to identify. This histiocytic disorder arises with the same frequency as more commonly recognized malignancies, such as Hodgkin’s disease, and are often fatal. TCAS will fund the first Histiocytosis Scholar, which has been awarded to Dr. Daniel Zinn. Dr. Zinn’s research project, Developing Personalized Cures for Children with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, will allow him to collect tumor samples from more than 1,000 patients, perform DNA sequencing and analyze mutations in order to better understand the disease and to test novel therapies.

Present and Future

Today, Theta Charity Antiques Show is Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae Chapter’s sole fundraising project, generating an average $200,000 annually for its beneficiaries. Over six decades later, enthusiasm for the show continues to bring new faces and precious antiques together to inspire, educate, and support the community. Dealer Fletcher-Copenhaver has called it “the best run antiques show in the country, with an amazingly high level of professionalism.”

TCAS supports four permanent beneficiaries including Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens/Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Child Advocates and the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation. Each year, our philanthropic committee receives proposals from local organizations, of which an additional four to six are selected to receive funding.

Volunteerism

TCAS is run completely by volunteers. More than 70 committee chairs and 200 volunteers from within the organization contribute their time and talent to make it a great success. Over the years, the chairmen prove strong leadership and management skills in their responsibility to maintain excitement among volunteers, the community, donors and antique dealers while juggling a myriad of organizational details. Looking to the future, Theta hopes to continue to innovate and pursue excellence, creating a show that will enlighten, inspire and entertain for generations to come.

Click here for the complete list of TCAS Beneficiaries.
Click here for more information about becoming a TCAS Beneficiary.

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