Franci Neely says she's always been drawn to art. The Houston philanthropist spent her childhood days composing elaborate stories and plays, then sharing those original tales with an eager audience of neighborhood children. Neely explains that although she didn't pursue performing arts beyond college, it's still a passion of hers, and she says she now enjoys giving back to the arts philanthropically.
Once a partner at Susman Godfrey LLP, the University of Texas at Austin School of Law graduate spent more than 20 years as a business litigator. She shares that the experience taught her the importance of selecting a theme, sticking with a theme, and developing that theme.
Neely is on the boards of Moody Center for the Arts and Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. The Texan also helped found the Houston Cinema Arts Society and is also on the Menil Foundation board of trustees. The Menil Collection art museum in Houston offers free admission to all and myriad ongoing exhibitions.