June 30, 2022 -- The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) announced today that it is awarding $328,700 in grants to 18 individuals and six arts and culture nonprofit organizations with fiscally sponsored projects that are offering public exhibitions, presentations and performances in 2022.
"Houston artists and organizations play a vital role in ensuring our residents have equal access to to the arts and festivals," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "These grant programs show the City’s continued support of the arts and foster an environment in which art and culture flourish for the sharing and benefit of all residents and visitors."
The funds were awarded through the Support for Artists and Creative Individuals and the Festival grant programs, which supports individuals, nonprofit organizations, and fiscally sponsored projects with funds for annual arts and cultural programming that is available to Houston residents and visitors. These competitive grant programs are managed and administered annually by the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and are funded by a portion of the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT).
All applications received by the published deadline are reviewed through a two-step process. First, applications are reviewed by HAA staff for objective eligibility criteria. For example, the applicant must be based in the City of Houston and must offer publicly accessible programs during the time the grant will be active. Second, all eligible applications are read and scored by panelists, who are experts in the arts and community vetted through the HAA Grants Committee of the Board of Directors. Each year, HAA assembles between 50 and 120 panelists, depending on the number of applications that must be read and scored. Panelists include artists, arts managers, community leaders with engagement or passion for the arts, arts audience members, philanthropists, and other members of the arts community.
The competitive grants programs also include an annual improvement process that begins in January of each year. All aspects of the competitions are updated based on community input and City goals. The staff of HAA launches each competition through social media and newsletter publicity, and then conducts several public workshops about the process and how to create a competitive application. Competitions are open to the public for several weeks, during which the HAA staff takes meetings and phone calls upon request and answers email questions from potential applicants.
About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA)
The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs guides the City’s cultural investments with policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment. Learn more at www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.
About Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts and culture organization whose principal work is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grantmaking and civic art investments. HAA’s work is conducted through contracts with the City of Houston, overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. HAA also executes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparation, research on the state of the arts in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods. In short, HAA helps artists and nonprofits be bold, productive, and strong.