The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) today announced the first awards of its digital projects grants. Let Creativity Happen! (LCH!) Digital, a redesigned initiative to “honor the innovative work artists are creating during the current COVID-19 crisis” has awarded $18,500 to eight digital projects from five Houston organizations, two art collectives, and an individual artist. The awards amount to 50% less than what the city’s first quarter budget had projected due to reduced revenue resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.
The winners are as follows: Aurora Picture Show, for Extremely Shorts Film Festival – Virtual Edition; The Ensemble Theatre, for the BOLD Online Series Raising African American Girls in a Pandemic; Houston Ballet, for Houston Ballet at Home; Houston Chamber Choir, for With One Accord Podcast; Silambam Houston, for Healing in Harmony; TEATRX –A Latinx Theatre, for The Balcony Scene in Self-Quarantine:A virtual exploration into love and isolation; Claire Drennan and Eepi Chaad, for We Are Your Friends –A Virtual Offering of Togetherness, and Deepak Doshi, for Community Journaling and the Faceless Monologue.
Projects from grant recipients include curated digital programs, live-stream events, and content re-sharing, all of which will be available online via Houston’s Cultural Events Calendar between May 1 and July 31, 2020.
“Artists and others that constitute the creative economy are a vital component of our city, especially during challenging times,” says Houston’s Mayor Turner. “We see art in every aspect of our daily lives from beautiful and functional face coverings for frontline workers to inspirational performances and works that provide joy and solace. We will continue our over three decades of support for this sector.”
Says Debbie McNulty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs: “I commend my team working quickly with the Houston Arts Alliance staff and Grants Committee to redesign this grant program so it could continue to be available to artists and organizations. We cannot make up for the financial crisis groups are facing, so we are using the funds we have to help our creative community adapt.”
Funded by the City of Houston Hotel Occupancy Tax dedicated to the arts, Let Creativity Happen! is administered by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs with the Houston Arts Alliance. The next deadline for grant applications is 12:00 pm, May 18.
Launched in December 2017, LCH! supports innovative ideas that redefine artistic boundaries and provide Houstonians and visitors alike new ways to experience art.
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.
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.