Houston Arts Alliance to Administer $2 Million in Relief Funds for Houston Creative Businesses

by Christopher Blay August 20, 2020
Fade to Black Play Festival-Photo Credit-Rudy Mui

Fade to Black Play Festival-Photo Credit:Rudy Mui.

Two million dollars in relief funding will be made available to Houston creative businesses facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding for the City of Houston CARES Act Program for Arts and Culture includes $2 million from the City’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston City Council announced the approval yesterday.

“The arts and cultural sectors have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic and we need everyone to keep fighting to survive and be part of the city’s recovery,” says Mayor Turner. “Houston would not be the vibrant city that it is without the many artists and organizations serving our community and making it a cultural destination like no other.”

The 1,236 creative businesses that have already been vetted for grants from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) for COVID-related business losses will be eligible. Individual Houston artists may apply for up to $1,000, while nonprofit organizations will be eligible for up to $15,000 each.

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) has been selected by MOCA to administer the funds and to begin accepting, processing, and ranking applications. Funds will be distributed to awarded business by HAA in September, with HAA notifications to the 1,236 applicants sent out next Monday, August 24. Organizations and individuals who need to verify eligibility may go here.

“The grants system through HAA is able to review applications from a large number of creative organizations quickly,” says Deborah McNulty, Director of MOCA. “Over the last several years, MOCA has worked with HAA to update the grant processes to be more transparent and equitable. The 2020 grant pool is the most diverse it has ever been, including 32 percent first-time applicants and 53 percent with projects, programs, and overall missions that serve historically underserved communities.”

Houston Mayor's Office of cultural Affairs file Photo

For more information about COVID-19-related emergency funds or the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, please go here.


Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts, and culture organization whose principle 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 Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.


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