Houston’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Awards Nearly $200K to Individuals and Nonprofits

by Jessica Fuentes October 18, 2023

The City of Houston’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) has announced awards to individuals and nonprofits totaling $100,000 via the City’s Initiative program and $99,500 through the Let Creativity Happen! grant program. 

This marks the second round of grants in 2023. Both granting programs are administered by the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and are funded by the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax.

A photograph of a large puppet walking through a crowd of people.

A program presented by City’s Initiative grant recipient, DiverseWorks

The City’s Initiative (CI) grants support programs in three areas, including projects that raise awareness and preparedness for disasters like flooding, electricity disruption, and food deserts; projects that aid community growth; and projects that relate to conference tourism. This year’s ten awardees include performances, workshops, and cultural events by organizations such as DiverseWorks and the Indo-American Association Houston and individual artists like Jaleen Baker and Luana Da Silva.

In a press release, Mayor Sylvester Turner said, “I am proud to see the diversity in awardees for the City’s Initiative. This signature grant program of the city is especially close to my heart as it lifts up the core values I hold dear: equity, inclusion, and diversity.”

An artwork by Gabriela Magaña featuring a child sitting on the shoulders of an adult.

A work by Let Creativity Happen! grantee, Gabriela Magaña

Let Creativity Happen! grants are awarded to specific programs based on their artistic creativity and innovation. This year, 40 individuals and nonprofit organizations have received awards in support of performances, events, workshops, film screenings, art exhibitions, and the development of an online archive. Some organizations that have been selected as recipients include the Texas Medical Center Orchestra, the Hispanic Alliance for Performing and Audiovisual Arts, the Houston Brass Quintet, and Iraqi American Community Inc. Individuals who have been awarded grants include Vincent Valdez, Loren Holmes, Monica Villarreal, Caroline Philippone, Lakota Wilder, and Frederick Goodall.

Mayor Turner explained, “The goal of Let Creativity Happen is to spark innovation and expand works for all Houston to enjoy. I am glad to see the large number of artists we can support in this round of the grant. I applaud the grantees’ creativity and their willingness to share it with everyone.”

Learn more about the 2023 grantees’ projects at the HAA website.

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Nell December 15, 2023 - 12:10



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