City Of Houston Awards Grants to Arts Nonprofits

by Glasstire January 15, 2024

A press release from the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) has announced the upcoming distribution of 228 local grants totaling $13,323,343. The goal of the awards, according to former Mayor Sylvester Turner, has been to “continue building an inclusive creative ecosystem where creatives and entities thrive.” While 72 of the grants are individual awards provided by the MOCA Support for Artists and Creative Individuals program, the remaining 156 have been awarded to Houston arts and culture nonprofits, or to fiscally sponsored projects that offer public exhibitions, via the Support for Organizations and Festival Grant programs.

Both grant programs are managed and administered by the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), an independent organization that is contracted by MOCA to handle the city’s arts funding initiatives. In their words, the organization helps “artists and nonprofits be bold, productive, and strong.” Just last week, HAA oversaw the allotment of $232,250 via the City Initiative and Let Creativity Happen! grants. The funding for each of these programs is derived from Houston’s Hotel Occupancy Tax.

A list of the recipients for this most recent, much more substantial, round of funding was recently shared by HAA via its newsletter. Recipients of the Festival Grant include the BIPOC Book Fest, the Houston Latino Film Festival, the Houston Palestine Film Festival, and Zine Fest Houston.

A photograph of an aerial view of Project Row Houses in 2015. The image shows a neighborhood block with over a dozen small white row houses.

Aerial View of Project Row Houses in 2015. Photo: Peter Molick, courtesy of Project Row Houses.

Some notable grantees through the Support for Organizations grants include Asia Society Texas, the Blaffer Art Museum, Box13, DiverseWorks, FotoFest, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, The Menil Collection, Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, Project Row Houses, the Rothko Chapel, and The Jung Center. (Glasstire was also among the recipients.) See the full list, including awardees of the Support for Artists and Creative Individuals grant via the graphic below.

A designed graphic listing out hundreds of individuals and organizations receiving grants from HAA and the City of Houston.

Houston Arts Alliance list of grantees

Notably, the overall funding this year increased by just over $1.8 million. Also, as reported in the MOCA press release, former Mayor Turner approved a change to the granting formula to provide an additional boost of 45%, capped at $20,000, “to those applicants who meet BIPOC qualification criteria for their grant program and who have been scored for funding by peer panels.” In 2024, that worked out to $800,000 in grants to qualified applicants. To support the first year of this change in the granting formula, Mayor Turner added an extra $800,000 to the money disbursed by HAA. Said the former Mayor, “I am proud to have this as part of my legacy in serving Houston and its people.”

For more information on the granting process or to find information on future award opportunities, interested parties may visit the HAA website or subscribe to their digital newsletter.


Update, January 16, 2024: This article has been updated to clarify the fact that to support the first year of organizations qualifying for the BIPOC award boost, the City of Houston added an $800,000 to the total grant money available. 

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