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About Us

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is the local nonprofit arts and culture agency that enhances the city’s quality of life through advancing and investing in the arts and diverse cultural programming. The work of HAA encourages Houston’s development and shapes its global reputation by fostering tourism and supporting and promoting the city’s creative economy.

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Public Art

Creating public spaces for civic and cultural use requires artists, designers, architects, and the community to collaborate. By actively fostering these partnerships, both public and private, HAA’s Civic Art + Design program initiates, manages, and maintains public artworks throughout Houston. It serves a vital role as catalyst for change that generates a culturally relevant and rich environment for residents and visitors alike.

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Folklife + Civic Engagement

Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Civic Engagement program identifies and honors the artistic and cultural traditions of the city’s tremendously diverse and various communities and works to address the needs of all residents through engagement, citizen-driven initiatives, and equitable community outcomes. The Folklife program has been in existence since 2010. The addition of Civic Engagement to its portfolio was enacted through an HAA bylaws change in 2016.

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Grants

Grants are a fundamental means of promoting excellence in the creative sector. On behalf of the City of Houston, HAA awards approximately 225 grants annually to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and individual artists through a competitive grant allocation process.

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Capacity Building

Houston Arts Alliance provides voice and leadership through its support of arts organizations and individual artists with programs and services that help build and foster a vibrant and creative community—these programs and services help to ensure that the arts professionals’ creative contributions remain a vital part of community life across Houston and the region.

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Dialogues

As the designated, nonprofit local arts and culture agency, Houston Arts Alliance provides a public forum for arts and culture issues that our relevant to our community. Throughout the year, Houston Arts Alliance hosts conversations and panel discussions that are free and open to the public. HAA also periodically convenes the arts and culture field for special opportunities important to the sector.

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Research

Houston Arts Alliance continues to play an important role in arts and culture research projects, initiating and participating in studies that demonstrate the far-reaching impact of arts and culture on our economy and quality of life.

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Get Involved

Looking for a way to lend a hand? Investing in the arts and culture is an investment in the quality of life for all Houstonians. Join Houston Arts Alliance as a donor, member or volunteer!

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News

Houston Arts Alliance utilizes different vehicles to communicate with it diverse audiences, ranging from the city’s arts and culture community to residents to tourists. Find out more about HAA’s electronic newsletters and connect with us through social media. Our online Press Room provides resources for members of the media.

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Chief Program Officer / Director of Folklife + Civic Engagement

Pat Jasper
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Pat Jasper has 30 years of experience as a public folklorist, curator and arts administrator. Since April 2010 she has served as Director of Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Traditional Arts program, the only urban folklife program west of the Mississippi River. Jasper has curated a range of multi-media, multi-venue programs in her role including Sacred Songs, Sacred Sites; Remembered, Regained: Immigrant Arts of Houston; the Houston SLAB Parade + Family Festival; and Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel for which the exhibition catalogue was chosen as “one of the ten Texas books to acquire in 2014” by the Houston Chronicle.

Before joining HAA, Jasper founded and directed Texas Folklife Resources (TFR), the only nonprofit of its kind devoted solely to the promotion and preservation of Texas folk arts and folklife. There she conceived, curated and led hundreds of programs including exhibitions, performances, media programs, symposia and other educational offerings. Prior to establishing TFR in 1984, Jasper served as Folk Arts Coordinator for the Texas Commission on the Arts, a position she held from 1980 to 1984.

Since 2001, Jasper has served as lead consultant on a variety of major projects throughout Texas and the United States. Her body of work include the International Accordion Festival; Country Music From the Lone Star State, an exhibition at the Texas State History Museum; and the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Texas Music, Food and Wine program, on the National Mall, in Washington D.C. In 2005 she joined forces with her University of Houston colleagues to co-direct Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston, a documentation project with the Library of Congress.

In the fall of 2014 Jasper conceived, developed and directed Transported + Renewed (T+R), a three-month creative placemaking project in Houston’s East End. Utilizing the arts as a primary strategy for animating the under-resourced sector of the city, T+R presented a bold mix of grassroots and contemporary art projects in celebration of Houstonians’ fascination with all forms of transportation. The project explored such modes of transportation as tugs, ships, railroads, bicycles, art cars, trail rides and low riders to dragon boats, SLABS, food trucks and more. This project was made possible through a major National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant and in collaboration with a large group of civic and arts partners.

In the fall of 2014, Pat directed Transported + Renewed, a three-month creative placemaking project in Houston’s East End in celebration of Houstonians’ fascination with all forms of transportation. Transported + Renewed utilized the arts as a primary strategy for animating this under-resourced sector of the Houston community by presenting a bold mix of grassroots and contemporary art projects in collaboration with a large group of civic and arts partners.

Coinciding with Transported + Renewed was the major exhibition Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel at the Houston Public Library’s Julia Ideson Building. The exhibition was driven by interviews and stories collected through Pat’s Library of Congress-funded Working the Port project and explored the diverse culture, heritage and lore of work associated with the Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel.  

Coinciding with T+R was Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel, a major exhibition at Houston Public Library’s Julia Ideson Building. This exhibition was driven by interviews and stories collected through Jasper’s earlier Library of Congress-funded Working the Port project, an exploration of the diverse culture, heritage and lore of work associated with the Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel. Following these two projects, she would go on to oversee a second successful proposal to the NEA Our Town program for Bayou Trails, a project intended to directly activate the arts in three major Houston parks along Brays Bayou and with direct involvement of the communities residing in those areas.

Most recently, Houston Woman Magazine named her one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Houston.” In 2016 Jasper was invited to curate Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Inaugural Celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, a spectacular evening showcasing the city’s diverse cultural communities and new mayor’s commitment to inclusion, opportunity and dialogue. She was appointed to Mayor Turner’s Quality of Life Transition Committee—a group charged to assess the current state of Houston’s arts, parks and neighborhoods—in 2016.

 


STAFF

Angel Quesada
Folklife + Civic Engagement Manager
angel@haatx.com / 713.527.9330 x 131

July 16
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