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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 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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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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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.

Thursday, September 28, 2017
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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What We Do

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is the city’s designated local arts and culture agency. We invest in Houston as a place to visit, live, work, honor, and create in. We do this by:

  • providing grants to arts, culture, and community organizations and individual artists;
  • commissioning, conserving and promoting public art and enlivening public spaces;
  • helping arts and culture organizations develop business acumen;
  • engaging neighborhoods and civic partners to advance equity in and access to arts and culture;
  • furthering the arts and culture field through research and convenings;
  • funding, in part, cultural tourism initiatives; and
  • endeavoring to expand the overall creative economy. 

Ultimately, HAA works to improve the quality of life for Houstonians and visitors alike, while promoting Houston as a premier arts and culture destination.

In broader terms, Houston Arts Alliance is defined as a Local Arts Agency (LAA) as well as a governmental component unit. Read below for the definition of each.



As defined by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Local Arts Agencies “provide a wide range of programs and services to help support and enable arts and culture at the local level. LAAs are intermediaries, serving artists and arts organizations, local residents, visitors and other partners.  No two LAAs are alike ─ whether they serve a single village or town, a large city, county, or a multi-county region. Some LAAs are departments of local government, others are nonprofit organizations, and still others are hybrids of the two.” The NEA goes on to describe characteristics of LAAs, explaining that “LAAs may present and/or produce arts programming, commission and manage public art, administer grant programs, provide technical assistance to artists and arts organizations, and guide cultural planning efforts. Still others may own, manage, and/or operate cultural facilities and be actively engaged in community development, and partner with entities in tourism, social services, public education, housing, economic development, and public safety. All strive to enhance the quality of life in their communities by working to increase public access to the arts.”

Americans for the Arts presents a similar description of LAAs, noting that “there are more than 5,000 LAAs in the U.S.: 75% are private nonprofit organizations; 25% are agencies of city or county government. LAA budgets range from all-volunteer to over $150 million.”


A governmental component unit is a legally separate organization for which the elected officials of the primary government are financially accountable. In addition, component units can be other organizations for which the nature and significance of their relationship with a primary government are such that exclusion would cause the reporting entity’s financial statements to be misleading due to close relations and financial integration with the primary government.

July 16
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