Menu 1 Image

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.

Menu 2 Image

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.

Menu 3 Image

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.

Menu 4 Image


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.

Menu 5 Image

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.

Menu 7 Image


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.

Menu 8 Image


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.

Menu 9 Image

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!

Menu 10 Image


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
close button
Thursday, November 9, 2017
close button
Saturday, December 2, 2017
close button

Funding for the Arts: Alternative Sources

A Conversation with Karen Gahl-Mills, Executive Director Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in Cleveland, OH
tertiary image

Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
Houston Arts Alliance, 3201 Allen Parkway, Suite 125

Recently, a wide margin (75%) of Cuyahoga County, OH voters approved the renewal of a 10-year, 30-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes that provides funds for arts and culture. Arts organizations across Cuyahoga County came together to wage a highly-effective campaign based on the importance of arts and culture to the area's economy, children's education, tourism, and Cleveland's world-class image and reputation. They raised more than $1 million for TV and radio ads and mounted a major grassroots effort that included yard signs, fliers, outreach on social media, and a major get-out-the-vote effort. This is a great example of effective arts advocacy in action. 

Houston Arts Alliance welcomed Karen Gahl-Mills to Houston for this conversation about the structure of her organization, the strategy used to implement the cigarette tax, and the advocacy work to renew it 10 years later.  




Karen Gahl-Mills is the executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the local public funder of arts and culture activities in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 2007, CAC has invested more than $125 million into over 300 organizations who serve millions of area residents. A former orchestra manager turned grantmaker and teacher, she has worked passionately throughout her 25-year career to connect the talents of arts and culture organizations with the needs of the community.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; and she still makes music, singing regularly in the community choir at Oberlin College.

July 16
close button