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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Photo: Lori Espinel
Pat Jasper, Director of Folklife + Civic Engagement
Angel Quesada, Folklife + Civic Engagement Manager
Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Traditional Arts program presented an exhibition/installation focusing on the Lunar New Year in January 2016. Unpacking the spectacle of this distinctive tradition, the installation included objects, paper cutting, costumes, banners, calligraphy, instruments, audio and video to evoke the multi-sensory experience that is Lunar New Year as it is celebrated here in the Houston area.
The Chinese and Vietnamese Lunar New Year is based on a lunar cycle that falls between January 21 and February 20 on the Gregorian calendar. Its commemoration involves weeks of preparation. The entire event heralds new beginnings and expresses great relief in moving on from the travails of the old year. Crowds gather at temples and community events to enjoy performances of the lion and dragon dances, fireworks and offerings and to experience the clamor of bells and the commotion of the crowds and the whisper of prayer and to smell of incense and the veil of smoke it creates. Displays are mounted in homes, businesses and religious institutions throughout the city.
The spirit of this complex cultural event was evoked during a weeklong presentation, at Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), 3400 Main Street Houston, TX 77002, and open for public viewing from January 13-19; Monday – Thursday noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. The opening reception was held Thursday, January 14, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. and included food, drink, lion dancing and more.
Visitors to the opening reception were treated to a celebratory shoe shine or a spiffy hair trim to welcome in the New Year with a new attitude!
Read more about Pat and Angel's venture to the Teen How and Teo-Chew Temples here.