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.
Zydeco dancing at camp with the Southwestern Trail Ride Association. Photo: Lori Espinel
Pat Jasper, Director of Folklife + Civic Engagement
Angel Quesada, Folklife + Civic Engagement Manager
In the spirit of Winter Celebrations: Honoring Houston’s African-American Trail Riders, an installation held at Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH) in February 2016, celebrating the traditions and art forms surrounding African-American trail rides, we’ve put together a playlist for you! The following list consists of only trail ride-centric songs and brings home the fact that zydeco, as a music tradition, offers an interesting combination of rural and urban influences – characteristics that have been retained into the 21st century. The music here demonstrates that zydeco is an evolving genre, one that pays homage to its roots in front porch Creole Lala music while also drawing on the power and influence of such contemporary styles as R&B and Southern hip hop.
Trail riding is a lifestyle and, for African-American trail riders, zydeco is its soundtrack. Enjoy the playlist and relive the real thing by viewing our digital archive of footage and photos from the opening reception, which took place Thursday, February 11, 2016, from 6 to 8 p.m.