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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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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.

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March 29, 2017

HOUSTON (March 29, 2017) – The transformation of the block-long Bagby Street passage through Bayou Place into The Houston Oracle in Two Parts, as envisioned by sculptor Stephen Korns, is now complete.

Korns used photographs, video, sound, reclaimed materials and special lighting to turn the underpass into a multimedia work of art. Similar to the artist’s signature project, Lunar Lighting, lighting for The Houston Oracle in Two Parts changes nightly in time with the lunar cycle.

The artwork asks passersby to consider Houston's buildings, natural environment, labor conditions, and ways of living together.  Its concept and design reflect the work's proximity to the nearby City Hall, Houston Public Library, Sam Houston Park historical building archive, neighboring theater venues and the adjacent Buffalo Bayou.

"An encounter with The Houston Oracle provides an opportunity for exploration and discovery," says Korns. "The work asks questions about living in the city, what is saved of the past, who we've been, and what we have in common.  

Korns states that an oracle gives a reading of the present condition—comprehensively, and in relation to a question, concern or decision to be made. “An oracle reveals the meaning of signs, and offers a useful perspective.  It's not so much about predicting the future, but about giving some insight into what is possible,” continues Korns. "The Houston Oracle may offer some insight into what is possible for us as a community. I can imagine a person standing in this space and reflecting on what this city has been and what it can be, based on the evidence in this artwork."

Korns worked closely with the General Services Department, which oversees construction for the City and Houston Arts Alliance, which is under contract to manage Civic Art projects for the City.

The artwork is funded by the City of Houston Civic Art Program, with additional support from The Cordish Companies. In 1999, the City of Houston established an ordinance mandating that 1.75% of qualified Capital Improvement Project dollars be set aside for civic art.  The program is managed by the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs.

For more information about the City’s Cultural Programs go to or follow the Mayor’s office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook @HoustonMOCA.

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