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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.

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September 24, 2015

HOUSTON (September 24, 2015) — Despite fluctuations in other industry sectors, Houston’s creative industry economy remains robust—with demand growing by 25% since first measured in 2011, according to the second Houston-area creative economy study conducted by data-and-economic analysis specialists EMSI (Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.).

Over the three-year period between studies, a shift in how creative workers are employed occurred with creatives becoming more integral to businesses across an array of diverse industries, marking an important change in Houston’s current workforce.

Commissioned by Houston Arts Alliance’s Arts & Business Council of Greater Houston, the study is a comprehensive review of creative-sector industries and creative occupations and their impact on the Houston economy. The study defines creative-sector industries as those in which a creative or artistic
element is an integral part of the delivery of its product or service. Examples include graphic design, record production, architecture, fine arts schools and photography. The creative economy also includes the non-creative supporting jobs in the creative industries, like receptionists, business managers, etc. Additionally, it includes creatives in non-creative industries—like a graphic designer at an energy company.

Key findings of Creative Economy 2 of Greater Houston are:

  • In 2014, Houston’s creative economy was made up of 179,156 people—the number of people employed in the creative economy grew by 22% in three years.
  • In 2014, Houston’s demand for creative goods and services was $25.6 billion—a 25% increase since 2011. Of that, $10.5 billion was locally supplied and $15.1 billion was imported (a 55% increase since 2011)—leaving us with an even greater margin for growth. Only 41% was locally supplied.
  • Creative occupations saw significantly more growth than creative industries between 2004 and 2014 (+26% versus +13%, respectively). This change signals that creative workers are becoming more integral to businesses across an array of industries. From 2014 to 2019, growth among creative occupations is expected to continue to outpace growth among creative industries (10% compared to 6%).

“As Houston continues to grow at a pace among the fastest of American cities, creative businesses from architecture to textile design and fabrication are tapped,” stated Jonathon Glus, president and CEO of HAA. “Today, nearly 60% of the creative industries product is imported into Houston. That is up from 45% creative import in 2011. As Houston’s creative appetite outpaces local capacity, Houston has a choice. We can recognize creative business and creative talent as a critical element of a globally-competitive city, and invest in the success of the sector right here at home, or we continue to import the talent, goods and services.”

For detailed information on the current Creative Economy of Houston 2 study, please visit For more information about Houston Arts Alliance, please visit

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