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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.

Thursday, September 28, 2017
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May 5, 2015

HOUSTON, TX (May 5, 2015) — On Tuesday, May 5, civic leaders and community members celebrated Houston artist Tara Conley’s permanent installation of 35 sculptures at the South Gessner Division Police Station. Commissioned by Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) in partnership with the City of Houston, this permanent installation is the newest addition to Houston’s art collection.

Houston Chief of Police Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and City Council Member Larry Green were both on hand to talk about the important work of the Houston Police Department and its community involvement.

“As the city’s local arts agency, Houston Arts Alliance is committed to creative placemaking across the city—with public art appearing in the most unexpected places,” stated HAA President + CEO Jonathon Glus. “We are very pleased with Tara’s installation in its aesthetic beauty as well as how it symbolically reflects the dedication of the officers housed at the station.”

“In learning about the patience, tolerance and vigilance police officers must exercise to do their job well, I was inspired to create sculptures that would transform their workspace in unexpected ways and encourage them in their day-to-day tasks,” explains artist Tara Conley.                                            

The towering 18-foot stainless steel outdoor sculpture at the front entrance of the station is entitled We Are in the Business of Changing the World, SS. Its abstract, honeycomb design illustrates the relationship between police officers and the Houston community. Inside, the public lobby holds the second major work, We Are in the Business of Changing the World, SG, also of a honeycomb design, but composed of steel and colored glass, referencing the diverse communities within District 17.

In addition, You Have the Right to Remain Silent is a series of 33 sculptural, hand-written inspirational phrases cast in bronze that are installed in throughout the station. These phrases range from “Strength and Honor,” to “It’s We, Not They”, and “You Can’t Spill Milk in One Place,” but all are tied to HPD’s core philosophy: “Order through law; justice through mercy.”

“For over 15 years I’ve collected phrases I’ve heard people say aloud,” explains the artist. “I chose phrases from my collection that will shed light on the role of police within the community. Wise, reflective and witty, each phrase casts a shadow on the wall like the echo of a voice once heard and collectively they establish a work environment that is both introspective and challenging.”

Conley’s proposal was selected for this commission through a rigorous, peer panel review process. Funding for this civic art project was derived through the 1.75% civic art allocation from the eligible Capital Improvement Program (CIP)—in this case, the construction of the new South Gessner Division police station.


» Press Release