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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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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.

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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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Thursday, October 5, 2017
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Thursday, October 5, 2017
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Artist Opportunities


REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS: 2018 Houston Arts Alliance Artist Roster

Eligibility: International

Issued: Monday, September 18, 2017

Deadline: Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 11:59 p.m. (Central Standard Time)


1. Summary

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is Houston’s designated, local arts and culture agency. Through its Civic Art + Design department, HAA manages the process of commissioning, acquiring, and conserving artworks for the City of Houston Art Collection. HAA accomplishes this by entering into contracts with City departments and with affiliated local government corporations, including Houston Airport System and Houston First Corporation. Civic art projects thus constitute a collaboration between HAA and City of Houston departments and corporate entities.

In anticipation of future commissions and opportunities, HAA invites artists and artist teams to submit qualifications for potential inclusion in the 2018 HAA Artist Roster. The roster will be one tool for rapid response artist selection for a range of permanent and temporary public art projects associated with the construction of new civic buildings, parks, and other areas within the City of Houston.

HAA seeks to include visual artists working in a wide variety of media and artistic approaches. Certain projects may also offer opportunities for an artist to work as part of a design team along with the project architect/designer.

2. Purpose

The purpose of the HAA Artist Roster is to provide a streamlined application and selection process for quick turnaround public art project commissions. The process requires one application from interested artists. A panel of public art professionals will convene to consider all eligible applications for selections. Artists will be invited to apply annually.

The selection panel will recommend artists to the HAA Civic Art Committee and Board of Directors, who formally approve the artists selected for the roster. HAA is then able to utilize the pool, in whole, or in part, for artwork opportunities. Selection from the Roster is not an exclusive way for artists to be considered for artwork commission. Additional open calls will be posted for individual projects. Selection panels will be convened for each individual project to review the qualified candidates and make short list recommendations.

The list of artists in the Roster and their websites will also be made publicly available for consideration by private developers or independent public art commissioning entities.

3. Evaluation Criteria

  • Artistic quality: Artists or artist-led teams exhibit excellence, innovation, technical experience and originality as demonstrated by examples of past work.
  • Responsiveness: Availability to meet with the design team during the final design phase; willingness to sign contract with HAA upon selection (a contract template is available for review by request); ability to respond effectively to the goals and parameters of particular projects.
  • Demonstrated technical abilities: Ability to successfully execute innovative public art projects in a complex design environment; capability to accomplish the technical aspects of the project.
  • Project management ability: Demonstrated ability to successfully execute a public art project on time and within budget; ability to successfully collaborate with architects, contractors, potential vendors and manufacturers.

4. Eligibility

  • As a global city, this opportunity is open to professional visual artists or artist-led teams from the U.S. and abroad.
  • Houston-area artists, artist-led teams and team members are strongly encouraged to apply. Our goal is for more than half of the selected artists represent the Greater Houston area.
  • Artists who apply as part of a team may not apply as individual artists.
  • Artists must have strong communication skills as well as a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and meet project deadlines.
  • Subcontractors may be used and are defined as parties providing technical implementation including, but not limited to: construction, fabrication and/or assembly for portions of all of a finished product (under direct supervision and control of an artist).
  • Staff, board, advisory board and family members of HAA – as well as the City of Houston, City Council and its affiliate entities – are ineligible to apply.
  • Applications not meeting all eligibility criteria will be withdrawn from consideration.

5. Qualifications

Qualified applicants will have demonstrated experience working with five figure budgets; materials suitable for public indoor or outdoor settings; site-specific design; and collaboration with other artists, design professionals or community members. Certain projects may also offer opportunities for an artist to work as part of a design team along with the project architect/designer.

For the purposes of this open call, “professional artist” is defined as “a practitioner in the visual arts with an original, self-conceptualized body of work, generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional possessing serious intent and ability.”

6. Artist Selection Process

HAA will convene a selection panel to evaluate artist qualifications. The selection panel will consist of arts professionals from the region.
Applicants will first be screened for the following minimum qualification criteria:

  • Complete application;
  • Application submission represents the artist’s own original creative work;
  • Application submission reflects basic professional quality of craftsmanship, mastery of skills/techniques, professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communication of a unique vision or perspective; and
  • The artist’s resume reflects evidence of professional competence. Qualifying activities would include some combination of the following: education and training as an artist; an exhibition record in museums, commercial art galleries and/or nonprofit art spaces; previous public or private commissions; and/or participation in artist-in-residency programs (as well as other related activities indicative of a professional practice).

The panel will then use the following criteria to score all remaining eligible portfolios:

  • Artistic excellence;
  • Appropriate imagery or style for public spaces. A broad range of imagery and styles appropriate for a public place may be considered (figurative, representational, abstract or non-objective). Examples of non-appropriate imagery include artwork with religious and sexually explicit content;
  • Professional experience; and
  • Suitability for the City of Houston Art Collection.

Artists that score within a competitive range will be included in the 2018 HAA Artist Roster.

PLEASE NOTE: Inclusion in the roster does not guarantee a commission.

7. Applicant Notification

Applicants to the 2018 HAA Artist Roster are expected to be notified of their status by mid to late January 2018.

8. Application Requirements

  1. Resume of artist(s) and team members (3 page maximum, each).
  2. Letter of Intent: One page only, to include: Your contact information; a brief description of the inspirations/interests reflected in your work; and an executive summary of your professional experience as an artist. You may specifically want to address how that experience may qualify you for public art projects. If you have not previously executed a public art project or worked with permanent outdoor materials, you may want to address how you might envision making this transition. If you are applying as a team, address the justification for the collaboration.
  3. Biography/Artist Statement: 500 words, maximum.
  4. Work Examples: Ten (10) maximum. Digital images should be at least 72 dpi. Video files should be kept to less than three (3) minutes each and should be used to show work that is kinetic or time-based. Please do not submit video documentation of static work or artist interviews. For team applications, please indicate the lead artist for each project. Teams must submit one application and are limited to ten (10) images total. Submit only images of your own original work or collaborative work for which you share ownership credit. Do not submit images of works by other artists for which you played a supportive role (fabricator, engineer, et cetera). Do not include more than two (2) images of the same work. Composite images are acceptable, but please keep them simple and readable.
  5. Image List: To include artist name, title, year completed, dimensions, material and retail or commission budget for each image selected in your portfolio.
  6. References: To include name, phone number and email address for up to three (3) professional contacts – on one page.

All documents should be in at least 12 point font, single spaced, with at least a ½ inch margin.

9. Application Submission

To submit the application components noted above, visit

10. Timeline

  • Monday, September 18, 2017: RFQ released
  • Monday, October 16, 2017: Deadline for questions
  • Wednesday, November 1, 2017: RFQ submission deadline
  • By Monday, December 4, 2017: RFQ selection panel 
  • By Friday, December 22, 2017: Selected artists are presented for a vote to the HAA Civic Art Committee
  • By Monday, January 8, 2018: Selected artists are presented for a vote to the HAA Board of Directors
  • Mid-January 2018: Finalists are notified in writing by HAA
  • January 2018 – December 2018: Artists in the 2018 HAA Artist Roster are considered for fast track civic art commissions and are invited to submit proposals for specific projects
  • August 2018: Application cycle for the 2019 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool opens

PLEASE NOTE: This schedule is subject to change at any time.

11. Contact

For questions about the 2018 Houston Arts Alliance Artist Roster, email Sara Kellner, Director of Civic Art + Design, at


Artists interested in other HAA public art commissions and opportunities are encouraged to visit both and New calls will be posted there as they arise.

All information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract. These provisions are subject to change.


For information on placing temporary works on Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) right-of-ways, email

July 16
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