Menu 1 Image

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.

Menu 2 Image

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.

Menu 3 Image

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.

Menu 4 Image


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.

Menu 5 Image

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.

Menu 7 Image


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.

Menu 8 Image


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.

Menu 9 Image

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!

Menu 10 Image


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
close button
Thursday, November 9, 2017
close button
Saturday, December 2, 2017
close button

PODA 2.0

Portable On Demand Art 2.0
tertiary image

Photo: Catherine Gonzalez

Elaine Bradford and Emily Link, Brandon Ray and Team Paper Brain (Darwin Arevalo, Rodney Flores, Rob Mozell, Lisa Ray and Janiece Rivas), Thomas Rolls, Jr. and Troy Stanley, Portable On Demand Art (PODA) 2.0, 2014-2015.

Funding Source: PODS® Containers, Gensler and the City of Houston through Hotel Occupancy Tax funds

The PODA 2.0 project was a temporary public art installation series featuring the transformation of PODS® Containers into works of art. PODA 2.0 was Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) Civic Art + Design’s second iteration of the project. The artists who received HAA grants for PODA 2.0 were Elaine Bradford and Emily Link, Brandon Ray and Team Paper Brain (Darwin Arevalo, Rodney Flores, Rob Mozell, Lisa Ray and Janiece Rivas), Thomas Rolls, Jr. and Troy Stanley.

Each artist or artist team spent three months transforming their PODS® Container into a unique and interactive work of art.

All four PODA 2.0 PODS® Containers were showcased at White Oak Conference Center. The individual PODS® Containers were then placed in different locations across Greater Houston, taking contemporary art into our region’s many diverse neighborhoods. All four “reconvened” in Oyster Creek Park in Sugar Land, where they were on display from late April until the end of May, 2015.

Originally created in conjunction with the 2011 American Association of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo™ and in partnership with HAA, PODS® of Houston and the City of Houston, PODA 2.0 provided a non-traditional platform for artists to explore the cultural, ecological, political, scientific and socio-economic forces shaping Houston’s aspirations for the future. PODA showcased our city as a vibrant arts and cultural capital and museum mecca for locals and visitors alike.



Elaine Bradford and Emily Link, Invasive Species, 2015. Found materials, artificial plants, fabric, yarn and taxidermy elements. Artists live in Houston.

Elaine Bradford and Emily Link produced a diorama-style forest installation inside the POD Container. The forest housed fantastical figures and creatures created collaboratively by Houston-based artists Bradford and Link, using their individual styles of soft sculpture. The scene inside the container evolved over the course of the project, providing a different experience for the viewer at each new venue.

The forest was built using found materials, faux painting techniques, artificial plants, fabric and yarn to create an immersive environment. The scene within depicted life-size human figures exploring and encountering unknown species of plants and mammals taken from the artists’ imagination. Visitors to the installation experienced the diorama through viewing portholes at varying heights placed strategically along the sides of the container to highlight specific moments within the installation.

The outside of the POD Container was covered in a painted forest-like mural, a continuation of the inside. The public was invited to enter the installation and interact with the forest on pre-determined dates, and the artists were on site in costume to conduct photo sessions. The artists created costume elements specifically for the public to wear during these times that coordinated with the installation. Postcards were created from the photos taken during these sessions that were mailed to the participants and were made available for the public for free at the end of the exhibition.

About Elaine Bradford
Elaine Bradford lives and works in Houston. She holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been shown at Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York; Handmade in America Gallery, Asheville; and Centre Culturel Aragon, France. Select solo shows include The Picture Gallery at Saint Gaudens Memorial, Cornish; Art League Houston; and Hunt Gallery at Webster University, St. Louis. Bradford is a founding member of BOX 13 ArtSpace, an innovative artist-run studio and gallery space in Houston. She was a resident artist at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in 2010, and in 2011, she completed a permanent civic art commission for the City of Houston at Vinson Neighborhood Library. Bradford is represented by Art Palace Gallery in Houston.

About Emily Link
Emily Link lives and works in Houston. Born in Syracuse and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Link spent her youth immersed in wilderness, remnants of the Civil War and Native American legend. Since her transplant to Texas, she has worked to build an enriched cultural past in an environment that exists only for the future. Link received a BFA in Studio Painting from University of Houston and is now Community Relations Coordinator at Houston’s Lawndale Art Center. Her recent credits include Cover Artist for NANO Fiction, Vol. 5, No. 3; Houston exhibitions at EMERGEncy Room Gallery, BOX 13 ArtSpace and The Joanna; and exhibitions at the Roll-Up Gallery in San Francisco and Garfo Art Center in Salt Lake City. In addition, Link was a resident artist with Many Mini at Skydive in Houston in 2011.


Brandon Ray and Team Paper Brain, Repurposing Cyclical City, 2015. Mixed media. Artists live in Houston.

At first glance, the exterior of the Repurposing Cyclical City PODA looked like any other standard POD. Three large plexi-glass windows, however, invited passersby to come take a closer look. As participants peered inside, they saw the city of Houston through a portable paper lens. The miniature cityscape inside was made up of repurposed cardboard, paper and trash, recreating some of Houston’s most recognizable downtown buildings in a paper-craft childlike simplicity. Viewers were invited to alternate among the three windows to see a frozen moment in time of this paper version of our hometown. If participants happened to be present at sundown, they saw the buildings light up in a similar fashion to our downtown skyline at night. Made from a number of contributing artists, the artists hope the Repurposing Cyclical City PODA was as fun to look at as it was for them to make.

Team Paper Brain
Darwin Arevalo – Bank of America building and two other buildings
Rodney Flores – Texaco building
Rob Mozell – Window design and construction
Brandon Ray – Creative director, nine buildings, paper vehicles, roadways
Lisa Ray – Project management, layout
Janiece Rivas – Original building prototype, five buildings, city lights

About Brandon Ray
Brandon Ray searches for new ways to add depth to the traditionally two-dimensional medium of paper. From building three-dimensional paper cityscapes to constructing functional paper puppets, Ray uses stop-motion animation and puppetry techniques to bring his creations to life. Recently, Ray applied his technique to a variety of subject matters, ranging from his paper-puppetry on the Amazon Originals children’s series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, to the troubling tale of injustice dealt to Damien Echols and the West Memphis Three. Ray’s paper animations have been recognized by international film festivals; most recently, he was one of six filmmakers selected for the Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase 2014. Ray teaches the fundamentals of paper-puppetry animation to children around the world on PBS superstar Mark Kistler’s global art webcast.


Thomas Rolls, Look at Me, 2015. Video and automation. Artist lives in Houston.

Filmmaker and video artist Thomas Rolls transformed his PODS® Container into an intimate space that allowed viewers to witness his/her own reactions to emotional stimuli. Look at Me was a psychological experience that challenged the viewer to personify a space. 

Team Look at Me
Thomas Rolls – Director and Set Design
Graeme Pereira – Cinematographer
Cayn King – Audio/Visual Rigging and Set-up

Contributing Partners
Home Synthesis, Inc. – Audio/Visual Automation and Integration. Home Synthesis, Inc. helps people get technology working for them and simply. They are aptly named to express the taking of different technologies from various manufacturers and getting them to work in a synthesis within the home or business. Founded by 14-year veteran, Corbin Hambrick, Home Synthesis, Inc. dominates technical challenges while navigating rapid technological change.
Goo Systems Global – Screen Goo is a line of premium quality water-based acrylic paints designed specifically to transform any smooth paintable surface into a high performance projection screen. Screen Goo products are ideal for Home Theater, Commercial, Educational or Industrial Front or Rear, 2D or 3D Projection applications. Screen Goo can be rolled or sprayed onto any size and shape surface including compound curves and three-dimensional structures by users without any special tools or skills. Screen Goo costs less and outperforms traditional, less environmentally friendly, vinyl projection screens.

About Thomas Rolls
Thomas Rolls is a digital cinema artist. Within his 13 years of professional experience, Rolls has captured eclectic footage in parts of Africa, South East Asia, the Middle East, Canada and domestically. As an artist he has collaborated with the renowned Bert Long, Jr. Rolls has also produced art-centered documentaries showcasing artists such as Konstantin Dimopoulos (The Blue Trees). As an instructor, Thomas has taught cinema art at the post-secondary level for over 6 years. He has also trained personnel at NASA on multiple occasions and most recently held the position of Media Arts Coordinator at the Art Institute of Houston. Thomas brings an extraordinary passion and energy to cinematic arts.


Troy Stanley, Park On Demand Space (...greener on the other side), 2015. Artist lives in Houston.

Artist’s Statement
Park On Demand Space (…greener on the other side) explored a large scale continuation of a body of work utilizing two-way mirrors to create landscapes via reflections and infinity mirror effect. Using the PODS® Container shell as a vehicle for “space,” I created a visually larger (or infinite) synthetic outdoor environment within an enclosed space. The floor of the POD was covered in synthetic lawn turf and padded to allow the viewers to lay out, have a picnic or to experience a new type of outdoor environment in an interior space. Visitors could see this traveling landscape, enjoy a picnic, or explore other uses for urban landscapes/parks. Each placement redefined the viewer’s mental constructs of urban environment proliferation, and green space relationships at opposition to the natural world.

I wanted to create a project that at once completely disappears, but at the same time overfills the void left in its absence. Something in between the urban landscape and a vast field. Something bigger than the sum of its parts.

About Troy Stanley
Troy Stanley is a mixed media sculptor and installation artist working in Houston. After receiving his BFA at the University of Houston in 2005, he attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture on full fellowship in 2007. Since then, he has had solo shows at Lawndale Art Center and a solo gallery show at Barbara Davis Gallery. He has been the recipient of multiple civic art commissions through Houston Arts Alliance, and has multiple pieces in the City of Houston Municipal Art Collection, including Bush Intercontinental Airport. Stanley is currently represented by Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston.

July 16
close button