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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

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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Dialogues

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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Research

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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News

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.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
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Monday, July 31, 2017
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Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads


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Photo: Sontera Dresch

Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, 2012. Hermann Park’s McGovern Lake.

In partnership with City of Houston, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Hermann Park Conservancy, AW Asia and Crozier Fine Arts

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) brought the East to the West with the first major public sculpture by internationally renowned Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, titled Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads. On view outdoors at Hermann Park’s McGovern Lake, HAA’s presentation of Ai Weiwei’s work was the only South and Midwest venue in the United States (U.S.) on the work’s international, multi-year tour.

Comprised of 12 monumental bronze animal heads, each weighing 800 pounds and standing roughly ten feet high, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads was Ai Weiwei’s re-creation on an oversized scale of the traditional zodiac sculptures that once adorned the fabled fountain at Yuanming Yuan outside Beijing. Erected in the 18th century, the original animal heads surrounding the fountain spouted water at two-hour intervals until 1860, when French and British troops raided the palace and looted the heads. To date, only seven of the legendary 12 heads have been recovered around the world; the location of the remaining five is still unknown.

Through his work, the artist brought to light questions of looting and repatriation, while extending his ongoing exploration of the “fake” and the copy in relation to the original.

The exhibit coincided with the April opening of Asia Society Texas Center’s stunning new Taniguchi-designed Texas headquarters, and, concurrently, Architecture Center Houston exhibited Ai Weiwei’s Five Houses, Thursday, April 19-Friday, May 25, 2012.

July 16
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