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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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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.

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An Intimate Evening with Lee Daniels


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Thursday, April 23, 2015
7:15 p.m., Opening Reception and Dinner
Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main Street

Led by Event Chair Philamena Baird with Honorary Chair Marie Bosarge, this special evening began with an opening reception and dinner. Following dinner, Lee Daniels, director of the hit television series Empire and films Precious and The Butler (which he also produced), shared his life experiences - from founding his own health care agency at age 21 to managing actors to becoming the first sole African-American producer of an Academy Award-winning film (Monster’s Ball).

Following Monster’s Ball, Lee Daniels made his directorial debut with Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. The film received a total of six Academy Award nominations including Best Director, marking only the second time an African-American director had been nominated. Lee produced and directed The Butler, a story following the life of a White House butler who served eight U.S. presidents over three decades. The film was well received, earning numerous Critics’ Choice, Screen Actors Guild and NAACP Image Award nominations. Daniels’s latest creative project is the hit musical drama television series Empire, starring Terrence Howard as hip-hop mogul Lucious Lyons. Daniels makes his television directorial debut with the show, and after just three episodes, has been renewed for a second season.

An Intimate Evening with Lee Daniels is just one way in which Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) leverages public investment with philanthropic support to advance Houston’s arts. When HAA was formed in 2006 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the vision was to create a public/private partnership to promote the growth and visibility of the arts sector in Houston. Public funding includes city revenues from Hotel Occupancy Taxes (which fund grants to nonprofit arts organizations and individual artists) and the City of Houston’s Percent for Art Ordinance (which supports commissions of new civic art projects as well as conservation of existing artworks).

There are, however, additional projects that require private funding. As an example, Tolerance, the collection of sculptures by the renowned Spanish artist Jaume Plensa on Allen Parkway at Studemont, was realized by HAA and funded through private donations from both individuals and foundations. Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads in Hermann Park and Konstantin Dimopoulos’ The Blue Trees on Memorial Parkway were funded in the same manner.

In total, municipal funding accounts for 65% of HAA’s annual revenue. The other 35% of the budget must be raised from private sources such as individuals, foundation grants and corporate underwriting. These funds support the activities of the Folklife + Traditonal Arts program, Capacity Building Initiative, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Houston, Artshound.com and the Temporary Art Program.

HAA invited performing and visual arts aficionados to support the arts in Houston through this thoroughly engaging, special and rare opportunity to hear from one of the leading film directors and producers of our time.

 


LEADERSHIP

Honorary Chair
Marie Bosarge

Event Chair
Philamena Baird

Host Committee
Nancy C. Allen
Laura Bellows
Robert "Bobby" Bisor
Cecil C. Conner, Jr.
Lucia and Michael Cordua
Yvonne and Rufus Cormier
Susie and Sanford Criner
Joe and Susie Dilg
Karen Farber
Lamar Frazier and Thomas Guerrero
Roland Garcia
John F. Guess, Jr. and Melanie Lawson
Paul Guillory & Leon Johnson-Guillory 
Tatiana and Craig Massey
Desrye Morgan
Judy Nyquist
Rey Ocañas and Orlando Manzo-Ocañas
Adrian and Erin Patterson
Richard Schechter
Stephanie Smither
Travis Torrence
J. Michael Trevino
Fabené Welch

Honorary Hosts
Kenneth Gayle and Evin Thayer
Reginald and Leigh Smith
Alton LaDay and Jonathon Glus

Underwriting Co-Chairs
Regina Garcia   
Marc Melcher   

ABOUT LEE DANIELS

Lee Daniels’ background is filled with bold stories as real and gritty as the narratives from the films he creates. By the age of 21, Daniels founded and ran his own health care agency, providing nurses to private homes and hospitals; he was simultaneously trying to be a screenwriter. After selling his health care business and giving up screenwriting, he began managing actors such as Loretta Divine, Michael Shannon, Natasha Kinsky and Aishwarya Rai. Daniels turned to producing as a natural result of trying to find and create great material for his clients; the organic leap to directing came soon after.

Daniels’s latest creative project is the hit musical drama television series Empire starring Terrence Howard as hip-hop mogul Lucious Lyons. Daniels makes his television directorial debut with the show, and after just three episodes, the series was renewed for a second season.

Daniels produced and directed The Butler, a story following the life of a White House butler who served eight different U.S. presidents over three decades. The film was well received by critics and earned numerous Critics Choice, Screen Actors Guild and NAACP Image Award nominations.

Daniels’s previous project, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, is the story of an overweight, illiterate girl raised in Harlem, sexually abused by her father and about to give birth to her second child, who salvages her future at an alternative school. Precious won two Academy Awards in 2010: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. The film received a total of six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Editing, with Daniels nominated as Best Director; making him the second African-American director to be nominated for an Oscar. Daniels also received a historic nomination as the first African-American director to be nominated by the Directors Guild of America.

Following the success of Precious, Daniels next directed The Paperboy starring Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron. Based on a best-selling novel of the same name, The Paperboy revolves around a reporter and his brother who investigate the events surrounding a murder in order to exonerate an accused man on death row.

Monster’s Ball was the first film from Daniels’s production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment. The film marked Daniels as the first sole African-American producer of an Oscar-winning and -nominated film. Daniels also produced The Woodsman, which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards, the film received the CICAE Arthouse Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Deauville International Film Festival and Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.

Daniels’s other film credits include Shadowboxer and Tennessee.

July 16
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