Houston, TX, December 11, 2017- On Wednesday, December 6, the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) released details of their transformative new grants program under the leadership of recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, John Abodeely. HAA shared, to an audience of 350 local artists and directors of arts organizations, how the revised program will increase funding opportunities through diversified grant programs to meet community needs, simplified applications, and user-friendly support for applicants. The event was hosted in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) at Houston performing arts theatre MATCH.

“Houston’s cultural community is amazing in its scale, quality, and innovation. Our updated grants programs will better serve this community because they’ve been revised through this community’s input,” said Abodeely. “The Houston Arts Alliance team is creating transparency and increasing accessibility to these funds for Houston’s artists and arts organizations.”

Abodeely joined HAA in mid-November and has worked directly with the grants team to ensure a smooth roll-out to keep the arts community informed. The HAA and MOCA teams have spent the last two years listening to local artists, arts organizations, and community leaders through dozens of focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and objective research studies. They asked what challenges and opportunities these creative leaders see for Houston’s arts community. This led to HAA’s commitment to continue to listen and refine its grant programs, as well as the implementation of a simpler, more straightforward application process.

“Our accessible program will increase the number of eligible applicants throughout Houston, ultimately creating a richer cultural community throughout the city, with a total of six grant programs that artists and arts organizations can apply to. These diverse funding opportunities represent our comprehensive response to community needs over the short and long term,” said Richard Graber, Director of Grants + Capacity Building.

During the presentation, HAA staff along with Deborah McNulty and Necole Irvin from MOCA, discussed the Mayor’s support of the arts community and economic realities facing this community. A collaboration with MOCA led to the creation of the Arts + Cultural Plan in 2015, which guided the grants changes.

New opportunities for HAA funding include Support for Artists & Creative Individuals, which allows applicants to define their own form of creativity and the Artist Ambassador Program, which provides career-impacting support, encompassing professional networking and increased recognition for established artists. Grants such as Visit My Neighborhood, a partnership with MOCA’s Complete Communities initiative, provides collaborative arts funding in underrepresented areas. Overall, the new HAA grants feature shorter applications with clear and consistent language, as well as broader, geographically diverse distribution.

Organizers also revealed the timeline for upcoming community workshops. The dates and locations are as follows:

For more information about the new grants program and workshop dates, visit www.houstonartsalliance.com.