Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Mayor Turner Welcomes Artist Training Program to Houston

November 3, 2016 -- Thanks to a new partnership between Mid-America Arts Alliance and Fresh Arts, Houston artists can now apply to be in the first class of Artist INC Houston.

“I want to thank Mid-America Arts Alliance and Fresh Arts for stepping up to bring this outstanding program to Houston,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We have tremendous creativity here and artists are a big part of what makes living and visiting Houston so appealing.  I am very interested in how we can help our artists and up-and-coming talent be successful in their careers.”

Artist INC, a program of the University of Missouri Kansas City’s Innovation Center, provides cutting edge training seminars that address the specific daily business needs and challenges artists of all disciplines face. Over the eight-week training, artists gain the knowledge and support they need to strengthen their creative practices and grow their arts businesses.  The goal is to equip them with the tools to make a living with their artwork.

“We are thrilled to be working with Fresh Arts and the University of Missouri – Kansas City to bring this program to the artists of Houston. Artist INC will become an additional asset to Houston’s already thriving arts ecosystem and addresses the priority of the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan to strengthen the local creative economy through nurturing the development of artist and creative talent,” said Todd Stein, Interim CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

“National surveys have found as many as 75 percent of art school graduates are self-employed at some point in their career,” said Marci Dallas, Executive Director of Fresh Arts. “Our own surveys substantiate the need for Artist INC locally and understanding the importance of career training is a big reason why we were able to secure such fantastic Peer Facilitators for the first class.”

The application deadline is January 6, 2017. The first class of 25 participants will be led by Houston Peer Facilitators: Outspoken Bean (creative writing, spoken word performances), GONZO247 (visual/street/public art), Lori Yuill (dance, choreography), Tami Merrick (visual arts, mixed media, architecture), Mollie Miller (dance, choreography, arts administration) and Felipe Lopez (multi-disciplinary, visual arts, video & sound installations).

Learn More / Apply Online

Artist INC is part of the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan implementation.  Houston will be the seventh location for Artist INC. Aside from meeting space through Houston Public Library, the program is being offered at no cost to the City.  To receive updates about City arts initiatives, join the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook and sign up for CitizensNet.

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Artist Training Program

Representatives of the project partners, pictured left to right are:
Marci Dallas (Fresh Arts), Todd Stein (Mid America Arts Alliance), Lori Yuill,
Mollie Miller, Angela Carranza (Fresh Arts), Felipe Lopez, Mayor Sylvester Turner,
Tami Merrick, Outspoken Bean, Debbie McNulty (Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs) and GONZO247.

click graphic above for full-sized version