Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

2016 Arts and Cultural Plan Report Card Impressive

January 23, 2017 -- The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has released a report card on the first year of implementation of the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan.

“By working together in 2016, we made impressive strides on the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan and we are aiming even higher this year and we are asking you to help us,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “If you have any idea or a way to help make Houston’s arts and cultural life better for more people, we want to hear it.”

The 2016 Year in Review reflects the emphasis placed on neighborhoods and elevating the arts as a priority in the City and includes the following accomplishments.

  • Completed the first evaluation of the Civic Art Program and identified ways to improve the City’s art in public spaces for more people
  • Completed a performance review of contracted arts agencies and increased transparency with a new Grants and Funding webpage
  • Joined a stakeholder-driven task force researching new revenue sources for arts and culture
  • Provided a $50,000 lead grant for a new international Latino theater initiative designed to tour Houston neighborhoods
  • Partnered with Mid-America Arts Alliance and Fresh Arts on the Houston launch of Artist INC to bolster professional practice for individual artists
  • Increased the Mayor’s communication from two media releases in 2015 to 10 and launched a Facebook page generating 728 likes
  • Collaborated with the Department of Public Works & Engineering, Houston Police Department, City Council and UP Art Studio to add 109 new neighborhood “Mini Murals” for a total of 147
  • Featured 62 Houston-based artists and 174 students in 20 City Hall exhibits in partnership with community groups and City departments
  • Reduced from three to two the number of Council Districts without Civic Art
  • Prioritized City Initiative funding with 14 of the 16 grants based in neighborhoods
  • Conducted a city-wide call for projects resulting in the Mayor’s endorsement of an application to the National Endowment for the Arts to support a new artist space and cultural district in the Fifth Ward
  • Supported Houston’s Poet Laureate Program with Houston Public Library, resulting in 15 presentations/readings and more than 400 submissions to Houston’s Favorite Poem Anthology from over 100 zip codes
  • Worked with the Office of Government Relations on City arts and cultural priorities for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature
  • Proposed a collaboration with Houston’s Youth Poet Laureate, Writers in the Schools (WITS) and HUE Mural Festival resulting in a mural in the EaDo neighborhood
  • Helped the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee secure the Pro Football Hall of Fame “Gridiron Glory” exhibition at the University Museum at Texas Southern University to coincide with Super Bowl LI

 Your continued input is vital.  What do you think would help make Houston's arts and cultural life even better? 

For more information about the City’s Cultural Programs, go to or follow the Mayor’s office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook @HoustonMOCA.