Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

City Awards Second Round of 2019 Let Creativity Happen! Arts Grants

May 15, 2019 -- The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs today announced 22 recipients of the quarterly Let Creativity Happen! competitive grants for artists projects.

A total of $55,000 - 22 grants of $2,500 each - was awarded to 37 artists and three organizations.

Funded by the City of Houston Hotel Occupancy Tax dedicated to the arts, Let Creativity Happen! is administered by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs with the Houston Arts Alliance.

Migratory Birds Artwork

Artist Michael Golden will highlight 16 native and migratory birds with an original artwork
and accompanying text on signs at birding sites around the city.

"Our City flourishes with a wide range of arts experiences available every day,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.  “It reminds each of us of the value of art and artists in the success of Houston. The City is proud to invest in the creative economy and the artists that are integral to its growth.”

“The presentations are one of the most exciting components of the grant program," said Debbie McNulty, director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “The projects culminate in a presentation where recipients talk about what they created, learned and have an opportunity to engage with other grant recipients. I invite everyone to join me at the next 8x8, eight artists x eight minutes. The artists will share their experience on Tuesday, June 11th at Aurora Picture Show, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Your creativity will be ignited.”

MOCA congratulates all award recipients and thanks them for their dedication and contributions to the expansive arts and cultural landscape of Houston.

To learn more about each of these grants, visit

The next deadline for grant applications is 5:30 pm July 1.

Grant recipients:


Project Title

Artistic Discipline

B. Lauren

Mercy, a film journal for the tender heart and mind.

Film / Photography

Carolina Borja

Zipper Merging your ducks in my row

Sculptural Installation

Cressandra Thibodeaux

Folk Songs of My Father

Multidisciplinary Arts

Cuyler Ballenger

2 Cards

Film / Video Art / Performance

Dance Houston

Hey There


David Politzer

Power Suit


Dennis Nance

"Summer Casual" - Exhibition and Auxiliary Programming at the Wedge Space at HCC Southeast

Visual Art

Elisabeth Swim

The Secret Choir: The Rehearsal IS the Performance


Emily Sloan

Recreational Aesthetics

Studio and Social Practice

Finca Tres Robles

Finca Tres Robles - Mural

Visual Arts

Jeanette Joy Harris

Performance Art Immersive Workshop with Guest Artist and Interdisciplinary Political Philosophy Conference

Performance Art and Academic Scholarship

Jerry "Brian" Ellison

Unmaskulinity project

Photography / Cinematography

Josie Pickens

The Love No Limit Show with Josie Pickens

Writer, Speaker, Radio Host

Julia Claire Wallace

Performance Art on Instagram

Performance Artist, Organizer, Arts Administrator

Krista Birnbaum

The Trek

Public Art / Community Engagement

Michael Golden

Fantastical Birding Tour of Houston

Visual Arts

Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble

Dancing The Blue Hour

Contemporary dance to live original music

Musically Inclined: A Fine Arts Company

Garden City Music Festival


Robert D Jackson

In Their Words: Student Voices on Education, Activism and Opportunity

Documentary Filmmaking / Theater

Silambam Houston

YUVA 2019

Dance, Music, Theater

TEATRX - A Latinx Theatre Company

La Vida Es Cortos / Life Is Shorts Festival

Theatre and Film

Texas Johnny Boy

"Junk On My Street"

Music & Visual Arts

The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs develops policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment. Learn more at Find fun stuff on Houston’s Cultural Events Calendar and follow @HoustonMOCA on Facebook and Instagram.