Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Mayor Announces Necole Irvin as Director for Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs

Necole IrvinMay 6, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced Necole Irvin as the new director of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA).

Irvin joined the City of Houston six years ago as MOCA's first Cultural Tourism Officer. She is a philanthropic professional with legal, public health, cultural, policy, and international experience. She has worked to improve the quality of communities and for long-term sustainable change. A former Peace Corps volunteer from Louisiana, Necole received her bachelor's degree from Emory University and a Juris Doctorate and Master's of Public Health from Tulane University. Before joining the City of Houston, Necole served as a program officer with the Houston Endowment.

Irvin proceeds Debbie McNulty, who served as MOCA Director for seven years.

"We will miss Debbie's leadership and contributions in the arts and cultural community, but she left MOCA in great hands," Mayor Turner said. "I trust Director Necole Irvin to provide exceptional guidance and strengthen partnerships as the arts and cultural community recover from COVID-19."

Irvin stewarded the transformation of the grants system, led MOCA's new work in the music space, and looks forward to serving as director. As Director of MOCA, she will be the chief cultural policy advisor to Mayor Turner and responsible for implementing the City's Arts and Cultural Plan, advocating for the creative community and its integral role in Houston's identity.

"Mayor Turner's administration is a strong supporter of the arts community and it is an honor to serve in his administration," Director Irvin said. "MOCA has made significant strides to advance access, transparency, and equity. I  look forward to building on this work for artists, musicians, and the continued growth of the creative economy."

Director Irvin's appointment is effective immediately.