Mayor's Office Press Release
Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Awards Second Round of Digital-Focused Arts Grants
June 15, 2020 -- The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) announces the second round of competitive grants by Let Creativity Happen! (LCH) Digital. The 13 successful projects employing digital tools to engage people with arts and culture will receive $31,000. These projects were awarded from among 71 proposals to the second round of the Let Creativity Happen! (LCH) Digital competitive grant program.
“As we work together toward strong families and communities, artists and the cultural sector continue to support the economy, our mental health and bring joy,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
When it launched in 2017, LCH was designed to support innovative and public-facing ideas that pushed the boundaries of artistic and cultural practice. In response to the impact of COVID-19, LCH adapted its focus to meet the needs of a rapidly and inevitably digitized climate. Inspired by digital activations across the country, LCH Digital provides up to $2,500 grants to support individual artists, organizations and collectives offering innovative artistic programming in the digital sphere.
“We congratulate all award recipients as they embark on their projects,” said Debbie McNulty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “Our creative community continues to inspire and highlight its essential role in our daily lives.”
This round’s recipients proposed digital curation, live-stream events, and content re-sharing for viewers not only throughout the city of Houston, but across the globe, between May 1 and July 31. Several projects showcase Houston’s diversity by mapping the city’s murals, or compiling voices and videos from the public into larger works of art. Other projects livestream performances that give audience members creative influence over their content.
The projects receiving support:
- “The Intimacy of Latitudes and Longitudes” by Adam Castaneda
Dancers, Adam Castaneda and Bryan Dinh, explore their long-distance platonic relationship by allowing live audiences to participate in shaping the choreography and the stage of their virtual dance duet.
June 15 – July 19, @adamluis_houston
- “Cone Man Capers” by Cone Man Running Productions
Transforming video-conferencing spaces into crime scenes, Cone Man Running invites audiences to direct interrogations, and challenge improvisational responses from actors in murder mystery productions.
July 24 – August 14, @conemanrunningprod
- “Dance Houston Master Class Series” by Dance Houston
Live-streaming interactive performances from expert artists in dance styles from Tango to KPop, Dance Houston presents Dance Marathon Weekend! Join at youtube.com/dancehouston.
July 18 & 19, 2020, 12 - 6 PM CDT, @dancehouston
- “En Su Casa: A Family Film Festival and Competition” by TEATRX - A Latinx Theatre Company
TEATRX presents a virtual Latinx children’s short film festival, plus an amateur filmmaker competition that invites all families to create a film in the comfort and safety of their home. The top submissions will be edited together to create a short film that will be presented during the festival.
June 1 – July 25, @teatrx
- “Houston Mural Map” by Elia Quiles
Offering self-guided tours of engaging murals and street art throughout Greater Houston, Houston Mural Map also allows Houstonians and visitors to contribute photos and text for installations they create and discover.
Beginning July 6, @upartstudio
- “Live-stream Rent Strike, Workshop Performance” by Cressandra Thibodeaux,
Rent Strike is an immersive play about a group of tenants who decide to go on a “Rent Strike." Written and directed by Cressandra Thibodeaux, starring Jayden Key and Mai Le. The workshop performance will be live-streamed, followed by a Q&A. A final video will be uploaded to our YouTube channel.
- “Livestreamed and Online Classes in the Arts” by The Jung Center
Employing the arts to support mental health, instructors including psychotherapists, book/film group facilitators, improv actors, a children’s art therapist, a music therapist, and a flute soloist and composer, will guide a series of virtual arts programming.
May 8 – May 29, @junghouston
- “On Collaboration & Solidarity: Series of Conversations, Screenings and Table-Reading” by Qais Assali
Delving into video-art and installation works, CORE fellow, Qais Assali and filmmaker, Jose Luis Benavides will rethink loss and searching, land loss, art loss, limb loss, and what is lost in translation.
July 1 – July 22, @qaisassali
- “Operas Online” by Musiqa
Viewings of Musiqa’s most recent commissions Kassandra and The Leader. Followed by a live Q&A with their composers. The Leader is based on Eugène Ionesco’s one-act play of the same name. Kassandra is a modern retelling of the classical myth. The messages of both works are relevant to today.
May 16, May 23, @musiqahouston
- “Raas: Tapestry of Love” by Silambam Houston
‘Raas: Tapestry of Love’ is a short digital dance production, scripted and produced specifically for the digital platform, featuring thirteen prominent Indian classical dancers in eight cities and five time zones across the world. The digital presentation endeavors to erase physical, geographical, and social distances, to portray true artistic confluence.
Available May 30, @silambamhouston
- "A Counting (Houston)" by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Experience Houstonians counting from 1 to 100 in this ongoing generative video. The project will highlight the diversity of the city, and its populations typically underrepresented by the Census. Houstonians will activate the project via the 24/7 hotline prompting them to record themselves counting in their native languages.
Beginning July 1, @camhouston
- “The Immigrant American Folk Music Project” by Addison Freeman
Amanda Pascali and Addison Freeman, focus on introducing a musical component to ESL lessons which have transitioned online in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This project aims to help new immigrants and refugees build a national identity through language acquisition.
June 18 – July 17, @amandinapascali
- Word Bank by Sarah Sudhoff
"Word Bank" is a data driven participatory experience and digital archive. Visitors to the project website are prompted to enter a series of words reflecting on their experiences during quarantine and hopes for the future. Once submitted, the user receives a unique haiku written in part by the previous user.
Beginning July 20, @sarahsudhoff
MOCA congratulates all award recipients as they embark on their projects and thanks them for their dedication to the arts and cultural vitality of Houston.
To find and share Houston’s digital events and cultural programming with friends far and wide, visit the Cultural Events Calendar.
To learn more about the LCH Digital Grant Program, visit https://www.houstonartsalliance.com/funding-and-services/grant-opportunities#lch.