Good news for artists looking for opportunities and financial assistance: It is out there.
Opportunities and calls for art are largely unaffected by our current situation as proposals and funding is planned well in advance and applications are done online.
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is arguably the most well-known local arts and culture organization. HAA’s principal work is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values and goals for its arts grantmaking and civic art investments. HAA’s work is conducted through contracts with the city, overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA). HAA also executes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparation, research on the state of the arts in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods.
HAA is managing the selection process for a new call for art submitted by the city for artworks to become part of the City Art Collection at the new Alief Community Center.
This project is the first of several opportunities expected to be announced over the coming weeks to accelerate art projects in response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a previous message, MOCA urged the creative sector to take immediate steps to secure federal aid.
“Health and safety are everyone’s top concern, followed by economic turmoil,” said Debbie McNulty, MOCA’s director. “We initiated this call for artists, and are advancing other projects, to deploy funds restricted for this purpose as quickly as we can. Artists and fabricators are small businesses and hiring them to create new artwork is one way to help our community.”
Three separate permanent works of art will be commissioned with a budget of up to $262,633 for each artwork. The deadline for submission of qualifications is Monday, May 11. For details, go to http://www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs/alief-rfq.html.
On Tuesday, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office announced it is adding $25,000 of restricted arts funding to programs to support artists and others affected by the public health crisis.
“Artists and arts workers are uniquely able to help Houston by providing entertainment, respite, and a kind of therapy,” McNulty said. “The city needs their creativity now more than ever, and they need our help. HAA’s new disaster resilience program gives us a much-needed way to organize local fundraising and leverage our existing grantmaking system for this part of our response.”
Grants from the Greater Houston Area Arts Relief Fund will help artists and arts workers who lost wages and opportunities as a result of COVID-19.
The fund is housed at the HAA, a 501(c)(3) nonproft. It will help secure food, health and housing security for artists and employees of arts businesses and nonprofits. For more information, visit https://ready.haatx.com.
Tax-deductible contributions to the relief fund can be made by going to bit.ly/GHAAReliefFund.
On the HAA website, houstonartsalliance.com, there are opportunities galore including information on how to apply for a grant.
I gleaned the following info from FreshArts.org’s website.
The Hopper Prize is offering multiple individual artist grants totaling $5,000 awarded through an open call art competition juried by leading contemporary curators.
The Hopper Prize was established in order to increase the recognition of artwork created by artists and photographers. Its aim is to advance artists’ careers by providing them with unrestricted financial support that is coupled with a platform for increased visibility. Submissions are accepted twice a year via an open call. The deadline is May 19.
For this and more than a dozen other opportunities on the Fresh Arts website, go to FreshArts.org > Succeed As An Artist > Artist Opportunity Board.
Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.