Houston Municipal Art

News and Press Releases

 

houston arts alliance formed and names new board of directors

regional arts group joins forces

 

November 6, 2006 -- The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) has been officially formed through the merger of the Cultural Arts Council Houston/Harris County, the Municipal Art Commission, and the Civic Art Committee. The HAA now serves as a unified entity that will fund, advocate, preserve, and promote the arts in the Houston, and Harris county region.

 

The arts are a strong economic engine for our city. They generate jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars each year," said Mayor Bill White. "By bringing together these three organizations, the Houston Arts Alliance will give the arts community a stronger voice and promote our local artists."

 

With more than 500 arts organizations and 12,000 visual and performing artists in the region, Houston continues to evolve nationally and internationally as a culturally rich city that provides residents and visitors with a diverse repertoire of visual and performing art. The HAA allocates to Houston arts organizations and individual artists $8.25 million annually levied from the city's hotel occupancy tax. Additionally, HAA is responsible for overseeing the acquisition, conservation and preservation of the growing City of Houston public art collection which currently contains over 400 pieces.

 

“I am glad to see an alignment of resources to advocate and promote the art as an industry. The formation of HAA is a great vehicle to not only promote but leverage the arts as a major force in our region,” stated Harris County Judge Robert Eckels.

 

The Board of Directors of the Houston Arts Alliance comprises 29 volunteer board members who represent some of the most well-respected artists, educators, art advocates, business and community leaders of Houston. Through a formal nominating and elections process, Argentina M. James, director of public affairs for the Port of Houston Authority is the president, Fabené Welch, partner at Haynes and Boone, is the board vice president, Peter McStravick, chief operating officer of the Houston Convention Center Hotel Corporation, is the board treasurer, and Shunney Nair, senior vice president of Communications and Development for Family Services of Greater Houston, is the board secretary. Each officer will serve a one-year term. Other board members who have been elected by the organization or appointed as representatives of the City of Houston, Harris County, the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Greater Houston Hotel & Lodging Association include:

 

  • Paula Arnold, Arnold & Langrand;
  • Keiji Asakura, Asakura Robinson Company;
  • Kenneth Barrett, Ariel Films, L.L.C.;
  • Leslie Blanton, community leader;
  • Tony Diaz, Author;
  • Joe Dilg, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.;
  • S. Shah Gilani, Accessories International Inc.
  • John Guess, Jr., Just Right Entertainment and Guess Group, Inc.;
  • Doug Horn, Houstonian Estates;
  • Frances Jeter, Cirrus Strategic Group;
  • Jill Jewett, Mayor Bill White's Office;
  • Nicolas Kanellos, University of Houston;
  • Herbert Karpicke, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts;
  • Darryl King, Quality Hospitality;
  • Marshal Lightman, Gilbane Building Company;
  • Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses;
  • Peter Marzio, Museum of Fine Arts;
  • Paul J. Matthews, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum;
  • Gasper Mir, III, Houston Independent School District
  • Judy Nyquist, patron;
  • Mark Petersen, Asset Pros P2P L.P.;
  • Sally Reynolds, art consultant;
  • Jose Solis, Gensler;
  • Sarah Trotty, Texas Southern University;
  • Carolina Weitzman, Natex Architects; and
  • Michael Zilkha, Zilkha Biomass Energy.

 

“I am excited about the possibilities of this new organization and what can be done to elevate Houston's national or for that matter, international image and how we think about art. Equally, I am grateful for the confidence in my leadership and support from dynamic board members,” stated Argentina M. James, board president.

 

Four priorities for the board that James has established during her tenure are: hiring a permanent executive director, through an ongoing international search; developing a strategic plan for the organization that integrates the work of the former entities and considers new opportunities for the arts; branding the new organization; and continuing to reach out to the arts organizations for input on how art is advanced in this region.

 

Currently, Joseph R. Wilson is serving as the Interim Executive Director tasked with managing the day-to-day operations. He has the assistance of a full-time staff to administer the services, projects and priorities of the new organization until permanent leadership is determined.

 

ABOUT THE HOUSTON ARTS ALLIANCE

The Houston Arts Alliance is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization that seeks to advance the nonprofit arts industry in the Houston region, thus contributing to the enhancement of the region's quality of life, economic competitiveness and attractiveness as a tourist destination. Its mission is to nurture, fund, advocate and promote participation in the arts in Houston and Harris County. For more information visit www.haatx.com.