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Cultural Affairs Office

Mayor Annise D. Parker is committed to the growth and development of the Houston arts community and the preservation of Houston's historic buildings and districts. The Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs serves as the Mayor's and City's representative to the Houston Arts Alliance, a nonprofit organization created by the City to coordinate the Civic Art Program and Arts Grant Program. The Office of Cultural Affairs serves as the liaison to arts, historic preservation and neighborhood organizations and works with several Redevelopment Authorities, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones and other entities on neighborhood conservation issues and projects. The office works on special projects in Parks and Libraries and coordinates art exhibitions in City Hall and the City Hall Annex.

Arts and Cultural Plan Town Hall



Join Houston residents and community members as we meet with city officials and cultural planning team representative to discuss the cultural future of Houston. 

Wednesday, March 25th 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center 1475 West Gray Street Houston, TX 77019 

Seating capacity is limited. To ensure entrance to the event, please register at:



Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Launches Arts & Culture
Houston on HTV

Arts and Culture on HTV

November 26, 2014 -- Hosted by Minnette Boesel, Arts & Culture Houston highlights some of the incredible cultural events and arts happenings in our City.  View the inaugural segment covering interactive art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, a photographic history about the rise of Tampico's oil industry at City Hall and new City recycling trucks that double as portable canvasses for artists.

Advisory Committee Selected to Help Guide Arts and Cultural Plan Process

November 18, 2014 -- As part of the community engagement process, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has announced the creation of a volunteer committee to provide advice on the Arts and Cultural Plan vision and components.

Members of the new Arts and Cultural Plan Community Advisory Committee were invited to participate by Mayor Annise Parker and Co-Chairs Philamena Baird and Rick Lowe.  The group includes individuals with a wide range of cultural backgrounds and community involvement from the nonprofit and creative sectors as well as the business community, academia, community development and service organizations, faith and healthcare. More ...

July 30, 2014 -- Mayor Annise Parker has selected philanthropist Philamena Baird and Project Row House Founder Rick Lowe to serve as co-chairs of the effort to create a new cultural plan for Houston.

“I want to thank Rick and Philamena for agreeing to give their valuable time and take this on,” said Mayor Parker.  “Houston has changed dramatically since the last cultural plan in 1994.  We are more diverse economically and ethnically.  The number of arts and cultural organizations has grown, and our artist community has become one of the most exciting in the country.  It’s time for a new plan that will position Houston as a leader and destination for arts and culture.”

More ...

2014 Inauguration Poem

Like the Lantana

You thrive in the heat. You emerge from flat cement, grow above your obstacles, stand vibrant.

With fruits as rich and dark as oil, you call to the songbirds. Call down the butterflies with blooms combining all your colors.

You flourish in unexpected places, catch my eye and make me smile. The clouds can’t dim you; the storms don’t tear you down.

Like the lantana, you burst through the borders, outshining others with your strength and simple beauty. I call it a favorite flower; I call you beloved home.

Poem by Qwendolyn Zepeda, Houston Poet Laureate, read at the 2014 Inauguration of Mayor Annise D. Parker, City Controller Ronald C. Green and City Councilmembers.

Report: Arts and Culture Contribute More to U.S. Economy Than Tourism

Marketplace Online
December 13, 2013
Written by: Dan Gorenstein

For the first time the federal government has tallied up the arts and culture contribution to the nation’s economy. It turns out that sector, movies, painting, publishing, cable and more, was worth half a trillion dollars — 3 percent to the gross domestic product in 2011. That’s more than the travel and tourism industry.

“Here you have for the first time, comprehensive empirical evidence from the point of view of economists that the arts play a substantial role in the nation’s economy,” says Sunil Iyengar who runs the Office of Research and Analysis for the National Endowment for the Arts.

In an instant, writers, app designers, publishers and painters just got a bunch of “street cred.” Nearly two million people work in the arts and culture industry which exported about $40 billion in goods and services in 2011. Some economists say ideas, innovation, and creativity are essential to growing the United States economy.

University of Minnesota culture economist Ann Markusen says putting a dollar value to the sector could lead to policies that promote it. “The recognition of the significance of art skills, is going to really be a big boost for artists and also for encouraging young people to go into the arts,” she says.

Who knows, maybe that whole starving artist thing will finally be on its way out.

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