Cultural Affairs Office
The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) develops policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment. It helps the public and City departments and offices realize cultural projects that advance their goals and benefit the city’s 2.2 million residents and nearly 22.3 million annual visitors.
The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs implements the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan with a vision to foster an environment in which art and culture flourish for the sharing and benefit of all residents and visitors. It highlights the local artist workforce through exhibitions in historic City Hall and oversees contracts for grants and cultural services and the City’s Civic Art Program. MOCA facilitates temporary art, art donations to the City Collection, community murals and special projects.
Visit Historic City Hall
Visitors to Houston’s Historic City Hall will discover rotating artworks on the main level and in MOCA’s Underground Gallery, a display of gifts to the City from around the world, the Houston Hall of Fame video display and the historic rotunda murals. The allegorical murals depict Culture, Industry, Social Activities and Municipal Activities.
Completed in 1939, architect Joseph Finger's finely detailed Houston City Hall is an excellent example of what is sometimes called WPA Deco, the style of many Depression-era projects financed by the federal Works Progress Administration. City Hall is a City of Houston Protected Landmark and in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Map to City Hall
- More About Historic City Hall
- City Hall Tours
- More About Houston’s Historic Architecture
Houston's Cultural Landscape
Houston has tremendous artistic and cultural assets and its internationally-renowned cultural institutions drive a growing creative economy. The city is home to over 35,000 working artists, the first and largest art car parade in the world, the largest rodeo in the world and one of the world’s largest and most respected international photographic events, FotoFest. Houston is anchored by leading museums and performing arts organizations. It has the highest-attended youth museum for its size in the country, the largest “always free” proscenium outdoor theatre program in the country and the most Cultural Districts in the state -- five -- designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts. The First Ward has the highest concentration of artist studios in Texas -- second in the nation after Hollywood.
The city’s magnificent skyline is made up of award-winning architecture, landmarks and historic buildings. Houston has originated groundbreaking faith, place-based and literature organizations that fuse art with human rights, community development and education. Locally created exhibitions and productions tour the country routinely, shining a spotlight on the city’s artistic excellence. Houston is one of a few U.S. cities with resident companies in symphony, opera, drama and ballet, and more than 500 organizations are devoted to the arts, science and history in the Houston area. Each year these groups have more than 9 million visits by adults and children.
You can find great cultural destinations and engaging arts events going on all over Houston every single day. Visit Houston’s Cultural Events Calendar to explore the city’s extraordinary offerings. Also explore the various activities happening in our five Cultural Districts: Arts District Houston, Midtown Cultural Arts & Entertainment District, Theater District Houston, Houston Museum District, East End Cultural District.