Cultural Affairs Office

Arts and Cultural Plan


Branding Band graphic

The Arts and Cultural Plan identifies community concerns, sets a vision for the future and recommends actions to achieve long-term priorities. The Plan was developed by looking at local data, research and by listening to community residents, artists, arts and cultural groups, a community advisory committee, City staff and elected officials, civic leaders and experts. Hundreds of individuals contributed to the Arts and Cultural Plan through meetings, interviews and events, and thousands more accessed the project online.

The vision for the City of Houston Arts and Cultural Plan is to foster an environment in which art and culture flourish for the sharing and benefit of all residents and visitors.

Your continued input is vital. What do you think would help make Houston’s arts and cultural life even better?

2016 Year in Review


Incredible things happened in Mayor Sylvester Turner’s first year in office to help art and culture flourish for the benefit of all residents and visitors. We are pleased to report measurable progress implementing the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan in 2016.

checkbox graphicCompleted the first evaluation of the Civic Art Program and identified ways to improve the City’s art in public spaces for more people

checkbox graphicCompleted a performance review of contracted arts agencies and increased transparency with a new Grants and Funding webpage

checkbox graphicJoined a stakeholder-driven task force researching new revenue sources for arts and culture

checkbox graphicProvided a $50,000 lead grant for a new international Latino theater initiative designed to tour Houston neighborhoods

checkbox graphicPartnered with Mid-America Arts Alliance and Fresh Arts on the Houston launch of Artist INC to bolster professional practice for individual artists

checkbox graphicIncreased the Mayor’s communication from two media releases in 2015 to 10 and launched a Facebook page generating 728 likes

checkbox graphicCollaborated with the Department of Public Works & Engineering, Houston Police Department, City Council and UP Art Studio to add 109 new neighborhood “Mini Murals” for a total of 147

checkbox graphicFeatured 62 Houston-based artists and 174 students in 20 City Hall exhibits in partnership with community groups and City departments

checkbox graphicReduced from three to two the number of Council Districts without Civic Art

checkbox graphicPrioritized City Initiative funding with 14 of the 16 grants based in neighborhoods

checkbox graphicConducted a city-wide call for projects resulting in the Mayor’s endorsement of an application to the National Endowment for the Arts to support a new artist space and cultural district in the Fifth Ward

checkbox graphicSupported Houston’s Poet Laureate Program with Houston Public Library, resulting in 15 presentations/readings and more than 400 submissions to Houston’s Favorite Poem Anthology from over 100 zip codes

checkbox graphicWorked with the Office of Government Relations on City arts and cultural priorities for the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature

checkbox graphicProposed a collaboration with Houston’s Youth Poet Laureate, Writers in the Schools (WITS) and HUE Mural Festival resulting in a mural in the EaDo neighborhood

checkbox graphicHelped the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee secure the Pro Football Hall of Fame “Gridiron Glory” exhibition at the University Museum at Texas Southern University to coincide with Super Bowl LI

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs implements the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan, ensuring the City’s investments celebrate Houston’s artists, cultures and communities with transparency, accountability, access and equity.


Advisory Committee


Co-Chairs Philamena Baird and Rick Lowe

Omar Afra
Owner of Free Press Houston, Producer of the Free Press Summer Festival

Keiji Asakura
Principal Designer of Asakura Robinson

Philamena Baird
Arts and Cultural Plan Co-Chair, Vice Chair of the Houston Arts Alliance, Boards of Directors of Children at Risk, Harris County-Houston Sports Authority

Jane Cahill West
President of the Super Neighborhood Alliance, Past-President of the Washington Avenue Coalition/Memorial Park Super Neighborhood (SN 22)

Cecil C. Conner, Jr.
Managing Director Emeritus of the Houston Ballet, Houston First Board of Directors

Terri Diraddo
Arts & Events Manager, Brookfield Office Properties

Jefferson Todd Frazier
Director, Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine

Roland Garcia
Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Boards of Directors of Greater Houston Partnership and Houston Arts Alliance, Mayors Hispanic Advisory Board

Sonia Garza-Monarchi
Garza Protocol Associates, LLC, Chair of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Harry Gee
President of Sister Cities Houston, Harry Gee, Jr. and Associates, Houston Technology Center Board of Directors, UT School of Law Energy Center Advisory Board

Jonathon Glus
President and CEO, Houston Arts Alliance

Guy Hagstette
Consultant, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Blueprint Houston Board Member, General Plan Steering Committee

Vernita Harris
President of Impact Strategies Consultants, Chair of the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce

Richie Hunter
Vice Chancellor/Vice President for University Marketing, Communication and Media Relations, University of Houston

Tammie Kahn
Executive Director, Children’s Museum of Houston

Yani Rose Keo
Executive Director, Alliance for Multicultural Community Services

Duncan F. Klussmann
Superintendent of Schools, Spring Branch Independent School District

Perryn Leech
Managing Director of the Houston Grand Opera, Chair of the Theater District Association

Rick Lowe
Arts and Cultural Plan Co-Chair, Founder of Project Row Houses

Ayanna Mccloud
Artist and Program Director of Friends of Women’s Studies at the University of Houston

David D. Medina
Director of Multicultural Community Relations, Rice University, Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board, Nuestra Palabra Board of Directors

Dr. B.N. Murali
President of Beeken TechQuest Ltd., Chinmaya Mission Houston Board of Directors

Judy Nyquist
Community Volunteer, Boards of Directors of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Hermann Park Conservancy, Houston Arts Alliance

Theola Petteway
Executive Director, OST/Almeda Corridors Redevelopment Authority

Ashraf Ramji
Aga Khan Foundation

Juanita Rasmus
Co-Pastor, St. John’s United Methodist Church

Robert Robbins
President and CEO, Texas Medical Center

David Enrique Ruiz
Houston Market Manager, Bank of America, Board of Hermann Park Conservancy, Advisory Boards of Advisory Boards of Arte Publico Press and Inprint Houston, Corporate Committee of Menil Collection, Community Impact Committee of United Way of Greater Houston

Sehba Sarwar
Artistic Director of Voices Breaking Boundaries, Writer, and Multidisciplinary Artist

Cissy Segall Davis
Executive Director, Miller Theatre Advisory Board

Jenni Rebecca Stephenson
Executive Director, Fresh Arts

Danille K. Taylor
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Texas Southern University

Gary Tinterow
Director, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Chair of the Museum District Association

Phoebe Tudor
President of the Houston Ballet Foundation, Chair of the Julia Ideson Library Preservation Partners, Chair of the Shepherd Society, Boards of Directors of Hermann Park Conservancy, Rice Design Alliance

Don Woo
President of Mission Constructors, Houston Parks Board, Star of Hope Board of Directors

Fred Zeidman
The Zeidman Group, Chairman Emeritus United States Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C., Vice Chancellor Houston Community College System

Gwendolyn Zepeda
First Poet Laureate, City of Houston