Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

Mayor Parker Announces New Art Scholarship for Houston Area Juniors and Seniors
Art competition celebrates Houston neighborhoods Entry Deadline February 15, 2014



December 11, 2013 -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced a new competitive art scholarship today designed to recognize achievement and excellence in the visual arts among high school students and foster the arts as a means to strengthen relationships among students, communities and institutions of higher education.  Sponsored by the Department of Neighborhoods Office of Education Initiatives and Houston Arts Partners, the Mayor’s Art Scholarship will be awarded through an art competition focusing on the life and culture of Houston neighborhoods.

“The City of Houston is proud to work with Houston Arts Partners to offer students this opportunity to reach for excellence by drawing inspiration from their own neighborhoods, their own culture and the people they know,” said Mayor Parker.  “Our ultimate goal is to encourage all of our youth, as our leaders of tomorrow, to aim for a college education and a bright future.”

The scholarship contest is an outgrowth of last year’s partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Education Initiatives and various organizations, which successfully sponsored citywide student art competitions.
“Our aim is to promote higher education through scholarships and encourage collaboration among high school fine arts departments throughout the region to create more opportunities for our students,” said Mark Cueva, Office of Education Initiatives manager.

All juniors and seniors in Houston area school districts are eligible to apply.  Scholarship applicants will be guided by their art educators as they prepare their entries for submission by the deadline of February 15, 2014.  In the spring, Houston Arts Partners will convene a jury panel composed of district fine arts administrators and other experts to evaluate the contest entries.  The winners will be announced at the end of the day, with the scholarships to be issued once the student provides proof of admission to college.

“We’re excited about this one-day event that will bring together fine arts administrators, high school art teachers, students and their families, community sponsors and representatives of Texas colleges and universities,” said Mary Mettenbrink, Houston Arts Partners executive director.

Houston Arts Partners was established by area school districts and community partners who shared a common vision in support of the fine arts after state education funding cuts in 2009.  The organization has positively impacted young lives in the region through annual arts education conferences and an active network of 20 local arts organizations and 53 independent school districts.  Notably, Houston Arts Partners has elevated arts education standards and significantly expanded arts education through collaborations with established arts organizations.

The Mayor’s Office of Education Initiatives is a division of the Department of Neighborhoods dedicated to promoting education through community partnerships.  For more information, visit
For the Mayor’s Art Scholarship competition guidelines, go to