Cultural Affairs Office
Press and Communications
Mayor Parker Appoints New Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Director
November 9, 2015 -- Mayor Parker has selected Debbie McNulty as the new Director of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) to replace Minnette Boesel, who is resigning the position effective December 4, 2015. McNulty will lead MOCA and will work with City departments, arts partner contractors, artists and cultural and neighborhood communities to implement the City’s newly adopted Arts and Cultural Plan.
“The public interest that the planning process generated illustrates the importance of arts and culture in our city,” said Mayor Parker. “Minnette has served my administration exceptionally well and when I gave her the big task of developing a cultural plan for the City, she met the challenge with superb results. Debbie is the perfect choice to continue the momentum. She has been a valuable member of the City’s arts and cultural plan team and is dedicated to seeing that the City’s cultural investments benefit the entire community.”
Minnette Boesel has led MOCA for seven years. She began her tenure under Mayor Bill White’s administration and has overseen the development of the office and the City’s cultural priorities. She has served as the Mayor’s representative to arts and cultural organizations including the Board of the Houston Arts Alliance, the city’s non-profit partner organization that administers under contract to the city a grants program for cultural organizations and artists and the city’s civic art collection. In addition to the completion of the city’s Arts and Cultural Plan, Minnette worked to partner on numerous projects and programs including temporary and permanent civic art installations, dozens of art exhibitions in the City Hall complex, the selection of Houston’s first Poet Laureates, the Mayor’s Arts Scholarship Program, the initiation of a television show “Arts & Culture Houston” on HTV, historic preservation ordinance revisions, the city’s first General Plan and neighborhood economic and historic revitalization initiatives. During Minnette’s tenure the Mayor received the highest award by her peers, the Local Arts Leadership Award, from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Americans for the Arts.
Debbie McNulty served as Lead Consultant for the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan. Her extensive experience includes work in philanthropy, public-private partnerships, community-based organizations and the arts. She was a program officer with Houston Endowment Inc. from 2008 to 2014, working primarily in the areas of arts and culture and community and economic development. From 2004 to 2008 Ms. McNulty was Executive Director of Art League Houston, a nonprofit art school and gallery, coordinating the development and construction of their expanded facility. From 2000 to 2004 she served as Director of the Civic Art and Design Program at the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County (now Houston Arts Alliance), having worked with the program from its inception in 1994 and throughout the effort that resulted in the adoption the Houston percent-for-art ordinance in 1999.
More information about the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs can be found at www.houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs.