Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Announces Emergency Response Program Supporting Artists

May 12, 2020 -- The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) and Downtown Redevelopment Authority, in partnership with gener8tor announced today a new initiative supporting Houston artists, musicians, creatives and nonprofit leaders affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the Houston Emergency Response Program, artists, musicians and creatives will have access to a free, week-long webinar series designed to identify and leverage critical resources in order to weather this ongoing public health crisis.

As part of the program, participants will be provided with daily webinars featuring experts in the following areas:

  • Sustaining your creativity and creative practice during COVID-19
  • Navigating and utilizing TikTok to bolster your online presence
  • Mental health and wellness resources for creatives
  • Unemployment assistance and financial relief resources
  • Fireside chat with Fernando Garibay, creative director and music producer on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way album

Velissa R. Chapa, legal counsel to the commissioner representing employers at the Texas Workforce Commission, will lead the unemployment assistance webinar.

In addition to webinars, daily one-on-one consultations to meet digitally with advisors on the above topics will be available. The gener8tor team will be working one-on-one with artists, musicians, creatives and nonprofit leaders to address the various issues they are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

gener8tor will also work with community groups interested in providing pro bono resources to artists.

Interested artists, musicians, creatives and nonprofit leaders may visit (link expired) to register. The program will run from May 18, 2020 - May 22, 2020. All Houston-based creatives are welcome to apply.

“The cultural community it is the heart and soul of Houston,” said Debbie McNulty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “Right now, organization leaders and individuals are adapting and persevering to keep bringing us art, music and creativity when we need it most. We are thankful to gener8tor for joining our local response with this program and to the Downtown Redevelopment Authority for their support.”

“Artists, musicians and creatives are a vital part of building thriving communities. We hope to call on our network of mentors, investors and partners to support artists through this new Emergency Response Program,” said Joe Kirgues, gener8tor co-founder.

For more information on the Emergency Response Program, contact Abby Taubner at

About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs guides the City’s cultural investments with policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonMOCA. Find fun stuff on Houston’s Cultural Events Calendar.

About the Downtown Redevelopment Authority
The purpose of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority (DRA) is to facilitate positive development of the area within the Tax Increment Zone #3 (TIRZ #3) boundaries. Tax increment dollars collected within the boundaries of the Zone are reinvested back into the Zone through the Board of Directors. It accomplishes this by providing financial incentives through public/private sector partnerships designed to make Downtown Houston a place where Houstonians and visitors want to live, work and play.

About gener8tor
gener8tor’s turnkey platform for the creative economy connects startup founders, musicians, artists, investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships.