Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Awards $5M to the Creative Community

December 17, 2020 -- Houston creative community has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic as music venues and art spaces have closed. To help combat some of the financial strain impacting local artists and cultural organizations, the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) distributed $5 million to artists, cultural organizations, music venues and musicians.

MOCA, in collaboration with Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA), successfully distributed federal CARES funds to 691 recipients. A total of 226 artists, 308 musicians, 36 music venues, and 121 arts and cultural organizations received support. The MOCA CARES relief grant programs were offered twice in 2020, in August and in November. All funds have been distributed.

“We want to thank musicians and artists for their role in community as we, as a city, work together during this global pandemic,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “While we see positive signs regarding vaccines, we know that we must continue to protect ourselves and each other. The City’s commitment to music venues, musicians, cultural institutions and artists is a part of a variety of supports like broadband access, rental assistance, and small business relief.”

Recipients of funding represented the entire city across all eleven City Council districts, and represented a variety of musical genres and artistic expressions. A majority of recipients reported that their artistic practice makes up their primary source of income, making these funds critical. There were a total of 1,736 applicants reporting losses of $165.6 million.

These grants provide direct support to individuals and businesses that generate economic activity and support the community's wellbeing. The organizations and music venues that received awards are listed below. We encourage everyone to continue to #MaskUp, stay safe, and support the arts.

A total of $1,206,950 distributed to 534 individual creatives in music, visual arts, writing, film/media, theater, dance, and design.

First Band Photo

Second Band Photo

To learn more about the City’s cultural programs visit You can also follow MOCA on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.