Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Awards $5.6 Million in Grants to Arts and Culture Non-profit Organizations


Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Awards $5.6 Million in Grants to Arts and Culture Non-profit Organizations

HOUSTON – The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) will award $5,612,433 in grants to 132 arts and culture nonprofit organizations.  The grants will fund sponsored projects across the City that will offer public exhibitions, presentations, and performances in 2021.

“City funding offers critical support to arts and cultural institutions as well as individual artists,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.  “Although the arts sector and artists sustained significant losses due to the global pandemic, they were still able to innovate, entertain, and bring joy and light into our lives.  While economic recovery continues as vaccination levels rise, Houston recognizes art is integral to a vibrant city, and a necessary driver of our local economy.”

The funds were awarded via the Support for Organizations grant program, which supports nonprofit organizations and fiscally sponsored projects with annual arts and cultural programming that is available to Houston residents and visitors. This competitive grant program is managed and administered annually by the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and is funded by a portion of the City’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT).  More information about HOT funding is available here.

A Mixed Pool of Existing and New Grantees
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced the amount of HOT funds available in 2020 and continues to impact HOT revenue this year. As a result, the latest Support for Organizations grant cycle is awarding funds to new 2021 grantees, as well as existing 2020 grantees whose grants were reduced last year due to the pandemic.

This one-time approach means that grants made in 2021 will be split as follows:

  • At least 37% of HOT funding will be dedicated to new grantees via a competitive grants process
  • Up to 63% of HOT funding will be dedicated to 2020 grantees who experienced greatly reduced grants due to the pandemic

For the Support for Organizations grant program, this split means that:

  • 97 grants were awarded to existing 2020 grantees with contract extensions, totaling $1,430,038.
  • 35 new grants were awarded to grantees through a competitive grant process, totaling $4,182,352

A complete list of Support for Organizations 2021 Grantees can be found here.

Future Grant Opportunities
In partnership with MOCA, HAA will launch the next major grant cycle on August 6, 2021. Potential applicants can apply to the 2022 Support for Artists and Creative Individuals (SACI), Festival and Support for Organizations grant programs. SACI and Festival grant programs will be supported by 2021 HOT funding that has been realized; approximately $300,000 will be available to distribute.

Support for Organizations will compete for projected funding for the 2022 calendar year.

The Mayor, MOCA, and the City congratulate all of this year’s City art grantee organizations and the 23 panelists of diverse skills, self-identity, and experience.

About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA)
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 to do on the Cultural Calendar!

About Houston Arts Alliance (HAA)
Houston Arts Alliance is a local arts and culture organization whose principal work is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grantmaking and civic art investments. HAA’s work is conducted through contracts with the City of Houston, overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. HAA also executes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the arts community, such as disaster preparation, research on the state of the arts in Houston, and temporary public art projects that energize neighborhoods. In short, HAA helps artists and nonprofits be bold, productive, and strong.

To learn more about HAA, visit