Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Awards $62,500 to Projects Promoting Tourism and Resilience

Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Awards $62,500 to Projects Promoting Tourism and Resilience



HOUSTON – The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is awarding $62,500 in grants to 7 individuals and nonprofit organizations whose work furthers cultural tourism and resilience in the city.

“The grantees this quarter solidify our city’s image as an Arts City,” says Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are not just a Space City or Bayou City, but because of the  incredible amount of talent and diverse type of arts that can be found and supported by the city, we are also an Arts City.»

The latest city initiative grantees are:

●    Rivkah French: “Emulsion”
Emulsion is a new immersive Virtual Reality dance film by Rivkah French that explores the beauty and intimacy of relationships. By shooting and presenting this film with VR technology, Emulsion brings the viewer into the experience of moving with the dancers, rather than viewing them from a distance. Emulsion will be presented in conjunction with neighborhood-focused filmmaking workshops at multiple venues across the 5th Ward, culminating in a public showing of the participants’ self-made films. This grant was awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category.

●    C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services: “The C-STEM Little Library Free WiFi Public Art Project”
The C-STEM Little Library Free WiFi Public Art Project offers free books to increase STEM literacy and awareness of health/wellness, bridges the digital divide by providing access to the Internet of Things (IoT), beautifies the community, increases usage of underutilized pocket spaces in the community, and creates safer neighborhoods. This grant was awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category.

City’s Initiative – C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services
●    God’s Grace Community Church: “Christmas in the 4 4”
The «Christmas in the 4 4» is a formal event that showcases national artists as they perform Christmas selections. This event is scheduled the third week in December every year on a Friday night at 7 PM. It is held at God’s Grace Community Church, 9944 West Montgomery Road. After the concert, a reception is held in the fellowship hall. This grant was awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category.

●    Hispanic Alliance For Performing And Audiovisual Arts
HAAPA will honor the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery through a play.  The play will bring to the visual plane the philosophy explored in the book and promote its knowledge to new generations of artists and audiences, as well as bridge the community to the artistic expressions of Latinos.  This grant was awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category.

●    Justin Grant
To celebrate the line as an essential conceptual element in the visual arts, a year of exhibitions and events is planned that includes a program of educational activities for the community and students. The activities will take place in Sabine Street Studios, part of the Sawyer Yards located in the established Arts District Houston. The programs coincide with the formation of a new exhibition space called East Corridor Gallery, or ECG, designated exclusively for the exhibition of local artists and creatives whose work emphasizes the practical and conceptual elements of the line and its many facets. This grant was awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category.

City’s Initiative – Justin Grant
●    Andrew Davis: “SOLEVISION II”
On June 18, 2023 the second installment of SOLEVISION, «SOLEVISION II», will occur at Emancipation Park (venue subject to change). The hybrid on-site & digital performance will highlight and draw from conversations held between Houston-based artists Andrew ‘TAME, The Aspiring Me’ Davis, Kazembe «DJ Elevated» Gray & Ariel Bounds. The conversations will expand upon the narrative of the initial SOLEVISION, self-perception, and world reflection, along with the proximity of Juneteenth as it relates to the artists; the culmination of the conversations will be expressed through live performance, mixed media and set design.

●    Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus
Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus is being established as Houston’s first bi-lingual children’s choir, whose mission is to enrich the lives of children and families through transformative performance opportunities which engage residents, build communities, and share with visitors the unique cultural identity of Second Ward/East End. This pilot-project targets children from immigrant and Spanish-speaking households ages 4-12, offering bi-lingual mentoring and access to the Arts, including music/vocal instruction. By utilizing a unique, culturally-informed curriculum, the choir aims to reduce drop-out rates, strengthen families, and foster pride in community for residents and visitors through appearances at community and city-wide public events.

All of these grants have been awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category. For more information on past grantees, click here. To see upcoming events from previous or the latest 2022 grantees, visit the frequently updated Cultural Events Calendar.

The funds are awarded through City’s Initiative, a competitive grant program that is administered by the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and funded by a portion of the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax. The program opens four times a year and offers grants in three categories: neighborhood cultural destinations, conference tourism, and resilience awareness. In addition to these funding categories, MOCA awards a small number of special community initiatives each year.

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.

About Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) 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 and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @HoustonArtsAlliance.