|HOUSTON – The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) is awarding $114,000 in grants to 11 individuals and nonprofit organizations whose work furthers cultural tourism and resilience throughout the city of Houston.
The funds were 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 has 3 rounds of application cycles this year and offers grants in three categories: neighborhood cultural destinations, conference tourism, and disaster resilience awareness. In addition to these funding categories, MOCA awards a small number of special community initiatives each year.
“Houston’s creative economy is important to the city, its residents, and to me,” says Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The City’s continued support and investments in the arts will be one of the many pillars of my legacy as mayor of Houston. These investments in the creative economy of the city are not only positive returns but have also built the Bayou City as one of the leading arts cities in the country and in the world and I am proud to see that happen under my leadership.”
The first round of the 2023 City’s Initiative grantees are:
Archaeological Institute of America Houston Society
«Archaeology Now and the Arab American Educational Foundation will create a film that documents the construction of a reed structure–a mudhif–from the marshes of Iraq, along with associated cultural programming presented over a six-month period at locations in Houston. Their structure and programming focus on the story of the Marsh Arabs, a diaspora community that exists in Houston. The film will preserve knowledge of mudhif construction–currently only known to elders in Iraq–helping to preserve heritage, cultural identity, and community cohesion. The film, along with accompanying photography and programming materials, will be deposited in an archive at Rice University.» This grant was awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category.
“The Filipino American National Historical Society Conference is held every two years and Houston has been chosen for 2024. As chair of the conference, author of the Filipinos in Houston book, Poisot wants to showcase Houston by lining up educational lectures, performances, a museum exhibit of local Filipinx artists, and food. The conference is targeted to take place in July 2024. 40+. chapters from all over the United States will converge onto the city to share their stories with Houstonians.» This grant was awarded under the Conference Tourism category.
Painting with sustainability in mind. Art of Color Mural Fest is an environmentally sustainable mural festival using innovative CO2 absorbing paint taking place October 21, 2023, in the Heights. With donations of the venue and wall space provided by Eureka Heights Brew Co. and paint from The People’s CO2 company, they’re driven by climate change, arts, philanthropy, and inspiring community engagement with creative work by local, diverse muralists of varying ethnicities.» This grant was awarded under the Neighborhood Cultural Destinations category.