Resilience Target 5

Current Status


Activity In 2021

$45,000 awarded in 5 grants ($5 million awarded in 2020 and $5.6 million awarded in 2021 through COVID-19 relief efforts)

Beyond 2021

$1.2 million to be invested each year to reach the 2025 goal

Related Initiatives

Why Invest in Local Artists?

Houston is a multicultural metropolis with internationally renowned arts institutions, diverse entertainment offerings, and vibrant neighborhoods rich in cultural traditions. The city can strengthen community resilience by leveraging its rich tradition of arts and culture unique to Houston’s diverse neighborhoods. Strong support for and relationships among anchor arts and culture institutions, community groups, and local artists and entrepreneurs can build neighborhood identity and drive economic development. Not only do these strategies enhance neighborhood resilience by promoting community cohesion and local economic development opportunities, they also provide creative ways to engage Houstonians and build increased risk awareness and preparedness strategies. As of 2021, Houston has seven cultural arts districts designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts. In 2021, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs launched a new funding program and continued to leverage and support artists at all levels through the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, two more funding sources to link art with resilience, specifically with health and public works projects, have been identified and are underway. These new and existing programs support artists and culture-bearers and enable Houston’s arts and diversity of cultural traditions to thrive. In 2021, MOCA awarded five grants totaling $45,000. This number has also been complemented by $5 million in emergency COVID-19 relief efforts for local artists in 2020.

To date (2020 and 2021 combined), $55,000 in project funding has been awarded to local artists. One example advanced in 2021 includes the Lawndale Art and Performance Center, artist Cindee Travis Klement's “Symbiosis.” It is a work of living land art in the Mary E. Bawden Sculpture Garden that introduces a variety of native plants to immerse the community in and educate them on the possibility of a more regenerative, sustainable future. Additionally, MOCA is partnering with Public Works and community groups on a Bloomberg-funded project that incorporates asphalt art while working with Houston Health Department to produce creative storytelling for an air quality grant from the EPA in five Complete Communities, awarded in 2021.

2021 Data Source
COH Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA)