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The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is awarding $35,000 to digitally innovative works of art and culture

Discovered Great Leaders of Crystal Toussant

July 252, 2022 — The City of Houston’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) announced it will award $35,000 in grants to 14 individuals and nonprofit organizations that have reimagined their work in the digital space. The work involves streaming services, virtual reality and digital curation to provide manifested live concerts, theatrical performances and literary concepts on online-only platforms.

“The digital focus of this grant program provides an opportunity for innovation that brings Houston’s vibrant arts and culture community to a global audience,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Our history of investing in the creative industries and our artists is an integral part of who we are as an international city.”

The funds were awarded through Let Creativity Happen, a competitive grant program administered by the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and funded by a portion of the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT).

Opening four times in 2022, the program offers grants for arts and culture experiences that use technology to connect audiences beyond the physical confines of space. Artists and creatives who wish to apply for city funding to support their arts and culture work should apply for the 2022 grant cycle, which begins August 2. Learn more.

Lawndale Center Art

Artist Dialogue for Love is a house that even death cannot tear down
By Lawndale Art and Performance Center

The latest Let Creativity Happen grantees will create the following works:

1st Art League Houston Make & Take Day
From the Art League of Houston

“December 4, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. will host the Art League Houston Make & Take, an all-ages arts event on our campus at 1953 Montrose Boulevard. Open to the entire community, the event will feature amazing local artists, makers and organizations offering hands-on demonstrations of a variety of art projects for you to make and then take home. In addition to your own masterpieces, Make & Take will have an accompanying video series so you can recreate your favorite projects at home with your friends and family.”

2. Online courses using art to support mental health
From the CG Jung Educational Center in Houston, Texas

“The Jung Center offers the public a wide range of multidisciplinary, interactive art programs. Three semesters throughout the year, classes and events are led by artists and educators to use the arts to support the mental health of our community.”

3. Podcast Series “With One Accord” Season 3
By the Houston Chamber Choir

The Houston Chamber Choir’s acclaimed video podcast, With One Accord, will return in Fall 2022 for its third season! Get ready for a remarkable season of exclusive guest artist interviews from our upcoming 2022-23 artistic season on Behind the Music with St. John Flynn. Discover endearing and informative stories about the inspiring scholars and educators in Houston’s choral world and beyond on Education Spotlight with April Harris. Episodes will be released at 12pm CT.”

4. Hispanic Heritage Month Short Films
From the Houston Latino Film Festival

“The Houston Latino Film Festival (HLFF) is proposing an online streaming event of short and feature films during Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15. This would take place on the virtual platform we created and for a one time fee. Audiences could see previous films from HLFF events as well as new ones and engage with the filmmakers through pre-recorded interviews and introductions to the films.”

5. Black Birth Labor Documentaries
By Alyssa Rachelle Savannah

“Black Birth Work is a 12-part docuseries that explores black birth stories, birth families of black people, their birth options and black heritage. They are four times more likely to die from preventable birth complications than their white counterparts. This documentary is the first of its kind as it gives black women the opportunity to share their birth stories in their own words. We envision this project as an empowering cultural project and educational tool that will ultimately save the lives of black women.

6. #BlackSheepWhiteSheep
By Terrell Quillin

“#BlackSheepWhiteSheep is a podcast trying to create a safe space for conversations about diversifying Houston, the US and the world. This show will appeal to people who are labeled as Oreo, white boy/girl who act as white and who have trouble fitting in. Common themes that we will discuss are the following: traumas, microaggressions and experiences. This will look like blog posts, social media posts, interviews and finally in-person events. New episodes will be available throughout the month of September 2022 on Wednesday at 2pm CST.”

7. Black Social Creativity: Minor Revolutions
By Chavonte Wright

“We invite a diverse audience to Upper Kirby and Day 6 Coffee in July for an art talk about minor revolutions or social experiments in maintaining well-being. I will be showing three 23″ x 35″ graphite and charcoal children’s drawings linked to two 11″ x 18″ quote images. These textual images offer interpretations of the artworks and encourage dialogue about maintaining health and well-being amidst an ongoing disaster.

8. Shadow Projection Series
By Cressandra Thibodeaux

“The Shadow Projection Series is a photographic exhibition tour with live activations (talks with the artist, themes and a Jungian specialist). The photos explore our Jungian shadow selves. Cressandra Thibodeaux photographs her subjects, then projects her images onto herself, creating a space for her shadows to appear.”

9. Research great leaders
By Crystal Toussant

“Lone Star Players Summer Camp will offer a low-cost two-week performing and visual arts summer camp for students, primarily in District D, open to all Houston-area students. Our students in grades 3-10 will research, memorize and perform the play Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed by Mary Satchell. We will have a digital viewing option and an in-person performance at a location in District D in August 2022.”

10. When we cross
By Jahrel Pickens

“A digitally curated 4 episode music series. The musical performances will be recorded live in front of an audience, while the interviews and background information will be edited before the final episodes air.”

11. Moroccan Live!
By Kristina Koutsoudas

“Eight traditional Moroccan dance classes (2x/week for one month) will be presented virtually (Zoom) for free to an international community of women, culminating in either a live performance at the Houston Fringe Festival in October/November 2022 (confirmed) at MATCH and/or virtual performance presented via Facebook/Vimeo. The teaching/performance would allow students and professionals to participate in the form regardless of location and schedule, create and nurture a supportive, empowering women’s community through the arts, and encourage the preservation of a dying, indigenous North African art form and continued engagement, experimentation and exploring the virtual pedagogy of this traditional dance style.”

12. Artist Dialogue for Love is a house that even death cannot tear down
By Lawndale Art and Performance Center

“This fall, at the John M. O’Quinn Gallery in Lawndale, artists Monica Kennedy (MK), Irene Antonia Diane Reece and Jamie Robertson will present Love is a House that Even Death Can’t Knock Down, a work that Family archives used to reflect on the sacredness of black life. Accompanying this exhibition will be a recorded dialogue (free and accessible online) with the artists and a distinguished scholar to further explore life, death and memory in relation to the experiences of black people in the South.”

January 13 Bones: Bayou Dolls Ball
By Mario Romero

“January Bones: Bayou Dolls Ball is an exciting performance of drag, vogue, pole and contemporary dance fused with high fashion, interactive art and avant-garde concepts. It will highlight the Vogue Ballroom scene and is open to participants of all experience levels to compete in different categories such as Catwalk, Hands Performance, Floor Performance and Body. The fashion ball will shine a spotlight on local creatives and HIV organizations, promoting HIV awareness, education and access to honor the LGBTQIA+ community and those affected by HIV.”

14. Vote in TX
By Nyssa Juneau

“Vote in TX uses art to connect the community to important voter information in preparation for the upcoming November 8, 2022 election. Vote in TX, a collaboration between Houston artists Eepi Chaad and Nyssa Juneau, was first launched in 2020 as a means to share both voter plan information and voting issues ahead of the presidential election. In 2022, Vote in TX will focus on sharing new voter access changes as well as specific issues for the 2022 midterm elections.”

Furthermore, the online-only platforms break down barriers to access, increase audience interest and encourage experimentation on a large scale. Most importantly, this digital focus facilitates the reinterpretation of these important cultural contributions beyond traditional structures.

About the Mayor’s Department of Culture
The City of Houston’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 encourage private investment. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.

About the Houston Arts Alliance
The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a local arts and culture organization whose primary mission is to implement the City of Houston’s vision, values, and goals for its arts grants and investments in urban arts. HAA’s work is conducted through contracts with the City of Houston overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. HAA also undertakes privately funded special projects to meet the needs of the art community, such as: B. disaster preparedness, 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.

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