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City of Houston Announces Over $3M in Artist Opportunities

New Art Acquisitions Will Grow the City’s Public Collection While Supporting Artists Impacted by the COVID-19 Economic Downturn

June 23, 2020 — The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) announced today new opportunities for artists and artist groups to have their artwork selected for the City’s Art Collection.

In April, MOCA began announcing opportunities for artists and the creative community in response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 emergency.

This new series of projects are for the City’s airports and the new Sunnyside Multi-Service and Health Center.  There are about 100 opportunities open to Houston and Texas artists in the calls for qualifications.

“Two months ago, we announced new art for the Alief Community Center, and we now have new projects coming to Sunnyside and the City’s airports,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “While we fight against the health impact of the virus, we are also fighting the economic effects with these new investments.”

The Houston Health Department operates 12 multi-service centers and five health centers throughout Houston. Multi-service centers work in partnership with collaborating agencies to provide educational resources, direct services, referrals, access to basic needs, and other social service needs.

“The importance of health workers has never been more clear locally and globally,” said Debbie McNulty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “To be commissioning new artwork for a community multi-service and health center at this time has taken on greater meaning and significance.”

Sunnyside Multi-Service and Health Center

Rendering for new Sunnyside Multi-Service and Health Center

Art showcased at the Houston airports will have a large audience as the Houston Airport System served nearly 60 million passengers in 2019.

“This is a difficult time for all people, including artists – many of which are either self-employed or small business owners,” Houston Airports Curator of Public Art Alton DuLaney said. “It’s unfortunate that many galleries are closed, and many artists are out of work. We hope this will be a lifeline for some of them. We are honored to be in a position to lift-up our Texas artists in this way while enriching Houston Airports’ public art collection.”

Pre-application workshops and submission deadlines for each opportunity are as follows:

Sunnyside Multi-Service and Health Center  
RFQ Submission Deadline: Monday, July 27, 2020 
Artist Info Session #1: Wednesday, July 1, 2020 
Artist Info Session #2: Thursday, July 11, 2020

Houston Airports Portable Works 
RF Deadline: Monday, August 3, 2020 
Artist Info Session #1: Saturday, July 8, 2020 
Artist Info Session #2: Thursday, July 18, 2020

Houston Airports New Commissions 
RFQ Deadline: Monday, August 10, 2020 
Artist Info Session #1: Saturday, July 8, 2020 
Artist Info Session #2: Thursday, July 18, 2020

The Houston Arts Alliance is managing the selection process. The selected artists must be able and willing to sign a contract with Houston Arts Alliance for the commission.

The City of Houston Civic Art Program is funding the artwork. In 1999, the City of Houston established an ordinance designating 1.75% of qualified Capital Improvement Project dollars be set aside for civic art.

For more information about COVID-19 related emergency financial help or the City’s Civic Art Program, go to www.HouCityArt.org or follow the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.