Houston Arts Alliance is seeking proposals for audit services. Houston Arts Alliance (the Alliance) is a Texas nonprofit corporation established in June 2006 to promote, encourage and sustain the development of arts and culture in Houston and Harris County, serving the diverse communities and visitors to the region. Revenue is derived primarily from contracts with the City of Houston (the City) for a portion of the City’s hotel occupancy tax receipts (HOT Funds) and civic art and design contracts. Houston Arts Alliance assumed the role previously held by Cultural Arts Council of Houston.
The Alliance’s programs include:
• Grants and grant administration – Grants are investments that expand cultural opportunities for Houstonians and visitors to enjoy the diverse array of arts presented throughout the Greater Houston Area by over 200 not-for-profit organizations and individual artists. The Alliance awards approximately 90% of its City contract funds to Houston organizations and individual artists. Other funding for grants is provided by county, federal and state governments, and local foundations.
• Civic art and design – The Civic Art + Design Program (Civic Art) responds to the opportunities and challenges to build the City’s civic art canvas and maintain the treasures and legacies in the Civic Art collection. The Alliance works with the City staff to recommend the most appropriate locations for use of Civic Art monies. The Alliance manages the artist selection process and acts as project manager through commission completion of new works of art. The Alliance works on behalf of the City to manage conservation of artworks throughout the City, utilizing national standards in conservation and contracting professionally licensed conservators. Civic Art serves as a community resource and works on a consulting basis, with both public and private sector entities. The Alliance is committed to expanding the conversation about the vision for civic art in the City.
• Management assistance and services – The Programs & Services department (P&S) of the Alliance provides year-round relevant programming that assists arts organizations and individual artists in being effective stewards of their resources. As the Alliance provides voice and leadership through its support of arts organizations and individual artists with programs and services that help build and foster a vibrant and creative community, P&S helps sustain and ensure that the creative contribution by arts professionals remains a vital part of community life across the City and the region. This includes Business Volunteer for the Arts, Free Night of Theatre, Arts Database Management Program, and Capacity Building Initiatives. The mission of Capacity Building Initiatives is to build the organizational capacity of multi-cultural, small and mid-sized arts organizations in the City, facilitating their artistic growth and strengthening their diverse cultural expression in the community.
• Arts advancement – Through special projects, networking, publications and other communication methods, community relations efforts aim to increase the understanding of the importance of the arts to the City. This includes partnerships with the Bayou City Art Festival, Metlife Foundation National Arts Forum series and workshops in conjunction with National Arts Marketing Programs. Additionally, artshound.com is the Alliance’s online calendar and the go-to site for information about the City’s thriving arts and culture sector. The site provides comprehensive information about festivals, gallery openings, workshops, auditions, artist profiles, venue and organization information, civic art, dance, music, theatre and more.
• Folklife and Traditional Arts – The Folklife and Traditional Arts program is focused on promoting and presenting the lively cultural traditions of the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area. The program works in the city’s diverse neighborhoods and communities to explore and highlight the contemporary traditions that make Houston one of the most vibrant urban landscapes in the United States. The folk and traditional arts are deeply rooted in a community’s identity and built around such factors as shared ethnic heritage, language, religion, occupation or sense of place. Genres of artistic activity that arise within these communities include, but are not limited to, music, dance, crafts, storytelling and other forms of oral expression. These vital and constantly reinvigorated artistic traditions are shaped by commonly-held values and standards of excellence that are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community, through demonstration, conversation and practice. The program’s goals include research, documentation and public projects that explore the wide variety of established and emerging cultural communities that come together in the greater Houston area. The program also provides technical assistance and resources to local traditional artists, engages in collaborations with colleague organizations, and markets the city’s rich and diverse culture to locals and visitors alike.
Currently our auditors are Blazek & Vetterling who were also the auditors for Cultural Arts Council of Houston. We have not had any disputes or disagreements with Blazek & Vetterling and they are likely to make a proposal to continue as our auditors. Attached are the audited financial statements as of June 30, 2012.
1. To prepare an annual audit as of June 30 that is due to the City of Houston by October 31.
2. Provide 25 bound audit reports
3. Meet with the audit committee to plan audit in May
4. Meet with the audit committee to present results of the audit in September
5. Meet with the Board of Directors in early October to present the financial statements
6. Prepare Federal 990 return
7. Advise management as necessary
We expect the firm to evaluate our existing internal controls and make recommendations as necessary.
Please include the following elements in your WRITTEN credentials presentation to us, by Friday, February 15, 2013:
• How would you describe your firm and how it works?
• How would you characterize strengths and style of work?
• What is the single most outstanding quality that differentiates your
firm from others?
• Who are the top executives? What are their backgrounds?
• Who would lead the Houston Arts Alliance audit team and why?
• Who would prepare the Houston Arts Alliance 990 return?
• Cost of the audit and estimate of out-of-pocket expense
• Cost of preparing Federal 990 return
• Hourly rate for special projects above and beyond the scope of the fees shown above
A tour of the office and system will be granted upon request.
Should your agency be selected for an in-person presentation, please provide credentials overview.
TIMING AND SELECTION PROCESS:
Proposal deadline is February 15, 2013
Our goal is to have a firm on board by May 1, 2013.
We will consider the following criteria in making our ultimate agency selection
• Track record
• Action plan
• Ability to communicate the complexity of HAA’s operations
• Certification as MWDBE with the City of Houston
For more information please contact Reginald French, Chief Operating Officer, at email@example.com or 713.581.6119 (email preferred).
Attachment: FY12 Audited Financials