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About HAA

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is a public-private initiative that invests in Houston’s arts and cultural sector, advances Houston’s reputation as an arts and culture destination, and works to elevate the quality of life for all Houstonians through arts and culture.

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Get Involved

Looking for a way to lend a hand in Houston's arts and cultural community? There are many ways to champion the arts by way of Houston's local, public-private arts agency!

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Public Engagement

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Arts & Business Council

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Houston (ABC) creates and expands relationships between nonprofit arts/cultural organizations and the corporate community. Focused on leadership and volunteerism, programs of the ABC build stronger support for the arts and foster a knowledge-sharing culture within the Greater Houston community.

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Civic Art + Design

Creating public spaces for civic and cultural use requires artists, designers, architects and the community to collaborate. By actively fostering these partnerships, both public and private, Civic Art + Design initiates, manages and maintains civic artworks throughout Houston. It serves a vital role as catalyst for change that generates a culturally relevant and rich environment for residents and visitors alike.

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Folklife + Traditional Arts

The Folklife + Traditional Arts program focuses 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.

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Houston Arts Alliance provides grants annually to over 220 arts and cultural organizations and artists through a competitive grant allocation process. As most of our funding comes from the City of Houston Hotel Occupancy Tax, grants are awarded for the encouragement, promotion, improvement and application of the arts to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry.

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Programs + Services

Houston Arts 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—these programs and services help to ensure that the arts professionals’ creative contributions remain a vital part of community life across Houston and the region.

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Research to inform public policy, education, tourism and business leaders about the benefits of the arts and creative economies.

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Monday, November 30, 2015
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015
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Thursday, December 3, 2015
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
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Thursday, December 24, 2015
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Monday, December 28, 2015
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Friday, January 1, 2016
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Artist Opportunities

Individual Artist Open House
Tuesday & Wednesday, December 8 & 9, 2015, 1 – 5 p.m.
Houston Arts Alliance, 3201 Allen Parkway, Suite 125

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) invites individual artists and creatives to one of two open houses, December 8 & 9, in anticipation of this year's Individual Artist Grant (IAG) application as well as future opportunities by way of civic art commissions and acquisitions.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to have one-on-one time with both our Grants and Civic Art + Design teams! Grants staff will be providing insight into the FY16 IAG program and answering any questions you may have regarding the application process. Civic Art + Design will also be on deck informing artists/creatives about current HAA programs and opportunities. Interested in making the leap to civic art? Unsure how to successfully apply for commissions or translate your existing work into public art? We will also be providing feedback to any artists/creatives who bring in digital work samples.

Free. Registration required to attend.

PLEASE NOTE: Participation at this event in no way guarantees grant awards or commissions. 





Artist Fee: $750 per cabinet, plus up to $250 for supplies
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2015, 11:59 p.m. (CST)
Location: Houston, TX
Eligibility: Houston area artists


1. Summary
This project reimagines traffic signal control cabinets (also referred to as electrical or utility boxes) as blank canvases, brimming with creative opportunity, and inviting artistic expression for all to enjoy. Once painted by local artists, the cabinets – which are located at every intersection with a traffic signal – are intended to help instill civic pride while beautifying neighborhoods and enhancing the urban landscape of Houston. This open call is intended to build a pre-qualified pool of artists in Houston for the project for 2016. Artists will be assigned signal cabinets by Up Art Studio after consulting with Department of Public Works & Engineering (PW&E) and project sponsors. Please note that selection for the pre-qualified artist pool does not guarantee a commission.

Mini Murals is created and managed by Elia and Noah Quiles of UP Art Studio and their diverse advisory board of Houston researchers, marketers, advocates and arts leaders. UP Art Studio has partnered with the City of Houston, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, PW&E, East End Houston Cultural District, city council members, and management districts to make this Utility Box Mural program possible. Fresh Arts is acting as fiscal agent. Houston Arts Alliance Civic Art + Design (HAA) is managing the open call as a service to the City of Houston. For more information on the project, please visit


2. Budget
Each selected artist (Artist) will receive $750 inclusive of all work including, but not limited to: design proposals, artist fees, design and production of an original work on a Traffic Signal Control Cabinet. Artists will be provided with materials – either a $250 stipend for materials – or sponsorship for products with a value up to $250. Sanding, priming and clear coating of the boxes will be provided by others. Commissioned artists’ work will be included on the Mini Murals website. Completion of the project must be verified by the Mini Murals Team before funds are disbursed. Additionally, Artist must provide UP Art Studio an invoice and W-9. If Artist is acting as a Subcontractor, proof of insurance that meets city requirements must be provided. If Artist does not have insurance that meets city requirements, Artist must register as a temporary employee of UP Art Studio, who will then provide insurance for a fee of approximately $50.

City of Houston requires anyone working on City property to comply with its insurance requirements, which are as follows:

“Subcontractor shall maintain in effect certain insurance coverage and shall furnish certificates of insurance, in duplicate form, before beginning its performance under this Agreement.  All policies except Workers' Compensation shall be primary to any other insurance and shall name City as additional insured.  The issuer of any policy shall have (1) a Certificate of Authority to transact insurance business in Texas or (2) be an eligible non-admitted insurer in Texas and have a Best's rating of at least B+ and a Best's Financial Size Category of Class VI or better, according to the current edition Best's Key Rating Guide. Subcontractor shall maintain the following insurance coverage in the following amounts:

Professional Liability: $1,000,000 per occurrence; $1,000,000 aggregate; Automobile Liability insurance: $1,000,000 combined single limit per occurrence.”


3. Scope of Work 
Artists selected from the pool will work with UP Art Studio to develop their proposal for their assigned location. Works will follow the guidelines set by UP Art Studio and the City of Houston for the painting of these boxes. Artists will paint their assigned box with provided materials according to the schedule developed with UP Art Studio. Final artwork should accurately reflect the artwork proposal. UP Art Studio and City of Houston reserve the right to remove the artwork if artwork does not accurately reflect proposed rendering or Sponsor is not satisfied with artwork. The main focus is to bring art to areas of Houston in a non-conventional manner. All art must be original ideas. Some boxes may have a theme or color scheme, depending on the location of the box. Remember that the murals will be in public areas and must be suitable for all ages.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Sponsor of the Box as well as the Mini Murals Review Committee consisting of UP Art Studio, City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, PW & E, and HAA. The intent is not to judge the artwork, but rather to ensure that it is appropriate for the area. Logos and advertising are not allowed as part of the artwork. Once the artwork is approved, the Artist will be notified in writing (via email).


4. Evaluation Criteria

  • Artistic quality: Artists or artist-led teams of the highest artistic caliber as demonstrated by examples of past work.
  • Responsiveness: Letter of intent, proposal images and final work successfully address the overall goals of the project, including sensitivity for the appropriateness of imagery on view in the public realm.
  • Project management ability: Applicants demonstrate that the artist or artist-led team has the necessary capability to accomplish the project – and to create and deliver the work on schedule. Applicant demonstrates his/her ability to work effectively to UP Art Studio and Houston Arts Alliance staff. 


5. Eligibility

  • Artists living and working within the Greater Houston area.
  • No staff members, board members, advisory board members, committee members or their family members of Houston Arts Alliance or the City of Houston.
  • No artists who are currently under contract or in contract negotiations with HAA for projects of any scope or budget size.
  • Applicants not meeting all eligibility criteria will be withdrawn from consideration. 


6. Application Requirements

  • Resume (no more than three pages)
  • Letter of intent that includes contact information and describes how the proposed work meets the criteria listed in this request for qualifications (500 words max).
  • Work Examples (up to ten samples of previous work). One to five draft proposal images for the Mini Murals. Digital images of works that demonstrate the above criteria. Only JPEGs up to 5 MB will be accepted.
  • Image list including artist name, title, year completed, dimensions and material/medium.
  • Willingness to sign an agreement with UP Art Studio for the project and to follow the project guidelines. 

All documents should be in at least a 12-point font, single-spaced, with at least a ½” margin.

To submit, visit


7. Timeline (subject to change)

  1. September 19, 2015: RFQ released
  2. November 24, 2015: RFQ questions deadline
  3. November 30, 2015: RFQ submission deadline
  4. December 2015: Artists selected for the pre-qualified pool will be notified
  5. January - December 2016: Artworks to be contracted, scheduled and completed

Any questions specific to this request for qualifications should be submitted in writing – via email no later than 5 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 – to with the subject line, “Mini Mural RFQ 2015".




1. Summary

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and the City of Houston (The City) support the community’s desire to place temporary works of art on City property. Each City Department has discretion over temporary art within its jurisdiction and sole responsibility to review matters of safety. At the request of the City Department, HAA will serve in an advisory capacity during the review process and recommend pieces for placement on their property. For projects proposed in the TXDot right-of-way, please email for their additional guidelines.

The City may permit temporary placement of a work of art on City property for a period of time not to exceed 90 days, subject to the approval of the Director of the City Department having jurisdiction over the site upon which the work of art will be placed. The Director may extend the temporary placement for two consecutive periods of time not to exceed 90 days each, for a total of 270 days.

If the department determines that there is a safety issue, the organization or individual proposing the exhibition will be required to have an engineer’s seal. Drawings with an engineer’s seal will be required for artwork consisting of vertical structures over eight feet, surfaces subject to displacement by wind, structures requiring a foundation, sharp surfaces or any other safety concern. These drawings can be submitted to HAA for review after the project has been approved. 

The cost of the installation and de-installation of the artwork will be paid by the applicant. The artist or proposing organization is responsible for maintenance and for any damage to the artwork during the time the artwork is on view. The applicant may also be required to pay a bond conditioned on the timely removal of the artwork.


2. Application Requirements

  1. Photographic Documentation of the artwork, showing all views. For new works, please include detailed drawings or renderings; up to 10 images.

  2. Artist C.V. or Resume; up to three pages.

  3. Drawings with an engineer’s seal will be required for artwork consisting of vertical structures over eight feet, surfaces subject to displacement by wind, structures requiring a foundation, sharp surfaces or any other safety concern. These drawings can be submitted to HAA for review after the project has been approved. 

  4. Proposal letter (three-page maximum) including the following:
  • Contact information from the proposing artist or organization;
  • Artwork description - including title and year completed, artist name, artwork medium/material, dimensions and weight. For video, performance and time-based media, artwork duration is also requested;
  • Specific location(s) of proposed installation;
  • Installation plan - specify materials, equipment and utilities to be used;
  • Site maintenance plan - specify schedule and method of upkeep;
  • A detailed timetable covering placement and removal of the artwork and a clear commitment for its timely removal and plan to return site to original condition.

All text documents should be in at least a 12 point font, single-spaced, with at least a ½” margin as Microsoft Word Documents (.doc) or Adobe PDF (.pdf). Images must be in Jpeg format. All files must be readable using Microsoft Windows.


3. Application Submission

To complete the application form and submit your application requirements, please visit:


4. Review Process

  1. Submit a temporary art proposal to HAA using the Submittable application.
  2. Proposals will be reviewed by the HAA Civic Art Committee during their bi-monthly meeting. HAA will perform an aesthetic, content and material review of the proposal for the affected city department.
  3. Proposals which pass the review will be recommended to the affected City Department or to TXDot for installation.
  4. If the proposal is accepted by the affected City Department, a release from the artist or sponsoring organization on a form approved by the City Attorney will be required before installation can begin. If the Director of the affected City Department determines it advisable and requires it, a bond not to exceed $2,000.00 conditioned on the timely removal of the object shall be posted by the applicant.
  5. The affected City Department can issue a permit to install and display the artwork for a period of 90 days, at its own discretion. Note: HAA approval DOES NOT guarantee approval by the city department. The affected city department has final discretion over temporary art in their jurisdiction.
  6. The artist or proposing organization will remove the artwork after 90 days and will return the site to its original condition.

For questions or more information regarding the Application for Temporary Placement of Art on City Property, please contact

July 16
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