Very Artsy News: Black Trans Empowerment, Artist Survey and more

A weekly brief on what’s happening in Houston’s arts and culture scene.

By Amarie Gipson November 16, 2021

Work by Mariela G. Domínguez is part of Fantasma, an immersive installation experience in Houston's historic East End. 

Image: Fantasma

What's felt like a turbulent week in Houston has been relieved by the city’s artistic offerings. Last week, as the Astroworld festival tragedy continued to develop, the Houston Cinema Arts Festival kicked off and the CAMH shared exclusive merchandise in honor of The Dirty South exhibition. This week ushers in high spirits for Black Trans Empowerment in Houston and a class of MOCA grant awardees. Here’s more art news for your week: 

MOCA Awards $62,500 to 12 Individuals and Nonprofit Organizations in two Grant Programs

Twelve Houston artists and nonprofits received a total of $62,000 in grants from the Mayor’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) via the Let Creativity Happen! Digital and City Initiative programs. Awardees include Crystal Toussant’s project on George Floyd’s childhood, Orange Show Media Project, and a neighborhood outdoor cinema by Britt Thomas set to open this month. 

For more information on the grant programs and awardees, visit here

Fresh Arts Local Artist Survey 

Fresh Arts is shaping the future of Houston’s burgeoning art scene. The local nonprofit and resource hub has launched a survey for Houston artists to weigh in on how the organization can continue to support and meet their needs. Artists and creatives can log on through November 21 to take the 15-minute survey. All responses and personal information will remain confidential. 

For more information on the local artist survey, visit here

Houston Ballet Announces 13 City Audition Tour for 2022 Summer Intensive 

Last week the Houston Ballet Academy announced its international audition tour for the 2021 Summer Intensive Program. The five-week program is scheduled for June 27-July 30. 2021, open to dancers ages 12 to 17 years, and administered by the distinguished faculty and guest artists at the Houston Ballet’s Center for Dance. The auditions will take place in over 13 cities between January 8-February 6, 2022. 

Houston tryouts are slated for January 15-Feb 5. For more information, visit here

Celebrate Black Trans Empowerment Week in Houston 

Yesterday marked the start of The Mahogany Project’s 4th annual Black Trans Empowerment Week set to take place in person and virtually through Sunday, November 21. The week is stacked with movie screenings, fellowship dinners and a memorial tribute and a celebratory empowerment ball. 

For more information on The Mahogany Project and the week’s events, visit here

Houston Symphony’s Holiday Highlights 

Renowned music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada will usher Houston Symphony fans into the holidays with an early winter kick-off of The Nutcracker (December 3-5). The 2021 holiday concerts will also include Handel’s Messiah (December 10-12) and Very Merry POPS (December 17-21) and Pink Martini (January 7-9, 2022). 

For more information on the Houston Symphony’s 2021 holiday concerts, visit here

New Immersive Art Installation in the East End

Fantasmaan experimental project by an international collective of artists working in Houston, Santiago de Chile and Barcelona has made its way to the East End. It’s a bilingual experience that was created to connect these artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. On view at Arowyn Studios through November 28, the immersive installation is accompanied by a book in both English and Spanish as well as a commemorative dance performance. 

For more information on the installation and to visit, click here

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