Funding Opportunities for Houston Artists

In need of support for a visual art, film, dance, or performance project? Check out this round-up of grants, open calls, residencies and more.

By Amarie Gipson

We've compiled a handful of funding oppurtunities for Houston artists. 

Houston’s abundance of funding and resources makes it an ideal place to be an artistNo matter your area of specialty, there’s always an organization or collective looking to help nurture the minds shaping the city’s creative future. Have a project idea in mind? Here’s a handful of funding opportunities for practicing artists: 

It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges facing artists and innovative nonprofits is funding. For many, supplies, materials, and other expenses make it difficult to forge a focused career in the arts. No matter the discipline, Houston officials and arts organizations are working to provide more opportunities for creativity to thrive. Have a project idea in mind? Need funding to start a new body of work or a new initiative? Here’s our ongoing list of funding opportunities that may have flown under the radar. 

Houston Inspira Project - Grant 

Deadline: April 18, 2022

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, stakeholders in five Houston area communities are looking for artists and storytellers to activate Acres Homes, Alief, Kashmere Gardens, Near Northside, and the Second Ward. The winning artist will win a grant worth  $10,000, distributed in three payments and is tasked with creating a project over six months that will target environmental issues affecting Houston residents. For more information on the Houston Inspira project grant, visit here

Challenge America - Open Call 

Deadline: April 21, 2022

The National Endowment of the Arts is the leading federal arts agency in the U.S. The Challenge America grant is open to organizations geared toward serving underrepresented populations. This nationwide fund is set at $10,000 per grantee. For more information on the Challenge America grant, visit here

Lawndale Artist Studio Program - Residency 

Deadline April 29, 2022

Lawndale’s Artist Studio program is open to Houston and Gulf Coast artists that work in all mediums. The nine-month program offers 24-hour access to a studio space and a $750 monthly stipend for materials. This year’s program will be juried by photographer Bria Lauren, Lawndale board member Sterling Allen, and Lawndale’s director Anna Walker. For more information on the Lawndale Artist Studio Program, visit here

Let Creativity Happen! - Grant 

Deadline: April 29, June 30, September 1, October 31

This grant is perhaps MOCA’s most popular and competitive grant, with applications accepted at multiple points a year. Similar to the City’s Initiative grant, it provides funding for artists and collective projects and 501(c)3 organizations of all disciplines to steward creativity and innovation in the city. The next round of applications is due on April 29 for activities that will take place at the end of July 2022. For more information on Let Creativity Happen! and other grant deadlines, visit here

CraftTexas - Open Call 

Deadline: April 29, 2022 

For the 11th iteration of its juried exhibition series, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is looking to invite artists working in clay, fiber, recycled materials, and more to submit work for its annual craft showcase. Three $1000 merit-based awards are on the line. . The exhibition will be juried by Los Angeles-based artist and curator Andres Payan, and there is no application fee this year.  For more information on the CraftTexas open call, visit here

YardWorks - Open Call 

Deadline: May 30, 2022

The University of Houston and Public Art UHS are looking for an artist to participate in the second iteration of YardWorks, a biannual program that invites a Texas-based artist to create a site-specific, public installation. The work will be on view in 2023 for nine months in the Louise J. Moran Fine Arts Courtyard. The program’s inaugural project kicked off last summer and featured Houston artist Tay Butler. For more information on Yard Works, visit here.

Ongoing Opportunities 

The Space Taking Artist Residency 2022

Fresh Arts is one of Houston’s most prominent organizations creating and sharing opportunities for local artists. Funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Houston Arts Alliance, the Space Taking Artist Residency is a program designed to allow artists and collectives to experiment and engage new audiences. Two selected residents are provided with a $2,500 stipend, a 2800 square-foot gallery space, consultation services and more. For more information on project eligibility and application instructions, visit here

The Idea Fund 

Powered by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and administered by DiverseWorks, The Idea Fund is accepting applications for their 15th grant cycle. The local re-granting program supports the work of practicing artists in the Greater Houston Area, and will award 12 grants of $5,000 to individual artists and collectives. For more information on The Idea Fund, visit here

The Spark Fund

The Spark Fund provides 36 stipends of $50,000 to independent BIPOC filmmakers over the period of one year. Selected filmmakers must be working on a humanities-related project. The fund is underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan #SHARP Grantmaking initiative. For more information, criteria and application instructions, visit here

Art League Houston: Exhibition Open Call 

Local, regional, national and international artists looking to exhibit their work in Houston are encouraged to submit proposals to the Art League Houston for consideration. ALH is awarding four artist stipends ranging from $450-$1900 to show new work with strong artistic quality and connections to timely dialogues in contemporary art. For more information on Art League Houston’s open call, visit here.

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