Tag Archives: Houston Artist Town Hall

Texoblogosphere: Week of May 11th

The Texas Progressive Alliance is busy designing its own TexMoji as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff is busy popping popcorn so as to fully enjoy the Jonathan Stickland soap opera.

Letters from Texas guest blogger Russ Tidwell explains what the SCOTUS ruling that invalidated Alabama’s Congressional redistricting means for Texas.

Lightseeker at Texas Kaos examines the Texas founders’ vision for public education. As a teacher and scholar Lightseeker laments how far we have strayed from this noble goal. Why Texas Puts the Stupid into Educational Reform.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. It impossible to lower taxes in a way most Texans will actually notice without raising taxes on the wealthy and big business. That is The Texas GOP’s Tax Trap.

There’s a message from the last socialist mayor of a major American city to the various Republican and Democratic socialists running (in a so-called non-partisan race for) mayor of Houston. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wants everybody to understand that we are all socialists of a form or fashion. And that’s not a bad thing.

Socratic Gadfly talks about how the New Democratic Party win in Alberta might have lessons for American Democrats, even in Texas.

Texas Leftist attended the first ever Houston Artist Town Hall— a meeting of nearly 200 artists from across the region. As Council prepare a new Cultural Plan for the Bayou City, artists themselves met to make sure they contribute to those plans.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is appalled that Texas Republicans are using our taxpayer dollars to publicly bash gay people.

Neil at All People Have Value observed Jade Helm operations in Houston. All People Have Value is part of NeilAquino.com.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Better Texas Blog reads a headline from the future about the short-sighted tax cuts of today.

Texas Vox mourns the passing of the anti-fracking ban bill.

Newsdesk puts on its tinfoil hat for a look at Jade Helm 15.

Paradise in Hell is amused by the effort to video stalk members of the Legislature.

The Current reports on Scouting for Equality and their crowdfunded work to get the Boy Scouts of America to repeal its ban on gay parents and adults.

David Ortez complains about Harris County’s role in killing the online voter registration bill.

Robert Rivard recalls the legacy of William Velasquez and wonders what he’d make of today’s turnout rates.


Today’s feature photo is the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston, Texas.  Here’s more information on the establishment of the Center…

Forward-thinking Houstonians led by former First Lady Barbara Bush and former Ambassador Roy M. Huffington established Asia Society Texas Center in 1979. Sharing the vision of John D. Rockefeller 3rd, who founded Asia Society in New York in 1956, they recognized the need to educate Americans about Asia and to forge closer ties between Houston and the peoples and institutions of Asia.

In 1995 the Texas Center’s Board of Directors voted to build a home for its programs and activities. The Board selected Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, best-known in this country for his renovation and expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to design the building, located in Houston’s Museum District.

Completed in early fall 2011, the 40,000-square-foot Center features the 273-seat Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater, Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery, Edward Rudge Allen III Education Center, Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall, and more. It opened to the public April 14, 2012.

With the opening of the Center, Asia Society takes its place as a major educational and cultural institution in the region, the driving force in transforming Houston into an Asia-Pacific city.


Houston Artists Discuss City Cultural Plan

In it’s 70-plus year history, the El Dorado Ballroom in Houston’s Third Ward has seen and heard some of the world’s most compelling artistry. In it’s heyday the venue played host to Musical greats like Arnett Cobb, Etta James and Ray Charles.

But last weekend, the historic ballroom was also the scene for an important meeting on Houston’s artistic future, as artists and administrators from across the region gathered there to discuss the City’s expansive new Cultural Plan.

Named the Houston Artist Town Hall, the gathering was organized and moderated by the Fresh Arts Coalition, whose Executive Director Jenni Rebecca Stephenson moderated the discussion.  The Town Hall was not an official city event, but Minette Boesel from the Houston Cultural Affairs Office was on hand to hear the discussions.

Though the artists in attendance formed an immensely diverse crowd, they all shared at least two things in common– a dedication to the area’s arts scene and intimate knowledge of what could be improved.  As Stephenson noted in her opening comments, the meeting was arranged so artists themselves would have a chance to provide input on the city’s Cultural Plan.

Among the group of almost 200 artists, some common themes seemed to emerge…

— Houston needs a more comprehensive jobs and funding database for arts projects. 

Better access equity for the many diverse arts groups, and artists living outside of a select few neighborhoods. 

More transparency, less bureaucracy from municipal funding sources. 

— Stronger professional connections between the artists community and corporate entities.

— City Council Members should form Artist advisory boards by district for more direct, consistent input. 

Perennial issues like artist compensation and a lack of affordable housing were big players in the discussion as well.

On the whole, the event was quite productive, and gave voice to important issues that should be part of any Cultural Plan for the city.  But whatever moves forward under the Parker administration at this point is far from a guarantee. Any goals that Mayor Parker sets for Houston’s artistic community will be honored, improved upon or destroyed by Houston’s next Mayor, City Controller and City Council.  Which means that 2015 is an important time for Houston’s creative community to become engaged with this year’s elections.  If citizens want the arts to be strong in Houston, they need to show those preferences with their voices and their votes this year. 


Artists gather at the Houston Artist Town Hall, held May 2nd in the El Dorado Ballroom. 

Houston Public Media’s Amy Bishop also covered the event.