Press Room

Houston Symphony Among Recipients of Hurricane Harvey Relief Grants Awarded to Arts Organizations and Artists Across Texas

HOUSTON (Dec. 12, 2017) – The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) has announced that the Houston Symphony is one of 69 grant recipients of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Mellon Foundation, and State of Texas to assist organizations and artists with costs associated with business interruption due to the hurricane.

A total of 52 arts organizations and 17 artists were selected based on the severity of the impact the hurricane had on their respective business. While the Houston Symphony’s performance home, Jones Hall, did not sustain discernible damages, the hall’s courtyard level, rehearsal room and administrative offices were impacted; requiring extensive repairs and displacing the staff and orchestra for seven weeks. The Houston Symphony canceled 19 performances as well as the 2017-18 season’s Opening Night Concert. Twelve other performances were moved, with tickets offered to the public for free or at a discounted ticket price.

“We are very appreciative of the assistance that the Texas Commission on the Arts is providing to the Houston Symphony following Hurricane Harvey through this grant,” said Amanda Dinitz, Interim Executive Director/CEO. “Their continued investment in our organization, and in the arts in Texas, will be very helpful as we recover from the devastating impact of Harvey and will allow us to serve and inspire our city as it heals.”

The grants awarded will assist with costs associated with business interruption due to the hurricane that are not covered by another source. Grants range in amount based on whether the recipient is an artist or organization and considers the organization’s annual budgets. Organization grants range from $1,500 to $40,000, and artist grants range from $1,500 to $2,500.

Funding for the Hurricane Harvey Relief grants includes $192,520 received from the National Endowment for the Arts; $150,000 provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and $103,980 in State monies. As well, the Mid-America Arts Alliance raised money through a separate crowdfunding campaign, and will provide grants directly to 12 additional artist applicants, as advised by TCA.

A full list of Hurricane Harvey Relief grant recipients can be provided upon request to the TCA.

About the Texas Commission on the Arts
TCA was organized in 1965 by the Texas Legislature to develop a receptive climate for the arts in Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives. For more information on TCA and its programs, please visit www.arts.texas.gov.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org.

About the Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout their region and beyond. They achieve this primarily through national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grant making. M-AAA is especially committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. Each year M-AAA’s programs reach one million people. The Mid-America Arts Alliance believes in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at www.maaa.org.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit www.arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560, vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

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