Beaumont is one of 93 cities benefiting from TCA grants in 2021.
The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) announced Sept. 4 that it has approved funding of 790 grants in its first funding round for fiscal year 2021. The grants total over $12.9 million and will go to nonprofits and units of government in 93 Texas cities, including multiple entities in Beaumont.
The grants include the Arts Create program, which provides operational support to established arts organizations; the Cultural District Project program; the first of two funding rounds for the Arts Respond Project program; the quarterly Arts Respond Performance Support program; and the quarterly Commission Initiatives and Designated Funding program. TCA's full list of fiscal year 2021 grants is at http://www.arts.texas.gov/cities21/cities/.
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET), Beaumont Community Players (BCP), the Southeast Texas Arts Council (SETAC), the Symphony of Southeast Texas (SOST) and Young Audiences of Southeast Texas (YASETX) all received TCA grants. AMSET received three grants totaling $52,000; BCP one for $4,500; SETAC two totaling $15,000; SOST two totaling $13,060; and YASETX two totaling $6,000.
“We are honored and humbled to provide these grants to help sustain the Texas arts industry, which has been economically devastated by COVID-19. Over the last several months, we have seen many arts organizations and artists find creative and flexible ways to bridge distances and to find new ways of conducting their work and connecting communities. The arts have brought much comfort and means of expression to people across our state,” said Gary Gibbs, executive director of TCA. “However, it is important to note that most organizations and artists are not making the money they were before social distancing became necessary. We are proud to invest these funds with arts organizations toward recovering the creative economy in Texas.”
TCA Commissioners also approved the designation of five new cultural districts. Cultural districts are special zones that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. These districts can become focal points for generating business, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride. The new cultural districts are the Red River Cultural District in Austin, the Deep Ellum Cultural District in Dallas, Near Southside Arts in Fort Worth, and two districts in Houston: the Fifth Ward Cultural Arts District and the Third Ward Cultural District (The Tre). This designation brings the total number of cultural districts in Texas to 48.
Arts Create grants provide year-round operational support to Texas arts organizations with budgets over $50,000. For fiscal year 2021, 420 Arts Create grants totaling over $3.2 million are allocated to 420 organizations in 76 Texas cities.
Arts Respond Cultural District Project grants provide support to projects that use the arts to diversify local economies, generate revenue, and attract visitors and investment. These grants are available to arts organizations and government entities verified as based in TCA-designated cultural districts. For fiscal year 2021, 64 applicants from 25 different cultural districts in 23 Texas cities will receive funding totaling over $5 million.
Arts Respond Project grants fund arts-based projects that address one of the priority areas of economic development, education, health and human services, natural resources and agriculture, or public safety and criminal justice. For the first round of these grants in fiscal year 2021, applications from 246 arts organizations in 51 cities will receive funding, for a total of $823,500. Among these 246 grants, four applicants are receiving a total of $16,500 for Arts Healing Grants for Active Service Members and Veterans.
Arts Respond Performance Support grants provide partial support to help applicants host an artist from the Texas Touring Roster in their community — in person, or via interactive live-stream during social distancing. The grants for this quarter total $66,170 and will go to 37 organizations and units of government in 24 Texas cities.
The Commission Initiatives and Designated Funding grant for this quarter distributed $52,500 received from the National Endowment for the Arts via one $20,000 grant to conduct the Poetry Out Loud high school competition in Texas and another $32,500 grant to conduct folk arts apprenticeships and related programs and documentation. An additional $3,000 was approved to support the costs of K-12 distance learning training for Texas museum professionals. Lastly, the Commission approved $3.7 million in funding designated for a new performing arts center in Flower Mound, as allocated by the 2019 Texas Legislature.
About the Texas Commission on the Arts
The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is “to advance the state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas,” according to TCA. 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, visit www.arts.texas.gov.