Texas Commission on the Arts gives $49,500 in grants to bolster Marfa art institutions

AUSTIN — The Texas Commission on the Arts 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 eight grants headed for the Big Bend area to help local art nonprofits in Marfa.

These grants include the Arts Create program, which provides operational support to established arts organizations and  the first of two funding rounds for the Arts Respond Project program. Ballroom Marfa received both grants, totaling $8,500, including $2,000 dedicated to support the project Chihuahuan Desert Birdscapes and Hearing Hidden Melodies, a collection of new music and an accompanying performative lecture centered around the study and appreciation of avian sound from musician and field biologist Rob Frye.

Chinati Foundation received $17,000, with $2,500 of that going toward supporting the first virtual iteration of Chinati Weekend. Judd Foundation received $7,500 and Marfa Live Arts garnered $14,500, in part to support playwriting preparatory courses for seventh and eighth graders in Marfa. Marfa Studio of Arts will get $2,000 to support its school residency that teaches art to elementary school students in Marfa.

“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.”

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 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.

TCA’s full list of fiscal year 2021 grants is at http://www.arts.texas.gov/cities21/cities/. The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is to advance the state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas. TCA provides 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.