Cultural Arts Commission (formerly Commission on the Arts)

Overview

Overview | The City of Galveston's Cultural Arts Commission has had a dynamic history, from its inception many years ago to the present. A few of the projects completed during that time include:

  • The relocation of David Moore's Dolphin Sculpture to Galveston's Seawall
  • Dedication of the commemorative 1900 Storm Sculpture
  • Development of a driving tour of public art
  • Successfully applying and receiving a state-wide designation for the Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District which encompasses our historic downtown and surrounding areas

The Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District is one of the most important projects the commission has undertaken and not only is a feather in Galveston's cap but one that will add an element of promotion to our city that will increase our cultural tourism and serve as another economic stimulus to our community. The district will be included on the Texas Commission on the Arts website as one of the selected communities honored with this designation. Galveston's Cultural Arts Commission future plans include a significant brochure listing the many cultural arts sites within the district to include the surrounding businesses, complete with a map, directions, and descriptions. Future plans of the commission also include commissioning additional public art pieces and further enhancing the economic impact of the arts on the economy of our community.

Community members representing the visual and performing arts as well as arts education are appointed to serve on the City of Galveston's Cultural Arts Commission.

In 2019, the Galveston Arts Center, the Park Board of Trustees, the Historic Downtown Partnership, and the City of Galveston applied for an “Our Town” funding opportunity from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to underwrite this Master Plan. 

Seven years earlier, in 2012, Galveston applied to the Texas Commission on the Arts and received a Downtown Cultural Arts District designation. In many ways, arts thrive in Galveston. Formal venues like the Grand Opera House produce high-level performances. Cultural events like Juneteenth and Dickens on The Strand attract thousands. And the visual arts are omnipresent, from Downtown galleries to the Art Walk to the Galveston Artist Residency. 

At the same time, the City of Galveston and its partners recognize the opportunity to grow the arts economy in Galveston and expand the Galveston economy overall. Currently, an arts and culture strategy – an intentionally stated direction for enhancing the cultural arts sector, and a path to making that happen – does not exist to connect the many arts-centered organizations and arts-based events. That is the purpose of this Master Plan – to connect and grow the arts and culture economy in Galveston. The benefits of a vibrant creative economy are many.

Heritage tourism – visitors motivated by exploring history, arts, and culture – has been widely demonstrated through various studies to draw travelers who positively impact local economies and who tend to stay longer than other groups. Artists and those engaged in creative work like to live and work among other creatives, so the presence of an arts community often builds on itself. And people who are not themselves engaged in a creative field are often drawn to places where they can feel inspired by the creativity around them. 

The full plan, completed in November 2022, is available here.

GRANT FUNDING PROPOSALS FOR PUBLIC ART

Galveston artists have the opportunity to apply for grant funding for projects in public spaces.

The Galveston Cultural Arts Commission is seeking applications for public art projects in the City of Galveston, including any artwork that would exist in a public space. The commission will accept proposals for submission until April 9, 2023 at midnight and projects must be completed by September 2024. 

The initiative is part of the commission’s ongoing efforts to make art more accessible and encourage creativity in public spaces. Visual, literary, performing and media arts are all eligible. This is the third year the commission has offered grants for local public art projects. 

To apply, artists must email an application form and materials to culturalarts@galvestontx.gov in a single PDF format. The forms include artist resume, letter of support, a project description, previous work samples, and a proposed budget. 

Proposals are for two projects: one project up to $70,000 within the downtown district, defined for this purpose as 20th to 28th Streets, Harborside to Broadway, and one project up to $30,000 located anywhere within the city. 

There are no residency requirements to apply, but local artists will receive greater preference. Funding is available to both individual artists and collectives. Artists may partner with organizations, but organizations and institutions may not receive grants. 

How to apply?

Please email all materials listed to CulturalArts@GalvestonTX.gov in a single PDF format: 

Application Form

➢ Artist C.V./ Resume 

➢ Letter of support/permission from all interested parties, including property owner(s) 

➢ Project Description including a detailed site plan (not to exceed 1000 words) 

➢ Previous work samples 5-10 related images for Visual Projects, 5 Minutes of Video for Performance, Writing Sample for Literary works (not to exceed 2000 words). 

➢ A Proposed Budget with line items for materials, any necessary permits, insurance, and artist fee. Include any existing funding or in-kind donations. 

➢ A proposal for public workshop if desired 

➢ Timeline for completion: Projects must be completed prior to September 2024 CULTURAL ARTS COMMISSION 


Galveston City Council amended Sec. 32-3 of the Galveston City Code in 2021 to require that any person or organization must obtain approval for printing, writing, pasting, chalking, painting or otherwise placing notices, drawings, or caricatures on any street, sidewalk, or other public property. (This provision does not apply to minors under the age of twelve who draw game surfaces utilizing chalk). 

The Galveston Cultural Arts Commission reviews these applications and evaluates the artistic merit of the proposal in order to to issue a recommendation to City Council. 

To apply, please view the application here & email back to CulturalArts@GalvestonTX.gov.


Agendas & Minutes & Questions

Agendas are available prior to the meeting Minutes are available following approval. Please contact Commission Chair Kathleen DiNatale for questions

Most Recent Agenda | View All Agendas and Minutes

Members

  • Position 1: Robert "Nick" Barbee, Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 2: Jan Collier, Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 3: Sherill Hilton, Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 4: Kathleen DiNatale (Chair), Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 5: Trey Click, At large
  • Position 6: Mary Longoria, At large
  • Position 7: Patricia Jacobi, At large
  • Position 8: Kenneth Shelton, At large
  • Position 9: CVB Chief Tourism Director, Michael Woody
  • Ex-officio (non-voting) City Council: Mayor Craig Brown 
  • Staff - Executive Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Outreach, Barbara Sanderson 
  • Staff - Recreation, Events & Projects Administrator, Megan Pierce