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New Name, Renewed Focus

Artists and artist-centered organizations have shaped contemporary attitudes, initiated bold ventures and changed prevailing thought. In Houston, with its culture of entrepreneurship and its vibrant arts community, numerous examples exist of how artists and arts organizations have taken leadership roles in communities. By raising awareness to needs, redefining the discourse and inspiring new public and private initiatives, effective arts leadership can have impact far beyond the economic. Initially created as the Center for Arts Leadership, Center for Art and Social Engagement (CASE) reflects the refined focus on arts impact.

Civic and social engagement initiatives that use creative work in the arts as a means of linking the College to its neighborhood and its city are a College of the Arts priority. The Center for Art and Social Engagement will be one of the strategies for achieving these aims. CASE will be the new iteration of the former Center for Arts Leadership, which was housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The work of the Center for Arts Leadership laid the groundwork for CotA priorities in civic and social engagement; the name change seeks to clarify and emphasize the important relationship that the College will have with the city and with the national arts community.

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There is a wealth of knowledge and research about the arts and best practice.  Though social media is a great aggregator, we are confronted with so many streams of information, many of us have little time to process, much less incorporate these new ideas into our daily lives. These are a collection of profiles, sessions, and features that relate to the key themes we examine at the center

  • Arts & Community Stewardship

    Arts leaders nationally and locally are talking about engaging audiences, program relevancy, and connectedness to the public. High impact engagement, starts before the show/exhibition and lasts long after. Connectedness does not occur through a single transaction, but, instead through a series of events that build toward an experience. The shift toward art as a relational experience demands new levels of skills, additional or alternative resources, and different end goals.

  • Creative Economy

    In a city of industry sectors such as energy, medicine and international trade, the contributions the creative businesses have on a city's economy are chronically unrecognized. Creative businesses – advertising, film/video production, writing and editorial, etc. – are critical, elemental components of any traditional business.

  • Creative Placemaking

    The NEA defines Creative Placemaking: when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work—placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies.


  • Join us at our Community Conversation

    Can Art be separate from Oil? CASE is supporting the Houston stop of Liberate Tate's US Tour. Liberate Tate began in the wake of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, and has used creative actions and advocacy to create an environment that recently resulted in BP ending its sponsorship of the Tate. Liberate Tate seeks to “free the arts from oil because the oil industry uses its association with institutions to create a guise of social acceptability.” It believes “there should be no cultural sponsorship by oil companies in a time of climate change." Is there a way to separate altruism from marketing?

  • CASE at Houston Arts Partners

    CASE led a workshop at the Houston Arts Partners conference titled: "Getting the Money - Showing Funders Your Perspective." The session encouraged research, relationship building, and understanding purpose to better convey the right story to your audience(s). The session explored some guiding questions and best practices one should think about before venturing off on your next fundraising adventure. How do you match your project and its language to the best sources of funding to get the greatest impact? Download the slides and resources.