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Centering Creativity, Impact, and Community

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. 

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 Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts priority. The Center for Art and Social Engagement will be one of the strategies for achieving these aims. CASE is 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.


  • 2019 Fellowship Applications

    Applications for the 2019 Fellowships are now open. All applications are due by November 15, 2019. Artists, cultural practitioners, urban planners, educators, and policy makers interested in engaging with the PRH process and the greater Houston community should apply to this partnership between CASE and Project Row Houses.

  • Research and Creation in Third Ward

    The latest Profiles in Leadership, UH Art Major Alexis Pye shares how uncovering histories of Third Ward have transformed her art-making process.

  • Visiting Curator Lecture and Studio Visit

    CASE is excited to co-present with DiverseWorks their Fall 2018 DiverseDiscourse Lecture: Kemi Ilesanmi. Ilesanmi is the Executive Director of the Laundromat Project in New York City and is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and change at the intersection of arts, activism, and community.  As part of her visit, Ilesanmi will be doing studio visits to engage our local artist community. Artists should apply by: October 22.

  • Lunchtime Performance with Core Dance

    CASE invites you to a lunchtime performance and conversation with Core Dance Company Join for a free lunch, an excerpt of their upcoming Human Landscapes performance, followed by an audience discussion and a conversation about immigration, exile, and the current refugee crisis. Attendance is free and open to the public, though registration is required for lunch.   

News & Updates

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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.