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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.


  • Fellows' Fall Update

    2018 UH CASE-PRH Fellows Regina Agu and Eyakem Gulilat have been very busy with residencies, research, and testing ideas. They've shared some of their progress in the Fall update. Join us on November 26 & 27 for their culminating lecture-performances.

  • Brave New Voices Spoke Out in HTX

    The Center for Art & Social Engagement (CASE) and KGMCA sponsored the 21st annual international spoken-word poetry festival, Brave New Voices Festival, at the University of Houston. Over 500 student leaders, artists, and social influencers came to Houston to meet, compete, and speak truth to power. Read about some of the highlights including the Life is Learning - Third Ward Celebration. 

  • Hurricane Preparedness

    The Harvey Arts Recovery Fund created the HARF Arts & Culture Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit that's a great guide for things to think about before a hurricane as well as tools and resources after a major weather event. Find out more information at

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.