Fresh Arts Mission, Vision, Values + history

Fresh Arts is a 501c3 Houston-based arts service organization. 

 

Our programs include fiscal sponsorship for artist-led projects, resource and information sharing via our Artist Opportunity Board, Artist Resource Library, Toolkits, and Podcast, career-building and mentorship support through our workshops,  panel conversations, and 8-week Artist INC seminar, innovative project development through the Space Taking Artist Residency, and public art projects through our management of Arts District Houston.

 

Our Mission

Fresh Arts empowers local artists through programs that build knowledge, amplify local resources, and connect communities.

Our Vision

Fresh Arts envisions Houston as a place where artists and communities thrive together.

Our History

Fresh Arts was born from a 2012 merger of the two most prominent arts service organizations in the Houston area: Spacetaker and Fresh Arts Coalition.

Spacetaker, founded in 2001 by artist David A. Brown, identified a need for artists to feel supported and empowered to build sustainable careers as creative professionals. Towards this end, Spacetaker designed online resources, such as the Artist Registry and the Culture Guide, enabling artists of every discipline to broadcast pertinent information to the local community.

Upon receiving its official designation as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2003, the organization initiated physical programming to amplify its ability to support local artists, including: professional development workshops, events generating income for artists, and regular exhibitions for Houston’s emerging artists.

Like Spacetaker, Fresh Arts Coalition believed in harnessing the power of collaboration to bolster the impact of the arts in Houston. Founded by Marita Fairbanks in 2002, Fresh Arts Coalition started as a collective of 15 well-respected arts organizations of similar size that utilized collaborative marketing mechanisms to promote awareness of unique arts programs and opportunities in the area. These organizations existed outside of the larger theatre and museum districts and lacked a formal marketing engine. Through their joint efforts, the organizations leveraged marketing support and subsidized advertising and website development to facilitate audience exchange.

In 2012, the boards of Fresh Arts Coalition and Spacetaker voted, unanimously, to combine the two organizations with the consolidation of diverse assets, enthusiastic supporters, and distinct programming to better serve artists and administrators. The staff then expanded from two to four full-time employees, strengthening the organizational capacity and positioning the organization for aggressive growth. The new Fresh Arts was named “Best Arts Organization” in the 2012 Houston Press Best Awards.

Our Values

What we believe in

01.

COMMUNITY AND EQUITY

We believe that by cultivating community, we can enhance the social capital of creatives and amplify a resonant collective voice that helps us all be seen and heard. We also believe that we should never stop learning, listening, and responding to the world around us. Diverse and equitable representation when it comes to institutional leadership, featured artists, funding for projects and organizations, and accessibility have been long-standing issues in the arts community in Houston and beyond. We are committed to actively build a healthy and equitable arts community. Fresh Arts is devoted to amplifying and engaging in conversation with artists and arts organizations rooted in advancing the voices of marginalized individuals and communities.

02.

THE LIVELIHOOD OF ARTISTS & CREATIVES

We deeply respect and support working artists and creatives determined to make a living at their craft.

03.

MAKING THINGS HAPPEN

We continually work to facilitate opportunities, enabling ideas to come to fruition.

04.

GRIT

We admire grit, whether it’s the determination & fearlessness that comes with being working artists and entrepreneurs or the slightly unpolished, unexpected, underground nature of Arts District Houston and other artistic communities in Houston.

05.

HOUSTON’S CREATIVE ECONOMY

We seek to enhance the creative landscape by championing artists and building creative commonplace, where artists can connect with each other, audiences, and buyers.

06.

OPENNESS & ACCESSIBILITY

We a don’t have “a type”. Our stakeholders and audiences come form different cultures, neighborhoods, and creative disciplines, what they have in common is ingenuity and openness to new, unexpected experiences.