Local Arts

Funded by a $1 million grant, Houston will launch nine art installations in Midtown in homeless project

The subject of the award money is HueMan: Shelter, which will focus on homeless issues in Midtown.

Bonita Gardens Mini Mural
Houston Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs
Houston artist Caroline Truong paints a mural on a traffic signal control cabinet in the Bonita Gardens area. A recent grant will allow the city to launch nine unrelated art installations in Midtown.

Houston was awarded $1 million after being selected as a finalist in a nationwide public arts challenge.

The subject of the award money is a Houston project, “HueMan: Shelter,” a public art effort designed to disrupt perceptions of homelessness by bringing artists and unsheltered residents together to create visual stories from their experiences in Houston.

The project includes the activation of nine sites for public art installations along a main street corridor in Midtown.

“HueMan: Shelter is an innovative project that will not only transform our city’s landscape but also foster empathy and understanding for our unsheltered community members,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to showcase Houston’s vibrant creative scene and make a positive impact in the lives of our vulnerable populations,” he said.

HueMan: Shelter is an artistic concept steered by the mayor’s office, the Midtown Houston Cultural Arts and Entertainment District, the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston, Career and Recovery Resources and METRO Houston.

Launched in 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge encourages mayors to partner with local artists to create public art installations revolving around urban issues like homelessness.

The grant will cover only some expenses for the project including development, installation execution efforts and marketing. More than 600 cities with populations over 30,000 have applied to the challenges. After 154 applications, Houston was one of eight winners in the challenge.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will select up to 10 winners among 17 finalists in the challenge this year.

“Public art provides a creative way to bring communities together, strengthen local economies, and make cities more inspiring and dynamic,” Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies said in a statement.