TCA Cultural District Designation Program

Texas Commission On The Arts

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Next deadline: Jun 17, 2024 9:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Jan 31, 2025 9:59pm PST (Letter of inquiry), Jun 17, 2025 9:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Fields of work: Community Culture & Heritage Arts / Culture Access & Participation Tourism Art & Culture

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Texas

Location of residency: Texas


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Overview:

Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) 

The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is to advance our state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives.

Cultural Districts Designation Program

Intent: To designate special zones in cities and Texas communities that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community vitality.

As authorized by H.B. 2208 of the 79th Legislature, the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) can designate cultural districts in cities across Texas. Cultural districts are special zones that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. These districts can become focal points for generating businesses, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride.

Cultural districts can be part of creative placemaking or placekeeping efforts. It’s important to remember that TCA cultural district designation is most likely to be awarded to a district that is already defined in terms of leadership, geographic boundaries, branding, and current assets.

Goals of cultural districts

TCA recognizes that a thriving creative sector is a powerful economic development asset. Cultural district development is one strategy that helps a community boost their economies while realizing other cultural and civic benefits. The outcomes of cultural districts extend beyond the arts and benefit all members of a community. Goals may include:

  • Attracting artists and cultural enterprises to the community. Artists, cultural institutions and creative enterprises all contribute to a community’s economic potential. Not only do they generate direct economic activity, but artists and creative entrepreneurs infuse communities with energy and innovation.
  • Encouraging business and job development. Cultural districts can create a hub of economic activity that contributes to the community being an appealing place to live, visit and conduct business. A thriving cultural scene helps an area to prosper when consumers drawn to cultural attractions patronize other nearby businesses. This can result in the creation of new economic opportunities and jobs.
  • Addressing specific needs of a community. Cultural districts are a highly adaptable economic development approach that allows a community to make use of unique conditions, assets and opportunities.
  • Establishing tourism destinations. Cultural districts are marketable tourism assets that highlight the distinct identity of a community and encourage in-state, out-of-state, and international visitors.
  • Preserving and reusing historic buildings. Some cultural districts are very involved in historic preservation. Adaptive reuse and rehabilitation of older buildings through preservation tax credits can result in structural and façade improvements. These rehabilitated buildings provide opportunities for affordable artist live/work space and new homes for cultural organizations.
  • Enhancing property values. Successful districts combine improvements to public spaces (such as parks, waterfronts and pedestrian corridors) along with property development. The redevelopment of abandoned properties, historic sites, and recruiting businesses to occupy vacant spaces can contribute to reduced vacancy rates and enhanced property values.
  • Fostering local cultural development. The establishment of a cultural district provides a focal point for celebrating and strengthening a community’s cultural identity. Cultural districts highlight existing cultural amenities and work to recruit and establish new artists, cultural industries and organizations.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Who can apply:
    • Established Arts Organizations, Local Arts Agencies, Government Local Arts Agencies, Established Minority Arts Organizations, Government Agency or Department, College Arts Institutions.
  • To be eligible for TCA grants, an organization must:
    • be a tax-exempt nonprofit organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Service and/or must be an entity of government
    • have their eligibility status established with the TCA prior to the deadline day; know that it can take two weeks or more to get confirmation from the IRS of nonprofit status and 990 financial information which may be required for categorization
    • inform TCA if they believe their eligibility status has changed
    • be incorporated in Texas
    • have fulfilled all its outstanding contractual obligations to the State of Texas (i.e. taxes, etc.)
    • comply with regulations pertaining to federal grant recipients including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.
    • provide assurance that they are not debarred or suspended prior to the payment of an award

Ineligibility:

  • The Commission will not fund the following:
    • Grants that exceed 25% of the organization's previous year's cash operating revenues
    • Social functions, parties, receptions, fundraisers, or galas
    • Operating expenses for home offices
    • Operating expenses for state operated facilities including, but not limited to, salary support and facility costs
    • Activities for which college or university students receive academic credit
    • Projects at colleges and universities that serve mostly students and faculty, with minimal or no community involvement
    • Projects by privately owned for-profit corporations
    • Financing of political activities
    • Retroactive funding
    • Debt reduction
    • Projects, productions, workshops and/or programs that include obscene material as defined in Section 43.21, Penal Code of Texas.

Texas Commission On The Arts
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This page was last reviewed January 04, 2024 and last updated January 04, 2024