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Opportunity for Texas Arts Organizations, Agencies, and Arts Institutions to Designate Arts and Cultural Zones


Geographic Focus

USA: Texas

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Cultural Districts Designation Program

Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #164506

Grant Description

Opportunity for Texas arts organizations, local arts agencies, government agencies, and college arts institutions to designate special areas within cities and communities as cultural districts. Applicants must contact program staff and submit a letter of intent prior to submitting an application. The designation of cultural districts is meant to harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization.

As authorized by H.B. 2208 of the 79th Legislature, the Texas Commission on the Arts can designate cultural districts in Texas. In this program, an organization by itself or representing a collaborative effort will file an application to recognize their cultural district. 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.

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.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility: Established Arts Organizations, Local Arts Agencies, Government Local Arts Agencies, Established Minority Arts Organizations, Government Agency or Department, College Arts Institutions

Additional Geographic Information:

Cultural Districts map:


Pre-Application Information:

- Letter of Intent due: January 31
- Application due: June 15

Applicants must schedule an orientation meeting and work closely with Commission staff in the development of their application.

Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent by email that includes a one-page description of the plans for the cultural district. Successful applicants will have access to Arts Respond Projects and Arts Respond Cultural District Projects.

TCA staff will accept draft applications for review and comment up to two weeks before the deadline.

Application Limit: One application per organization for this program.

Applicants must provide their unique entity identifier (UEI) from the federal System of Awards Management (


Training Videos:

Attachments checklist:

Additional Funding Information:

Term of Contract:

Grant Type: Multi-year

When a cultural district is designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts, a recertification will be required every ten (10) years.

Contact Information:

Submit letters of intent and questions to:

Submit drafts to:

For people who are deaf or have a hearing disability, the Commission may be reached by contacting Relay Texas at 800/735-2989 or 711.

Cultural Districts Designation Program
Texas Commission on the Arts
PO Box 13406
Austin, TX 78711-3406

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