WE CHAMPION LOCAL
ARTISTS AND CREATIVE
ENTREPRENEURS TO SUCCEED
IN THE BUSINESS OF ART.
Houston is a place where artists can make a living as artists.
A SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR ARTISTS
Fresh Arts was born from a merger of the two most prominent arts service organizations in the Houston area: Spacetaker and Fresh Arts. 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.
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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.
In the three years following the merger, Fresh Arts has hosted over 30+ workshops and 20+ exhibitions—touching over 20,000 individuals with physical programming and generating a half million dollars for local artists. (Fresh Arts experienced the most successful Winter Holiday Arts Market to date, with over $150,000 for Houston’s independent artists over a single weekend.) Furthermore, Fresh Arts has launched two new programs: Community Supported Art and a fiscal sponsorship pilot program. With the expansion of the staff and an enhanced program portfolio, Fresh Arts is more poised than ever to strengthen the sustainability and vibrancy of Houston’s arts sector by bolstering the capacity and professional practice of artists and small to mid-sized arts organizations.
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