Currently Fresh Arts, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening the sustainability and vibrancy of Houston’s arts sector by bolstering the capacity and professional practice of artists and arts organizations and enhancing the public’s engagement with the arts.
Fresh Arts was born from a merger of two of the most prominent arts non-profit ventures in the Houston area: Spacetaker and Fresh Arts. Spacetaker, founded in 2001 by artist David A. Brown, identified an apparent need for artists to feel supported and empowered to build sustainable careers as creative professionals. In recognition of this ambition, Spacetaker designed online resources, such as the Artist Registry and the Culture Guide, which enabled artists of every discipline to broadcast pertinent and up-to-date information to the local community. Upon receiving its official designation as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2003, the organization began to build program offerings that would amplify its ability to support the artists of the region. This programming included professional development workshops, social events providing funding for artists, and regular exhibitions for Houston’s bright and up-and-coming 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 were able to leverage marketing support and subsidize both 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 to better serve Houston’s artists and small to mid-sized arts organizations. The merger brought together two organizations with complementary missions and visions for the future. The consolidation of diverse assets, enthusiastic supporters and a broad array of programs for artists and administrators ensures enhanced efficiency and results– proving a greater benefit to the community than ever before. The new Fresh Arts was named “Best Arts Organization” in the 2012 Houston Press Best Awards.
Fresh Arts is committed to the growth of a thriving, innovative, and diverse arts sector in Houston and towards that end, provides programming and services in the arenas of professional development training, resource aggregation, showcasing, community building, and audience development. We are a help-desk and small business development center, as well as an advocate, intermediary, and support network for Houston’s creative community.