Report: Just 2% of Houston’s city-funded public art is by women of color

Gonzo mural houston
Black and Latino artists have created just 5% and 6%, respectively, of the city of Houston’s civic art. (Courtesy Visit Houston)

Black and Latino artists have created just 5% and 6%, respectively, of the city of Houston’s civic art. (Courtesy Visit Houston)

Just 2% of the works of arts bought or commissioned by the city of Houston were made by women artists of color, according to an art equity study conducted by the Houston Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and published Oct. 1.

"I commend [the office of cultural affairs] for taking a hard look at the data,” Turner said. “Only 17 women who are Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) have artworks in the City's Collection. We cannot ignore this data or wait to make the changes that will distribute opportunity equitably.”

The office conducts an annual civic art report; however, this was the first year the office added an additional equity report to its review, a city news release stated.

Sixty percent of the city’s public artwork was created by men, and 69% of the art was created by white artists, the report found. By contrast, Black and Latino artists created just 5% and 6%, respectively, of the city’s civic art. The city owns one piece of art by an American Indian artist and no art by Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders.

In response, the Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Houston Art Alliance plan to continue to collect data on the ethnicity of artists behind city-owned or city-commissioned art.


The office committed to “developing pathways for underrepresented artists, and establishing trust with those communities,” the release stated.

View the full report here.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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