L-R: Patty Tuel Bailey and David Matranga of the A.D. Players, whose "Harvey for Harvey" relief initiative coincides with the name of their upcoming production of Mary Chase's Pulitzer-winning comedy.
L-R: Patty Tuel Bailey and David Matranga of the A.D. Players, whose "Harvey for Harvey" relief initiative coincides with the name of their upcoming production of Mary Chase's Pulitzer-winning comedy.
Photo by Jeff McMorrough/Courtesy of A. D. Players

Houston Arts Community Planning Many Harvey Relief Efforts

The Houston arts community has jumped at contributing to post-Harvey recovery efforts, not only in service of their own but for the greater Houston area too. Below is a list of just some of the ways the city’s arts organizations are responding, from fundraisers and donation drives to free tickets for first responders and flood victims – all while also offering a break to laugh at a funny show or listen to some good music. The list is admittedly not comprehensive, so if you know of more, please do share.

General

Organizations and artists across the city have joined forces to form a local action group to support the recovery efforts of the Greater Houston arts, culture and creative community. The Harvey Arts Recovery Fund has been created to raise money for individual artists and small and mid-sized arts and cultural organizations that suffered losses due to the storm. Their website has suggestions for immediate action, ways to get and give help, along with a link to donate. They also link to the Emergency Resources for Artists spreadsheet, compiled by Fresh Arts, which includes additional information on emergency funding and general resources.

Applications for fast track, emergency grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are open to cultural institutions affected by Harvey in FEMA-designated disaster areas. The NEH Chairman’s Emergency Grants are in amounts up to $30,000 and meant “to preserve documents, books, photographs, art works, historical objects, sculptures, and structures damaged by the hurricane and subsequent flooding.” The NEH is also awarding up to $1 million in emergency grants to preserve “humanities collections at libraries, museums, colleges, universities, historical societies and other cultural organizations.”

Theater

Philip Lehl and Gopal Divan star in 4th Wall Theatre Company's Disgraced.EXPAND
Philip Lehl and Gopal Divan star in 4th Wall Theatre Company's Disgraced.
Photo by Gabriella Nissen

4th Wall Theatre Company is donating ten percent of all tickets sales to their current show, Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, which opened last Friday, to the Greater Houston Community Foundation's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and they are accepting donations of canned food, deodorant, baby wipes and packs of new underwear (in all sizes) at each performance. Check their website and social media (Facebook or Twitter) for an updated list of requested items.

Main Street Theater’s current productions, Enemies on the MainStage and Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type at the Theater for Youth playing at The MATCH, are collecting donations. Audience members to Enemies are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items and diapers, which will then be distributed to shelters in need. To performances of Click, Clack Moo attendees are encouraged to bring new blankets that will be donated to Star of Hope. Enemies runs through October 15 and Click, Clack Moo through October 14.

In conjunction with their upcoming production of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey, the A.D. Players have launched “Harvey for Harvey,” a collection of arts access and fundraising initiatives. In addition to donating 20 percent of all proceeds earned from the show (along with collecting monetary donations at every performance), the A.D. Players are offering free tickets to first responders and flood victims, which can be obtained by calling the George Theater Box Office at 713-526-2721. Tickets for purchase can be bought at their website, and note that the three Sunday matinee performances “family days.” Children aged five to 11 will enjoy a pop-up performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe during Harvey’s first act and theater workshops led by teachers from the A.D. Players Theater Arts Academy during the second. Harvey opens September 15 and runs through October 1.

The T.R.U.T.H. Project will present a “social art experience benefiting survivors of Hurricane Harvey” called Strength: After the Rain at The MATCH on September 15 at 7:30 p.m., with 100 percent of ticket sales going to the T.R.U.T.H. Project's Relief Fund. Spoken word, dance, visual art and music will be utilized to address the question of how to go on after a disaster like Harvey. Mental health professionals will be on hand as well.

Hurricane Harvey may have forced the cancellation of three (of the four) performances of the TUTS Humphreys School of Musical Theatre’s production of Green Day's American Idiot, but the show will go on for a one-night-only engagement, Saturday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hobby Center. Two hundred tickets have been made available for first responders on a first-come, first-served basis and the show’s cast will be in the lobby collecting donations for Mayor Turner's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund after the performance. For tickets, visit their website or call the TUTS Box Office at 713-558-TUTS (8887). If you’re unable to attend Saturday night, Saturday afternoon’s dress rehearsal at 1:30 p.m. will be open to the public free of charge.

Queensbury Theatre, Kirkwood Music Services and other local theatre companies and artists have joined forces to present a benefit on Thursday, September 21, featuring 20 performances from local organizations and groups – representing theater, musical theater, dance, opera and music – that embody the spirit of “Houston Strong.” All proceeds from Houston Artists for Harvey Relief and any donations made will go to Mayor Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. To purchase tickets, visit their website, or you can make a donation.

Seven of the Theater District’s resident companies will participate in Houston Strong: A Theater District Benefit Honoring Local Heroes at Miller Outdoor Theatre on September 27, including the Alley, Da Camera, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, the Society for the Performing Arts and Theatre Under the Stars. Donations will be accepted on-site and all proceeds will go to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. You can also donate online or by texting HARVEY2017 to 91999.

Literary

Bayou City Poetry Grand Slam and Savannah Blue Arts & Outreach have turned their monthly “Black Lines Poetry” show into a Hurricane Harvey fundraiser, Houston Artists Strong, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Harvey relief efforts. On Thursday, September 14, at MECA, featured Dallas poets Rage Almighty and Candy (Sherrie Zantea) will headline the evening of spoken word, dance and music along with performers like the Write About Now (WAN) slam team, the Gentlemen of Elsik steppers, BGirl City break-dancers and DJ JoeB.

Writespace will host a Harvey Relief Open Mike on Saturday, September 23, at 7 p.m. The event, originally scheduled as part of the Writers' Family Reunion, has shifted focus and will be collecting monetary donations (with cash, check and credit cards accepted) for the LGBTQ Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund throughout the evening. Free to read and to attend (but if you’re interested in reading, please contact cassandra@writespacehouston.org).

Music

Music ensemble Mercury will present their annual free community concert to support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.EXPAND
Music ensemble Mercury will present their annual free community concert to support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
Photo by Runaway Productions

Mercury's annual free community concert at Miller Outdoor Theater has been rescheduled for Sunday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m. and will support the Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The new program, created post-Harvey, is said to honor Houston’s strength and resilience with the music of Vivaldi, Bach and Handel. The program will also be performed at University of Houston – Clear Lake’s Bayou Theater on Thursday, September 14, as part of its Performing Arts Series to benefit the UHCL Student Storm Relief Fund.

Visual Arts

Lawndale Art Center continues to make their facility open to artists as a temporary storage space for their artworks. Staff and volunteers are prepared to receive works Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. If artists require special assistance, would like to make an appointment time to drop off their work or have any questions, please contact askus@lawndaleartcenter.org.

The Health Museum will collect food donations for 40 days – to coincide with their newest exhibit “40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World — The Photography of Howard G. Buffett” – from September 9 to October 18. For every four cans of non-perishable food donated, the Health Museum will provide one free admission ticket to all its exhibits, including “40 Chances.” All of the food will be donated directly to the Houston Food Bank. “40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World” will be on display at through January 1, 2018.

Samara Gallery made it through Harvey mostly unscathed and are holding a Harvey Flood Relief Reception to benefit the Houston Food Bank on September 15 at 6 p.m.

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s yearly Martini Madness is on Friday, September 15, this year with “A New York State of Mind” theme. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the Houston Food Bank and Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) to support Texas artists affected by the storm.

RockStar Gallery will host a disaster relief art show and fundraiser, the HoustonStrong Art Show and Fundraiser, on Friday, September 15, with cocktails and light bites from 7 to 10 p.m. Proceeds will benefit artists affected by the storm; participating artists will donate between 50 and 100 percent of their sales, while 100 percent of donations received will be given to individual artists impacted by Harvey. The show is free, but attendees are welcome to bring art supplies for entry, and folks are encouraged to donate, even if they can’t make the show. The call to artists is open and the deadline to drop off work is September 15.

The anniversary party Saturday, September 16, at Jonathan Hopson gallery is now a Hurricane Harvey Fundraiser, with proceeds going to local relief organizations. Jonathan Hopson is also supporting Houston artist Emily Peacock, whose home and studio were flooded during Harvey, through a YouCaring crowd fund and a special sale of her photographs for which she will receive 100 percent of the proceeds.

Sugar Land Art Center & Gallery will host a Pop-Up Harvey Relief Show on Thursday, September 24 at 2 p.m. Participating artists will donate either 50 or 100 percent of their sales to the Sugar Land Vineyard Church Mercy Fund, which is dedicated to helping the victims of Harvey. The open call deadline for artists is September 21.

Katherine Houston, Cookie Ashton, Laura Rathe and Kathy Dimmitt will exhibit donated works in a live auction at Laura Rathe Fine Art on Saturday, September 30, at 6 p.m. with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Artists participating in the HeART of Texas Hurricane Disaster Relief Auction & Fundraiser will be announced on the Facebook page as they are confirmed, as well more information on online bidding.

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas has rescheduled their 30th Anniversary Gala to October 21, now to be held at AMSET, 500 Main Street, in Beaumont. The gala will honor Beaumont’s own Richard Stout as well as AMSET board presidents of the last decade, and feature a professional photographer to create print-on-location keepsakes, a cocktail hour with appetizers, a fine dining meal, silent and live auctions, dancing, live music from Sharon Montgomery and the Golden Triangle All-Stars and, of course, great art. Individual seats are $250 and tables range from $1,600 to $15,000. Proceeds from the event will benefit AMSET exhibitions, educational programs and Hurricane Harvey victims.

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