Houston Arts Alliance Announces Awardees for the Bayou Trails Collaboration with City Parks

Houston Arts Alliance has selected awardees for Bayou Trails, a special creative placemaking project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town initiative, as well as The Brown Foundation, Wells Fargo, and the City of Houston.


3 parks

What is Bayou Trails?

Bayou Trails is a community-based art project that involves 3 parks in Houston – Mason, MacGregor, and Hermann parks.  Each park will have its own arts project, and the concept for this project has been created by the people who use and live near the park. In other words, each park's constituents have conceived a community-based art project. This initiative is called Bayou Trails because Bray’s Bayou runs alongside all three of these parks, connecting them with its path. 

Community-Driven Conversations

Each hosted three meetings. Each meeting constituted a key step in the process of creating a community art project.  The three meetings addressed these three questions:

  • 1st Community Meeting: What is Bayou Trails?
  • 2nd Community Meeting: What is Special About the Park in Question and How Can We Use the Arts to Address/Express/Voice That?
  • 3rd Community Meeting: What Project Would We Like to See Happen at the Park in Question Through Bayou Trails?

What is a Community-based art project?

A community-based art project is just what it sounds like- it is art that involves the whole community.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that community members actually make the art. What it does mean is that park stakeholders and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods will talk about what is important to them AS A COMMUNITY and explore ways to express this community feeling through various art forms. These conversations will result in the creation of project concept for each park.

Houston arts alliance & city of Houston Department of Parks and Recreation

HAA is Houston’s designated local arts and culture agency.  We are a private nonprofit but we work with the city on all kinds of art-related issues.  For instance, we manage the art that is owned by the city; we make grants to artists and arts groups; we run a Folklife program and we do special projects like this one – Bayou Trails.  For this project, HAA is partnering with the Houston Department of Parks and Recreation.

nea our town

Bayou Trails was originally funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  The category of NEA grant that funded Bayou Trails is called an Our Town grant.  The application was submitted to the NEA by HAA and the Houston Department of Parks and Recreation, which are acting as partners in this project.  Wells Fargo and The Brown Foundation, Inc. are also funders of Bayou Trails.