In 2013, Young Audiences of Houston in partnership with Houston Independent School District and the City of Houston, established a Community Arts Team (CAT) committee to assess the current landscape of arts education in Houston ISD. The committee consisted of business, philanthropic, civic, education, arts and higher education leaders across the city. Houston recognizes the importance of arts education as a critical component to every child’s development and in leading America’s creative economy and the vital role the Arts Access Initiative will have in sustainably meeting those needs over the next ten years. In 2014, Young Audiences of Houston secured seed funding to hire new staff to support the facilitation of partners and working groups and to implement phase one of the collective impact initiative, deliver the two-year randomized control trial, offer pilot program matching funds to HISD schools, and develop communication strategies to support the work as the lead agency/ managing partner. In 2018, furthering those initial goals, Young Audiences of Houston has now broadened support to additional K-8 campuses with limited access to the arts and supports equity of artists working within this space. 

September 2013

  • Young Audiences of Houston, with the endorsement of the HISD Superintendent and Mayor, and in partnership announced the creation of the Community Arts Team (CAT) to assess the state of arts education in Houston.​

  • Launch of a comprehensive data analysis to identify under-served schools and children involved in the arts.

  • Two-year data collection of 2018 K-8 HISD campuses, over 11,000 Educators, Principals and 504 Community Arts Partners. Initial data pointed to lower incidence of behavior problems, increased attendance, and higher standardized test scores for students who are involved 3 or more years in the fine arts. 

September 2014

  • First State of the Arts Mirror Report released identifying broad gaps across Houston schools and inequitable distribution of support. In HISD alone, 48 Schools requested support and participation in the initiative, showing broad support for the arts.

December 2014

  • National Endowment for the Arts awarded Houston support along with only 4 other cities across the United States undertaking collective efforts supporting youth in arts education.

February 2015

  • Launch of a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) and selection of 11 HISD campuses to participate in Year 1 of the pilot. They receive implementation support, training, and community partnership matching funds.​

  • Young Audiences was granted support for staff, research, communication, and implementation of the pilot for underserved schools, that includes shared learning for principals, educators, partners and artists. Young Audiences secures matching funds to support the full pilot implementation.

December 2015

  • Launch of the Arts Atlas Map, a shared system for partners, parents and the general public regarding underserved campuses. Launch of the Arts Guide, a community resource for schools to access arts-based programs within the framework of their school plan. 

  • Houston's AAI named official Any Given Child, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts site.

February 2016

  • The selection of 25 HISD campuses to participate in Year 2 of the pilot. They receive implementation support, training, and community partnership matching funds.​

  • Launch of Meet and Greets for community partners and Principals.​

  • HISD appoints new Superintendent.

October 2016

  • Creation of the steering committee and working groups. Planning begins for the Creative Schools Designation to measure broad access of the arts.

February 2017

  • Launch of Arts Partner Summits to support partner knowledge and shared learning.​

  • HISD Superintendent hires Fine Arts Director and adds 8 new department positions to support equity gaps within arts education across the district.

April 2017

  • The broader community and stakeholders approved the Vision Plan for the initiative outlining collective priorities to support Houston youth. 

September 2017

  • Launch of Year 3 pilot implementation to serve 44 K-8 HISD Campuses committed to increasing arts access. They receive implementation support, training, and community partnership matching funds.​ 

  • Noted 185% in community partnerships across HISD AAI Campuses. 

February 2018

  • After AAI's successful pilot years, YAH established and strengthened internal operational systems to reduce a duplication of efforts and to offer truly equitable arts access and accelerate our work. 

May 2018

  • The launch of our Year 4 Open Call and RFP for HISD Campuses to participate in AAI.

July 2018 

  • AAI & HISD Committee review of current and new cohort implementation campuses.

August 2018

  • The selection of HISD campuses to participate in Year 4 AAI, to further their campus equity, access and sustainability of the arts. They receive implementation support, training, and community partnership matching funds.

  • Formation of the new Data/Advocacy and Communications Committees to support the shared goals of AAI.



Young Audiences, Inc. of Houston

4550 Post Oak Place Drive, Suite 230

Houston, TX 77027

Em: yahou@yahouston.org

Ph: (713) 520-9267