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Texas Commission on the Arts 101: A Guide for Artists and Entrepreneurs

By Sholdon Daniels

large Texas state building at dusk.
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Part of my job is representing clients in the arts and entertainment business, and I know that many people may not be aware of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and the benefits it provides to those in the industry here in Texas. I figured I would outline the role of the TCA and explain how it serves as a valuable resource for artists, arts organizations, and entrepreneurs.


Texas has produced some of the greatest artists in the world, across a wide range of disciplines. Musically, we have legends like Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Bun B, who have shaped the landscape of country, blues, and hip-hop. In film, Texas has produced renowned directors like Robert Rodriguez and Richard Linklater, who have created some of the most iconic movies of our time. And let's not forget about the powerful female voices that have emerged from Texas, including Beyoncé, Janis Joplin, and the late Tejano singer, Selena. With such a rich history of artistic talent, it's no wonder that the Texas Commission on the Arts is committed to supporting and promoting the arts in our great state.


The TCA was established in 1965 by the Texas Legislature to promote and support the development of the arts in the state. It's governed by a 15-member board appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The board serves to oversee the commission's operations, make policy decisions, and approve grants and other expenditures. The TCA receives funding from the state budget, as well as from the National Endowment for the Arts and other public and private sources.


One of the primary roles of the TCA is to award grants to individuals and organizations involved in the arts. These grants can be used to support a wide variety of activities, including performances, exhibitions, education programs, and community outreach. The TCA offers several grant programs, including grants for arts organizations, individual artists, and schools. Look into it if you're needing money to get your ideas off the ground.


In addition to providing financial support, the TCA also offers a range of resources and services to help artists and arts organizations succeed. These include professional development workshops, technical assistance, and access to data and research on the arts in Texas. The TCA also maintains an online directory of artists, arts organizations, and venues across the state, which can be a valuable tool for networking and promoting events.


One of the unique features of the TCA is its commitment to serving the entire state of Texas, including rural and underserved communities. The TCA has established partnerships with local organizations and artists to bring arts programming to areas of the state that may not have access to these resources. These programs include the Texas Touring Roster, which provides funding for artists to perform in communities across the state, and the Arts Respond Performance Support program, which offers funding for community-based arts projects.


For those in the arts and entertainment industry, the TCA can be a valuable resource for understanding and navigating the legal landscape. The commission provides information and guidance on topics such as copyright law, contracts, and intellectual property rights. The TCA also maintains a database of legal resources and referrals for artists and arts organizations, including attorneys like me, who carry years of experience in arts law.


Another important role of the TCA is to advocate for the arts and raise public awareness of their value and importance. The commission conducts research and publishes reports on the economic impact of the arts in Texas, as well as their contributions to education and community development. The TCA also sponsors events and initiatives that promote the arts, such as the annual Texas Medal of Arts Awards, which recognizes individuals and organizations for their contributions to the arts in Texas.


The Texas Commission on the Arts is an essential resource for artists, arts organizations, and entrepreneurs in the arts and entertainment industry. Whether through financial support, professional development, or advocacy, the TCA plays a vital role in promoting the arts in Texas and creating a vibrant cultural landscape.


As a lawyer representing clients in this industry, I strongly encourage my clients and colleagues to take advantage of the resources and opportunities provided by the TCA.


Call 1-844-SHOLDON to learn how I can help you as an artist or art entrepreneur.

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