About Us

Arts Connect Houston is a collective impact organization committed to ensuring all students have access to arts education as part of a complete education. We know that the arts connect to students, the arts connect communities, and the arts connect us to our future.

Our collaborative is guided by substantial research which demonstrates that students who receive an education rich in the arts do better in school, gain key social emotional competencies, and go on to thrive as innovate thinkers in college and beyond.

What is 'collective impact'?

According to the Collective Impact Forum, collective action "brings people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change." Collective action 1) starts with a common agenda, 2) establishes shared metrics, 3) fosters mutually reinforcing activities,

4) encourages continuous communication, and 5) has a strong backbone. Learn more about the collective impact model here.

OUR VISION
Arts Connect's vision is to realize the tremendous potential of every student by ensuring the arts as essential to a complete education, recognizing that when students prosper, our community thrives.

OUR MISSION
Arts Connect unites the Greater Houston community to ensure access to high-quality arts education in creative writing, dance, music, theater and the visual arts for every student, beginning with the Houston ISD.

We accomplish our mission through:

Collecting Actionable Data

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Understanding which students are receiving an arts education and which students are not is the key to reaching all students. This important data is the first step to creating system-wide change. With it, our partners can improve their decision making and deploy resources to close arts education gaps.

Driving Advocacy

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Arts Connect advocates for the vital role of the arts within education to ensure that all HISD students have access to a high-quality arts education. 

Building Capacity

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Arts Connect helps educators and nonprofits do better work in schools through trainings, the Arts Action Fund and other capacity building services. In this way, dozens of cooperating partners get better together and do better together. 

Unlocking New Investments

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Arts Connect taps untapped public and private funds in Houston—and across the country—to unlock new resources, allowing the collective to focus on serving more students, instead of competing for scarce resources.

Our Values

Creative Thinking
Innovation, Expression, Engagement
We honor and nurture artistry- engaging, discovering, creating- as integral to human nature, a complete education, and the success of our collective work.

Inclusive Spirit
Diversity, Community
We respect and welcome diverse perspectives, ideas and cultures, and celebrate our differences as strengths to our work.

Open Access
Equity, Empathy, Fairness
We believe in breaking down barriers for equity of opportunity and access, and strive to create a community of shared learning for a healthy arts education ecosystem.

Responsive Action
Informed, Relevant
We listen deeply to understand the context of the communities we serve in order to affect change that reflects community needs and aspirations.

Our Guiding Principles

Student-Centered
We develop and implement collective strategies that benefit and support students.

Collective Decision-making
We maintain transparent and open communication across all stakeholder groups to determine shared strategies and goals to guarantee collective impact.

Stakeholder-led
We encourage cross-sector partners to drive and lead our work, recognizing that together we are greater than the sum of our parts.

Data Driven
We utilize coordinated systems of shared data to continuously learn, adapt, measure and improve our impact.