Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction: Houston, Texas

The City of Houston received Phi Beta Kappa’s Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction Award on April 17, 2018, at the Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston in recognition of the quality, depth, range, and vibrancy of its community engagement with the arts and sciences. 

“The City of Houston has a thriving, diverse, and innovative cultural sector thanks to careful planning, financial support, and public commitment to its importance,” said Phi Beta Kappa Secretary and CEO Frederick M. Lawrence. “We applaud Houston’s Office of Cultural Affairs not only for its programs that appeal to residents and visitors alike, but also for its deep commitment to providing cultural opportunities for all, made especially clear in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.”

Debbie McNulty, director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, accepted the award on the city’s behalf. “Houston is rich in the arts and humanities that infuse our city with creativity, ideas, and excitement,” McNulty said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to experience and share the joy of great art, poetry, dance, music, and lifelong enrichment. We are deeply honored to be selected by The Phi Beta Kappa Society as the recipient of the Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction Award and for the very valuable investment the Society is making in our community to these wonderful grant recipients.”

The event included the presentation of $5,000 grants to four exemplary local organizations that serve as national models for building creative exchanges with diverse audiences in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, or mathematics. The recipients are: The Harvey Arts Recovery Fund, Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, the Cougars and Houston Area Math Program at the University of Houston, and Rice University’s Houston Asian American Archive.

Previous recipients of this award  include the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon. 

The Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction Award is made possible by the generous support of ΦΒΚ’s donors and sustaining members.