Texas Women for the Arts Awards $310K in Grants to Expand Arts Access in Underserved Communities

by Texas Cultural Trust

Texas Cultural Trust’s giving circle invests in arts education for children across Texas

AUSTIN, TX (June 24, 2021) – Texas Women for the Arts (TWA)​, a program of the Texas Cultural Trust, has selected 32 arts organizations and arts education initiatives to receive a total of $310,700 in funding for the 2021-2022 year. The statewide giving circle and membership program, comprised of more than 200 philanthropic women, has awarded 282 grants totaling more than $3.1 million since its inception, impacting the lives of more than two million Texas children.

Judy Robison, TWA Executive Committee chair and recipient of the 2021 Donna Axum Whitworth Champion of the Arts of the Arts Award, leads the group. “These 32 organizations are confronting overt inequalities within arts education access,” says Robison. “They are mending their communities through the arts, while investing in the artists and Texans of tomorrow. Over the last year, TWA has placed a special emphasis on supporting those organizations reaching our unseen communities. These grants ensure our children have exposure to the arts and continue to bridge the access divide.”

“These awards will allow organizations to build on their existing work,” writes Nancy Seliger, TWA Grants chair. “TWA is committed to supporting them as they work to provide life enriching and, for some, life-changing arts education, wherever they may be and whoever they serve. We are thrilled to provide these grants and will, together, awaken and nurture the artist in every child.”

Heidi Marquez Smith, Texas Cultural Trust chief executive officer sees the meaningful progress being made by the group. “TWA is a case study in the power of public-private partnerships. With assistance from the Texas Commission on the Arts, these grants will provide valuable support to our local arts providers, especially those serving and working in underserved, under-resourced, and marginalized communities.”

Each year, TWA members select which arts organizations their private dollars support. Despite the unprecedented circumstances of 2020, TWA members remained steadfast in their commitment to support arts access throughout 2021. The 2021 TWA Grant recipients are:

  • Amarillo Museum of Art
  • Amarillo Symphony
  • American Festival for the Arts (AFA)
  • Amon Carter Museum of American Art
  • Art Guild of Fayetteville dba Arts for Rural Texas
  • Arts Connect Houston
  • Austin Film Festival
  • Ballet Lubbock
  • Big Thought
  • Capitol Broadcasting Association, Inc., dba KMFA
  • Children’s Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent
  • Contemporary Art for San Antonio dba Blue Star Contemporary
  • Dallas Contemporary
  • El Paso Pro-Musica
  • Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin
  • Forklift Danceworks
  • Foundation Communities
  • Houston Center for Photography
  • IEA – Inspire, Encourage, Achieve
  • K Space Contemporary
  • Kids Write Good dba Austin Bat Cave
  • Longview Museum of Fine Arts
  • Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA)
  • Marfa Theatre (d.b.a. Marfa Live Arts)
  • Panhandle Plains Historical Museum
  • Rockport Art Association, Inc. DBA Rockport Center for the Arts
  • Somos Cultura y Más
  • South Texas Institute for the Arts dba Art Museum of South Texas
  • The Ecumenical Center
  • Tom Lea Institute
  • Young Audiences, Inc. of Houston
  • Zachary Scott Theatre Center

TWA is led by the 2020-2021 TWA Executive Committee: 

  • Judy Robison, El Paso – Chair 
  • Linda LaMantia, Laredo – Vice-Chair 
  • Leslie Blanton, Houston – Immediate Past Chair 
  • Lisa Ivie Miller, Austin – Membership Chair 
  • Janis Brous, Fort Worth and Charlotte Tripplehorn, Fort Worth – Membership Vice-Chairs 
  • Isha Rogers Santamaria, El Paso – Nominating Chair 
  • Sharron Buschman, Houston – Nominating Vice-Chair 
  • Eleanor Lemak, Dallas – 2020 Annual Meeting Chairs 
  • Nancy Seliger, Amarillo – Grants Chair 
  • Sharon McCullough, Dallas – Grants Vice-Chair 
  • Eliza Duncan, Houston – Governance Chair 
  • Chrissy Kleberg, Austin – Governance Vice-Chair 
  • Tania Schwartz, El Paso – Board Liaison 
  • Sara Morgan, Houston – Legacy Chair 
  • Leslie Blanton, Houston – Legacy Vice-Chair 
  • Laura Matz, Austin – Travel Chair 
  • Jan McKee, Fort Worth – Travel Vice-Chair 

Grants are awarded on an annual basis and selected following a rigorous review process. Applications for the 2021-2022 year open October 1, 2021To join Texas Women for the Arts, or to learn more about the program and the Texas Cultural Trust, visit TXCulturalTrust.org.


The Texas Cultural Trust, established in 1995, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and increasing access and awareness for the arts across the state. Programs of the organization include the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Arts Access, Art Can, Texas Young Masters, Texas Women for the Arts, and Partners in the Arts. Texas Cultural Trust efforts are amplified by supporters who are instrumental in the success of leading a cohesive voice for the arts in education, advocacy, and economic impact in Texas, spotlighting the artistic excellence of the state. For more information, visit TXCulturalTrust.org 

Texas Women for the Arts (TWA) is a statewide giving circle and membership program with more than 200 members from across Texas. Since its inception in 2005, this philanthropic force and champion for the arts in education has awarded 282 grants totaling over $3.1 million to arts organizations, impacting the lives of more than two million Texas children. For more information, or to join, visit TXCulturalTrust.org/TWA. 

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