The deadline for The Idea Fund Round 11 application is MONDAY OCTOBER 29, 2018.

What types of projects will be funded?
The Idea Fund is committed to new, risk-taking forms that help to define new practices in contemporary art. A panel of professionals will select between 12-15 projects submitted by individual artists, curators, performers, collectives or collaboratives that must be completed by December 31, 2019.  

Who can apply?
The Idea Fund supports individual artists, curators, collectives, collaboratives or partnerships. If applying as a group, the artistic group can be long-standing or created specifically for this project; however, the lead member of the group  must be living and working in the Greater Houston Area in one of the eligible counties: Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Waller, Chambers, Liberty, or Montgomery.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

All proposals are evaluated based on the following criteria: 

The artistic and creative strength of the proposed project

The overall vision of the applicant(s)

The capacity of the applicant(s) to realize the project

The accessibility of the resulting project to the public

The project’s demonstration of community support and commitment to serving a local constituency


*Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of jurors composed of artists and arts professionals.

What kind of projects are eligible for funding?

The work of an individual artist, collective or temporary association of artists

A project of a temporary or permanent artist run space

Curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice

An  exhibition that has a strong public component (i.e., projects which  involve the public via process, production, or presentation)

Publications of creative writing, including printed matter, and online publications

A public event, performance, or intervention

A screening, lecture or workshop series

A temporary public art project

Site specific installations

Web-based projects

Audio, video and photo projects

Interdisciplinary, emerging fields and new media projects


What kind of projects will not be funded?

Projects proposed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Projects in which the lead artist lives outside of Houston

Projects in which all artists reside outside of Houston

Projects  that do not have a public component (i.e., projects which do not involve  the public via process, production, or presentation)

Projects that are not accessible and presented to the public

Projects that do not exemplify innovative practices in contemporary art

For more information, check out some of the previously funded The Idea Fund projects. If you have questions about whether your proposal is eligible for The Idea Fund, please email or visit




Artists must apply to be considered for a Diverse Discourse studio visit with Kemi Ilesanmi. Artists working in all disciplines, including those with performance or multi-disciplinary practices, are encouraged to apply.


Monday, October 22, 2018. 

  • application closes at 11:59 pm on October 22, but staff will only be available to assist or answer questions until 5 pm.
  • Artists who applied in Spring 2018 do not need to reapply but may update their applications if desired. Please email Jenn Gardner at to reopen your application.
  • Artists are chosen for studio visits by the visiting lecturer and will be contacted by DiverseWorks for scheduling. Studio visits will be conducted with selected artists November 12 & 13, 2018.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must reside or work in Harris County
  • Must NOT be currently enrolled in a degree-granting program (ie BFA or MFA)
  • Must be a DiverseWorks member at any level; click here to join today. For questions about membership please email Jenn Gardner at

To apply you will need:

  • Documentation of your work (see application for specific formatting requirements)
  • A resume or C.V.
  • Artist statement (optional, no more than one page or 500 words)


Monday, November 12, 6:30 pm

at MATCH, 3400 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002

free and open to the public, seating is first come, first served

This Diverse Discourse Lecture is co-presented with the Center for Art and Social Engagement, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts, University of Houston.

Diverse Discourse brings national curators, artistic directors, and critics to Houston to present a free public lecture and conduct studio visits with selected Houston-area artists, performers, and writers. Diverse Discourse provides a significant opportunity for area artists in all disciplines (including performance) to have their work reviewed by a variety of distinguished arts professionals, fostering a cultural exchange across the nation between artists and cultural producers.


With over 20 years experience in the cultural arena, Kemi Ilesanmi is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and change at the intersection of arts, activism and community. Prior to joining The LP, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation where she supported the work of American artists making adventurous new work. From 1998-2004, she was a visual arts curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. While there, she organized several exhibitions, including The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art, and ran the visual arts residency program. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from New York University and a BA in Afro-American Studies from Smith College. She is also an alumna of the Coro Leadership New York program.

The mission of The Laundromat Project is to advance artists and neighbors as change agents in their own communities. The LP envisions a world in which artists and neighbors in communities of color work together to unleash the power of creativity to transform lives. They make sustained investments in growing a community of multiracial, multigenerational, and multidisciplinary artists and neighbors committed to societal change by supporting their artmaking, community building, and leadership development.