Society for the Performing Arts offers a range of public programs often facilitated by the world-class artists SPA brings to Houston. Pre-professionals and families are welcomed to participate in the many opportunities we provide throughout the season.

For questions or to request more information, contact the Education and Community Engagement Department at 713-632-8112 or education@spahouston.org.

SPA Houston Artist Commissioning Project

Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) announces a new commissioning project for Houston artists, the SPA Houston Artist Commissioning Project (HACP). SPA’s goal is to promote and sustain Houston’s working artists and artist communities by supporting the creation of new works across all performing arts disciplines. In this pilot year, the project will progress through two phases: an initial period of virtual commissions, followed by larger-scale live performance commissions presented onstage at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts.

Houston is the most culturally diverse city in the nation. In celebrating artists’ voices here at home, we promote more connected and thriving communities. SPA believes Black artists, Indigenous artists, artists of color, artists in the LGBTQ+ community, artists with disabilities, and woman artists must be centered through this project. To that end, we strongly encourage applications from artists with these identities or members of other marginalized communities.

Please Note: Participants in virtual commissions will not be excluded from consideration for live performance awards. See award details and application instructions below. There are no fees to apply. Questions? Please contact us at commissions@spahouston.org


Virtual Commissions

Six awards will be given to working performing artists or groups within the Greater Houston Metro Area to create a new 3-5 minute virtual work. These new works will premiere on SPA’s social and digital platforms in Fall 2020.

Virtual Commissions include:

  • $800 Artist Award

One virtual SPA Creative Chat about their project, moderated by SPA’s Director of Education, to be shared on SPA social media channels prior to the premiere

Applications for virtual awards are closed.
See a list of Virtual Award Winners. Their works will premiere on SPA’s social channels this fall.


Live Performance Commissions

Three awards will be given to working performing artists or groups within the Greater Houston Metro Area, to create a new 15-25 minute work to premiere in Festival Format on the Jones Hall stage in summer 2021. Participants in virtual commissions will not be excluded from consideration for live performance awards.

Awardees will have through summer 2021 for creative development. Live performance dates to be announced.

Live Performance Commissions include:

  • $5,000 Artist Award
  • Technical support prior to the performance to assist in development of lighting, sound, and/or set concepts for the new work
  • On-stage performance presentation at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts with other live performance awardees
  • On-stage rehearsal time prior to the performance

Opportunities to engage with the public:

  • One virtual SPA Creative Chat moderated by SPA’s Director of Education about artists involved in the project and the concept of the work to be created, to be shared on SPA social media channels during spring 2021
  • One SPA Behind the Curtain conversation moderated by SPA’s CEO about the creation process, in-person and/or shared on SPA social media channels during spring 2021
  • One preview/talk-back with students from a Houston-area school, in-person or online, during spring 2021

Applications for the Live Performance awards due December 18, 2020
Winners will be announced January 29, 2021
Live Commissions Application

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