While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


TEXAS COMMISSION ON THE ARTS. The Texas Commission on the Arts, established in 1965 as the Texas Fine Arts Commission, originally consisted of eight members appointed by the governor for six-year terms. The commission coordinated efforts of state agencies in developing appreciation for the fine arts in Texas and acted in an advisory capacity regarding the construction and remodeling of state buildings and works of art. The duties of the Board of Mansion Supervisors, abolished in 1965, were transferred to the commission. The commission was made permanent in 1967, and its name was changed to the Texas Commission on the Arts and Humanities by the Sixty-second Texas Legislature in 1971, when the commission had an increased number of members. The commission has the duty to foster the fine arts for the enrichment and benefit of the citizens of Texas, to make vacations and visits to Texas more appealing to the world, and to attract outstanding artists through appropriate programs of education and publicity. The commission is also authorized to direct the sponsorship of art lectures and exhibitions and to compile and disseminate information on the progress of fine arts in the state. They provide information to the community through the publication of an annual magazine, Texas Arts Reach, and a monthly publication, Texas Commission on the Arts News. All the duties and authorities previously vested in the Board of Mansion Supervisors have been assumed by the commission, and it acts in an advisory capacity to other state agencies that are concerned with acquiring or renovating works of art. The commission may also accept donations of money, property, art objects, or historical relics on behalf of the state. It is composed of eighteen members, appointed by the governor with concurrence of the Senate; members are selected from all fields representing the fine arts and from individuals known for their professional competence and experience with the fine arts. They serve for overlapping six-year terms. In 1974 a plan was undertaken for the commission to work with the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin to collect and store artifacts and memorabilia in the Hoblitzelle Theatre Arts Library. The collection was to serve as an official archives for Texas arts, encompassing music, dance, the visual arts, literature, architecture, and folk arts. In 1979 the agency's name was changed to the Texas Commission on the Arts. The commission also contracts with five independent organizations to promote the arts. Before accepting grant money from the commission, the partner organization must raise matching funds. In 1990 the five organizations were the Southwest Alternate Media Project, Texas Arts Council, Texas Association of Museums, Texas Non-Profit Theaters, and Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts. This program's intent is to stimulate the job market for Texas's professional artists.

Texas Commission on the Arts, Arts: A Plan for the Operation, Funding and Services for the Arts in Texas (Austin, 1988).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "TEXAS COMMISSION ON THE ARTS," accessed July 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mdt11.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...