Cultural Arts Commission (formerly Commission on the Arts)


Overview | The City of Galveston's Cultural Arts Commission has had a dynamic history, from its inception many years ago to the present. A few of the projects completed during that time include:

  • The relocation of David Moore's Dolphin Sculpture to Galveston's Seawall
  • Dedication of the commemorative 1900 Storm Sculpture
  • Development of a driving tour of public art
  • Successfully applying and receiving a state-wide designation for the Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District which encompasses our historic downtown and surrounding areas

The Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District is one of the most important projects the commission has undertaken and not only is a feather in Galveston's cap but one that will add an element of promotion to our city that will increase our cultural tourism and serve as another economic stimulus to our community. The district will be included on the Texas Commission on the Arts website as one of the selected communities honored with this designation. Galveston's Cultural Arts Commission future plans include a significant brochure listing the many cultural arts sites within the district to include the surrounding businesses, complete with a map, directions, and descriptions. Future plans of the commission also include commissioning additional public art pieces and further enhancing the economic impact of the arts on the economy of our community.

Community members representing the visual and performing arts as well as arts education are appointed to serve on the City of Galveston's Cultural Arts Commission.


During the holiday season, the island continually looks for unique ways to encourage visitation during what is typically a slow time of the year. As an opportunity to annually engage with the artist community in Galveston, the Historic Downtown Galveston Partnership has designed a new program to do just that: the Holiday Artist Trees.

This year, the Partnership will team up with the Galveston Park Board and the City of Galveston’s Cultural Arts Commission to seek proposals for this new program. Interested artists will be invited to submit an application through the Cultural Arts Commission. The application will include design renderings or sketches to illustrate the artist’s concept. Eight (8) artists will be selected by the Commission. Each selected Artist will receive a $1,000.00 honorarium from the Cultural Arts Commission. The Historic Downtown Galveston Partnership and the Galveston Park Board will sponsor/supply fresh-cut trees for decorating, as well as a $200.00 cash contribution presented to each artist to help cover expenses tied to supplies. Projects must be completed and ready for installation by November 26, 2021 at 12:00 PM. Projects will remain on exhibit from November 26, 2021 until January 1, 2022 and the top three (3) vote receivers will be awarded prizes.

2021 Project Details:

  • 8 Trees (8 Artists will be selected)
  • The theme for 2021 will be “Birds”, celebrating Galveston’s national designation of “Bird City USA”
  • Installation Date will be November 26, 2021 by 12:00 PM at Saengerfest Park (23rd & Strand). Trees will be presented to the public for the first time that evening during the Tree Lighting Ceremony, and each artist will be presented their Honorarium at this time. 
  • On November 27, 2021, the trees will be moved to the Galveston Railroad Museum (2602 Santa Fe Place) for the remaining run of the exhibit (through January 1, 2022), positioning them in a secure location which that will offer free access to residents and visitors alike.
  • The public will be invited to vote for their favorite Artist Tree via paper ballot during the Tree Lighting Ceremony or via the Holiday Tree Decorating Contest voting platform. The top three winning Artists will receive a prize award sponsored by the Galveston Park Board with 1st place being awarded $750.00, 2nd place $500.00, and 3rd place $250.00. That prize money will be awarded at the close of the calendar year in tandem with the business competition.

How do I Apply?

 Please email all materials listed to in a single PDF format:

  • Application Form
  • Design renderings or sketches to illustrate the artist’s concept
  • Previous work samples (5-10 images) 

How will Proposals be Evaluated?

Proposals will be evaluated by the City of Galveston Cultural Arts Commission and approved by City Council.  Proposals will be evaluated along the following criteria:

  • Feasibility
    • On time completion
    • Environmental impact
  • Artistic Merit
    • Aesthetic consideration
    • Artistic strength
  • Accessibility
    • Potential impact on audience
    • Visibility

                        Finalists may be contacted for an Interview.

Agendas & Minutes & Questions

Agendas are available prior to the meeting Minutes are available following approval. Please contact Commission Chair Nick Barbee for questions

Most Recent Agenda | View All Agendas and Minutes


  • Position 1: Robert Barbee (Chair), Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 2: Becky Major, Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 3: Ed Gaerke, Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 4: Kathleen DiNatale, Visual or Performing Arts
  • Position 5: Trey Click, At large
  • Position 6: Vacant, At large
  • Position 7: Pat Jacobi, At large
  • Position 8: Kenneth Shelton, At large
  • Position 9: CVB Chief Tourism Director, Michael Woody
  • Ex-officio (non-voting) City Council Craig Brown 
  • Staff - Executive Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Outreach Barbara Sanderson