Rebuild Texas Fund Awards $500,000 Grant to Rockport Center for the Arts

The Rebuild Texas Fund recently awarded the Rockport Center for the Arts a grant in the amount of $500,000 to aid in rebuilding efforts after hurricane Harvey destroyed the Art Center facility, located on Aransas Bay last August. The Rebuild Texas Fund provides funding to nonprofit, government, corporate, and philanthropic organizations working on the ground in Texas communities, big and small, that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.

"We are grateful to the Rebuild Texas Fund for their generous grant and their recognition of the importance of our mission of rebuilding and restoring Rockport.  They believe, as do we, that a new campus dedicated to the arts in downtown Rockport will provide critical economic stimulus for additional development in the area,” says Hugh Morrison, President of the Board of Directors, Rockport Center for the Arts.

The fund - launched by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in collaboration with the OneStar Foundation – recognizes Hurricane Harvey as an unprecedented natural disaster that requires a collective and sustained commitment to help impacted communities. It was formed to help Texas communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey, and dedicated to providing resources to well-established organizations with a strong local presence throughout Texas over the rebuilding period. The Rebuild Texas Fund team is working with community leaders to identify gaps in rebuilding efforts and provide organizations with additional support and resources.

“This is a big day for the arts, for the revitalization of downtown Rockport, and for the many followers and constituents we have across the United States who want to see our mission thrive. Rockport Center for the Arts has been building meaningful relationships for five-decades; and we are very eager to do more to continue our mission, serve our community and deliver high impact programming that drives tourism to the Texas coast,” says Luis Purón, Executive Director, Rockport Center for the Arts.

Every penny donated to the Rebuild Texas Fund will have an impact – with support going to six areas key to the future redevelopment of Texas: community and economic development; health; housing; education and childcare; transportation and workforce; and capital for small business, with a special focus on serving low-income communities and their most vulnerable members. 

The goal of the Rebuild Texas Fund is to help the devastated communities across Texas rebuild as thriving communities in the future.


Rockport Center for the Arts, currently entering its 49th year of operation, was located in the blue Victorian house at Rockport Harbor. On August 25 and 26, 2017 the facility suffered catastrophic damage due to Hurricane Harvey’s direct impact on Rockport. A world-class, and growing sculpture garden featuring works by Charles Umlauf, Kent Ullberg, James Surls and the late Jesús Moroles have accentuated the Art Center since 2000, making it one of the most prestigious showcases for fine art in South Texas. Some of the sculptures sustained damages, however restoration is presently underway to protect Rockport’s art legacy for future generations. Inspiring exhibitions, an annual Artist-in-Residence program and traveling exhibits are part of the repertoire the community and its visitors have come to expect. The many activities of the Art Center draw fifty-thousand visitors per year. The Sculpture Garden alone, is visited by ten-thousand patrons annually. This spring, the Rockport Artists’ Studio Tour will allows visitors to see some of the most unique art studios in Rockport’s storied art colony, learn about medium, technique and acquire unique pieces of art for their collections. In the summer, the 49th Annual Rockport Art Festival is the place to be July 4th weekend. More than 10,000 people attend each year to enjoy music, food and artwork from 120 of the best artists from around the country. Early in November, the Rockport Film Festival will entertain audiences with the best of independent cinema. Workshops, classes and mentoring from established local artists are part of a well-crafted art education program. For decades, children have enjoyed free, high caliber art instruction year-round through ArtSpace Summer Art Camp and Free Family Saturdays. Since the hurricane, the Art Center had no home for 99 days; yet none of the programs, exhibits or events were canceled. Three months after hurricane Harvey, the staff and board of directors re-established operations in a building located in downtown Rockport at 106 S. Austin St. All programs are fully operational and a full calendar of exhibits for 2018 and 2019 is in place. Open to the public from Mondaythrough Saturday10 Am to 4 PM; admission is always free. For more information, call (361) 729-5519 or visit

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