GET TO KNOW US: DEIDRE THOMAS
Houston Arts Alliance
Ever wanted to put a Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) name to a face? In this series, we introduce you to our staff, providing a little insight into who they are, and diving into what it is they do. We hope you’ll get to know us! This month the spotlight is on Deidre Thomas.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Manages all grants programs that support organizations and individual artists through City of Houston Hotel Occupancy Tax funds and other publicly/privately funded programs. I also serve on the Emerging Arts Leaders Council with Americans for the Arts.
DEGREES / CERTIFICATES: Bachelor of Science in Sociology from University of Houston, Nonprofit Management Certificate and African American Studies Minor
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE ARTS? My first job was in arts education where I managed after-school programs that offered arts classes to middle school students. I hired professional artists to teach students painting, sculpture, theatre and film.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING AT HOUSTON ARTS ALLIANCE? Working and engaging with artists, arts organizations and cultural institutions.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS / ATTRACTIONS / EVENTS IN HOUSTON? There are so many attractions in Houston, and so many I have yet to explore. My favorites (so far) would have to be Contemporary Arts Museum, Rothko Chapel and The Menil Collection. I also really appreciate Project Row Houses.
WHAT IS YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE WORKING IN THE ARTS & CULTURE? Houston Arts Alliance is my first job to be truly immersed in the field.
FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF: Hmmm…this is hard. I recently started yoga at BIG Power Yoga (BIG), and I work in the juice bar. I eventually want to train as a yoga teacher, but, until then, you can come and visit me as a juicing maven at BIG.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS? If I can count my succulents.
IF YOU COULD CLOSE YOUR EYES AND BE ANYWHERE ON EARTH WHEN THEY OPENED, WHERE WOULD YOU BE? On a beach in Thailand.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE OF YOUR LIFE? Solange Knowles. I love her and am often told I give people solo vibes. I’ll take it.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SEASON? Spring. The weather is perfect.
WHO WAS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE? My grandmother, who just turned 92, is an incredible woman and has been very instrumental in my own success. I love to tell the story of how she was the soda can lady in her neighborhood. She used to collect cans and sell the aluminum for money. She would save money and use it to help her family whenever they were in need. She is a very selfless woman. That same money she saved over the years helped me pay for my undergrad education because she wanted to make sure I finished school.