Rick Lowe and Ann S. Graham
Rick Lowe and Ann S. Graham

Texans Ann S. Graham and Rick Lowe are among six national arts leaders to be honored recently by Americans for the Arts.

Graham, who is director of Texans for the Arts, received the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award, which honors an individual at the state level whose arts advocacy efforts have dramatically affected the political landscape.

Under Graham’s leadership, last year Texans for the Arts secured the largest appropriation increase in the Texas 86th Legislative Session for the Texas Commission on the Arts in the history of the agency, and led the effort to pass legislation to improve municipal reporting requirements for the Texas municipal hotel occupancy tax, the largest source of arts funding in the state.

Houston-based artist and professor Lowe received the Public Art Network Award, which recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates innovative and creative contributions and/or exemplary commitment and leadership in the field of public art.

Best known for his Project Row Houses community-based art project that he started in Houston in 1993, Lowe received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2014. President Barack Obama appointed Lowe to the National Council on the Arts in 2013.