What is the “Compact with Texans”?

In 1999 the State of Texas passed the Customer Service Standards Act (SB 1563).This act requires each state agency to establish a set of customer service standards and to gather information regarding the quality of services delivered to its customers.The Texas Commission on the Arts’ Compact with Texans describes services, principles, and the process for filing complaints and requesting information.

Agency Mission

The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is to advance our state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas.

Agency Philosophy

The Texas Commission on the Arts believes the purpose of public investment in the arts is to foster a public agenda through the stimulation of our economy, education of our citizens, promotion of cultural tourism, and by ensuring that all Texans have access to arts experiences that enhance their quality of life.The Commission is committed to keeping itself accessible, accountable for public investment, efficient in the delivery of services, reflective of the diverse population and geography of Texas, and responsive to the needs of state government and the people of Texas. The Commission approaches its activities with a deep sense of purpose and responsibility. The arts and cultural heritage of Texas are a public trust that must be preserved.

Overview of Agency Scope and Functions

Created by the Texas Legislature in 1965, the Texas Commission on the Arts operates under the statutory authority of V.T.C.A., Government Code Chapter 444. The duties and responsibilities of the Commission are specified in §444.021 of the Enabling Legislation. In summary, this section states the Commission should:

a.foster the development of a receptive climate for the arts that will culturally enrich and benefit the citizens of Texas in their daily lives;
b.make visits and vacations to the state more appealing to the world;
c.attract outstanding artists to become state residents;
d.direct activities such as lectures and exhibitions, and disseminate information on the arts in Texas;
e.provide advice to state agencies to encourage and develop an appreciation for the arts;
f.provide advice to the state on the creation, acquisition, construction, erection, or remodeling of a work of art; and
g.provide advice relating to the artistic character of state buildings.

The main functions of the Texas Commission on the Arts are to invest funds in the form of grants to cultural, educational, artistic, and civic organizations, and to promote the arts in all disciplines. TCA invests funds in nonprofit organizations throughout the state, and those funds serve as a financial catalyst in opening doors to additional resources. The nonprofit organizations in which TCA invests provide services that support a variety of public policy issues, including education, economic development, criminal justice, and social services through arts-based programming. In addition to providing grants and promoting the arts, TCA plays a leadership role in the arts and cultural industries in Texas. TCA sets standards and focuses priorities for the investment of public funds. Constituents in the field respond to these standards. As a result, the investment of state funds benefits both local communities and the entire state.Finally, TCA offers consulting services to constituents. TCA staff members provide expertise in the areas of community development, fundraising, marketing, public relations, facility management, grant writing, leadership training, and more. TCA’s knowledgeable and professional staff is a valuable resource to constituents and to other state agencies.

Customer Service Standards

  • Employ courteous and knowledgeable staff
  • Provide constituents with accurate and useful information on the agency’s website
  • Respond to telephone communications, correspondence and email as soon as possible
  • Respond to requests for public information in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act
  • Investigate constituent complaints in a timely manner
  • Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Process for Filing Suggestions

TCA is always interested in identifying ways to improving the agency.  If any staff members, constituents, or the public have suggestions on cost saving measures, ways to reduce waste, improve our policies, streamline our procedures, and/or clarify our communications, the agency welcomes your feedback. Please contact a customer relations representative or send your suggestions in writing to:  PO Box 13406, Austin, Texas, 78711.

Process for Filing Complaints

Complaints are taken very seriously. TCA maintains a complaint procedure to ensure customers are assisted in the most efficient manner possible. All complaints are directed to the office of the Deputy Director. If the complaint cannot be handled over the phone, TCA encourages the customer to put it in writing and assures them that they will have a response within 3 days.  TCA utilizes the alternative dispute resolution procedures when appropriate.

The Commission Customer Relations Representatives are:

Amber West Rhodes, Director of Finance
[email protected]

Gary Gibbs, Executive Director
[email protected]

Agency Fax: 512-475-4887 or 512-475-2699

The Commission is located at:
920 Colorado, 5th Floor
E.O. Thompson Bldg.
Austin, TX 78711

PO Box 13406
Austin, TX 78711-3406

The Commission also has a website for online assistance, www.arts.texas.gov.  Dana Douglass Swann is our ADA Coordinator and can be reached at 512-936-6570 or [email protected].

The Texas Commission on the Arts is open Monday – Friday and can be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.