The Mission of Bihl Haus Arts--Creating Community through the Arts--is founded on the belief that each person, when given an opportunity, will achieve significant personal, social and cultural growth through the arts. To support its mission, BHA nurtures and promotes the work of diverse visual and cultural artists in San Antonio; fosters artistic excellence and intergenerational and multicultural understanding and awareness; builds collaborations with other organizations to maximize access to resources; and creates community between older adults and veterans enrolled in BHA art classes, area established and emerging artists, members of surrounding neighborhoods and the global art culture.
What We Do
In 2005 the George Bihl home on Fredericksburg Road was renovated and converted into Bihl Haus Arts (BHA), a community art gallery on the premises of The sorento (formerly Primrose) Affordable Senior Apartments. The renovation garnered a San Antonio Conservation Society award for innovative reuse of a historic building. BHA has three main programs. 1) The Gallery presents six exhibits/yr with 700+ artists (65% women and/or Latinx) have participated in 100+ exhibits. 2) BHA's annual On & Off Fred Road Studio Tour features 70+ artists in their live/work spaces. And 3) BHA offers two arts education programs. The pioneering nationally recognized "creative aging" GO! Arts program provides free art classes at 17 senior centers to 900+ seniors/yr in 9 of 10 council districts. Its mental, physical & emotional benefits are verified in two UTHealthSA/UTSA peer-reviewed studies (Arts & Health 2012; Holistic Nursing 2017): "structural aspects of the class, free instruction and materials, flexible participation and leadership facilitated...positive psychosocial changes in participants' lives." Modeled on GO! Arts, BHA launched Forward, Arts! in 2018 to provide healing arts experiences to Veterans with PTSD and depression. BHA programs serve 27,000/year. In the next 5 years, we envision increasing audiences by 25% and expanding both education programs to reach more older adults and veterans. BHA has a FT ED, a PT gallery manager, 12 contracted teachers; tech, bookkeeping, PR, website and social media consultants; a 20-member volunteer Docent Committee; and an 8-member board.