|Richard Graber, "a particularly fine dancer." - Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times
Richard Graber serves as Director of Grants, Programs & Services at the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) - a local arts agency in Houston, Texas. A performing artist in his own right, Graber is a graduate of the Ohio State University Department of Dance and has garnered recognition in critically acclaimed productions as principal dancer with the Zivili Kolo Ensemble. He is well versed in organizational development, having founded the Csárdás Dance Company in 1994 and serving as Vice President of the Board for the Medina Country Performing Arts Foundation. Upon moving to Houston, Graber was Grants Specialist and later Communications & Events Coordinator for AIDS Foundation Houston.
In January 2008, Graber joined HAA as Senior Project Manager on the Grants & Services staff. He oversaw numerous programs and special projects, including Leveraging Investment in Creativity (LINC), and served as the Houston liaison for the National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) conference, a program of the Americans for the Arts (AFTA). Graber spearheaded the formation of the Programs & Services department in March 2009 and became its Director thereafter. Since then, he has launched both the Arts Database Management Program - a list coop for arts organizations, and the Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) program as well as overseeing the formation of the Arts & Business Council (A&BC) of Greater Houston. In 2014 Graber was asked to oversee the Grants Department of HAA and is responsible for the distribution of over $4M to over 200 arts organizations and individual artists in the form of general operating, project and innovation grants as well as an arts incubator program as part of the Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) at the agency. He has served on grant review panels for the Houston Arts Alliance, the cities of San Antonio and Indianapolis, and the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA). Graber is currently authoring a retrospective book on his dance company, Csárdás, with the support of the Hungary Initiatives Foundation.