Project Row Houses (PRH) is a community-based arts and culture non-profit organization in Houston’s northern Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African American neighborhoods. It was founded in 1993 by artist and community activist Rick Lowe, along with James Bettison (1958-1997), Bert Long (1940-2013), Jesse Lott, Floyd Newsum, Bert Samples, and George Smith, all seeking to establish a positive, creative and transformative presence in this historic community. Inspired by both the American artist Dr. John Biggers (1924-2001) and the German artist Josef Beuys (1921-1986), PRH is a unique experiment in activating the intersections between art, historic preservation, affordable and innovative housing, community relations and development, neighborhood revitalization, and human empowerment. Biggers celebrated the shotgun-style house for its dignity and simplicity of form, also representing the spiritual and cultural significance of these homes and the people who inhabited them. PRH seeks to affirm these attributes in all its work. And it was Beuys’ notion of “social sculpture” that reinforced the more conceptual idea of art as social engagement, capable of transforming the existing environment — in contrast to the idea of art based on traditional studio practice. As PRH celebrates its 20th Anniversary, it continues to challenge and stretch the definitions of art, all the while listening carefully to the community and responding to its needs.


The mission of Project Row Houses is to be the catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture.

PRH was founded in 1993 as a result of the vision of  local African-American artists who wanted to have a positive creative presence in their own community. Working with artists and volunteers from throughout Houston, PRH renovated twenty-two abandoned shotgun-style houses on a two block site in Houston’s historical Third Ward. PRH seeks to shift the view of art from traditional studio practice to a more conceptual base of transforming the social environment. Central to the vision of PRH is the social role of art as seen in neighborhood revitalization, historic preservation, community service, and youth education. Today PRH includes 39 properties spread over four blocks.

Photographed By: Alex Barber


There are many exciting volunteer opportunities at Project Row Houses. Below are specific areas where we could use your help.

  • Arts Education Program
  • Special Events
  • Public Art
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Young Mothers Residential Program (YMRP)

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact Cheryl Flores at 713.526.7662 or by email at cflores@projectrowhouses.org


Project Row Houses is always looking for volunteers to work with at a wide variety of events and activities. Please take a moment to download and fill out our volunteer application and submit it at our offices or email it to Cecilia Pham at cpham@projectrowhouses.org

Volunteer Application – Adults (PDF)

Volunteer Application – Minors (PDF)

To view these files, you may need Adobe Reader.


Amanda K. Edwards, President
Andrew Speckhard, Vice President
Bert Bertonaschi, Secretary
Frank Donnelly III, Treasurer

Keisha Bundage
Clare Casademont
Deepak A. Doshi
Edwin Harrison
Shawnell Holman
Holly Hudley
Erica S. Lee Carter
Kathryn Chace McNiel
Eric J. Miller, Jr.
Terena Molo
Mark C. Nitcholas
Valerie Cassel Oliver
Theola Petteway
Bert Samples
Devaron Yates