In partnership with the Center for Art and Social Engagement at the University of Houston's McGovern College of the Arts, Project Row Houses has created a fellowship program that invites artists and cultural practitioners to the Third Ward to work alongside urban planners, educators and policy makers. The fellows will engage in creative collaborations that involve the Third Ward community and address issues important to them. 

The two fellows will have a year-long mentorship with UH School of Art professor and Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe along with project administrators Sixto Wagan, director of the UH Center for Art and Social Engagement, and Ryan N. Dennis, PRH's Curator and Programs Director.  Local artists, faculty members, community members and selected leaders will offer their support during this process. The Fellows will present to the public their research–to-date at the end of their fellowship.  

The pilot of this program has been funded by a generous gift from Texas philanthropist Suzanne Deal Booth, which also supports future public programs to promote community engagement. 

2018 Call for Applications

As the pilot year comes to a close, PRH and CASE are seeking two new Fellows – one local to Houston and one non-local individual - already engaged in this work whose practice would benefit from a mentorship and year-long engagement with Project Row Houses and UH’s Center for Art & Social Engagement. 

The fellowship program brings artists, cultural practitioners, urban planners, educators, and policymakers to engage with the PRH process and the greater Houston community. Through the program, it is our hope to educate and empower the next generation of leaders in socially engaged art and activism, disseminate a known successful practice, and seed discourse across the nation. 

Benefits of the program include: 

  • a stipend of $15,000,
  • $5,000 project/research budget 
  • a community Brain Trust of local artists, community members, and faculty to advise and ground the project in a local discourse, and
  • for non-Houston Fellows local housing at Project Row Houses with $1,000 in travel support

In return, the fellows are asked to engage our communities – Third Ward, university, artistic, and myriad other – in a process that involves:

  • A public presentation of previous work and Fellowship guiding questions at the beginning of the Fellowship, 
  • Present a public talk/project at the end of residency 
  • Co-organize a Community Conversation with PRH Curator and Programs Director and CASE Director 
  • Attend monthly meetings with the program directors

The application process for this program consists of a brief narrative, no more than two pages, that addresses the following: 

  • What will be the guiding questions for your work in this fellowship? 
  • What would this fellowship with UH & PRH allow for that you have not yet investigated/achieved?

In support of the primary questions above, please address these ideas:  

  • How does this investigation build upon your history of community engagement?
  • How will the fellowship contribute to the development of your creative career?
  • What are your leadership strengths, and how will the fellowship either complement or enhance those strengths?
  • In what ways can the university community support/enhance your creative investigation?
  • In what ways can PRH support your ongoing practice in the field?
  • For non-resident applicants, please include an ideal timeline for your Fellowship keeping in mind the practicalities of your existing commitments and the Fellowship stipend and travel budget. Would you move to Houston for the entire year, stay for multiple months at a time, or conduct consistent week-long visits? We will take your commitments and the needs of our communities into consideration.

Additionally, applicants will submit a resume/curriculum vitae and samples of previous work for use in contextualizing your work to our stakeholders. The application can be completed online. Please submit all materials by November 21, 2017. Notification of fellowship recipients will occur by December 13.

2017 Fellows

Carrie Schneider is a Houston-based artist interested in people’s ability to reimagine their space. She uses art to invent ceremony and reconfigure memory. For the CotA-PRH Fellowship, Schneider will examine the idea of Survival Creativity – amending the adage that "the greatest creativity comes from the most dire circumstances" to consider what support that allows silence to break.  She is looking to the broad Houston community for creative processes in which personal coping strategies are successfully translated into public catharsis and stories of trauma transformed into speech acts.

Carol Zou is a Texas-based artist who will use the fellowship period to investigate the displacement of artists from metropolitan art centers like New York and Los Angeles to up-and-coming art cities like Houston, and how this regional displacement has the potential to affect local gentrification trends. She will engage with artist-led initiatives such as Project Row Houses and the Emancipation Economic Development Council to research strategies of resisting displacement.

Fellowship Activity

Two-Part essay series in OffCite by Carrie Schneider
Part One
Part Two