This program really did save my life.


As we gather with our friends and loved ones during this special time of year, we have so much to celebrate. I'd like to take some time to share with you why I'm so grateful for Project Row Houses and the Young Mothers Residential Program. 

In 1996, I was 21 years old with my seven-month-old daughter, Dyani. I was unemployed, living from place to place, and had recently been charged with petty theft, and I had no clear direction in life and no clue what to do next.  Then a member of my church told me about the Project Row Houses Young Mothers Residential Program (YMRP), and I was accepted to join. At the time, I had no idea how this program would completely change the trajectory of my life.

When I moved onto the site and started attending the YMRP workshops and interacting with the PRH community, I discovered that what my life had been sorely lacking was a sense of community. PRH provided a myriad of resources through YMRP, including sewing classes, self-esteem workshops, mentorship luncheons and the Black Parenting Series with Dr. Nelda Lewis— all facilitated by people that lived and worked in the Third Ward Community — my new home.

My favorite part of the program was the sisterhood. YMRP taught me that I was an integral member of a larger community and how to access those communal networks for the support I needed. I learned to lean on my community members while providing a shoulder for them to lean on as well. 

Fast forward to today, I have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. I’ve been a homeowner for ten years and have two beautiful, intelligent daughters, Dyani and Nya. Dyani is now a sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design, and Nya is about to begin her freshman year at Texas Tech, studying Computer Engineering. The Young Mothers Residential Program and Dr. Nelda Lewis’ Black Parenting Workshops made me the parent that I am today, and I work hard to pass on what I’ve learned to my daughters.

I think back on my days at Project Row Houses a lot, looking at the person I was and the person I’ve become. I learned the importance of building community and how to support others as they support me – a lesson that I continue to live by today. My two years at PRH in the Young Mother’s Residential Program taught me that I can create community—no matter where I go. 

Today, I’m asking you to become a member of PRH’s Community of Supporters. Members keep the community thriving by allowing Project Row Houses to continue its incredible work with young, single mothers and other residents of the Third Ward.

Earlier this summer, two new mothers joined me as alumni of the program, and two new mothers and their children are starting the program moving into their homes this month. I’m so thankful that this program is continuing to provide invaluable support to single moms in Houston, and I hope you will join me in supporting these women and our community by clicking here and becoming a member today.  

Your generosity will help provide the tools and support to the current mothers and children in the program and help them to grow and create their own community much like when I started my journey 22 years ago at PRH.  

Thank you for your support,

Candice Wilson

The Defender: Cocktails in the Courtyard

Photos by Aswad Walker

Project Row Houses gathered supporters together amid cool music, adult hot chocolate and holiday treats to lift holiday spirits and raise money for the non-profit organization that offers an array of programming designed to make PRH the catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture. PRH staff and board members, artists, entrepreneurs, and people of all stripes grooved to the live music and the vibe that exuded empowerment. Attendees included Eureka GilkeyRyan DennisAndrew SpeckhardTheoloa PettewayWarren Luckett, Dr. Elwyn LeeShawn OwensDawn MaloneDevaron YatesReena BhushanGail BrownStewart JenkinsAlicia HooperDeepak DoshiGislaine WilliamsMaia ShelbyGlen Taylor and many more

Supporting Art and Artists at PRH

Travelin Man, installation by 2014 Summer Studios resident Charisse Pearlina Weston - Photo by Alex Barber

Travelin Man, installation by 2014 Summer Studios resident Charisse Pearlina Weston - Photo by Alex Barber

Following three years abroad studying in Scotland and France, I returned to Houston in 2014, where I was born and raised. When I first began exploring Houston's art scene, Project Row Houses (PRH) was one of the primary organizations that I gravitated towards because of its dynamic cultivation of critical dialogues around blackness, community, and history. I can honestly say that Project Row Houses, and especially Curator and Programs Director Ryan N. Dennis, has made a tremendous impact on my creative process and growth as an artist.

I will always be appreciative of the opportunities I've had to exhibit at PRH because those opportunities not only helped to clarify my practice but also unveiled concerns around space as material, temporality, and black interiority that I would not have had the chance to explore otherwise.

It is my honor to be considered a member of the greater PRH family of artists, as Project Row Houses is a renowned leader in the global art community and is an integral part of Houston's reputation as a top-tier art destination. Its dedication to supporting emerging artists of color is unparalleled in Houston's art scene.

I hope you will join me in supporting this program and the other public art initiatives at PRH by clicking here to contribute today. As a member, you provide an invaluable service to emerging artists just like I was not too long ago and ensure that Houston remains at the forefront of innovative artist communities.  

PRH gives incomparable and much needed support to artists at all stages of their careers and to the community that surrounds it. I hope that Houston continues to recognize this organization's importance within both the local and global arts community.  

Thank you for your support,

Charisse Pearlina Weston

PS: Please come together with Project Row Houses this holiday season for Cocktails in the Courtyard! The event is $50, free for current members, with tables available for $1000, seating up to 10 people. With lovely music and holiday treats, it's surely something not to be missed!

Houston Chronicle: Art Daybook: Third Ward as Monopoly game

Full article by Molly Glentzer

The current round of installations, "The Act of Doing," examines how the 2-year-old Emancipation Economic Development Council, which the Project co-founded, is dealing with rapid gentrification. One house contains an informative and dense timeline display. Nikita Hodge's Tre Chic pop-up boutique occupies another house, selling goods by black artists and artisans on Saturdays. Several of the other houses feature evocative video installations.

But Newsome hits it out of the park - passing "Go" and then some - by presenting the story of Third Ward's real-estate scramble as a Monopoly game.

Newsome calls himself a smart-aleck with a weird sense of humor. But the pain of this satirical game is real. He grew up in Third Ward, returned as an adult and bought his own fixer-upper home on Southmore about 12 years ago. That place, where he's invested so much sweat equity, now costs him more every year in property taxes, as values skyrocket.