In case you missed the talks that our new fellows recently gave at the BLAFFER Museum, you can view them online! Thank you to our co-administrator and Director of UH's CASE Sixto Wagan for capturing them. Learn more about the Fellowship here.
Full article by Casey Gregory
I’ve been thinking about empathy lately: How to generate it in myself and, maybe, as a byproduct, in others. My recent visit to Project Row Houses’s 46th round of exhibitions, Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter at Project Row Houses, on view March 25 through June 4, introduced me to a new way to consider empathy: As an ultimatum.
The simultaneously forceful and pleading statement “You gotta love us or leave us alone” is emblazoned on the front of the center row-house. It is an untitled work attributed to Ephemera Group of Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. Most of the artists in this round are New York-based, described as “a collective of Black women, queer, and gender non-conforming artists…formed in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement,” people who are continually fighting the limits placed on them by dominant aspects of mainstream culture. They state the laudable goal of working with local artists to form a Houston chapter of BWA for BLM.
Full article by Stephanie Wai Ting Cheung
In meetings where participants discuss passionately and share work, there is a rigor in the kind of connective aesthetics that tackles real life… Knowing what it takes for the Project Row House to happen in context, when I saw mothers reading with their children on the porch, I found poetry in the air.
Full interview by Justina Hall
What was your inspiration to lead in the arts?
While in the African American studies program at the University of Houston, I spent a lot of time considering what building a community would look like which led to my work with The Menil Collection. Kristina Van Dyke, who was the Curator of Collections at The Menil, spoke at one of my seminar classes and talked about curation in a way I hadn't heard before. Kristina discussed the influences of the de Menil’s on the city of Houston and the importance of their advocacy within the Civil Rights movement that led me to be curious but also, the way she spoke about her role at the Museum was extremely inspiring for me. By the end of the next day I’d called Kristina’s office and emailed her to discuss the possibilities of obtaining an internship within the curatorial department. I was extremely persistent and would not take no for an answer, a fact Kristina continues to remind me of even after all of these years.
Full blog by ArtPlace
Many community-based groups have found that arts-based strategies are crucial in their efforts to stabilize communities that are particularly vulnerable to displacement. Stabilization strategies are most often aimed to support vulnerable populations, weakened by historic or ongoing neglect or uneven funding for individuals and communities of limited means; people of color; Native American communities; and others that are commonly at a disadvantage. These practices are largely experimental and in need of more research, study, experimentation, and funding in order to help community groups develop best practices and achieve long-term stabilization for vulnerable communities and residents.
Example: Project Row Houses, Houston, TX.
This early practitioner of arts-based cultural and community-based housing development, is focused on the preservation of a mixed income African American community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Houston. PRH began in the 1980’s as a project by and for local African American artists, and began by salvaging and preserving several vernacular row houses for artists’ studios and galleries. Building on the attention they received as innovative, socially engaged artists, PRH has successfully preserved and developed over 50 units of housing as well as continued to build several spaces for galleries and artists in the culturally historic row house style.