Project Row Houses (PRH), 2521 Holman St., is hosting a series of Founders Bus Tours on Saturdays through June 23 as part of its year-long 25th anniversary celebration. The tour, led by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator and Programs Director, and Jeanette Degollado, Public Art Coordinator, will take participants on a journey to view works that build upon the backdrop of iconic sites across Houston. Stops include the University of Houston-Downtown,the Station Museum of Contemporary Art.
Full article by Holly Berretto
For 25 years, Project Row Houses has made it a mission to make art that is not only beautiful, but empowering, and presenting it as both vital to the community and something that brings a greater quality of life to a space. The artists of Project Row Houses have worked to ensure that the culture and history of the organization’s Third Ward home remain a guiding force as the community continues to change.
To celebrate, Project Row Houses is offering a month of Saturday bus tours to showcase some of the works that define the organization’s history and mission, with stops throughout the city.
“It’s so exciting,” says Ryan Dennis, Project Row Houses’ curator and programs director. “We’re doing a three-hour tour, and we’ll stop eat each art site for about 10 minutes and talk about what makes it unique, and why it matters to Houston.”
Full article by Paul Middendorf
In the heart of the Third Ward, and deep set into a community, is a set of row houses acting as a creative circulatory system for its neighbors and the city of Houston. The style of houses originated in West Africa and eventually found its way to the US following the slave trade. The row houses are still seen today in local regions such as New Orleans and Houston. Clustered close together, and often times in disrepair, they’re often found in regions of poverty and segregation. But where most people saw buildings in disrepair, a group of visionary African-American artists saw the potential of them as a place of positive, creative and transformative experiences.
Full article by Susie Tommaney
To everybody else it was just a row of rundown shotgun houses at the corner of Holman and Dowling (now Emancipation) in the heart of Houston's African American community. But for seven visionary artists, they saw real potential where others only saw poverty.
And the idea for what would become Project Row Houses was born from the dreams of Jesse Lott, Rick Lowe, Bert Samples, Floyd Newsum, George Smith, James Bettison and Bert Long, Jr. Twenty-five years later PRH covers five city blocks in Houston's historic Third Ward, houses 39 structures and has become a difference-maker for art and artists in Houston.
Full article by Roxanna Asgarian
When Joidan Felix went off to college in 2014, she had a plan: She wanted to become an accountant. A knack for numbers had helped Felix ace her accounting classes in the business magnet program at Houston’s Westside High School. That led to an internship in Halliburton’s tax department her senior year. “It just came naturally,” she said. “I think it’s what I’m meant to do.”
But she struggled to adjust when she moved to Wichita Falls, an almost six-hour drive from her home and family, to attend Midwestern State University. Felix was failing her accounting class, even with a tutor. A first-generation college student, she was also having a hard time getting her financial aid squared away. And in the winter of her sophomore year, she unexpectedly got pregnant. When she told the father, he abruptly cut off contact with her. Angry, scared and ashamed, she dropped out of school and took a job at a shoe store. She was homesick and lonely, and didn’t tell her family or friends about the baby until she was seven months pregnant. “Expectations were so high, it was so much pressure,” she said. “I just didn’t know how to come out and say, ‘Hey, I’m pregnant.’”
Felix moved back home with her mother in southwest Houston in July 2016 and gave birth to her son, Jair, that September. She couldn’t afford her own place, so for the next three years she stayed with her mom, taking the bus to her job at a call center. Her salary barely covered the cost of childcare. A few months ago, her mother announced she was moving to Katy, leaving Felix, who doesn’t have a car, without a way to get to work. Felix realized she needed help.