Houston Chronicle: Why you're going to see pay phones along Emancipation Avenue in Houston

Full article by Craig Hlavaty


Pay phones have largely gone extinct, a relic of a time when we didn't have the world glued to our hands 24 hours a day. An art project on Houston's east end is bringing pay phones back on the block for a new educational purpose.

Project Row Houses' new "The TréPhonos" installation from art engineer Matt Fries, sculptor Julian Luna, and photographer and social sculpture artist Jeanette Degollado will see the placement of three pay phones along Emancipation Avenue, each with a special artistic twist. The goal of the project is to highlight the culture of Houston's Third Ward.

One pay phone ("TréMixTape") will play music recorded by local musicians from the neighborhood. A second phone ("TréSonic") will feature ambient noise and sounds with an option for those that interact with the installation to leave messages for one another. The third phone ("TréPhonos Sankofa") will be a collaborative project with area creatives and residents telling stories about the history of the neighborhood. All the phones will be solar-powered to boot.

Houston Press: Have You Heard? Something Magical is Happening in the Third Ward This Fall

Full article by Susie Tommaney


Psst. Have you heard? In a modern twist on an old telephone game, three magical pay phones with mysterious properties have popped up in Houston's Third Ward.

The magic isn't that they're free, though that part is cool. Walk up to one phone, press the handset to ear, push a button and voila: the unmistakable sound of a Third Ward rapper. Dubbed El Mix-Tape, this phone not only functions as a jukebox — with recordings by Brandon Willis, Jewetta Boney, T Lee, Blessed Child 100, Global Gospel's Stacey, Jalen Baker, Roderick Felder and J Free — but also allows the user to make a recording.

"The innards have been reprogrammed. Pop in an SD card and change the recordings," says Jeanette Degollado, one of the collaborators on this Project Row Houses public art installation. "One through nine is a different track or recording. The pound is record, the zero is playback. One can record their voice, rap music or speak over field recordings. The star is the colophon that thanks the sponsors and partners."

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Project Row Houses

Twenty-five years ago, seven African American artists bought a block and a half of rundown shotgun houses in the Third Ward, restored them, and turned them into a work of living art called Project Row Houses. Today some serve as artist studios or exhibition spaces, while others are home to single mothers; the nonprofit has expanded, getting into social work while offering free art classes and a host of other programs. The original block of homes, now considered a “social sculpture,” is featured in a permanent display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This month PRH will take a group of Third Ward children to D.C. to see it. “Your neighborhood may not have all the resources of a River Oaks or a West U, but your neighborhood is important,” executive director Eureka Gilkey likes to tell them. “And here it is in this national museum not even a block from the White House.”

Houstonia: Project Row Houses Trains Its Lens on the Third Ward

Full article by Shafaq Patel


WHEN BRIAN ELLISON MOVED FROM TULSA TO HOUSTON EIGHT YEARS AGO, he was in search of a community that felt like home—until he got to the Third Ward. That’s where he found a welcoming community where strangers wave at each other, neighbors know one another, and business owners in establishments like NuWaters Co-Op and Crumbville remember their customers. All of this reminded Ellison of what he had back in Oklahoma, and he said he wanted to show the beauty he experienced in the neighborhood. So, he directed A Day in the Tr3.

His seven-minute film follows a young man named Dominique Elam through the gentrifying Third Ward while capturing scenes of everyday beauty like elders playing dominoes on the porch, a woman dancing in church, and the ubiquitous rubble that piled up after Harvey. He shot the film as part of his artist residency program at Project Row Houses, the storied Third Ward organization that’s used its smattering of row homes as a neighborhood center for museum-quality galleries, affordable housing, a small-business incubator, and more for 25 years.

Glasstire: Plan a Trip! Project Row Houses to Lead Smithsonian Tour in D.C. This Summer

Full article on Glasstire


Project Row Houses in Houston is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and part of that year-round celebration includes PRH’s trip to Washington D.C. in August to host a tour of the nation’s capital and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened two years ago. PRH is inviting to public to sign up for an all-inclusive tour package.