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.