Houstonia: Pay Phones Are About to Make a Third Ward Comeback

Full article by Brittanie Shey

THINK BACK TO THE LAST TIME YOU USED A PAY PHONE. The once-ubiquitous structures have been supplanted by cell phones, but a few remaining booths in the Third Ward will soon find new life as art objects, thanks to Project Row Houses.

Three phone booths, sprinkled across North Third Ward, will feature the voices and sounds of The Tre. The booths have been hacked electronically, and transformed into sculptures through painting and metalwork. Now callers can press buttons 1-9 to hear recordings, or press the star button, zero, or pound sign to record and hear messages from other callers, plus the project’s statement of purpose. The phones create a new kind of connection.

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."

Vendor Opportunity: July Free Market Square

Free Market Square
every 3rd Saturday
2301 Elgin Street 77004

Free Market Square is a community marketplace in the heart of Third Ward that highlights its culture, entrepreneurship and artistic performance throughout the year.  Free Market Square aims to reignite the historic legacy of our community and add to the strength, vibrancy, and self-determination of the Historic Third Ward.  Our market is free and family-friendly hosting local vendors, arts interactive for children and adults, and live performances by established and up-and-coming performers in music and dance. This market is focused on the sale of local farmers produce, food/drinks, designer products, original goods that are handmade, customized, fair-trade, and vintage resellers.

Vendor Fees

Limited time discount

Booth |  $35  
Food Truck | $65
Booth July & August | $50
Food Truck July & August | $100

*Registration closes the Friday before the market at 5pm. 

Vendor Guidelines

Please check-in with the VENDOR COORDINATOR, prior to setting up to receive booth space assignment.

  1. Set-up time: 8:00 to 9:45 am. Vendors should be set-up and ready to sell by 10:00 am.

  2. Payment must be received to guarantee a space. Vendors who have not pre-paid can check on space availability on the day of the Market.

  3. Booth space is approximately 10’ x 10’. Tents must be no bigger than 10’x10’ Pop-up Tent.

  4. Vendors must provide ALL that you need to vend. (change, pop-up tent, tables, chairs, lighting, displays, office supplies, flyers, etc.)

  5. Tables, chairs, and other equipment must fit within the 10' x 10' booth space.

  6. Electricity is not available.

  7. Breakdown completion time: 5 pm

  8. FMS is not responsible for merchandise or other belongings left behind.

  9. Food vendors are required to get and provide a Temporary Food Permit and follow City of Houston Health Dept regulations see

Free Yoga Near Me: Community Starts with You

Full post by Sweet T

During an event hosted by Project Row Houses titled Round 46: Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, an art exhibit centered around the health and wellbeing of black women, Letty had the opportunity to share her knowledge of yoga and meditation at no cost. Through this experience, she saw a community in need, and has since partnered up with Project Row Houses to provide free yoga to Houston's 3rd ward on a regular basis. 

"It is the most rewarding experience for me because we are out there on the block for the whole world to see us building community and building community HEALTH! There are people who come from all walks of life, ages, shapes, and backgrounds. It is an honor to bear witness to other peoples practice,  to make new friends, and to see both familiar and new faces at each gathering." -L.C.