Project Row Houses Announces Social Practice.Social Justice Symposium

Abby Linney,
Elmore Public Relations, 713.524.0661

Project Row Houses Announces Social Practice.Social Justice Symposium

Renowned artists, activists and thought leaders gather in Houston’s Third Ward for one-day symposium

HOUSTON – Aug. 22, 2018 – Project Row Houses (PRH) announces its Social Practice.Social Justice symposium, which will be held on Saturday, September 8 in the Historic Eldorado Ballroom. The day-long symposium, which features panel discussions and a keynote address, brings renowned, socially-engaged artists, activists and thought leaders from across the U.S. to Houston’s Third Ward to share their insights on the role of art and creativity in the social and political landscape. 

“25 years ago, our founders strived to be a catalyst for social transformation in the Third Ward community through the celebration of art and African American history and culture,” said Eureka Gilkey, executive director of PRH. “While our work has become a model for art and social engagement in communities throughout the world, we remain committed to the cultural enrichment and historic preservation of the Third Ward. This symposium brings artists, activists and thought leaders to our community in order to expand the dialogue around our work and look at new opportunities for direct action through collective creativity.” 

The symposium will begin with a morning panel discussion entitled “Neighborhood Development and the Preservation of a Community,” moderated by Gilkey, which brings together individuals who are paving a way forward for conscious neighborhood development and who work actively to preserve historic buildings in disinvested neighborhoods. Panelists include Irfana Jetha Noorani, deputy director of the 11th Street Bridge Project in Washington D.C.; Pat Jordan, president of the Gem Cultural and Education Center in Kansas City; and Danielle Burns Wilson, curator and manager of The African American Library at the Gregory School in Houston.

“Through the Symposium, we aim to create a thought-provoking and engaging dialogue around the intersection of art, community engagement and neighborhood development,” said Ryan N. Dennis, curator and programs director of PRH. “We believe our keynote speaker and panelists will highlight creative actions around preservation and social practice in communities, and in turn, we can share how PRH spurs direct action through art and engagement in the Third Ward.” 

Lisa Dent, thought leader and advocate for cultural workers and living artists, will deliver the keynote address, “The Romance of Community,” on Saturday afternoon. She will present current research on philanthropic and cultural organizations, placing the support of artistic work in a socio-economic context.

The symposium will conclude with a conversation centered on the broad, often vague definition of “social practice,” entitled “Beyond Social Practice.” Moderated by Gia Hamilton, cultural producer, panelists multi-disciplinary artist Shani Peters of New York; visual contemporary artist Nathaniel Donnett of Houston; and creative laborer, educator, writer and radical community arts organizer Jen Delos Reyes of Chicago will present their individual practices and their observed impact of art and creativity on the community.

The event is open to all, with ticket prices at $10 for students, $25 for PRH members and $35 for all other guests. Attendees can register in advance at the PRH website. To learn more about the PRH symposium, please visit:  

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Project Row Houses highlights and supports local residents through Strategic Art Plan

Project Row Houses highlights and supports local residents through Strategic Art Plan

Artist installations, interactive historic tours and cooking lessons engage Third Ward community

HOUSTON – July 11, 2018 – Project Row Houses continues supporting local artists through the Strategic Art Plan with current summer initiatives. Funded by Houston Endowment, the Strategic Art Plan works to collaborate with organizations based in the Third Ward and individuals active in the community to present public art engagement opportunities for the public.

“Our summer initiatives through the Strategic Art Plan highlight the voices and perspectives of those in the Third Ward community. As our home, it is important Project Row Houses cultivates independent change agents in the community through engagement, art and direct action.” said Eureka Gilkey, executive director of Project Row Houses.

Project Row Houses occupies a significant footprint in Houston’s Historic Third Ward. Launched in advance of Juneteenth 2017, the Strategic Art Plan works directly with other Third Ward organizations to support the well-being and wealth building of residents in the community. The arts offerings are an essential component of the nationally recognized community ecosystem which exists in Houston’s Third Ward. Project Row Houses has proven that encouraging art is an essential component of a sustainable, healthy neighborhood.

“The current Strategic Art Plan initiatives showcase the history of the Third Ward, while uplifting residents and providing an opportunity for neighbors to participate in activities which address the needs of their community,” said Ryan Dennis, curator and programs director of Project Row Houses. “We will continue to water our roots in the Third Ward as we add new programming and shine light on those in our neighborhood.”

Current Strategic Art Plan projects and initiatives include:

Yoga with Letty
Artist: Leticia Contreras
Dates: July 7, 21; August 18, 25
Location: 3409 Emancipation Ave.

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Yoga with Letty is a series of free yoga classes led by artist and creative practitioner Leticia Contreras. The light-hearted beginner lessons introduces the community to vinyasa flow, a style of yoga which involves synchronizing breath with a continuous flow of poses. Through this, participants learn how to quiet the mind and bring ease to the body during these tumultuous times while connecting with others.

Free Market Square
Organizer: Cedric Douglas
Dates: Every 3rd Saturday
Location: 2301 Elgin St.
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Free Market Square is a community marketplace in the heart of Third Ward that highlights its culture, entrepreneurship and artistic performance throughout the year. The market aims to reignite the historic legacy of our community and add to the strength, vibrancy and self-determination of the Historic Third Ward.  

Dear Mama
Artist: Ashura Bayyan
Dates: June 8 – August 12
Location: Martin Luther King Community Center, 2270 Sampson Street

Time: Noon – 6:00 p.m.

Following the 2nd annual Mothers’ Day art festival on June 5, the Dear Mama exhibition opened to the public on June 8 at Project Row Houses, Community Gallery. A combination of photography, painting and performance, all works are in dedication to mothers everywhere.

Third Ward Fresh
Organizers: Nathan Keibler and Marilyn Maples
Dates: June 9, 16; July 14, 21; August 11, 18

Location and time varies

Third Ward Fresh aims to address the lack of access to fresh produce in the Third Ward through a series of cooking lessons and community plotting/painting sessions in partnership with “One Seed, One Block.” Activities will be held at Free Market Square and other locations in Northern Third Ward.

Emancipation Avenue Bus Stop Tours
Artist: Naomi Mitchell Carrier
Dates: July 14, 21, 28; August 4, 11, 18, 25
Location: Eldorado Building, 2310 Elgin St.

Time: 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.

The Bus Stop Tours share a complete history of African-American Texans through storytelling at six stops along Emancipation Avenue. At each incremental period in history, each stop shares stories from significant events through reenactment. To register, please visit  


Beautiful, Still
Artist: Colby Deal
Location: Eldorado Building, 2310 Elgin St.
Time: 24 hours

Unveiled on June 19, the photographic project captures and creates a rendition of the Third Ward community and its landscape. The image will be on view at the Eldorado Building and smaller vignettes will be placed around the Third Ward for public interaction.

All Strategic Art Plan initiatives are free to the general public. For more information on current and upcoming programs, please visit

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Contact: Jennie Roberts, Elmore Public Relations, 713-524-0661,

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Made Possible In Part by Donation from Solange Knowles, Project Row Houses Meets Fundraising Goal to Send 12 Third Ward Youth to Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture 



Made Possible In Part by Donation from Solange Knowles, Project Row Houses Meets Fundraising Goal to Send 12 Third Ward Youth to Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

HOUSTON, TX, JULY 2, 2018 - Today, Project Row Houses (PRH) announced that due to a special donation made by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and visual artist Solange Knowles, the organization has met its fundraising goal and will be sponsoring a group of 12 high school students from Houston’s Third Ward to travel to Washington, D.C. Led by PRH, the group will take part in a special tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

Project Row Houses, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people and enriching communities through engagement, art and direct action, is special to Solange who is a native to Houston, TX and grew up performing at the organization’s block parties. By partnering on this latest initiative, 12 minority youth from the organization’s affordable housing residence and the surrounding community will get the opportunity to travel and immerse themselves in African American history. 

“We are honored to have our work and the work of Floyd Newsum commemorated at this historic institution and are very grateful to Solange for her generous support of what will be a transformative experience for our Third Ward youth,” said Project Row Houses Executive Director Eureka Gilkey. “Seeing their community represented at this level will provide the students with a more profound understanding of themselves, their history, and their culture.” 

While touring the NMAAHC, the youth will view a permanent display on Project Row Houses as well as work by PRH founding artist Floyd Newsum, who is featured both in exhibition and in the museum’s art collection. The students will also have the opportunity to meet with staff for special discussions on the development of the museum and its important role in our nation’s history. Newly opened in 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum dedicated to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.

Apart from the museum, the youth will enjoy sight-seeing and visiting other iconic sites, including the 11th Street Bridge Project and the National Portrait Gallery. 

Now in its 25th year, PRH was a thought experiment conceived by an extraordinary group of artists who have been active in the Houston community, especially the Third Ward, for decades. The trip to Washington, D.C. is a part of PRH’s year-long celebration for this milestone anniversary. 


About Solange

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and visual artist Solange Knowles has used her platform to advocate for representation while providing constructive and empowering political messages. With her album, A Seat at the Table, Solange has invoked themes of identity, empowerment, grief and healing. Her performance art shows at the Guggenheim Museum, the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, coupled with her art installation at London’s Tate Modern museum and recent interdisciplinary video and dance performance piece, Metatronia, which premiered at the Hammer Museum, have culminated into a career defying convention.

In 2016, Solange’s album A Seat at The Table debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The record’s success led to her performing at the White House for President Obama and her Orion’s Rise performance series that included sold out shows at legendary venues such as Radio City Music Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Sydney Opera House.

Solange has been honored with Glamour’s Woman of the Year Award, Billboard’s Impact Award, and named Harvard University’s 2018 Artist of the Year for her work in music and art. She was also honored by The New School as a pioneering figure in fashion at the 70th Annual Parsons Benefit.


PRH is a community platform that enriches lives through art with an emphasis on cultural identity and its impact on the urban landscape. It engages neighbors, artists, and enterprises in collective creative action to help materialize sustainable opportunities in marginalized communities.

PRH occupies a significant footprint in Houston’s Historic Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African-American neighborhoods. The site encompasses five city blocks and houses 39 structures that serve as home base to a variety of community enriching initiatives, art programs, and neighborhood development activities. PRH programs touch the lives of under resourced neighbors, young single mothers with the ambition of a better life for themselves and their children, small enterprises with the drive to take their businesses to the next level, and artists interested in using their talents to understand and enrich the lives of others. Although PRH’s African-American roots are planted deeply in Third Ward, the work of PRH extends far beyond the borders of a neighborhood in transition. The PRH model for art and social engagement applies not only to Houston, but also to diverse communities around the world.


Project Row Houses Media Contacts:
Jennie Roberts,

Nataly Torres,

Elmore Public Relations, 713.524.0661


Solange Media Contacts:
Sunshine Sachs
Tiffany Shipp / Janna Pea / Maggie Faircloth

Solange US Label Media Contact:
Sarah Mary Cunningham / Columbia Records

Family, Community, and Shorts: A Project Row Houses / MFAH Collaboration

Friday through Sunday, July 13–15, 2018
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents Family, Community, and Shorts: A Project Row Houses / MFAH Collaboration, a weekend film series celebrating the 25th anniversary of Project Row Houses (PRH). The films, co-programmed by Ryan N. Dennis, curator and programs director at PRH, present themes of family, community, and identity. For more details visit,

Personal Problems
(Directed by Bill Gunn, USA, 1980, 165 min. with intermission)
*Introduced by Dr. Alvia J. Wardlaw, MFAH Honorary Trustee and Director of the University Art Museum at Texas Southern University
Friday, July 13, at 7 p.m.
A true discovery, this ensemble piece explores black middle-class lives with candor and emotional intensity. The groundbreaking two-part series, originally made for television, stars Walter Cotton, Vertamae Grosvenor, Jim Wright, and Sam Waymon, with music by Carman Moore, and cinematography by Robert Polidori. Released theatrically for the first time in 2018, the film was called “a rediscovered milestone in independent black cinema” by Bomb Magazine.

(Directed by Spike Lee, USA, 1994, 115 min.)
*Introduced by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator and Programs Director of Project Row Houses
Saturday, July 14, at 7 p.m.
Spike Lee’s funny seventh feature, inspired by his own upbringing, is about a teacher (Alfre Woodard), her stubborn jazz musician husband (Delroy Lindo), and their five children living in a close-knit Brooklyn neighborhood. Life’s inevitable challenges are lifted up by an exceptional soundtrack by Terence Blanchard, with songs from Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, the Stylistics, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, and the Jackson 5.

Short Films
The weekend closes with a selection of new and classic short films followed by a discussion with filmmakers Brian Ellison and Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr. moderated by Amarie Gipson, Mellon Curatorial Fellow and Eszter Simor, Curatorial Fellow.
Sunday, July 15, at 5 p.m.

black enuf*
(Directed by Carrie Hawks, USA, 2017, 23 min.)
Creatively weaving together family stories, interviews, and a variety of illustrative styles, this animated autobiography explores the filmmaker’s identity as a queer person of color.

Born With It
*Presented by filmmaker Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.
(Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr., USA, 2015, 15 min., in English and Japanese with English subtitles)
A half-Japanese, half-black boy intends to prove to his new Japanese classmates that dark skin is not a disease.

A Day in the Tr3
*Presented by filmmaker Brian Ellison
(Directed by Brian Ellison, USA, 2017, 7 min.)
This film follows a young man through his Third Ward neighborhood which is rapidly changing due to gentrification. Even in the midst of the changes, he experiences the day to day beauty that hides in plain sight and embraces all that his community continues to offer.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Caroline Wiess Law Building / Brown Auditorium Theater
1001 Bissonnet Street

Admission is $10 for the general public and $8 for MFAH members, PRH members, students with ID, and senior adults. Visit to purchase advance tickets.
Film Buffs is the Museum’s membership group for movie lovers. Visit or call 713.639.7861 for more information.

Funding The MFAH film department is supported by Tenaris; the Vaughn Foundation; Franci Neely; Nina and Michael Zilkha; American Turkish Association-Houston; Lynn S. Wyatt; James V. Derrick; ILEX Foundation; and L'Alliance Française de Houston.

Media Contact
Sarah Hobson, publicist
713.800.5345 /

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