Project Row Houses Announces Social Practice.Social Justice Symposium

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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: http://bit.ly/prhsym18.  

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