FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Project Row Houses Announces Project/Site
and Inaugural Project OJBKFM Third Coast
Houston, TX – February 25, 2016 – Project Row Houses (PRH) is pleased to announce Project/Site, a new commission-based program focused on temporary public art. Conceived by Public Art Director Ryan N. Dennis, Project/Site interrogates the landscape of Third Ward by working with artists who explore the history and culture of the neighborhood while expanding their practices beyond the studio, into the streets.
“When people hear ‘public art,’ they often think of it in its more traditional forms – sculptures in parks or murals on buildings,” Dennis said. “Project Row Houses has long taken a different approach, thinking of public art as a tool to make the works in the Art Houses more accessible, and I want to take this a step further.” Through Project/Site, Dennis and PRH hope to shift the public’s understanding of what public art can be.
“To me, public art is experiential, engaging with both objects and people, and recognizes the surrounding environment – blending these forms to create a rich, meaningful experience for all involved,” Dennis stated. Public Art has the potential to create new spaces, reinvigorate forgotten ones, and meet people where they are in a specific moment. Project/Site was created with this in mind and asks, “What does public engagement look like in Houston, and how can public art serve as a conduit to connect individuals, expand conversations, and highlight the richness of our neighborhood?”
The inaugural commission of Project/Site will see Houston-based art collective Otabenga Jones & Associates realize OJBKFM Radio, a temporary outdoor community radio station broadcasted from the back of 1959 pink Cadillac Coupe de Ville originally commissioned by Creative Times in 2014. The mobile station will energize the Dowling Street Corridor. Once the booming and beating heart of Third Ward, Dowling Street was the concourse of successful businesses and social clubs, Black Nationalists and pan-Africanists, churches and community centers.
Programming will be presented live from the Coupe de Ville sculpture at historic sites on Dowling Street and feature live musical mixes of rediscovered vinyl, segments on Black political histories, community dialogues, improvisational jazz performances, artist interviews and experimental sound. Beginning Friday, April 1, 2016, OJBKFM Third Coast will activate Dowling Street every Friday from 5-8pm and Saturday from Noon-5pm through April 22, 2016.
OJBKFM Third Coast is presented with generous support from the Surdna Foundation.
Fridays | April 1, 8, 15, 22
Acknowledgement with Akua Holt/Bert Samples
5 – 6pm
Spiritual Jazz and other inspirational sounds helping to open the pineal gland and recharge the soul
News & Information with Deniz Lopez
6 – 7pm
Sharpening our awareness and being informed is only half the battle! This segment works to keep you notified on the local, national, and international levels.
Feel Good Fridays with Local DJs
7 – 8pm
Featuring beats & mixes by some of Houston’s most inspired DJ’s and artists influenced by sound.
Saturdays | April 2, 9, 16
Local Lessons with Assata Richards
Noon – 1pm
Community-based conversations that start local and end global
Public Art Talk with Ryan N. Dennis
1 – 2pm
Insightful dialogue on the role of Art & Culture in a transforming society
Memories of the Eldorado Ballroom with DJ Flash Gordon Parks
2 – 3pm
Documenting the history of 3rd Ward’s Eldorado Ballroom by taking a look at one of Houston’s most distinguished cultural centers
Open Field Variety with Otabenga Jones & Associates
3 – 3:30pm
A free-form mixture of music, sound, and radio based performance hosted by Otabenga Jones & Associates
Screw the Lid Back On with Ayanna Mccloud/David Dove
3:30 – 4pm
A collection of mixes inspired by the crates of the DJ Screw archive at the University of Houston and Screw Shop
Middle Passage Future Sound
4 – 5pm
Live performance program exploring new horizons in Black Musical production
About Otabenga Jones & Associates
Otabenga Jones & Associates is a Houston-based artist collective, founded in 2002 by artist and educator Otabenga Jones in collaboration with members Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Jamal Cyrus, Kenya Evans, and Robert A. Pruitt. The organization’s mission is a trifecta of cultural awarenss: to highlight the struggles of black representation, to bolster the core principles of the Black radical tradition, and to “teach the truth to the young black youth.” Otabenga Jones & Associates’ work has graced programs at the Studio Museum in Harlem and Whitney Museum of American Art (Whitney Biennial), in New York City; the High Museum, Atlanta; and The Menil Collection, Houston, and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, among others.
About Project Row Houses
Project Row Houses (PRH) is a community-based arts and culture non-profit organization in Houston’s northern Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African American neighborhoods. The mission of Project Row Houses is to be the catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture. Learn more at ProjectRowHouses.org
About the Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States -- communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Learn more at www.surdna.org.
Full Press Release (PDF)