I spent six years working with an arts oriented community development non profit in NYC, focusing on creating low cost workspace for artists across disciplines. In this work I came to realize that the while the physical construction of space was primary, the crucial work was done within community, to amplify the efforts of local residents so that culture can continue to thrive. Since leaving my job, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how the development of space intersects with the unique culture of a place and how ultimately the ownership of land by community members is a fundamental element of combating threats of cultural erasure. This was reinforced this past November, when I had the opportunity to visit Project Row Houses (PRH) @projectrowhouses, located in Houston's historic Third Ward, one of the city's oldest African-American neighborhoods. PRH activates "the intersections between art, enrichment, history, preservation, and community development." Encompassing 5 city blocks and housing 39 structures that are activated thru artist residencies, installations and sustainable economic opportunities for local residents- the history and culture and legacy of the community is reflected and preserved within PRH's built environment.
Friday, April 3, 2020
Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas. November 2019. (digital)
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