This spring is another busy season for the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston as it presents a selection of diverse and dynamic public events and performances, as well as intensive residencies with world-renowned artists.
"The Mitchell Center is now in full swing with major projects under way," said Karen Farber, director of the Mitchell Center. "This spring, we have struck a great balance between supporting campus-based projects and local artists with commissioning the work of major forces on the international scene."
Now entering its fourth year, the Mitchell Center combines the creative forces of UH's Creative Writing Program, Blaffer Gallery and schools of Theatre, Music and Art. The center brings visiting artists to the city for residencies and performances. It also offers inter-disciplinary curriculum open to the UH student body.
The center's spring schedule is as follows:
Screening and Contemporary Salon: "Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space" - 6 p.m., Feb. 13, Blaffer Gallery, Fine Arts Building
Conducted in conjunction with Blaffer Gallery, the art museum of UH, the documentaries of Chantal Akerman will be screened, then discussed, by Blaffer director Terrie Sultan and Bill Arning, curator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology List Visual Arts Center. The free event is part of the "Artists Up Close" series, which is presented by the Mitchell Center in collaboration with Blaffer Gallery and the UH School of Art. "Artists Up Close" offers free public performances, readings and demonstrations by artists featured in Blaffer Gallery exhibitions. For more details on this event, call 713-743-9530.
"The Good Woman of Setzuan" - Feb. 15-17, 22-23, 8 p.m.; Feb. 24, 2 p.m., Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre at UH
Presented by the Mitchell Center and UH School of Theatre & Dance, Bertolt Brecht's classic play comes to life at UH's Wortham Theatre. This ambitious production is directed by New York-based visiting artist Kim Weild and features a newly commissioned soundtrack by Houston string quartet Two Star Symphony. Its story focuses on three gods that seek for one good woman on earth and think they've found one in Shen Te, a kindly prostitute. Tickets are $15. For additional details, call 713-743-2929.
"Moving Pictures" - 7:30 p.m., April 11, Moores Opera House
UH's AURA Contemporary Ensemble teams with ENSEMBLE, the university's pre-professional dance company, for an evening of live music and dance. The performance will feature the work of special guest choreographer Jennifer Wood, artistic director of Suchu Dance in Houston, as well as material by composers Jennifer Higdon, Peter Sculthorpe, Don Grantham, Bill Ryan, Ken Booker and David Lang. Tickets are $15. For more details, call 713-743-2929.
"Horn Concerto" - Performance begins about noon, April 13; Discovery Green in Downtown Houston
Houston's newest downtown park will come alive with the sounds of car horns. By popular demand, the "Horn Concerto" returns to Houston for another free performance. Composed by Mitchell Center 2005 visiting artist Stephen Montague, this piece will be performed by Houston Art Cars and will be part of the historic opening of Discovery Green, a new urban park located near the George R. Brown Convention Center. For details or directions to Discovery Green, call 713-333-1161 or visit www.discoverygreen.com.
"Charles ‘Teenie' Harris: Rhapsody in Black and White"- 6 p.m. April 25, Blaffer Gallery
Part of a citywide collaboration, the Mitchell Center will present an exhibition of photographs by the pioneering 20th century African American photojournalist Charles "Teenie" Harris, whose works inspired explosive choreographer Ronald K. Brown's new performance work, "One Shot." The Mitchell Center will host this exhibition at the Blaffer Gallery in conjunction with an upcoming presentation by DiverseWorks and Society for the Performing Arts of "One Shot." "Teenie" Harris is celebrated in this exhibition, curated by Brown along with photographic arts expert Deborah Willis. Brown will be joining the Mitchell Center as artist-in-residence, working with UH dance and photography students as well as the after school program at Project Row Houses in the Third Ward.
The Mitchell Center also is working on a major project with Los Angeles-based collective, the Center for Land Use Interpretation. The group is in residence in Houston throughout the spring and will roll out a major public project in fall 2008. In addition, key projects are under way with New York-based Ridge Theater and composer Michael Gordon, as well as a collaborative project with Da Camera of Houston and continued activities with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
About the Mitchell Center
Funded by a $20 million grant from George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston cultivates collaboration in the performing, visual and literary arts. The Center fuels the life-cycle of interdisciplinary artists - from students to emerging artists to world-renowned performers, creators and thinkers. Each fall and spring, the center offers public events, creative development and teaching residencies, and courses that explore the concepts and practices of interdisciplinary collaboration. All center programs are offered in alliance with the School of Art, Creative Writing Program, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre and Dance, and Blaffer Gallery, the art museum of the University of Houston. For more information about the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.