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“Performing the Neighborhood” project to connect campus and community

Mitchell Center and Project Row Houses partnership focused on historic Third Ward neighborhood

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and Project Row Houses (PRH) are joining forces to present “Performing the Neighborhood.” Starting in 2016, this five-year partnership will bring nationally acclaimed artists to Houston to deliver performance-based works that explore Houston’s historic Third Ward community.

During each year of “Performing the Neighborhood,” a guest artist will create a new performance-based work that is inspired by the Third Ward and its relationships with the city and neighboring University of Houston. Works generated through this partnership will be presented during the Mitchell Center’s spring CounterCurrent Festival.

Jason Moran, a Houston-born jazz pianist and composer and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient , will be the initiative’s first artist in residence.

“For years, the Mitchell Center and Project Row Houses have sought to deepen the connection between UH and the Third Ward through arts events,” said Mitchell Center Executive Director Karen Farber.

“Drawing on the rich history of the area, we are attempting to engage people who live here and continue to activate Third Ward sites by presenting large-scale, site-specific projects that highlight the local area while inviting all of Houston to experience a project from a nationally recognized performer,” said PRH Public Art Director Ryan Dennis.

Farber said the partnership give the Mitchell Center “an annual occasion to host visionary artists such as Jason Moran in performance-based works that activate, animate and communicate.”

Moran’s participation in “Performing the Neighborhood” is in conjunction with his “Homecoming” residency (presented by the Mitchell Center and Da Camera). Future “Performing the Neighborhood” artists include visual/sound artist Kevin Beasley, performer/writer Okwui Okpokwasili and choreographer Kyle Abraham.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the connection between the student body of UH and the surrounding community, Houston’s historic Third Ward,” Dennis said. “We want to make this a rich, immersive experience for all parties, and this is a great way to do so!”

- By Mike Emery