A Center for Public History Lecture Series Event - University of Houston
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Houston in 2020: Self-Employed Black Artists

HOUSTON IN 2020: SELF-EMPLOYED BLACK ARTISTS is a multimedia project documenting the impact of current sociopolitical, economic, and cultural factors on five Black artists in the Bayou City.

The project's title is not only a reference to the year it was produced, but a nod to the adage that hindsight is 20/20. By documenting the stories of some of our city's Black artists in real time--in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, a Houston native, and in the midst of a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on small businesses and minority-owned businesses, in particular--this project serves as an opportunity to reflect on and learn from this challenging period for decades to come.

The goal of the project is to illuminate stories of self-employed Black artists in our community who are facing unprecedented barriers not just to success, but survival. It is also a reminder that creative people usually find creative solutions, and the pivots these artists have made in order to continue earning a living in their chosen fields are no exception.

This multimedia documentary effort speaks to the power of creativity, conversation, and connection when we all need it most. It also offers up a healthy dose of inspiration to help us navigate these trying times and carry us into the future.