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Project Row Houses and UH’s Center for Art & Social Engagement Announce 2019 Fellows

PRH and CASE welcome Texas-based Libby Bland and California-based Sarah Rafael García.

The Center for Art & Social Engagement (CASE) at the University of Houston’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts (KGMCA) and Project Row Houses (PRH) are pleased to announce the artists participating in the 2019 KGMCA-PRH Fellowship: Texas-based Libby Bland and California-based Sarah Rafael García.

The KGMCA-PRH Fellowship was created to invite artists and cultural practitioners to Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood to work alongside urban planners, educators and policy makers. The fellows will engage in creative collaborations that involve the Third Ward community and address issues important to them.

Bland and García will receive mentorship from project administrators Sixto Wagan, director of CASE, and Ryan N. Dennis, PRH’s curator and programs director. Local artists, faculty members, community members and selected leaders will offer their support during this process.

“Sixto and I are pleased to welcome Libby and Sarah as our 2019 fellows,” said Dennis. “The caliber of applicants we receive yearly is an indication of the amazing work artists are pursuing nationwide, and the necessity for a fellowship that supports them in their efforts to build community through art.” 

Upon completion of the fellowship’s pilot year, applications were accepted from nearly 60 local, national, and international artists and collectives. The applications were reviewed by a panel consisting of Dennis and Wagan; Bert Bertonaschi, artist and PRH board member; Mary Manning, archivist and curator of performing and visuals arts collections at the University of Houston Libraries; and Assata Richards, executive director of the Sankofa Research Institute.

“The partnership between PRH and CASE continues to advance as we learn from the participating artists,” stated Wagan. “Working alongside our fellows is a rewarding experience and it is exciting to see the investment artists are making in community-centered creative practices. We are delighted to begin our journey with Libby and Sarah, and look forward to the insights their work will certainly bring.”

The fellows will be introduced at the opening artist talks this spring, where they will share information on their work focus and the questions that will guide their research throughout the year. At the conclusion of their fellowships, the two will also present lectures/performances that encapsulate their year of research.