Project Row Houses is a successful public art program founded by local artists in inner-city Houston. Starting from boarding up abandoned houses and creating a “drive-by” exhibit to providing free refurbished houses for single mothers in college and an after-school programs for local kids, they helped to revive their section of Third Ward, a historically African-American neighborhood.
Third Ward TX is the story of how Project Row Houses used the tools of design, art and architecture to transform two blocks of “shotgun” houses reminiscent of New Orleans and other Black communities across the South into exhibition space, classrooms, gardens, and residential space. But their success in reducing crime, and making their “campus” a magnet for art enthusiasts, families, and local residents, also attracts deep-pocket real estate developers.
Their bold response is to include community planning and new housing as a part of their art practice. If they can shape an area in Third Ward for the residents, there’s a chance they can keep the neighborhood intact.
The screening is co-presented by the William H. Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Lecture Series at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s the final screening in our monthly Image, Building, Object: Exploring Architecture and Design on Film series. Bringing an eclectic selection of documentaries, features, and vignettes to Black Cinema House, the series demystifies the process of how our objects, furniture, and buildings come into existence and simultaneously reveals how designers and architects have used film as a medium for expression and experimentation.
Third Ward TX
Andrew Garrison, color, 57 min., 2007
Black Cinema House
6901 S. Dorchester Ave.