Project Row Houses is a nonprofit arts organization established by African-Americans in Houston’s Northern Third Ward. The project grew out of discussions among African-American artists in 1993 who wanted to “establish a positive, creative presence in their own community.” Spearheaded by artist and community activist Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses (PRH) really took off when he found an abandoned site of 22 houses in the area.
PRH is “founded on the principle that art – and the community it creates – can be the foundation for revitalizing depressed inner-city neighborhoods.”
The program is inspired by the principles of renowned artist Dr. John Biggers (quoted from website below):
* Art and creativity should be viewed as an integral part of life, exemplified in African traditions wherein art is interwoven into the very fabric of life through rituals and ceremony activities.
* Quality education is defined through impartation of knowledge and wisdom - including understanding that is passed from generation to generation.
* Strong neighborhoods have social safety nets, woven by community to support community and to raise social responsibility
* Good and relevant architecture; meaning housing that should not only be well designed, but also make sense to preserve a community’s historic character
PRH has established a variety of programs such as neighborhood revitalization, historic preservation, and low-income housing. Since it’s inception, the PRH campus has grown to encompass 40 properties, exhibition and residency spaces, houses for young mothers, artist residencies, and more. Check them out.