Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial: Community Outreach
Throughout this project there will be numerous opportunities for the community to get involved. In addition to community outreach programs, the public will be invited to comment on the three final proposals. The maquettes will be displayed at the Charles Houston Recreation Center for four weeks beginning in February of 2010 (anticipated date). The online comment form will be posted on this page during the public comment period. Comment cards will also be collected at the Recreation Center. And, of course, we hope all of you will join us for the unveiling of the Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial upon completion
Oral History Project
It is critically important that we preserve our community's past. There are many important stories and lessons that must be passed on to generations to come. We hope you will help us in our desire to facilitate an oral history project for the Parker-Gray community. We are currently looking for volunteers who will attend a training session on how to conduct oral history interviews. The next orientation is tentatively scheduled for September 14 at the Watson Reading Room, 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, Virginia. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to suggest an individual to interview, please contact Cheryl Anne Colton, Cultural Arts Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completed Oral Histories:
Charles "Buster" K. Williams
Tea & Talk
A series of "Tea & Talk" programs will be held on a quarterly basis at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. The purpose of the program is to encourage community members to share the stories of their civil rights experience in Alexandria and how it was shaped by the Parker-Gray School and Charles Hamilton Houston. The first event was held on June 8, 2009 and attracted nearly 40 participants.
Read the Alexandria Gazette Packet Article.
The next "Tea & Talk" is scheduled for December 7, 1pm - 3pm, 2009 at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. This event is free and open to the public, though reservations are requested. To make a reservation, please call or e-mail by December 4. 703-746-5588 or email@example.com.
"Tea & Talk" was developed in collaboration with the Parker-Gray Alumni Association, Alexandria Black History Museum, Charles Houston Recreation Center, Alexandria Commission for the Arts, the Office of the Arts and the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, the Charles Houston Memorial Public Art Selection Panel and Stakeholders Advisory Group.
FRESH Art Project and Exhibit
On May 28, 2009, the Target Gallery, in conjunction with their FRESH exhibition, led a mural project in the main hall of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The Gallery collected 9 doors, hinged them together and invited a local DC graffiti artist to create a beautiful piece of art. FRESH artist Gabe Pons, along with several local Alexandria teens, created a mural about the life of Charles Houston using the technique of wheat paste collage and stencils. Later that night, a panel discussion was held in the gallery by Mr. Pons with DC artist Marissa Bothelo and Cory Stowers of Words Beat & Life, Inc. about the artwork and the history of graffiti art.
The doors will be auctioned off at the Alex Arts Awards on October 23, 2009. Proceeds will go to the Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial. Charles Houston Door Mural Flier
Summer Youth Art Workshop
Stakeholder Advisory Group member and visual artist Rebecca Adams volunteered her time and expertise to lead a series of summer workshops from June through August, 2009 at the Charles Houston Recreation Center. Two sessions were offered free of charge twice a week to students 5 - 8 years of age and to students 9 - 12 years of age. These students studied the works of African-American artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others, and then created their own works of art relating to their feelings of self and their neighborhood. We are grateful to the Alexandria Arts Forum and the many individuals who donated art supplies and funds to purchase more needed supplies. Check back soon for photographs of the Workshop.
Re-enactment of Alexandria Library Civil Rights Sit-In
In 1939, five citizens walked into Barrett Library. For merely sitting and reading, they were arrested. On August 21, 2009, the 70th Anniversary of the 1939 Alexandria Library Civil Rights Sit-In, a reinactment was held to commemorate the event. Sponsored by the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Black History Museum, Alexandria City Public Schools and the Alexandria Libraries.