The University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts launches another season featuring world-renowned visiting artists and citywide partnerships. Programs for fall 2011 focus on Houston's regional identity and explore the intersection between creativity and social action, all while combining the energies of UH’s arts departments.
From fully staged performances to site-specific presentations to rigorous public dialogue, the center's fall season tackles the questions “What defines Houston’s culture?” and “What about Houston has national and international resonance?”
Among these projects is Marc Bamuthi Joseph's highly anticipated performance “red, black and GREEN: a blues," partly based on the 2010 Mitchell Center-initiated community festival “Life Is Living: Houston,” which focused on environmental justice, neighborhood sustainability and hip-hop culture.
Other highlights include a new collaborative work by UH dance professor Karen Stokes and composer Bill Ryan, commissioned in part by the Mitchell Center. A multimedia solo performance created by New York artist Suzanne Bocanegra featuring actor Paul Lazar (of Big Dance Theater and films such as “Rachel Getting Married”) will also confront questions of creativity and regional identity.
Also new this fall is "Communograph," a series of community-based projects co-organized with Project Row Houses that explores creative action rooted in place. In addition, the Mitchell Center will host Eric Leshinsky and Zach Moser of “Shrimp Boat Projects,” who will continue their creative development residency that includes teaching, research, public programming and artistic production based on shrimping in the Galveston Bay region.
“This season's Mitchell Center events and residencies combine our excitement about Houston’s future with our deep commitment to artistic development," says Mitchell Center director Karen Farber. "I can't wait to see the thrilling new projects these artists have created.”
The Mitchell Center’s fall activities are as follows:
15 - 17
Media Archeology Festival: Rewind-Play-Fast Forward
The Mitchell Center joins Aurora Picture Show to present a three-day festival showcasing artists experimenting with multidisciplinary practices. This year it will feature performances by artists who reinterpret tools and ideas about games and play. Artists include Eddo Stern, Karolina Sobecka and Robert Thoth. The event is curated by Mary Magsamen. See Aurora Picture Show’s website for additional details www.aurorapictureshow.org.
- October -
A series of public programs exploring creative action rooted in place focused primarily in the Third Ward neighborhood of Houston, TX. These community-based projects will include participatory mapping workshops, community conversations, a lecture series and a collaborative exhibition. See the Mitchell Center’s website for additional details.
- October 21
The Secondary Colors
Zilkha Hall in the Hobby Center (800 Bagby)
Choreographer Karen Stokes is joined by visiting composer Bill Ryan for a collaborative project co-commissioned by the Mitchell Center.
- 5:30 p.m., October 26
Shrimp Boat Projects: Poetry and Prose
University of Houston, Honors College Commons, MD Anderson Library
Part of an ongoing reading series presented by the University of Houston Libraries and Creative Writing Program, Shrimp Boat Projects presents local authors that delve into issues surrounding Galveston Bay.
- 6:30pm, November
When a Priest Marries a Witch
Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1001 Bissonnet)
A special performance created by artist Suzanne Bocanegra and performed by Paul Lazar. Through a story about a priest, an artist, and a young girl in Pasadena, Texas, Bocanegra weaves a tale that brings together her development as an artist, Elvis, the Astrodome, a controversial art commission, the Pope, astronauts and a notorious local witch.
- November 4
red, black and GREEN: a blues
UH Wortham Theatre, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts
A full-length, multimedia performance work by Mitchell Center artist-in-residence Marc Bamuthi Joseph with collaborators including visual artist/performer Theaster Gates. Incorporating extensive imagery from Bamuthi's residency in Houston and the 2010 environmental justice community festival "Life Is Living: Houston," this new Mitchell Center co-commission will tour to major venues throughout the United States.
About the Mitchell Center
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts cultivates interdisciplinary collaboration in the performing, visual and literary arts. From its base at the University of Houston, the center offers public events, residencies, and courses that fuse artistic disciplines, ignite dialogue, and present new ways of experiencing the arts in contemporary life. The Mitchell Center forms an alliance among five units at the University of Houston: The School of Art; Creative Writing Program, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre and Dance; and Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. For more information about the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.
For more information about UH, visit the university’s Newsroom at www.uh.edu/newsroom.