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Arts Engagement

In partnership with Houston-based organizations, the Center arranges exhibits, lectures, panel discussions and performances that highlight and appreciate the cultural and social impact the arts have on local and global communities. 

Artist-in-Residence Program

The Artist-in-Residence Program is meant to further enhance CERCL's collaboration with and presentation of the arts. The goal is to represent the manner in which the arts serve as tools for and representations of critical thinking on pressing concerns, effective communications strategies for expressing those concerns, and platforms for engaging those concerns. We expect to build a relationship with our Artist-in-Residence that will allow collaboration on creative projects in the future.

Hearts, Hands & Heritage

These quilting exhibits were produced and curated by Rice students. Aundrea Matthews, a Rice graduate student organized the exhibit as a part of her dissertation to introduce visitors to a collection of powerful works of art that illuminate and touch on many levels, including the spiritual. We plan to illustrate a broad range of artistic techniques and inspirations, shed light on the lives and experiences of quiltmakers, and examine the role quiltmakers have played in the arenas of education, politics, religion, the arts, business, the family and much more.

Hip Hop Archival Collection Panel Discussions & Exhibitions

Over the last forty years, the cultural expression known as hip hop has proliferated and grown in expansive and important ways. Hip hop continues to impact societies across the world, even -- and especially -- here in Houston.

CERCL's Hip Hop Archival Collection is housed at the Woodson Research Center Special Collections and University Archives in Rice’s Fondren Library. Exhibits, panel discussions and lectures increase the spotlight on Houston hip-hop, preserve its importance for future generations, and underscore hip-hop’s role as a space where community and intellectual leadership is generated and cultivated.

The Color of Life: The Works of Leon & Molly Bee Collins

For decades there have been ongoing discussions of the distinctions between high and low art—formally educated artists versus the expressions of the untrained. Although there are differences between the two, the underlying truth is that people are drawn to art that uplifts their hearts, minds and spirits. This is true of Leon and Molly Bee Collins. Their work evokes motion through a mixture of beautiful colors, history and folklore. In their aptly-named studio, Color of Life in downtown Navasota, Texas, this father and daughter pair creates original art that grows straight out of the rich soil of the Brazos River. The Exhibit was on view at The African American Library at the Gregory School and the Houston Public Library - Central from June - September 2012.

Awready!: The Houston Hip Hop Conference

In March 2012, Awready!: The Houston Hip Hop Conference was presented by the University of Houston Libraries, CERCL (formerly the HERE Project) at Rice University, African American Studies at the University of Houston, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston. The opening event celebrated Hip Hop's contemporary visual and performance art, UH sponsored a panel discussion on the life and work of Houston's DJ Screw, and opened an exhibit at the UH Library titled "DJ Screw & The Rise of Houston Hip Hop", finally a DJ Battle in honor of DJ Screw was held at Rice to close the conference. This event also introduced to the public to the "Houston Hip Hop Archives Network," a partnership developed by the CERCL and the University of Houston Libraries for preserving the artifacts of Houston hip hop.

Graffiti, B-Boy & B-Girl Exhibition

The Awready Conference began at the Betz Gallery with an opening reception for the Grafitti, B-Boy and B-Girl Exhibition. This exhibition recognizes and celebrates the artistic creativity of various hip hop art forms. Talented Houston graffiti artists and b-boys created an interactive experience through mural painting, dance, and a multimedia presentation. The Exhibit was available for viewing during gallery hours March - April 2012. Featured Artists: HaviKoro, Gelson Lemus, Skeez & DEZ.

To see images from the event visit our Facebook album.

25 Years of Houston Hip Hop - Legacy Award for Mr. James Prince

This event celebrated many influential Houston hip hop artists, whose work has helped shape hip hop over the last 25 years. In particular, the event saw Mr. James Prince, CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records, presented with the first ever Legacy Award.

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