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Past Events
How We Started

If you have ideas about shows you’d like to see presented in Houston or would like to participate in community discussions, please call or email our office.

Year Seven 2006-2007 Season

Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) started off our year with a silent auction and celebration through which VBB provided our audience opportunities to purchase work by dynamic local, national and international artists. Our official season kickoff Un/Natural Disasters: Katrina-Kashmir examined issues of displacement and government responses to two natural disasters. The rest of the season was packed with film, cultural narrative conversations, and performances all centered around issues connected to health, global peace and the urgent need to address the Palestinian cause, an issue that impacts so much of the world. Since VBB no longer has a space through which it can exhibit visual art, we are beginning a new VBB tradition through which we reach back into Houston’s neighborhoods and host living room art shows in residential homes.

Our 2006-07 calendar was put together through input by a wonderful group of community artists and activists.

Fall 2006

Living Room Art 1: Oskar Sonnen and Danny Kerschen

Saturday, December 9, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
General admission: Free
Home of Jaspal Subhlok, 3615 Graustark, Houston, TX 77006

The Living Room Series of Visual Arts Exhibitions strikes to the core purpose of VBB’s initiatives to expose artists and communities to one another in engaging ways. VBB intends to make the art experience accessible to communities of Houston with little in the means of art experiences or institutions. Just as doctors once made house calls, VBB is making house calls to Houston ’s neighborhoods. The first of this series features artists Danny Kerschen and Oskar Sonnen will present work in the house of Jaspal Subhlok in a party atmosphere; the show lasts for the duration of the party.

Cultural Narratives: Anthony Shadid

Covering Muslims after 9/11: a panel discussion
Tuesday, November 7, 2006 , 2:30 pm – 4 pm
Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library,
University of Houston , Houston 77204
(Download Flyer)

This exciting and enlightening panel discussion will be moderated by UH Professor Dina Al-Sowayel and feature the insights of both local journalists and special guest, Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post correspondent Anthony Shadid . The panel members will present their experiences as international correspondents and discuss how international news is made by news organizations inside the United States , with special attention to Iraq and the Middle East conflict. Author of Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War (2005), Shadid is fluent in Arabic. He reported from Iraq throughout the invasion and first years of the occupation and will offer his indispensable and timely insights. Joining him on the panel will be Houston Chronicle editor Claudia Kolker , Houston Chronicle feature writer Barbara Karkabi, and Emmy award winning local TV personality Art Rascon of KTRK Channel 13. The event is organized by Hosam Aboul-Ela, associate professor of postcolonial literature, literary theory, and the literatures of the nonwestern world at the University of Houston . Covering Muslims after 9/11 is a collaboration with the University of Houston ’s English Department.

 Later that evening at 6 pm, Anthony Shadid will present a lecture entitled "Iraq's Tragedy: People in the Shadow of America's War” at Rice University’s Keck Hall.

¡incite Fall! VBB’s Fundraiser and Silent Auction

Thursday, October 12, 2006, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
General admission: $25

Breaking Boundaries invites all to ¡incite fall! VBB’s fall fundraiser and silent auction. featuring the work of AnilaAgha  Gertrude Barnstone  Alyssa Barrineau  Amita Bhatt  Lise Bjorne  Fernando Brave  Mark Dean  Sharon Engelstein  Robert Graham  Eric Hester  Paul Hester  Leslie Hewitt  Nadia Khan  David Levinthal  David McGee  Gunjen Mittal  Zach Moser  Robert Pruitt  Beth Secor  Oskar Sonnen  Nestor Topchy  Jiny Ung  and work by up & coming teen artists. Admission gets visitors drinks, light meal courtesy of Prontos Cucinina and Nusrat Malik – and as always, fantastic company.

Amita Bhatt
Amita Bhatt
Jiny Ung
Sculpture by Jiny Ung

A Modern La Llorona: Exploring the Mystery of Mothers Who Kill

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 6:30–8:30 pm
General admission: Free
Jones Hall, University of St. Thomas, 3910 Yoakum, Houston, TX 77006

Arté Público Press features Graciela Limón reading from her new novel, Left Alive. MultiCultural Review says Limón’s novel is powerful and “...very few will guess the resolution of this gripping and heartbreaking novel." Evening includes reading, book signing, wine & cheese reception. Event cosponsored by Literal, Latin American Voices, The Consulate General of Mexico, The Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Rice University, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, University of St. Thomas and Voices Breaking Boundaries.

Spring 2007

Houston Palestine Film Festival

May 11-13 and May 18-20, 2007, 7:00 pm every night
Daily admission $5; Film Pass for 5 nights $20 (excluding May 13 screening at Museum of Fine Arts Houston, $7)

Houston Palestine Film Festival is presented by Voices Breaking Boundaries and cosponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Station Museum, FotoFest, Rice Cinema and KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

The first annual Houston Palestine Film Festival brings an honest and independent view of Palestine and its diaspora's society, culture, and political travails through the art of film. This group of groundbreaking cinematic texts rise above the degrading stereotypes or reductively politicized depictions that are so familiar to Houstonians. A major goal of the Festival is to directly expose our local community to the perspective of artists as a first step toward circumventing the many government and media filters that pollute our understanding of Palestine and the wider region. Some of the films in this year's festival include Waiting / Attente (Dir. Rashid Mashrawi) and Leila Khaled, Hijacker (Dir. Lina Makboul). The first annual Houston Palestine Film Festival will include two weekends of film screenings presenting conversations with directors Lina Makboul, Nida Sinnokrot and Elle Flanders along with panels featuring political analyst/ academic/ journalist (and Angry Arab) As'ad Abu Khalil and Rice University Associate professor Ussama Makdisi.

Click here for full screening schedule.

Houston Palestine Film Festival is curated by Hosam Aboul-Ela, Hadeel Assali, Said Assali, Hana El-Sahly, Iman Saqr and VBB.

Houston Palestine Film Festival is presented by Voices Breaking Boundaries and cosponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Station Museum, FotoFest, Rice Cinema and KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM. This festival has been generously supported by the The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Free Press Houston, Houston Endowment Inc., HoustonSoReal, NAGAM, Swedish Film Institute, and the Arab US Bilateral Chamber of Commerce. Special thanks to the Chicago Palestine Film Festival and Aladdin's.

Open Journal: Un/Natural Disaster: Katrina-Kashmir

March 12, 2007, noon
Broadcast through KPFT Pacifica Radio, 90.1 FM

Tune into KPFT this Monday to hear more about VBB’s Un/Natural Disaster: Katrina-Kashmir show. VBB hosts an Open Journal on KPFT featuring some of the performances from the show and updates from several guests. Siddharth Shah (Psychosocial Assistance Without Borders) will speak about the mental health status of survivors, Zeba Shah (Development in Literacy) will bring us an update from Kashmir, and we have Katrina updates. To hear more how VBB’s Un/Natural Disaster: Katrina-Kashmir on February 4, 2007 went click here.

Lectura bilingüe / Bilingual Reading: Rosario Sanmiguel con/ with John Pluecker

Jueves, 8 de marzo, 2007, 4-5:30pm / Thursday, March 8, 2007, 4-5:30pm
University of Houston, Agnes Arnold Hall, Room 444

Rosario Sanmiguel, novelista, cuentista y traductora de Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México leerá de su obra en español.  Después de que lea Sanmiguel, John Pluecker, estudiante graduado de literaturas hispánicas de la Universidad de Houston leerá de las traducciones que ha hecho de la obra de Sanmiguel.

Rosario Sanmiguel, novelist, short story writer and translator from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua , México will read in Spanish from her work.  Following her, John Pluecker, graduate student in Hispanic Literatures at the University of Houston  will read from his own translations of Sanmiguel's work.

This event is cosponsored by VBB. 

Un/Natural Disaster: Katrina-Kashmir

Sunday, February 4, 2007 , 7:00 pm
General admission $5 (no turned away)
DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, Houston , TX 77002

From the mountains of Kashmir to the broken levées of New Orleans , humanity struggled to survive amid unnatural disasters. Un/Natural Disaster: Katrina-Kashmir explores the connections between two communities on opposite sides of the globe. The event features spoken word by Sunni Patterson, Kangsen Wakai and high school student Barbara LeBanks; audio and video images directly from Kashmir , presented by Renée Feltz; a theater performance directed by Autumn Knight. Evening includes a short screening of After the Storm, a documentary on Hurricane Katrina by Autumn Leonard as well as a documentary on the earthquake by Yuli Yang, and updates by Siddharth Shah ( Psychosocial Assistance Without Borders ) and Pakistan’s BBC correspondent Aamer Ahmed Khan. Organizations will be on hand to provide information about how you can help. This eventis cosponsored by DiverseWorks and KPFT 90.1 FM. with special thanks to Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston project, Ambreen Ali, PAKCAST and Nasir Aziz and The News on Sunday (Pakistan) for digital sound and images. All proceeds from the evening will go toward relief efforts. Curated by Renée Feltz. Nicole Eugene, Autumn Knight, Nusrat Malik, Sehba Sarwar, Oskar Sonnen and Willie Wright.

Event Recap

Words from Exile: Suheir Hammad
Beats from the Middle East / Rhymes from Occupied Palestine

Thursday, January 25, 2007 , 8pm onward
General admission: $5 (no one turned away)
Proletariat, 903 Richmond Ave , Houston , TX 77006

Suheir Hammad
Suheir Hammad

Utilizing her own unique style that brought her to join the debut episode of HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. Brooklyn-based Palestinian poet Suheir Hammad will fuse words and music to confront and inform about the Palestinian American experience. Hammad’s accomplishments span a large gamut of literary work, from publications in periodicals such as The Amsterdam News, Essence, STRESS Hip-Hop Magazine and the Middle East Report; to anthologies New to North America, Listen Up!,The Space Between Our Footsteps and 33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History. Hammad has been featured on the BBC World Service and National Public Radio as well as in prisons and universities throughout the United States . Her newest book of poetry, Zaatar Diva (Cypher Books) is available in bookstores now. The evening includes music by Rok Box’s DJ Witness who will play special guest DJ Rami’s set, Beats from the Middle East / Rhymes from Occupied Palestine. The party will continue until the Proletariat closes! The evening is cosponsored by The Proletariat, Arab Roots and KPFT 90.1 FM. Curated by Hadeel Assali, Hana Elsahly, Gunjen Mittal, Iman Saqr, and Hahleemah Wright and VBB.

Event Recap

Summer 2007

The most beautiful things in life are not
fully understood.

A multimedia event by Lee High School students
Wednesday, June 27 :: 7pm @ Diverse Works
General Admission: Free

Click here for Directions to 1117 East Freeway, I-10 at North Main

Houston teens show their work in spoken word, theater, video, music, and much more as the end product of Voices Breaking Boundaries' month-long residency at Lee High School. Students include Ana Aguilar, Vanessa Canales-Pro, Raul Carbajal, Elmo Cardona, Sarah Cerda, Abdul Din, Salem Gerbremedhin, Jermaine Hargrove, Michele Liandro, Sonia Lopez, Athar Mahmood, Corryncia Morgan, Julissa Ortiz, Pierre Robinson, Mayra Rodriguez, Maria Rubi, Julio, Salgado, Abraham Santibanez, Tony Sebagabo, Tamim Shakir, and Carmen Villanueva.

Special Thanks: DiverseWorks, Paul Flores and the Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, and Alice Valdez and Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts.

This project is funded in part by the Bridgeway Charitable Foundation, DiverseWorks, Harris County Education Foundation/CASE ASI, Houston Independent School District, and St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities.

Copyright ©2011 Voices Breaking Boundaries
Designed by Shaila Abdullah

VBB is a multidisciplinary arts organization. Our mission is to
cross borders, sustain dialogue and incite social justice through art.