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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 Eight 2007-2008 Season

Some fall highlights included a play, The Shootout, by Jihad Abdul-Mumi, an ex-Black Panther who was brought to Houston by Otabenga Jones and The Menil Collection, an Oud performance by Marcel Khalife an observance of Day Without Art, and VBB’s much loved Valiente Award, a fundraiser that honors Houston-born artist Mel Chin.

Our Spring 2008 calendar has included great events: a collaboration with Arte Público Press to revive La Voz Femenina, our recognition of International Women’s Day which presented Lisa Hernandez; another Living Room Art exhibition; and our much loved and highly-anticipated multidisiciplinary event, Words for Peace 5: Condemn Invasion.

Fall 2007

Words Without Borders:
The World Through the Eyes of Writers
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 7:00 pm
Cullen Hall, Center for International Studies, University of St. Thomas
3800 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006
Admission: Free

Board a plane to Tehran, explore the highlands of Chiapas, and discover a mystical moonscape village in China. Zara Houshmand, Bapsi Sidhwa and Liu Hongbin read from “a collection of tales from the whole wild world, perhaps the very next best thing to being there.” (Miami Sun Post) The reading was followed by a discussion about the book, “A sample of the riches English readers are missing out on because of the reluctance of English language publishers to invest in translation” Moderated by Samantha Schnee, founding editor of Words Without Borders, The Online Magazine for International Literature. Co-presented by University of St. Thomas’ Center for Internatinoal Studies and Words Without Borders; cosponsored by VBB and Brazos Bookstore.

The Shootout
October 20-21, 2007, 7:00pm
Barnevelder Movement / Arts Complex
2201 Preston, Houston, TX 77003
Admission: $5.00 (no one will be turned away)

Performance artist Jihad Abdulmumit presents The Shootout, a two-person theater performance (1 hour running time) with audience workshop (30 minutes). The Shootout is a two-man dramatization depicting the spiritual and psychological divisions that have historically ripped apart just about every semblance of unity amongst African Americans.  The shootout starts right from the beginning when Africans were snatched so violently and decisively from Mother Africa.  African Americans have been physically, mentally and spiritually attacked in ways that share few rivals in human history.  Within one hundred years into captivity, scarcely any original religion, native tongue, name or family existed. The workshop addresses suggestions and advice for dealing with the issues presented in the performance. Cosponsored by The Menil Collection and KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

Marcel Khalife: UNESCO Artist for Peace
Friday, October 26, 8:00 pm
Stafford Centre, Performing Arts Theatre
10505 Cash Road, Stafford, TX 77477
Admission: varied

Marcel Khalife—an internationally praised oud player born in Amchit, Lebanon (1950) who has toured the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the United States- presents an Oud concert. Khalife formed the Al Mayadine Ensemble to revive the musical heritage of his native village and the Arabic chorale. With this group Khalife has toured every continent and performed in many notable festivals with traditional and composed music. This event is cosponsored by Arab American Educational Foundation, Rothko Chapel, Voices Breaking Boundaries, Bilateral US - Arab Chamber of Commerce, Arab American Cultural & Community Center, Arab America Medical Association, American Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee, Houston Peace & Justice Center & Free Press Houston. Presented at the Stafford Center.

Honoring Mel Chin

Saturday, November 17, 2007, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
The Station Museum of Contemporary Art
1502 Alabama, Houston TX 77004

In Fall 2007, Voices Breaking Boundaries presented our biennial Valiente Award to Mel Chin. The Valiente (Courage) Award is a fundraiser through which VBB honors artists who take risks through their art. The Honarary Co-Hosts for the evening were Ann and James Harithas who, along with a committee of more than 60 Houston-residents, were excited to honor for the first time Houston-born artist, Mel Chin. The Mayor of Houston declared November 17, 2007 to be Mel Chin Day. Mel Chin is a conceptual visual artist who works in a variety of mediums, and is motivated largely by political, cultural, and social circumstances. Mel Chin was born in Houston to Chinese parents in 1951, and was reared in a predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhood. He worked in his family’s grocery store, and began making art at an early age. Mel Chin is the recipient of multiple awards including the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and many more. He has also exhibited in numerous group shows including the Fifth Biennial of Havana; Seventh Architectural Biennial in Venice, Italy; Kwangju Biennale, Korea; Hirshhorn Musem D.C.; Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, P.S. 1, and Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY among others. This event was cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

Empowering Jena:
Keep the Movement Moving

Sunday, December 2, 2007; 7:00 pm
Home of Robert Pruitt
2218 Arbor, Houston TX 77004
Admission: Free

empowering Jena :: keep the movement moving is an exhibition event depicting the power of unified voices speaking out to ears that so easily ignore us as individuals. Jena’s escalating racially motivated violence became a focal point for Americans to denounce racism - to come to the aid of a diverse Louisiana community in its cry for justice when the governing officials had stopped listening to the community they serve. On September 20, 2007, racial, economic, political, and many more boundaries were cast aside to raise a unified voice demanding real change in the lives of people living with the effects of intolerance, in this case the Jena 6, their families, friends, neighbors, and the larger community. Forty years from the height of the civil rights movement, the right to assembly is not an obsolete tool, but rather a sharp edge that can cut through a bureaucracy that removes people from their own government.

On the anniversary of racial violence in Jena, Louisiana, VBB presented:

  • photos of the September 20, 2007 march to Jena by internationally acclaimed photographer Everett Taasevigen;
  • performance by Sunni Patterson, a featured artist at premier spoken word venues, including HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and many more;
  • talk by Minister Deric C. Muhammad, organizer of the march to Jena, who serves as the Millions More Movement Minister of Justice;
  • Jena 6 update by Jesse Muhammad, the journalist who broke the story.

This event was cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

Spring 2008

Film Screening: Meeting Resistance
February 18, 2008, 7:00 pm
Rice Media Center, 2030 University Dr., Houston, TX 77030
Admission: $5 suggested (no one turned away)

VBB cosponsored a screening of Meeting Resistance, a documentary presented by the Artist Rescue Mission. The film explores the Iraqi insurgency by meeting face to face with individuals who are passionately engaged in the struggle, and documenting for the very first time sentiments experienced and actions taken by a nation's citizens when their homeland is occupied. Voices that have previously not been heard, male and female, speak candidly about their motivations, hopes and goals, revealing a kaleidoscope of human perspectives. Directed by Steve Connors and Molly Bingham, who were present at the screening, this daring, eye-opening film provides unique insight into the personal narratives of people involved in the resistance exploding myth after myth about the war in Iraq and the Iraqis who participate. This event was cosponsored by Houston Indymedia, Rice for Peace and Justice, and Houston Palestine Film Festival. For more information, contact info@artistrescuemission.org

La Voz Femenina 5: Lisa HernandezLaVoz5
Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 6:00 PM
708 Telephone RD, Houston, TX 77023
Admission: Free

VBB and Arte Público Press teamed up for the 5th annual celebration of Hispanic women, featuring:

  • Lisa Hernandez, an award-winning Latina author, shared her work, Migrations and Other Stories, the winner of the Chicano / Latino Literary Prize sponsored by the University of California, Irvine.
  • Nurbaiti Krueng
  • Annette Teresa Martinez
  • Laura Ramirez-Avila
  • Jasminne Rosario
  • Abraham Santibanez

This event was cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

Listen to Lisa Hernandez on KUHF! (link to audio clip at page bottom)


Words for Peace 5: Condemn Invasion
Sunday, March 30, 2008; Time 7:00 pm
DiverseWorks Art Space
1117 East Freeway, Houston, TX 77002
Admission: $5.00 (no one will be turned away)

Writers, musicians, cartoonists offer a window into the culture of Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran as well as their personal responses to war and invasion at Voices Breaking Boundaries’ annual event Words For Peace 5:  Condemn Invasion. VBB partners with Words Without Borders (WWB) to showcase readings by Najem Wali, Hayan Charara, Farnoosh Moshiri, and Zara Houshmand, music by Inaam Wali, cartoons by Mazen Kerbaj, performances by students from Lee High School, food, festivities, and much more! Community organizations table at the event. Those include DiverseWorks, Brazos Bookstore, KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM, Artist Rescue Mission, Houston Palestine Film Festival, Peace Jam. This event was cosponsored by DiverseWorks, KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM, and Brazos Bookstore, which had available for sale many publications including A Mirror Garden and Literature from the Axis of Evil. Writers and musicians were available to sign their work after the performance. 

Living Room Art
Saturday, April 19, 2008; 7:00 pm
5036 Jefferson St, Houston 77023
Admission: Free

VBB continues its exciting Living Room Art series by exhibiting new site-specific installations in a living room party, this time in the home of John Pluecker and feature artists Jorge Galvan and Donna Huanca. Living Room Art series brings the visual arts to the neighborhood living rooms of the community and out of the galleries for the public to view the arts in a direct and more accessible way. This series showcases art installations connected to Galvan’s and Huanca’s family histories and countries of origin—Mexico and Bolivia, respectively. As always, the evening in the east end of Houston included music, food and much more. This event was cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

View Photos from Event:
10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19 

Houston Palestine Film Festival
May 9-11 and May 16-18, 2008, 7:00 pm every night
Daily admission $7

The second annual Houston Palestine Film Festival provided an honest and independent view of Palestine, its diaspora, culture, and political travails through the art of film. This group of groundbreaking cinematic texts rises above the degrading stereotypes or reductively politicized depictions that are so familiar to Houstonians. The festival aimed to directly expose the 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. This year the festival’s opening night presented the directors and performers from the Sundance Premiere film Slingshot Hip-Hop, Jackie Salloum and DAM (hip-hop group from Palestine). Following the screening, there was a performance by DAM and Mohammad Al-Farra of PR, two groups featured in the film. The concert took place at Warehouse Live in collaboration with Matt Sonzalah of AustinSurreal.com. For a full schedule, visit: Houston Palestine Film Festival. This event was cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

View Photos from Event:
10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26 

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.