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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 Nine 2008-2009 Season

Year nine moved VBB in exciting new directions. We kicked off our season with a new production of the Living Room Art series with a show Brown in the Third Ward, and a new element was added into VBB’s arts production called East End Live Art, produced mostly on the second Sunday of each month.

East End Live Art, a reconnection to VBB’s grassroots history, produced a theme-based show at Café Flores in Houston’s East End. Some of this year’s theme’s include the US elections, Hurricane Ike, and a revival of VBB’s partnership with Arte Público Press in March 2009 in celebration of International Women’s Day. All events included a 30-minute open mic and the shows are cosponsored by Café Flores, Houston Institute for Culture and KPFT 90.1 FM,

In addition, we started to research, produce and present shows that will become the heart of the organization. Through this initiative, VBB Founding Director Sehba Sarwar will undertake a long-term project, Pakistan Live Broadcast, that will be presented to the community at multiple venues in 2009-10 through Living Room Art (shows in people’s homes) exhibitions as well as through her blog that gave the community updates on her travel as well as news about VBB.

VBB will also continue to cosponsor events presented by the Artist Rescue Mission (ARM), Houston Palestine Film Festival, and other organizations whose work matches the VBB mission: to cross borders, sustain dialogue, and incite social justice through art.

Fall 2008

Living Room Art  ::  Brown in the Third Ward featuring Elia Arce - Jade Cooper -  Robert Pruitt - Ivette Roman – Sehba Sarwar
Curated by Elia Arce + Robert Pruitt

8:00 pm, Saturday, September 27, 2008
At the home of Ivette Roman
3117 Cleburne, Houston, TX 77004


VBB will open its 2008-09 season with an exciting new Living Room Art new site-specific installation featuring new work by Elia Arce, Jade Cooper, Robert Pruitt, Ivette Roman, and Sehba Sarwar, in a living room party, this time in the home of Ivette Roman. This version of Living Room Art will tackle race issues and by asking questions about what it means to be Brown in the Third Ward, the relationships between Brown and Black & the other Brown. In the safe environment of an open house, Third Ward members as well as Houston community members are invited to absorb the work and give their input into the issues at the open mic hosted by Robyn Anglin. Culinary artist, VBB Board Member and Third Ward resident Nusrat Malik will provide delicacies. There will be drinks for a donation and parking at Texas Southern University.

View Images of Event:
10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17 

East End Live Art: After the Last Sky
A tribute reading for Palestine Poet Mahmud Darwish

Café Flores, 6606 Lawndale St. Houston 77023
6:00 pm, Friday, October 24, 2008

VBB invites all community members to attend a reading and tribute to Mahmud Darwish, a renowned poet who passed away in August. There will be a reading of his works and a tribute to his sprit. This event is co-hosted by Houston Palestine Film Festival and Palapala magazine.

VBB’s East End Live Art
Curated by the VBB Board.
Café Flores, 6606 Lawndale St. Houston 77023
6:00 pm, Sunday, November 9, 2008

Voices Breaking Boundaries is pleased to announce its second East End Live Art event, held on second Sunday of every month at Café Flores located in Houston's vibrant east side. The evening includes captivating visual art and videos, thought-provoking readings, scintillating performance art and a 30-minute open mike inviting artists from our community to perform their work. Featured Artists are Moazzam Sheikh and Julia Moreno Perri, aka JBeatz.

Fundraiser for:

Pakistan Live Broadcast hosted by Mehnaz Shafi and Muzaffar Qazilbash
7:30 pm, Friday, November 14, 2008
$100 per couple / $75 per individual

Mehnaz Shafi and Muzafffar Qazilbash will join with Hosam Aboul-Ela, Surpik Angelini, Hadeel Assali, Franci Crane, Marcela Descalzi, Sissy Farenthold, Nusrat Malik, Gunjel Mittal, MIchael Peranteau, Dorothee Sauter + Josef Helfenstein, Julia Schafer, Bapsi Sidhwa, Wendy Watriss, Michael Woodson, and Mark Yzaguirre to host a gathering to support VBB Founding Director Sehba Sarwar’s new project, Pakistan Live Broadcast, which will be produced next spring. To purchase a ticket for the fundraiser, please call the VBB office 713 524 7821.

We the People: We the People : : Writers from Iran, Palestine and Pakistan
Featuring Fady Joudah, Farnoosh Moshiri, Sehba Sarwar + Bapsi Sidhwa
Venue: Houston Art of League
4:00 pm, Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Art League of Houston and VBB are joining together to present We the People: Writers from Iran, Palestine and Pakistan, a reading that features four award winning and nationally acclaimed writers Fady Joudah, Farnoosh Moshiri, Sehba Sarwar, and Bapsi Sidhwa. Short stories by Sidhwa and Sarwar appear in And the World Changed: Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women, edited by Muneeza Shamsie and published by The Feminist Press at CUNY. This event is cosponsored by Brazos Bookstore and The Feminist Press at CUNY.

East End Live Art:  Is this Change?
5:00 pm, Sunday, December 14, 2008
Café Flores, 6606 Lawndale Street Houston, TX 77023
$ Free

East End Live Art: Is this Change? Artists

VBB closes 2008 with a special East End Live Art Series entitled, Is This Change? The show features poetry and music performances by Kim Cotton + Raj Pickens, Donna Garrett, Marlon Lizama, Raj Mankad. Marcell Murphy and is hosted by VBB Founding Director Sehba Sarwar. Most of the artists have performed in the past for VBB at different times in our history at locations around the city. A special treat includes students from Lee and Westbury High Schools who have participated in VBB’s after-school workshops on their campuses. The event also includes a thirty-minute open mic, a revival of VBB’s old tradition of giving voice to all. Prior to the show there will be a wine-tasting hosted by Café Flores owner Berta Flores. Cosponsored by Café Flores, Houston Institute for Culture and KPFT 90.1 FM.

Spring 2009

Objectif Magazine and VBB present

East End Live Art: RACE
5:00 pm, Sunday, February 15, 2009
Café Flores, 6606 Lawndale Street Houston, TX 77023
$ Free

RACE image

RACE is an exhibition/performance that broadly explores the different ways African Americans view race, both stated and unstated, and are held captive by these views and how these attitudes affect the social interaction between whites, blacks, and those in between. Performers include Ameenifu, Anthony Brown, Carlandrea Clark, Hapshut Heru, Robert Hodge, and Elder Jean Wilkins. There will be an open mic and everyone is invited to work to share.This show is cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM, Houston Institute for Culture and Café Flores.

Arte Público Press and VBB present

East End Live Art: La Voz Femenina 6
A celebration of International Women's Day

5:00 pm, Sunday, March 8, 2009
Café Flores, 6606 Lawndale Street, Houston, TX 77023
$ Free

La Voz image

Arte Público Press and Voices Breaking Boundaries team up again to celebrate International Women's Day with a reading by acclaimed Mexican author Rosario Sanmiguel, whose story collection, Under the Bridge: Stories from the Border / Bajo la puente: Relatos desde la frontera, was named to Críticas Magazine’s list, Top Picks for Hispanic Heritage Month. John Pluecker, who translated her work from Spanish to English will also join the gathering, and the afternoon includes a short documentary on the women of Juarez produced by artist Lise Bjorne who will also exhibit print images. VBB co-Founders Marcela Descalzi and Jacquelyn Shah will perform new work, as will students from VBB’s after-school workshop at Lee High School. VBB Founding Director Sehba Sarwar will host the show, and there will be an open mic for all. Bring your voices! This show is cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM, UH-LULAC, El Gato, Houston Institute for Culture, and Café Flores.

Cultural Narrative: Imran Aslam
6:00 pm, Sunday, March 29, 2009
Station Museum, I502 Alabama, Houston 77004
$ Free

imran aslam

VBB, in partnership with the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, brings to Houston Imran Aslam, a senior journalist from Pakistan, who iis currently the president of GEO TV Network, the largest independent television broadcast company in Pakistan. Aslam was born in Madras and had his early schooling in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He left Pakistan after a brief incarceration in Baluchistan during which he suffered a period in solitary confinement and was subjected to torture. In 1983, Aslam became the editor of the Star, an evening newspaper that blazed the trail in investigative journalism during the days of General Zia-ul-Haq. In 1990, he helped found The News, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper. In 2002, he was part of the team that launched GEO, which has, according to The New York Times, become a channel that ‘changed the media landscape in Pakistan.’ GEO launched in 2002 with Aslam as its President. The network has taken a position on sensitive societal and political issues and has helped to enlarge the space for discussion, dissent and debate. In November 2007, the network was shut down for over two months when General Musharraf imposed Emergency. Aslam is a political analyst and commentator and is often heard on leading international TV channels in that capacity. Aslam will also be giving a talk at 4:30 pm at the University of Houston (Roy E Cullen Bldg, Room 102). Aslam' visit is cosponsored by the English Department at the University of Houston, KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM, Border Crossings, Houston Palestine Film Festival, Words Without Borders, Artist Rescue Mission and Houston Institute for Culture. Special thanks to Houstoun Endowment and Jim Harithas.

East End Live Art: Teachers Speak Out
5:00 pm, Sunday, April 19, 2009
Café Flores, 6606 Lawndale Street Houston, TX 77023
$ Free

Teachers are on the front lines, combating this nation's greatest challenges. With very little financial, legislative, or social support, teachers in Houston, one of the most multi-ethnic cities in the nation, daily grapple with social inequity, gifted youth, cultural conflict, united voices, financial shortfalls, generous colleagues, crime, and acts of kindness, and all the complexities inherent in the educational crisis we face. At East End Live Art: Teachers Speak Out, come listen to work by teachers including Chuck Fattore, Keisha Breaker, Lara Heiberg, Shilpa Sarang, Yolanda Rodriguez, Shenaz Keshwani, and Emily Sketch, who participate in VBB teacher workshops which blend creative writing with educational psychology and the study of trauma. As always there will be open mic. Bring your voices and come hear talk about the real issues. VBB Founding Director Sehba Sarwar will host the show. Cosponsored by KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM, Houston Institute for Culture and Café Flores.

East End Live Art: Artists/Mothers
5:00 pm, Sunday May 10, 2009
Café Flores, 6606 Lawndale Street Houston, TX 77023
$ Free


Performances and Visual Art by Marcela Descalzi - Sharon Englestein - Christa Forster - Tish Stringer - Kayte Young + Sehba Sarwar

open mic + graffiti wall - bring your art and your voices!

VBB celebrates an alternative mother's day, featuring dynamic artists, whose readings, visual art, and performances inspire audiences to consider the excitement and conflict attending artists who are also mothers. After the performances, the artists will discuss how these two roles intersect, inform one another, inspire, and create conflict and creative work in their lives. This event is cosponsored by Café Flores, Houston Institute for Culture, Friends of Women's Studies, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, Museum of Fine Arts Houston and KPFT Pacifica Radio 90.1 FM.

Ongoing Project:

Pakistan Live Broadcast
researched and developed
by Sehba Sarwar

Writer, performer and VBB Founding Director Sehba Sarwar spent a month during the winter in her home country Pakistan collecting documentation for Pakistan Live Broadcast. The show will be produced in Houston in VBB's 2009-10 by Sarwar and a team of artists and will cover ongoing events in Pakistan. The show will aim to present an alternative image of Pakistan, and to shed light on the country’s struggle toward democracy and its secular residents. The video installation will include background interviews with Pakistani activists, journalists and politicians, documentary film, live performance, print images juxtaposed against life in Houston—and many other surprises.

The show will be researched, created and produced and performed by Sehba Sarwar. Other artists who will participate in creating the show include: playwright and television producer Imran Aslam; journalist and photographer Tehmina Ahmed; photographer and filmmaker Eric Hester; journalist and filmmaker Beena Sarwar; and theater actress Yaksha Shah. Pakistan Live Broadcast committee includes Kamran Ali, Claudia Baba, Salmaan Hasan, Nusrat Malik, Muzaffar Qazilbash.


Artist Rescue Mission premiers
In-Between: Iraqi Artists in Exile
By Tish Stringer
September 10, 2008, 7:30 pm
Rice Media Center, 2030 University Blvd, Houton 77005

A film screening and conversation with filmmaker Tish Stringer and two Iraqi artists. For more information, email Michael Woodson.

Houston Palestine Film Festival
7:00 pm, April 16-18 and April 24-25, 2009.
Rice Media Center, 2030 University Blvd, Houston 77005

The Houston Palestine Film Festival will kick off this year with a performance at El Dorado Ballroom by Suheir Hammad, lead actress of the Salt of this Sea, the film that will be shown on Friday, April 17. The lineup includes a short film by HPFF organizers Hadeel Assali and Iman Saqr. For more details go to the HPFF website.

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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.