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
VBB’s Second Decade: 2013-14
To get regular updates about our shows please join our email list.This year, VBB is initiating our Borderlines series that is grounded in homes around Houston's historic Near Northside neighborhood, known for its 1978 political race uprising termed the "Moody Park Riots," which resulted from the brutal murder of a Latino by members of the Houston Police Department.
Borderlines explores the relationship between USA and Mexico as walls continue to rise and families are torn apart in regions that, though once part of Mexico, now belong to the United States. Likewise, looking through the borders that demarcate South Asia, VBB will examine shared histories and cultures in three South Asian nations, India-Pakistan-Bangladesh, where diverging narratives have emerged regarding the circumstances and violence surrounding the 1947 Partition and Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War.
As VBB explores different layers of history through the creation of new and innovative art, we aim to illuminate local and global connections to bring communities together so that cultural borders can be erased and histories better understood.
a vbb book launch + benefit Buy Books! Drink VBB Better!
The afternoon includes an opening blessing by Danza Azteca Taxcayolotl; a spoken word performance by dee!colonize; Chayn Ki Bansuri, a sound installation conceived by Durriya Kazi, performed by Muzaffer Hussain, and dedicated to bringing peace to Karachi, Pakistan; an altar/shrine installation dedicated to individuals affected by police and border brutality; and, a potluck!
We invite you, no matter where you are in the city of Houston, to bring a meaningful photograph or item for the installation and/or a potluck dish to share. All are welcome!
For those in other parts of the world who wish to participate in the commemorative installation, feel free to send us images via e-mail: info<@>vbbarts.org.
Participate in the transformation of two neighboring Near Northside homes in a Borderlines production that explores how ritual commemorations - shrines, altars, ritablos, temples, performances and gestures - mediate history and memory along two border regions: US-Mexico and India-Pakistan-Bangladesh.
If inspired, please join us by dressing in a way significant to a ritual you celebrate, or come as you are. Celebrate with us and remember your culture's rituals!
Venga y participe en la transformación de dos casas vecinas localizadas en el “Near Northside”, en una producción de Borderlines que explora cómo los rituales conmemorativos- santuarios, altares, retablos, actuaciones y gestos- median la historia y la memoria de las regiones fronterizas: EUA-México y India-Pakistán-Bangladesh.
Si se inspira, favor de vestirse de acuerdo a las tradiciones de los rituales que usted celebre. ¡Celebre con nosotros y recuerde sus rituales culturales!
Homes and Histories further expands VBB's Fall 2012/Spring 2013 living room art production that took place on the streets of Freedmen's Town, Houston with digital links to Lyari, Karachi (Pakistan) and to villages outside of Karachi. Freedmen's Town was founded and built by enslaved peoples immediately after Emancipation in the 1860s, while Lyari is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Karachi and home to a large Baloch community whose roots are in east Africa. VBB's exciting new catalogue features essayists who explore issues related to both communities; academics who discuss the history of Freedmen's Town and the African diaspora; writings by curators involved in VBB's production; and transcripted interviews with residents of both Freedmen's Town and Lyari. The publication captures the ground-breaking two-part event and includes stunning photographs and links to digital media.
Kicking off on Thursday, February 20th, our Writing for Self-Discovery (WSD) Teacher Workshop is free and open to public school educators. WSD offers teachers the tools they need to enrich literacy experiences for students as well as for themselves.
The workshop includes 8 weekly workshops on Thursdays from 5-7 PM and one 3-hour Saturday retreat; one certificate for 17 professional development hours; and the opportunity to perform writings at our annual Teachers and Students Speak Out series.
The teacher workshops will be led by performance artist Marcela Descalzi and visual artist Jennifer Palermo (MA, LPC)
Don't miss an exciting opportunity to catch David Barsamian on his national tour as he visits Houston to discuss the recent publication, Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire, featuring interviews between Barsamian and Noam Chomsky. After the discussion, Barsamian will answer questions from the audience, and sign books.
Don Sanders has been performing in and around Houston since the '60s. A central figure in the Texas singer-songwriter milieu, Sanders is best known for his story and song performances in schools, festivals, and theaters throughout the Southwest. Over the years he has shared the stage with Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Pete Seeger, Arlo Gutherie, Lightin' Hopkins, Guy Clark, Eric Taylor, Vince Bell, Townes Van Zandt, and Janis Joplin. He was also featured in the award winning documentary For the Sake of the Song about Houston's legendary venue, Anderson Fair.
Join VBB's workshop facilitators Marcela Descalzi, Jennifer Palermo, and Nicole Zaza for our 6th annual Teachers and Students Speak Out production, a unique, art filled afternoon featuring performances and readings by teachers and students from VBB's Writing for Self Discovery workshops.
Teachers and Students Speak Out has provided a space for the voices of teachers and students to be heard since its inception in 2009---Be a part of their journey!
Join us for a screening of The Case of Joe Campos Torres, a film by award-winning filmmaker and local activist Carlos Calbillo. This powerful documentary chronicles one of the most infamous cases of police misconduct in Houston history by tracing the events and subsequent community-protest meetings, community/police department negotiations, and legal actions taken by the Torres family against the Houston Police Department and the City of Houston.
After the screening, stay for a panel discussion moderated by Robinson Block, featuring long time community activists Daniel Bustamante + Gloria Rubac, University of Houston professor Raúl Ramos, and nephew of the late Jose Campos Torres, Richard Molina. The panel will further explore the tensions surrounding the murder of Jose Campos Torres, the Moody Park Rebellion, and the lasting impact of both in local and international contexts.
In this living room art production, local and international artists work together to transform a historical Near Northside home by interpreting the phrase, Crossing the Lines, as it relates to art, politics, and social issues. Addressing how humans traverse, avoid, or manipulate the borders and barriers we create for ourselves, these artists seek to compel audiences out of their comfort zones to trigger an exploration of how boundaries shape our physical spaces and our socio-political identities.
Please bring your family and join us for an afternoon filled with art, community, food and Saint Arnold's beer!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
En esta producción de living room art, artistas locales e internacionales trabajan juntos para transformar un casa histórica del Near Northside al interpretar la frase, Crossing the Lines (Cruzando Líneas), en lo que se refiere al arte, la política, y asuntos sociales. Dirigiéndose a como el humano atraviesa, evita, o manipula fronteras y barreras que creamos para nosotros mismos, estos artistas buscan obligar audiencias a salir de sus zonas de confort y provocar una exploración de cómo límites forman nuestros espacios físicos y entidades sociopolíticas.
Por favor acompáñenos con su familia para una tarde llena de arte, comunidad, comida y Cerveza Saint Arnold.
vbb's annual fundraising event La Valiente 2014 :: Writers Who Persevere
7-10 PM, Saturday, August 23, 2014 At the home of Mehnaz Shafi + Muzaffar Qazilbash
Home of Mehnaz Shafi + Muzaffar Qazilbash, 6348 Westchester Ave., 77005
Since 2003, VBB and our Board have honored artists and activists who reflect our organization's passionate commitment to speaking out and inciting social change through art. This year, we return to our literary roots (VBB began with a poem and a bookstore, after all) by honoring Gwendolyn Zepeda and Rich Levy, two writers + poets whose works give voice to the quotidian by privileging the individual, thereby democratizing the genres they embrace. Undeterred by personal challenges, both writers continue persevering to carve out spaces for their work because of their belief in the written word's ability to reflect and examine the issues that matter to our community and beyond
We invite you to join us on Saturday, August 23rd as we honor these two renowned Houston writers to celebrate their achievements!
For more information on joining our hosting committee or sponsoring the event, please visit our La Valiente 2014 page!
La Valiente 2014 Planning Committee includes Yolanda Alvarado, Carmen Peña Abrego, Kathy Harrison, Ana Laurel, Sehba Sarwar, Jacsun Shah, and Katherine Yzaguirre.
The reading, hosted by TSU's The Wheel Project, will feature three essayists from our Homes and Histories art catalogue: Gordon Anderson, Dr. Kairn Klieman, and Dr. Michael Woodson. The featured speakers will also be available to sign copies afterward.
A limited number of books will be available for purchase during the event, or you can buy an advanced copy here + pick it up at the reading!
Homes and Histories is an art catalogue that further expands VBB's Fall 2012/Spring 2013 living room art production, which was held on the streets of Freedmen's Town, Houston with digital links to Lyari, Karachi (Pakistan) as well as to villages outside of Karachi. Freedmen's Town was founded and built by enslaved peoples immediately after Emancipation in the 1860s, while Lyari is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Karachi and home to a large Baloch community whose roots are in east Africa. The catalogue features essayists who explore issues related to both communities; academics who discuss the history of Freedmen's Town and the African diaspora; writings by curators involved in VBB's production; and transcripted interviews with residents of both Freedmen's Town and Lyari. The publication also includes production photographs.
In honor of Women's HerStory Month, join us for this special World Cafe event featuring VBB and Rails girls. VBB's Managing Director, Ana Laurel, will talk about VBB's mission, followed by a paneled discussion with audience members.
After the discussion, you will be able to purchase copies of Women Under Siege, our living room art catalogue based on our Spring 2012 production of the same name, at our special event price of $15.
For those who want to arrive early, at 4 PM the library will be screening Girl Rising, the widely-acclaimed film about ordinary girls who confront tremendous challenges and overcome nearly impossible odds to pursue their dreams.
11-4 PM, Saturday, April 12 Castillo Park, 1100 Quitman, 77009 $ Free | Catalogues for purchase
Join VBB at Near Northside's annual Sabor del Northside, a free, public festival that brings together residents, businesses, schools, and community organizations of Houston's Northside neighborhood in celebration of its vibrant culture. Stop by VBB's table to purchase copies of our living room art catalogues at our special event price of $15. We will also be selling magnets, t-shirts, and signing up volunteers for our Borderlines living room art production, Crossing the Lines.
At 2 PM, participants from VBB's Borderlines Community Workshop will present bilingual works in a special performance on Sabor's stage led by co-facilitators Stalina Villarreal and Dee!Colonize.
Come by, bring your family, and enjoy a day filled with art, literature, and food to support Near Northside and learn how you can get involved!
VBB is in the process of confirming residential homes and dates in Near Northside through a partnership with Avenue CDC, a neighborhood-based non-profit organization that has committed to assisting VBB in securing homes and venues and helping with neighborhood outreach.
Open Journal: Think Global — Act Local! VBB radio
Photos: Mahwash Rahman and Katie Plochek
Throughout its season, VBB will also host radio shows on Open Journal (9:30 – 10 am) on KPFT 90.1 FM Pacifica Radio. Dates will be announced as they are scheduled. For more details, stay tuned to our website.