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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 — Houston, TX

Support diversity in the arts in Houston

By Thresher Editorial Board     9/20/22 11:42pm

The Oscars may be so white, but Houston art isn’t — as long as you’re looking in the right places. 

It is all too true that arts organizations still fall short of creating accessible spaces with equitable representation of artists. For instance, white men still make up the majority of artists represented in prominent museums across the United States. Even with increased attention to elevating the work of women artists and an uptick in women-only art shows and exhibitions focused on the work of underrepresented artists, only 11% of permanent acquisitions by major American art museums from 2008 to 2019 were by women; of that 11%, only 3.3.% were by Black women artists. 

Houston is not exempt from the inequities that plague the art industry, but this makes it all that more important to support art in the city created by underrepresented artists. 

If you enjoy theatre or want to trade in a night of Netflix for live entertainment, Theatre Under the Stars’ “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a tribute to the music of Fat Waller and the Harlem Renaissance. The show opens Sept. 22 and features an all-Black cast and creative team. Ensemble Theatre aims to “preserve African American artistic expression,” and their production of “Love and Southern D!scomfort” also opens Sept. 22 and is showing through Oct. 16.

For a nationally acclaimed performance, “Six,” the musical reimagining of the lives of England’s King Henry VIII’s wives, features a diverse, all-woman cast and band. Watch how they “divorced, beheaded, died,” when this woman-centric show comes to the Hobby Center Nov. 8 - 20. 

Do you frequent Shepherd School performances? Watch “Viva Latin America” by the Houston Latin American Philharmonic Oct. 15 at Cullen Theater to end Hispanic Heritage Month. Walk to the Museum District to see “Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks” on display at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston through Oct. 2. Close by is the Menil Collection, where art-enthusiasts can see “Samuel Fosso: African Spirits” through Jan. 15.

This is only the start of the ever-growing amount of art to see in the city, from performances to exhibitions to the ever-present and ever-popular murals that adorn Houston’s cityscape. There are plentiful opportunities to experience art in many mediums near and far from campus, so we urge the Rice community to visit and engage with underrepresented artists who are too often overlooked. 

Editor’s Note: Thresher editorials are collectively written by the members of the Thresher’s editorial board. Current members include Ben Baker-Katz, Morgan Gage, Bonnie Zhao, Hajera Naveed, Nayeli Shad, Riya Misra, Michelle Gachelin, Daniel Schrager, Prayag Gordy and Brandon Chen.

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