Feature documentary by Andrew Garrison, Noland Walker & Nancy Bless

An inspiring documentary about the African-American artists who founded Project Row Houses, revitalized an impoverished community in Houston, and fought off big-time developers.

SAT., July 28, 2007
8:30PM -
Live Music by Dawn Landes
9:15PM -
The Films

On the roof of The Old American Can Factory

232 Third Street @ Third Avenue
Gowanus, Brooklyn (Between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope)
In the event of rain the show is indoors at the same location.
Tickets -$8 at the door or $5 online HERE with code: RFJULY

Presented in partnership with -, New York magazine &
X Projects, Inc

This screening is part of INDUSTRIANCE(TM). (details)

Third Ward TX
(Andrew Garrison, Noland Walker & Nancy Bless |
Houston, TX | 56 minutes)

The left-for-dead Third Ward neighborhood in Houston’s inner-city stirs to new life when a group of African-American artists found Project Row Houses. First, they clean up around a row of condemned shotgun houses and hold a “Drive By” exhibition of paintings on the fronts of the abandoned homes. The artists show up every day, and soon others join in. Eventually, they purchase 22 houses on two blocks with a down payment from an NEA grant. Then they do something really unusual. They ask the community what it needs—and listen to the answers.

Third Ward, TX is a fascinating and hopeful new documentary about a small community of artists in Houston who have revived an impoverished urban community that has been decimated by municipal neglect and disastrously ill-conceived urban planning. As communities in Brooklyn and around the city struggle to maintain their identity in the face of gentrification and the resulting displacement of the poor, Third Ward TX provides at least one model for revitalization without injustice.

Director Andrew Garrison and producers Noland Walker and Nancy Bless explore how this tidy little row of born-again houses, glowing in the Texas sun, has become home to cutting-edge public art and a home-grown challenge to traditional notions of community development. Of course, soon enough the neighborhood becomes such a stimulating place that it begins to attract deep-pocket real estate developers — an ironic turn of events repeated all too often in recovering neighborhoods all over the country. By 2006, big development threatened to destroy the very qualities that make the neighborhood so vital, but the bold, creative and resolutely community-based response of Project Row Houses just might manage to resist the market forces and remain a viable neighborhood that continues to benefit the people who grew up there and turned it into a unique and inspiring place.

This is a great story, told with charm and dexterity, and really has universal appeal — these are issues facing every city in America, including Brooklyn, and our country needs more innovative ideas like Project Row Houses. A first step is for people to see Third Ward, TX.

“The Nation’s most impressive public art project is also a bold experiment in how to build communities.”
--Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times

“…and this old lady… told us ‘If you want to do something for real…you’ll clean up this place and get these junkies outta here.’ That’s what you’ll do if you want to do something for real.’”
--Jesse Lott, Sculptor

Preceded by the short film:
Cross Your Eyes and Keep Them Wide (Ben Wu | San Francisco | 20:00)
This film is a portrait of the artists with developmental disabilities that work at Creativity Explored, a non-profit art center in San Francisco. Through their own words, the artists discuss their methods and work, as well as the difficulties they face outside, and the strength of the community they've formed among themselves and the staff within the studio walls.

Music: Dawn Landes

Dawn's music comes from the mouth, mind and hands of New York-based singer-songwriter Dawn Landes. Reminiscent of the raw traditionalism of Woody Guthrie and the experimental alt-folk lyricism of artists like Joanna Newsome, the Louisville KY native plays a variety of instruments (8-dollar guitars! pink accordions! glockenspiels! optigons!).

Whether she's performing by herself or with accomplices (members of the bands Hem and The Earlies), her live show brings moving silence to the crowd and has caught the attention of a number of popular touring artists who've taken her on the road. In addition to her gig performing with Rounder recording artists Hem (backing vocals and Glockenspiel), Dawn has supported the likes of Jose Gonzalez, Suzanne Vega, Le Tigre, Rainer Maria, Andrew Bird, Feist, M83, Josh Ritter, Jane Siberry and Shannon Wright.

Dawn recently finished her second full-length album "Fireproof" which will be released May 29th 2007 in Europe by Fargo Records. it's available exclusively in the US through cdbaby and iTunes. Dawn's first self-recorded and self-produced album "Dawn's Music" is now available in Europe through UK label Boyscout Records, and can be purchased in America if you go to a show (or online iTunes or Boy Scout also released an EP called "Two Three Four" in Europe summer 2006. Dawn will be touring Europe in May 2007 so be sure to check back for tour dates.

INDUSTRIANCE (TM) is an ongoing series of programs about the changing industrial landscape in urban and rural America and beyond. Performances, films, exhibitions and discussions explore the manufacturing and related sectors of our economy and society, examining the impact of a globalized economy, aging infrastructure and property development on the lives and places where things were or are still being made.