Houston’s Third and Fifth wards designated as cultural districts

People participate in the 2019 Fifth Ward Renaissance Festival in this image provided by the city of Houston on Sept. 4, 2020. (City of Houston)

HOUSTON – The Third and Fifth wards of Houston have been designated cultural districts by the state.

The distinction means that the neighborhoods are recognized as special zones designed to stimulate economic development and community revitalization.

“I am so excited to see the State recognize the Fifth Ward community for its rich history and heritage while also acknowledging its continued commitment to arts and culture,” Harrison Guy, Director of Arts & Culture at the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, said in a written statement.

“Our rich history tells a powerful story of liberation and celebration,” Eureka Gilkey, Executive Director of Project Row Houses in the Third Ward, said in a written statement. “This designation amplifies the role of Black culture, commerce, and community in shaping Houston’s diverse ecosystem.”

The designation also means that qualifying resident arts organizations in “the Tre” and “the Nickle” are eligible to apply for funding through the Cultural District Project run by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

“These neighborhoods have created, nurtured and celebrated arts and culture over generations,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a written statement. “With the new designations and intentional focus on heritage, the Nickel and the Tre, will continue to serve, educate and empower residents and visitors.”

Houston now has a total of seven designated cultural districts. The other five are the Arts District Houston, the East End Cultural District, the Midtown Cultural Arts and Entertainment District, the Museum District and the Theater District.

For more information about Houston’s cultural program, go to houstontx.gov/culturalaffairs.