Arts Districts Houston celebrates Black History Month with virtual dance performance honoring First Ward

Arts District Houston commissioned a virtual experience honoring Richard Brock and the park named after him in the First Ward.
Arts District Houston commissioned a virtual experience honoring Richard Brock and the park named after him in the First Ward. (KPRC)

HOUSTONArts District Houston commissioned a virtual experience honoring Richard Brock and the park named after him in the First Ward, according to a press release. The video was released on Facebook on Saturday.

Brock was a lawmaker, civic leader, entrepreneur and formerly enslaved man who purchased land for some of the city’s schools and public spaces. That land is now known as Richard Brock Park.

In honor of Black History Month, the performance entitled “In Veneration: Richard Brock” was narrated by Cleola Williams and choreographed by Lindsay Gary, artistic director and founder of Dance Afrikana. The piece highlights the rich history of Houston’s first and sixth wards.

“Our piece was really dedicated to everything Richard Brock did to establish the institutions he built for formerly enslaved Houstonians,” said Gary.

Located along Washington Avenue, Arts District Houston is one of 300 state-designated districts nationwide committed to attracting artists and cultural enterprises to a local community, creating a hub of economic activity, per the release.

“We realize that we cannot tell the story of the present without examining the past and including the variety of histories that exist within the narrative. The telling of this story through dance is important to understanding and appreciating Houston’s rich history. It’s important that we celebrate pioneers like Richard Brock and the artists who help keep their legacy alive, during Black History Month and year-round,” said Marci Dallas, Executive Director of Arts District Houston.

Watch the performance on the Arts Districts Houston’s Facebook page:


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