WITS Meeting House
WITS Meeting House Art

The Meeting House project captured the diversity and talent of Houston children through their art and writing. Working with writers and artists through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, hundreds of students created self-portraits and wrote about their own lives.

The Work
In 2003 the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Writers in the Schools (WITS) a grant to develop and document a curriculum focused on arts learning that valued students’ cultural traditions. The WITS staff and writers compiled a curriculum for this project, and the 60 plus writers who teach for WITS across all grade levels and in a variety of educational environments received curriculum materials and training in a transcultural approach to arts education.

Throughout the 2004 - 2005 school year and during the 2005 Summer Creative Writing Workshops, co-sponsored by WITS and the School Literacy and Culture Project of Rice University’s Center for Education, student work created from activities in The Meeting House curriculum was collected and scanned.

Also during this time, The Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County (CACHH) granted funds for WITS to design an art exhibit featuring the diversity of student work. From the beginning the concept of presenting the student work in an open, transparent and democratic manner guided the project, as well as an interest in using simple, low-cost materials.

The Meeting House in the Community

The exhibit opened August 18th, 2005 at the Space 125 Gallery. The Meeting House was comprised of 6 symmetrical panels. 60 student self-portraits were printed on mesh banners; excerpts from writing by an additional 90 students appeared on transparencies. The opening evening, students proudly posed for pictures next to their writing and community members mingled amongst the panels featuring over 150 works of student art.

The Meeting House Picture Set

We hope this picture set will generate positive conversation about the creativity and diversity of our community and our young people.
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