Visit Website: Third Ward TX
In 1993, a group of passionate and committed African-American artists purchased a block of condemned row houses in Houston's Third Ward with the intent of starting a dialogue about the condition of inner-city neighborhoods. Their venture, The Project Row Houses, stabilized and re-energized the area, transforming symbols of poverty and hopelessness into beacons of strength and imagination. Third Ward TX explores their creative experiment, which challenged traditional notions of community development by mixing art, activism, education and low-income housing. Today, "shotgun" houses — narrow one-story dwellings with furnished interiors — provide rent-free accommodations to young, single mothers and house after-school programs, offices, a community garden and artists' workshops. The film also documents Project Row Houses' urgent efforts to help the Third Ward maintain its identity when real estate developers threaten to gentrify the neighborhood by building high-priced condos.