FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Society for the Performing Arts presents Houston Artist Commissioning Project LIVE: Part One
The first live performances of SPA’s initiative for Houston artists features World Premieres by Say Girl Say, Patrick Davis, and Loop38 with Houston Contemporary Dance Company
HOUSTON (September 29, 2021) – Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) presents Houston Artist Commissioning Project LIVE: Part One, on October 15 & 16 at Jones Hall. These performances feature new works by local Houston artists, including indie band Say Girl Say (with Two Star Symphony and INPUT/OUTPUT), poetry group founder Patrick “PJ” Davis, and classical music ensemble Loop38 with Houston Contemporary Dance Company. All works are World Premieres and SPA Commissions.
Performances begin at 7:30 pm and will run for approximately 75 minutes. Tickets are $25 and seating is both general admission and socially distanced. Masks will be required. Tickets and more information at spahouston.org.
Launched in 2020, the Houston Artist Commissioning Project (HACP) promotes and sustains Houston’s working artists and artist communities by supporting the creation of new works across all performing arts disciplines.
Meg Booth, SPA’s CEO, shares: “SPA has long history of commissioning and presenting new works by the world’s leading artists—from composer Philip Glass to MacArthur-winning choreographer Kyle Abraham. That work is critical to both our mission and the advancement of performing arts forms. Going forward, that great work will include artists and performers in our backyard. The Houston Artist Commissioning Project offers much needed support to our artist communities and makes our stages a mirror to the creativity and talents of our own city. The Commissioning Project will develop and feature prominently each year going forward. This is truly an inspiring beginning.”
In addition to these live performances, the artists will participate in a live lecture on Sunday, October 17 at 2 pm, hosted by the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. This lecture event is free and open to the public.
Say Girl Say, featuring Two Star Symphony & INPUT OUTPUT
This performance reflects the human experience on an epic journey through love, exploration, and the ultimate evolution of “becoming” the most authentic and true version of who we are.
“BLACK, BLUE, ALL LIVES; OH MY!”
Patrick “PJ” Davis, featuring poets John Ross, Equality, Ashlie Thomas Young, and Outspoken Bean
A collection of poems that taps into the height of tension between African Americans and law enforcement, with police brutality and resisting arrest at its crossroads of bias and stereotypes in America.
“BODY AND SPIRIT (CORPÓREA Y ESPÍRITU)”
Loop38 with Houston Contemporary Dance Company
A work that celebrates human connection and relationships, while also honoring the challenging divisions we have yet to overcome.
(All works approximately 25 min in length.)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
SAY GIRL SAY is composed of Brigette Yawn and Suad Ihsan who are self-taught songwriters and musicians born and raised in Houston. The band formed in 2012 starting as a new friendship which grew into a local staple at open mic nights and local bars, eventually becoming crucial for events within Houston’s underground artist community.
Say Girl Say has earned local accolades such as “Best Alternative Act” and “Most Weird Act” from the Houston Press Music Awards ’15-’16. Since then, the band has performed at SXSW, CMJ, Art Outside, Houston Whatever Fest, River Revival, In Bloom and many others.
TWO STAR SYMPHONY has been described as “Houston’s most unusual music ensemble.” The band works differently than most classical ensembles in that every member is also a composer. Songs are collaboratively written and arranged, with each player responsible for his or her own parts. By the time the songs are finished, the music is memorized.
INPUT/OUTPUT is a creative media lab composed of Billy Baccam and Alex Ramos. Together, Billy and Alex formed INPUT/OUTPUT to research, design and develop immersive, digital-physical experiences that challenge the ideas of what reality is and what reality can be in the future.
PATRICK “PJ” DAVIS was born and raised in Beaumont (Golden Triangle). Graduate of McNeese State University, he is a creative and social activist based in Houston and founder of the poetry troop Starving Poets, Ink. PJ has produced homegrown events such as the Starving Poets: Poetic House Party and worked with many other landmark events such as Poetry Lounge Houston, Houston International Jazz Festival and Tournament of the Stars. He has also been a pioneer on the arts scene co-producing and collaborating with many events from poetry, comedy, theater, jazz, live music and major festivals. He is the father of a beautiful daughter, Phoenix.
LOOP38 is a boundary-pushing, artist-driven new music ensemble that aims to build community around innovative, stimulating and culturally relevant musical experiences. Since its debut in 2016, Loop38 has performed a wide range of works by local composers, young and upcoming voices, and globally established artists. Frequenting a variety of neighborhoods throughout Houston, Loop38 has performed in venues such as the Rothko Chapel, the Turrell Skyspace at Rice University, the Silos at Sawyer Yards, the Live Oak Friends Meetinghouse, the First Congregational Church of Houston, MATCH and the Archway Gallery.
HOUSTON CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY (HCDC) is a fresh, brand-new arts organization whose mission is to ignite passion for contemporary dance by providing world-class professional repertory concert performances and community engagement activities that are accessible to all regardless of race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance or nationality. Each season, led by founder and artistic director Marlana Doyle and drawing from her 20-plus years of curatorial experience, HCDC presents vibrant and compelling works of art.
The Houston Artist Commissioning Project is made possible in part by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the SPA Foundation, The Cullen Foundation and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
A second weekend of Houston artist premieres, Houston Artist Commissioning Project LIVE: Part 2, will feature works by South Asian American ensemble Riyaaz Qawwali, choreographer Harrison Guy, and writer Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton (Poet Laureate Emeritus of Houston), on November 12 & 13, 2021 at Jones Hall.
The Houston Artist Commissioning Project is made possible in part by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the SPA Foundation, The Cullen Foundation, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
About Society for the Performing Arts
Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest non-profit arts presenter in the Southwest. Founded in 1966 as a resident organization of Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world’s most remarkable artists, featuring a huge range of arts disciplines. In addition to performances at Houston’s Theater District venues, SPA provides learning experiences for all ages through master classes, lectures, and special performances, as builds strong supportive relationships with schools and community organizations throughout the region. More at spahouston.org/
Society for the Performing Arts
Houston Artist Commissioning Project Live: Part One
OCT 15-16, 2021
Friday & Saturday
Tickets and more info at www.spahouston.org or by calling the Box Office at 713-227-4772 (M-F, 9-5 pm). Masks will be required. Seating is general admission with social distancing.