Arts / Galleries

Midtown Magic

A Big Move Pays Off In Major Way for a Clever Houston Nonprofit

BY // 04.15.16
photography Jenny Antil Clifton

When DiverseWorks decamped to Midtown in 2012, it was because its previous home along the East Freeway’s historic warehouses had lost its currency and become cut off from new energy and residents in the Main Street corridor. The move was also in preparation for the unfurling of MATCH (Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston) and DW making its home there.

Fait accompli — and the best decision the nonprofit has ever made. This spring, DiverseWorks — one of Houston’s most storied performance and visual nonprofits, dating back to the wild, freewheeling early ‘80s scene — has a light-filled new home, pairing spacious exhibition galleries in the new Lake/Flato- and Studio Red-designed arts Mecca with auditoriums for performance that are cleverly titled Matchboxes.

The inaugural show, organized by newly promoted curator Rachel Cook, won raves for its smart examination of new technology and advertising and its effect on consumerism and our bodies, while including some captivating fashion-influenced work that nodded to Versace. Cook works alongside other savvy, plugged-in arts administrators, significantly female-led, to steer the nonprofit helmed by Xandra Eden.

Planned for late April: “The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People” pairs installation with performance, tapping L.A.-based Taisha Paggett and WXPT in collaboration with Ashley Hunt and Kim Zumpfe. Recreating a dance rehearsal studio, photo shoot and experimental classroom, the exhibition probes the question “What is a Black dance curriculum today?” (April 30 – May 28). Collectors ,take note: Wednesday, April 20, DW’s celebrated Luck of the Draw returns; Golden and Silver tickets plus a Benjamin insure you’ll come home with a wall-worthy work of art.

DiverseWorks, 3400 Main St.,

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