Rothko Chapel

Posted October 2, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Rothko Chapel

I think they were praying

for their dads, moms, brothers

and sisters. I think somebody

was praying for his mother

because she died. There are

white walls. The paintings are blue, black,

brown, and dark blue. The ceiling is

rough like the cement on the streets.

One painting looks likes clouds.

There is a train in another.

There is a cemetery. There are

six people burying someone.

I think the cemetery represents

where the artist that painted

these pictures died.

-by Eliseo, 3rd grade

Happy 109th Birthday to Mark Rothko! Our Writing at the Menil Program and the students who have walked through the Rothko Chapel have been continually inspired.

Free Menil Community Festival 2012

Posted April 12, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Join us at the Menil Community Festival.  Here’s all the info!

The Menil Collection museum and a group of surrounding nonprofit arts organizations come together [this Saturday, April 14th] to host a free afternoon of art and entertainment that will extend across the Menil campus from West Alabama to Richmond Avenue from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Highlighting the diversity of the Menil neighborhood arts community, the festival will include films and performances, from chamber music to literary readings, performances and workshops.

All day events, include: Aurora Picture Show Open House and Cinema Raising; Houston Center for Photography’s Collaborations IX Print Sale and Julie Blackmon: The Power of Now and Other Tales from Home; Bastienne Schmidt: Home Stills; Priya Kambli: Color Falls Down exhibitions; Houston Indie Book Festival; Watercolor Art Society’s outdoor art fair, sale and indoor international exhibit and demonstrations; in addition to the regular exhibits from the Dan Flavin Installation, The Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel.

Writers in the Schools will host 30-minute creative writing tours at the Menil Collection at noon, 12:30, 1 and 1:30 p.m.

The family-friendly tours will depart from the Menil Foyer. Writers will use specific works of art as inspiration for fun writing exercises. Participants can share their work with the group and walk away with new poetry and fiction masterpieces.

Performance and activity schedule:
11 a.m. – Music from TALA – Erin Rodgers
1 p.m. – Valerie Hartzell, classical guitarist presented by the Rothko Chapel
2 p.m. – The Territory screening by SWAMP
3 p.m. – Family Drum Circle with Sam Dinkins III presented by Da Camera

Houston Indie Book Festival and Inprint readings:
11:30 a.m. – Laurie Clements Lambeth
12:00 p.m. – Ana María Rodríguez
12:30 p.m. – Justin Sirois
2:00 p.m. – Andrea White
2:30 p.m. – Andrew Porter

The Museum of Tomorrow

Posted May 25, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) takes pride in its groundbreaking relationships with local museums. For over two decades, we have fostered important collaborations between writers and artists in places such as the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, Orange Show, Blaffer Gallery, Contemporary Arts Museum-Houston, Museum of Printing History, Rothko Chapel, the Houston Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

We welcome AAM (American Association of Museums) participants from across the United States to the 105th Gathering to Focus on Museums Meeting that is taking place in Houston, TX, from May 22-25th.  The theme of this year’s annual meeting and expo is the “Museum of Tomorrow”and the tag line is “Where Ideas Live.” We love that!

WITS writer Olga Feliciano and Trey Demas from High School Ahead Academy view photographs from the exhibit "The Whole World Was Watching" on view at the Menil until September 25th. Photo by Yvonne Feece.

Writers in the Schools can testify to the crucial role that artists and writers play in co-creating innovative spaces “where ideas live.”  Every year we bring thousands of young writers into museums for inspiration.  A beautiful example of collaboration was last week’s The Watchful Eye Reading at the Menil Collection where WITS students read aloud poetry and prose inspired by the Civil Rights exhibit The Whole World Was Watching. Award-winning journalist and author Mignette Patrick Dorsey delivered a moving keynote speech, and many people in the community were moved to tears by the young people’s words about the black-and-white photographs they had seen in the museum.

We applaud AAM for bringing together more than 5,000 museum leaders to brainstorm the “museum of tomorrow.”  For more information about the presence of WITS in museums, please visit our website.

by Marcia Chamberlain, Writers in the Schools

In Celebration of a Shadow

Posted October 22, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

A reading inspired by the poet Emily Dickinson will take place at the Rothko Chapel on Wednesday, October 22.  This event was organized by former WITS board member and celebrated poet Mark Doty.  The focus will be on contemporary poetry inspired by Emily Dickinson.  Doty, as well as special guest poets Alice Fulton and Susan Howe, will read some on their own poems alongside Dickinson’s work.

Who: Mark Doty, Alice Fulton, Susan Howe

What: A Long Shadow: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Poets

When: 7 p.m. on October 22, 2008

Where: The Rothko Chapel, Houston (1409 Sul Ross, 77006)

Cost: Free. The public is welcome.