Operating since 2008, VIP Arts Houston strives to connect marginalized artists and sharpen their crafts.
"To empower, develop, amplify, and elevate marginalized artists in Houston and the surrounding areas.
Every art starts with a story. We believe that literacy is the catapult for all other art forms. We are passionate about finding the places where art intersects literacy. We believe community and collaboration are at the heart of every artistic success. We seek to create and promote work that tells stories that haven't been told.
WHAT WE DO
Our programs are developed with a lens of education. We believe training and community engagement are necessary to build the next generation of conscious and invested artists.
WHO WE ARE
For the last 13 years, VIP Arts Houston has bridged the gap between marginalized artists through training, dialogues, and collaborative projects. VIP Arts Houston's beginnings were rooted in our precedent organization Eagle's Wings Community Outreach Center.
In, 2003, Eagles Wings Community Outreach Center (EWCOC) was incorporated by Eagles Wings Christian Church, as the charitable for public benefit arm of the Church. EWCOC was founded to help at-risk youth and disenfranchised populations make positive life choices. It’s Mission: “To empower the underserved, rural communities; beginning in the Perris Valley, CA , and extending throughout the United States, through the creation of educational opportunities, support networks and partnerships with families, schools, and businesses.“ Our programs are developed to address community needs identifying after school care, education, crime and gang prevention, as well as technical and vocational education as high need areas.
Within the first year, EWCOC had launched “a safe place” afterschool program. This program was accompanied by a GED initiative and PC Bootcamp: a training program that teaches construction and repair of computers. Within the last four years, has established partnerships with the local Elementary School districts, the Laidlaw bus company, First 5 California and . Through these partnerships, we have been able to provide early childhood education, health guidance, transportation, and assistance to countless other individuals and families.
In 2008, EWCOC decided to spread our wings and create a Texas branch of our organization known as Expressions. Expressions was “dedicated to bridging the gap between low-exposed artistic areas and art education and programming.” While we have many programs, our seven-tier approach focuses our efforts on dance, music production/ instrumentation, culinary arts, vocal, visual arts, theater, and creative writing. Our goal was to bring arts education to the Houston community through in-school assemblies and instruction, events, classes, after school programs showcases, and community events. With already existing ties to many art galleries, restaurants, and cafes in the Houston area, EWCOC-Texas was able to give new artists’ work exposure to establish their reputations and develop their voices. In addition, we will be able to train and equip a new lineage of artistic genius for future years to come. While predominately focusing on educating children ages 0-35, we produced programming and events that may include a larger age spectrum.
For ten years, through our program Houston VIP, we offered writing workshops, performances, and bi-monthly poetry slams which are open to the public. As a part of this program, we offered 5 poets the chance to travel to the National Poetry Slam and represent Houston at a national level. In 2013, The Houston VIP Slam Team was ranked as the #2 Best group Performers in the Nation. In 2014, They were the Best Ranked Team in Texas, Semifinalists at the National Poetry Slam and the 5 Best Team in the Nation.
In 2018, EWCOC decided to dissolve and VIP Arts Houston was born in place of the Houston branch.
We have since continued to invest in our community through the creation of more community workshops, The Colony Summit for writers of color, and A Conversation for Colored Girls. We are constantly building new stages and spaces for voice and development.