What’s The New News Newspaper Giveaway

Well, I’m obviously late on posting something. The post I planned on posting is still in the oven but in between time and in the mean time, I thought I’d post a performance piece video that I did earlier in 2012. It was a project that involved the community, some artists and writers. This project consisted of placing newspaper racks by selected artists as public art pieces placed outside of historic locations in Houston Texas’s Third Ward area and a newspaper with poems, raps and essays by selected writers that re-interpret actual stories from the 60’s up to 2011 from this neighborhood. (Oh and yes I was born in this neighborhood and spent some of my childhood growing up in this neighborhood). “STACKS” Here I’m “trying” to give away this newspaper with this information with interesting feedback and results. It was an interesting and somewhat empirical observation. I wanted to actually see who would take the paper and hopefully read it. I had a sign that said FREE NEWSPAPER and on the back it read ART PROJECT which I’d flash every now and then when I started feeling a bit uncertain about people thinking I was up to some abstract hustle-town form of villainy. I also wanted to know if this was a telling of the times. Newspaper out, internet in or maybe they thought I was having a Nation of Islam moment and wanted to give away The Final Call and sell them some bean pies. I do love some bean pies but that’s not the point. I think I a question I wanted to ask was how would people react to this act and if and that’s a big IF they did get the paper would they read it, go to the online site to see what the original stories were about and/or if they would see their community in a different light? They say people don’t read newspapers anymore, but do they still read or is it too many things to read? I mean now you have your brief social networking reads and then you have the pictures. Things like pinterest, instantgrams, tumblers or tumblrs or tumbleweeds that are more in ya face. So much information floating online like blown up boat pieces on that Lost episode that ticked me off. Houston had two major physical newspapers; The Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post. We now only have the Chronicle and we are the fourth largest city in United States I might add.  There are many Black newspapers that dig a bit deeper into some of the things in the community like the Forward Times and the Houston Defender. I think the Forward Times only exist now as an online read. I thought the project would show that the neighborhood and its people who drive it are more valuable then we realize with many, many stories to tell. I was also interested in how could art play a role in pushing some of these ideas along and be successful in its intent? I guess time will tell. I think when I hear statements like, “I didn’t know so and so happened here” I know that there was a dent placed in this space and time and anything is possible through art, collaboration and community participation. Wait.. take the needle off of that broke record. I’d like to hear that song again my friend. “It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how we keep from going under.” Huh, huh, huh!

Regina Agu’s news paper rack in front of The Breakfast Klub restaurant.


Dowling street in Third Ward, Houston, Texas. Don’t like the name but the people are great. Well not the criminals. But I don’ t like the criminals on Wall Street, D. C. or the suburbs either, so……

News 9

Self- Help – Self- Determination- Economics

News 11