The Influent Stream is a 52-week tour created by Awakenings, Inc. to develop and promote the music of 8 bands and artists in Houston, Texas. Each act performed originally written and arranged music at a different music venue over the course of the year. During the Influent Stream Music Project, each band received free business & entertainment law consultations, marketing and promotion, a photography portfolio and booking services. The project was originally funded in part by The Mustard Seed Foundation and in-kind donations from within the Awakenings, Inc. community. From 2008-2009, 10 artists were developed through the Influent Stream Music Project.
The Outliers Leadership Lab is a 9-month curriculum to develop entrepreneurs in our city. A group of 25 innovators met each month to discuss a syllabus of works like The Medici Effect (Franz Johanssen), Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), 22 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (John C. Maxwell), The Harvard Business Review, Fast Company Magazine and more. We met in the spaces of entrepreneurs who were successfully living the principles from each of the monthly readings and the personal stories of each business owner.
Kenya Missions is a yearly initiative to serve and learn from indigenous members of Kenya’s art and education community. From 2005-2010 we took a group to Nairobi, Kenya for a series of Cross-Pollination Projects. A group of educators, social imagineers and artists brought gifts and resources to indigenous partners in Nyahururu, and Nairobi, Kenya. We worked with these partners to complete projects for their organizations and exchange principle and practice in the meantime. The trips culminated with an art exhibition, a completed building project, and donations made to the partnering organizations. The next cross-pollination journey is slated for Summer 2015.
The Eat Gallery is the only culinary art gallery in the world. From 2011-2012, Awakenings Inc. served the city through a full-service restaurant. We featured the culinary artwork of 7 food artists who have the skills and products, but not the resources for their own restaurants. Out of our restaurant, we curated their products and told their stories for a period of 52 weeks. Each culinary artist exceeded their goals during that time. The Eat Gallery was a hub of tasting dreams, community cross-pollination and became a cultural arts center with schedule of interdisciplinary arts events.
Amnesia Therapy is a city-commissioned multi-sensory art project benefitting the City of Houston. City Councilman Jerry Davis and Houston Arts Alliance commissioned Awakenings, Inc. to develop a series of murals that artistically told the story of unsung heroes from Houston and around the nation. We partnered with mixed-media artist Robert Hodge, who drew portraits of each hero. Marlon Hall graphically designed the images and developed short documentaries to explore the significance of each hero. Visitors to the murals can text to a short code or scan a barcode on the to see a film about each hero. Originally placed in Pleasantville, a neighborhood in Houston, the murals toured the city during 2013.
Folklore Films is a film series that tells better stories to Houston about Houston, one folkloric character at a time. We are all folkloric! Through films we call “Visual Poems” designed to explore the pain-turned-promise of Houston’s residents, we intend to inspire our city to deepen their understanding of personal folklore. We screen the films two at a time to cross-pollinate communities who don’t share complexion, tax bracket or zip code, but do share values. The result is new relationships, new work and new beauty in our city.
Artist Residencies are 30-day periods in which we provide a space in our community for local artists in which to work and be supported in the creation of new art. This program is to provide space away from what said artist is currently doing to reflect, learn and grow their craft by creating new material. In addition, an Artist-In-Residence Honorarium of $100/week is provided throughout the Residency Period. Each artist is given carte blanche to create work from their unique experiences and a cultivated skill though which the world can be encouraged, taught and loved.
Solace & Serenity is a weekly gathering that combines sacred ancient truth of scripture and present culture. We explore the two and develop a series of spiritual training materials for those present to grow their capacity for successful behavior in relationships, professional endeavors, and self-care.