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Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel

The East End Houston team had the opportunity to visit the historic Julia Ideson Building in downtown Houston to explore Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel, an exhibit showcasing the diverse culture and heritage of the work associated with the Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel.

Presented by the Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Traditional Arts program, in partnership with Houston Public Library, the exhibit contains images, interviews and stories collected through the Library of Congress-funded Working the Port project.

Working the Port has documented the voices of the men and women who have made their living in the many occupations and industries found along the Ship Channel. From shipboard to shoreside, from the loading docks to the board rooms, interviews with dock, rail and oil industry workers, engineers and executives, merchant marines and marine biologists, environmental specialists and international traders, Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel captures and explores the human experience of this massive complex through the words and experiences of individuals.

In addition to dramatic photo, audio and video installations, Stories of a Workforce: Celebrating the Centennial of the Houston Ship Channel features maps, signage, memorabilia, banners, painted portscapes, ship models, work gear, logs and objects that enhance and illustrate the story of this unique and diverse workplace. Additional components of the exhibition include:

  • Touch screens to identify types of marine vehicles, their movement and activities in the Ship Channel; and
  • Time-lapse photography that “pilots” the 52 miles of the ship channel day and night.

We strongly encourage you to pay a (free) visit to the exhibit before it closes January 15, 2015.

Exhibition hours: Mon., Tues., & Thurs., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Wed., 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tudor Gallery, Julia Ideson Building, 550 McKinney St.


East End Improvement Corporation (EEIC) and Wells Fargo unveiled the first of seven BCycle “Art Stations” as part of a community program to connect residents and visitors to public art and businesses in East End Houston. The unveiling ceremony included the donation of 36 bicycles and helmets to East End students in coordination with local non-profit Wellness On Wheels (WOW). 
longest-serving urban farms, Finca Tres Robles, is getting ready for some big changes in the year ahead. Umbrella organization Small Places is transitioning to a 501(c)(3) to help revamp the farm and increase its impact in serving the East End community. In the months ahead, Finca Tres Robles will be celebrating 7.5 years of work in the East End as it pauses field operations at the end of 2021 to prepare for its next chapter.

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