Houston Woman Wire

EVENT Spectacular boat parade coming up this Saturday, starts at Allen's Landing


Houston, known to many as the Bayou City, traces its roots to the vast network of waterways that crisscross its urban landscape. And, in celebration of that, Afloat!, the first in a series of parades being presented by the Houston Arts Alliance’s three-month Transported + Renewed project, will be held Saturday, Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Adventure seekers are invited to join in the spectacular boat procession from Allen’s Landing to Houston’s East End. Afloat! will feature people-powered canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, row boats and dragon boats, alongside a fleet of police and fire department boats and the Mighty Tidy, a boat used by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership to keep the bayou system clean.

Also, spectators should be on the lookout for Whatever Floats, a giant inflatable sculpture by renowned Houston artist Sharon Engelstein, anchored in the water near the finish line. Public viewing locations for Afloat! can be accessed along the 2.2-mile bike trail system on the south side of Buffalo Bayou between Allen’s Landing and York Street.

Boat afficianados can become part of the parade by registering their boat at www.houstonartsalliance.com/transported/afloat/. The registration deadline for Afloat! is Friday, Sept. 12, and space is limited. Particpants are encouraged to embrace their creative sides by decorating their boats and donning costumes. Awards for the “Funkiest Floater” and “Cutest Crew” will be presented at the post-parade party at the finish line, located at 901 York Street.

Transported + Renewed is a bold mix of community-based and contemporary art projects organized by Houston Arts Alliance, in collaboration with local artists and community partners. Between now and November 30, Houston’s East End, the city’s historic transport hub and neighborhood hugging Buffalo Bayou and the Ship Channel, will be infused with a series of concerts, performances, contemporary visual arts installations and more.

Transported + Renewed is made possible in large part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ "Our Town" grant award for creative placemaking, received in fall of 2013 by the Houston Arts Alliance as one of 59 such awards and one of two grants awarded at the highest level nationally. Houston is the only city in Texas to have received the prestigious grant in 2013. Through "Our Town," the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The grantee projects encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies.

Transported + Renewed would not be possible without the tremendous support of Buffalo Bayou Partnership. 

NEWS Three Houston artists to be featured in two new exhibitions


The Houston Arts Alliance has announced two September gallery openings featuring three Houston artists: Allison Hunter, Susan Plum and Jonathan Clark in the exhibitions Hunter + Plum and Tracing Towers.

The Hunter + Plum exhibition at the Alliance Gallery explores the intrinsic beauty within nature through these two artists’ unique approaches. Informed by the innate yet often overlooked structures within nature, Hunter and Plum remind the viewer that intelligent systems exist all around us in various degrees, ranging from the behavior and importance of the honeybee to the vein system of a single leaf.

The public is invited to join HAA for the Hunter + Plum opening reception at the Alliance Gallery, 3201 Allen Parkway, on Thursday, Sept. 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Hunter + Plum will be on view through Friday, Oct. 31, on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

Tracing Towers at the Houston Public Library, opening September 24, will feature Clark’s playful yet thought provoking new works. This installation includes Clark’s series of “super pencils,” works inspired by his interest in divine proportion. In this series, Clark uses the #2 pencil, an office supply staple, as a small component to create a larger and more exciting whole.

The opening reception for Tracing Towers will be held on the first floor of Houston Public Librar, 500 McKinney, on September 24 from 5 to 6 p.m. Tracing Towers will be on view through November 28 (Mondays through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 – 5 p.m.)

For more information, please visit www.houstonartsalliance.com/. 

EVENT PRSA Houston to hold annual conference October 8


The Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter will host its annual one-day, fast-track professional development conference on Wednesday, Oct. 8 . The big event is runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Greenway Plaza.

The conference, #PREVOLUTION, will focus on the evolution of the public relations industry and feature experts in strategic media relations, internal communications, industry-focused communications tactics for the legal and oil and gas industries, fundraising and corporate social responsibility (CSR) tactics, video brand journalism, crisis communications and social media.

Keynotes for the day include Anthony Shop, digital strategist and co-founder of the award-winning digital innovation agency, Social Driver, and Serena Ehrlich, director of social and evolving media at Business Wire. Shop will discuss the marketing world’s fundamental shift from a “broadcast mentality” to a people-oriented, “back-and-forth” conversational mentality, and the cutting-edge tools the most successful companies use to stay ahead. Ehrlich will close the conference with a discussion on how technology, human behavior and public relations work together to make 2014 the Year of PR.

Presenting Sponsor for the third year is Enbridge, a leader in the safe and reliable delivery of energy in North America. The event is co-chaired by PRSA members Allie Danziger, president and founder of Integrate, and Dennis Nuss, APR, director of media external relations at Phillips 66. 

For registration and fee information, visit www.prsahouston.org/pr-day-2014/.

NEWS Rice ranked among top 20 national universities


Rice University is ranked among the top 20 national universities and among the top 10 best values in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2015.”

In the new edition of the college guide published today, Rice is ranked No. 19 -- the highest in Texas -- among 280 national universities that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees and that may have a strong emphasis on research. Last year, Rice was tied for No. 18, and it has remained in the top 20 since first appearing in the U.S. News rankings in 1988. Like last year, Princeton remains No. 1.

Multiple key measures of quality are evaluated for the rankings: graduation and retention rates, assessment of excellence by academic peers and high school guidance counselors, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, percentage of alumni giving and graduation rate performance -- the difference between actual and predicted graduation rates. U.S. News weighs these variables differently to calculate an overall score for each school.

In a separate ranking of “Great Schools, Great Prices,” Rice is No. 9 among national universities. These best-value schools were determined by academic quality, as reflected by a high ranking from U.S. News, and the 2013-14 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

Rice was also singled out on a list of 32 schools noted for offering outstanding undergraduate research/creative projects that allow students mentored by a faculty member to do intensive and self-directed research independently or in small teams. College presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admissions were invited to nominate up to 10 stellar schools, and schools that were named the most often made the list (in alphabetical order rather than a ranking).

Rice made several other lists in the new U.S. News college guide:

*  Rice is tied for No. 7 with Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the list of national universities demonstrating economic diversity, as determined by the percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants. Eighteen percent of students at Rice received Pell Grants, which are awarded to low-income students.

* Rice is No. 11 on the list of national universities whose students graduate with the least debt and No. 8 among private universities on the list.

* Among the best undergraduate engineering programs whose highest degree is a doctorate, Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering is tied for No. 18 with Duke University, Pennsylvania State University-University Park and University of California-Los Angeles.

* Rice and six other schools are tied for No. 22 on the list of top picks by high school counselors, whose opinions are factored separately from the ratings by college admissions deans, provosts and presidents as part of the academic assessment.

For more on the U.S. News rankings, visit www.usnews.com/colleges.

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