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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
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Page updated May 7, 2008 10:33 AM
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May 7, 2008      

Alexandria Commission for the Arts Schedules
Public Hearing on Public Art to Honor Charles Houston
Input Needed to Develop Criteria for Art Honoring Famed African-American Lawyer 

The public is invited to attend a public hearing to provide input and to develop criteria for art that will honor the memory and contributions of civil rights attorney Charles H. Houston at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, which is currently under construction. The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Dr. Oswald Durant Memorial Center (1605 Cameron St.). The Commission’s regular monthly meeting will follow the public hearing.

The purpose of the public hearing is to gather input from the community, and to provide an update of information received from previous community meetings. Residents are encouraged to bring suggestions about their preferences for the public art that will be placed in the new recreation center’s pedestrian plaza. City staff will use the ideas generated to develop the scope of work for the public art. The scope and concepts will then become part of the information used in the public art competition sponsored by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

The recreation center is located on the former site of the first Parker-Gray School on Wythe St., which was demolished in the early 1980s. Houston was an attorney of national reputation, and a seminal figure in the civil rights movement. He used his expertise and influence to bring educational opportunity to Alexandria’s African American community. Houston (who later became Dean of Howard University Law School) authored a legal brief that was used by his protégé, Thurgood Marshall, to win Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that helped to end racial segregation in American schools.

Persons unable to attend the public hearing can send written comments to the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Attention: Cheryl Anne Colton, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314, or e-mail cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov. Written comments must be received by June 6, 2008.
 
For additional information, call the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities at 703.838.6348.
 
The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the City’s Human Rights Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, please call Cheryl Anne Colton, Cultural Arts Administrator, 703.838.6348 (TTY 703.838.4902), or e-mail cherylanne.colton@alexandriava.gov.

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