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 For Immediate Release: March 22, 2011

“Meet the Artists” Reception to Honor the Finalists for the Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial on April 2

News Highlights:

  • Public is invited to meet the four finalist artists and view their proposals on Saturday, April 2, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St.
  • Proposals will be on display at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, April 2 – May 2 and at City Hall, May 2 – 16.  Public is invited to comment on proposals.
  • Private donations are being raised to fund the project.

More Information:

The finalist artists for the commission of the Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial will be in attendance at a reception on April 2, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St.  Design proposals will be on display during the reception and at the Recreation Center for one month.  On May 2, the maquettes will move to City Hall, 301 King St.

The public is encouraged to view the proposals and add their comments to a notebook that will be located next to the displays or send via e-mail to (please write “Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial Comment” in subject line).  Public comments will be considered by the Selection Panel during the selection process.  The recommendation for the winning artist will be voted on by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and City Council.

The memorial will represent, honor and memorialize Charles Hamilton Houston and preserve the story of the city’s fight for equality in education, highlighting the history of the Parker-Gray High School.  The memorial will be located at the southeast corner of the Charles Houston Recreation Center.  It is anticipated that the winning artist will be announced in June.

The finalists for the Charles Hamilton Houston Memorial were chosen as a result of an international “Call for Artists” that generated applications from 59 artists representing 23 states. The finalists are:

  • Team of Jennifer Andrews and Gregg LeFevre, New York, NY
  • Christopher Erney, Alexandria, VA
  • Team of Robert Firmin and Eugene Daub, Kensington, CA
  • Preston Jackson, Dunlap, IL

Stakeholder Advisory Group member Jim Henson said “Attorney Houston, a great civil rights strategist and litigant of national fame, traveled to Alexandria to persuade the City to build a separate, larger high school for Parker Gray, which was ‘bursting at the seams’ with ‘expanded curriculum and increased enrollment.’ Thanks to his efforts, the City agreed. It is appropriate that we recognize Mr. Houston with a proper memorial.  I can hardly wait to see the artists' proposals!”

A committee of Alexandria residents will raise the funds for this project, in the amount of $300,000, through grants and private donations.  To contribute to the Memorial, contact Alisa Carrel, Deputy Director, Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, at or 703.746.5590.

The City of Alexandria complies 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, contact Cheryl Anne Colton, Regional Program Director, Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, at 703.746.5565 (TTY 703.838.4902) or e-mail