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Page updated Apr 16, 2008 1:46 PM
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City of Alexandria to Host Community Meetings
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 series of community meetings to share ideas on the type of public 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 meetings are at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 at the Durant Center (1605 Cameron St.) and at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29 at the Black History Museum (902 Wythe St.).

The recreation center is located on the former site of the first Parker-Gray School on Wythe Street, 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.

Residents are encouraged to bring their 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 from these meetings 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 being sponsored by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

Persons unable to attend the meeting 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 May 10, 2008.

For additional information on the community meetings, 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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