Houston and France "Open the Door" To Artistic Collaboration and Exploration
Karine with Romain Froquet, Francois
Delattre, Lynn Wyatt, and Mickey Henri
at Open Door kickoff event.
With the kick-off of “Open the Door” in early November, an idea that has been years in the making is finally hitting the streets of Houston. Beginning Spring 2013, a collaborative art project of 60 doors: 30 of which will be created by 12 professional artists, 6 from Texas and 6 from France, the rest created by art students and faculty at local educational institutions, will be installed in 13 locations around Houston. The total effect of the placement is that viewers will be taken on a cultural tour of Houston, and at each stop they will be treated to festivities and entertainment representative of the surrounding neighborhood.
This first-of-its-kind project began as a simple idea for French artist Mr. Romain Froquet. While working on an art project involving doors, he kept considering the symbolic meaning of a door, which represents choice and possibility. From this experience, he developed a plan to incorporate the door concept within an art installation. With help from the Texan French Alliance for the Arts and five other artists from 9eme Concept, a Paris-based artists collective, the idea became a reality. With the addition of 6 other artists from Texas, and the partnership of local educational and cultural institutions, “Open the Door” promises to be an innovative way to celebrate the connectivity of different cultures. As the Executive Director of the Texan French Alliance, Ms. Karine Parker-Lemoyne, says “Each door opens up the possibility to learn about other cultures, whether it be the French culture or one of the many other cultures represented in the Houston area.”
Mayor Parker Trade Mission to the Middle East
November 8 to 16 -- Mayor Annise Parker led a delegation of Houston-area business leaders to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a trade mission to strengthen and expand Houston’s business ties in the Middle East.
Planned and organized by the Bilateral U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce, the delegations’ itinerary put participants in contact with some of the Gulf region’s leading decision makers in all areas including: government, business and culture. Delegates had meetings hosted by the Gulf’s principal oil and gas conglomerates, met with local chambers of commerce and the leading U.S. diplomats in the region, while touring major civic infrastructure developments that bear witness to the Gulf’s remarkable growth in recent years.
Prime Minister of Macedonia
November 29 - The Prime Minister of Macedonia, His Excellency Nikola Gruevski, visited Houston as a part of a longer visit to the United States to raise awareness of economic opportunities in his country. While in Houston, he met with Mayor Parker to discuss the relationship between Houston and Macedonia and the potential for enhanced collaboration. Trade between the United States and Macedonia is steadily rising as the United States is encouraging Macedonia's bid the join the European Union. Trade between the US and Macedonia increased from $116.6 million total in 201o to $65 million in the first 8 months of 2011 alone.
Education Bureau of Xuihui District, Shanghai, China
November 23 - A delegation led by Mr. Wang Maogong, First Director, Education Bureau of Xuhui District, Shanghai, visited Houston to explore educational partnerships with Houston-area school districts. While in Houston, the group met with Mr. Harvin Moore, a board member for HISD, as well as top district officials. Mr. Wang signed a partnership agreement with the City of Houston, pledging general cooperation in the field of education.
United Kingdom Trade and Investment Reception
November 23 - At a special reception hosted for 40 attendees during the Total Energy Conference, City of Houston Chief Development Officer Andrew Icken shared the insights and perspectives of the Houston Mayor's Office regarding Houston's claim as the Total Energy Capital of the World. Hosted by the United Kingdom's Trade and Invest Agency, the reception overlapped the inaugural Total Energy Conference in Houston and featured attendance by up to 12 British firms involved with sustainable or alternative energy, 6 of whom do not currently have a presence in Houston. Mr. Icken addressed his comments to the notion that Houston's oil and gas strengths might preclude strengths in other energy categories, pointing out Houston's exceptional strengths in solar, wind, superconductivity and other energy fields, making a compelling case that Houston is prepared to lead the world in all aspects of energy.
Shandong Provincial Economic and Information Technology Committee, China
November 14 - 16 - A municipal delegation from Shandong Province, China, lead by Ms. Liu Jing, Deputy Division Director for Shandong Provincial Economics and Information Technology Committee visited Houston for three days to meet with local Houston IT companies to learn about cloud computing, network design and implementation standards for governmental websites. They group also met with representatives from the Harris County Information Technology Center to learn more about how municipalities in Texas have integrated cloud technology into their constituent services outreach.
Ambassador of France to the United States
November 13 - The Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency François Delattre, traveled to Houston to officiate the kick-off reception for “Open the Door,” a collaborative public art project featuring the work of artists from Texas and France. The reception, which was hosted by the Texas French Alliance for the Arts and the French Consulate in Houston, was held at the newly refurbished Julia Ideson Building of the Houston Public Library and attended by numerous local leaders in the arts and culture communities. The project calls for “doors” to be hung in 13 locations throughout Houston, each door painted by a Texas artist on one side and a French artist on the other and with design input from various community partners around Houston. The doors will lead the viewers on a cultural journey that will highlight unique traits of each neighborhood.
The International Newsletter is published monthly by the Mayor’s Office of International Trade & Development, City of Houston, Texas
Annise D. Parker, Mayor
Andrew F. Icken, Chief Development Officer
Matthew Shailer, Editor
Tyler Smith and Katelyn Orenchuk, Assistant Editors
Yelena Kiyanitsa, Staff Writer
Submit event information to: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to: 832.393.0859. The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only.
Commemorating Space Explorers Yuri Gagarin and John Glenn Through Art
In 1957, the launch of the Soviet satellite, Sputnik, triggered a space race that has forever altered the course of mankind, sending first objects and then people into the heavens in pursuit of knowledge and glory. Arguably few cities in the United States have so deep and personal a connection to this history than does Houston, home of manned space flight, and few cities have as enduring and deep ties with counterparts in Russia.
Upcoming Event: International Rugby Women's Sevens World Series
The International Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series will be held in Houston on February 1-2, 2013 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Come watch as 11 teams from around the world compete in an action-packed two-day international event. Tickets became available for sale on November 30 and can be purchased online at www.axs.com or www.bbvacompassstadium.com, or by phone at 888.929.7849.
International Event Calendar
Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Development publishes the International Event Calendar Monthly. Events are included from local partners and chambers of commerce, as well as foreign partners and international organizations.
Please follow the link below to access an archive of newsletters from 2005 to the present.
Sister City Profile: Houston-Chiba Sister City Committee
Each month, the Mayor’s International Newsletter will bring you the latest updates on Houston’s ties to its 17 international sister cities, each of which is maintained by a corresponding sister city association in Houston. In this installment, we spoke with Mr. Gary Nakamura, President of the Houston-Chiba Sister City Committee, and part of the Japan-America Society of Houston. Having recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Houston-Chiba sister city relationship, Mr. Nakamura told the Mayor’s International Newsletter about some of the activities his Committee has coordinated this year.