TFTI - Houston Selfie Museum

TFTI - Houston Selfie Museum

Photo courtesy of TFTI - Houston Selfie Museum

TFTI is an interactive photo experience featuring over 15+ curated rooms crafted for capturing the perfect selfie, including Infinity Mirror Room, LOVE Letters room, DJ Confetti Room, Peach Emoji Room, and more.

Tickets must be purchased online.

Photo by Paul Hester; courtesy of The Estate of Walter De Maria

The Menil Collection presents "Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless Work" opening day

The Menil Collection presents "Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless Work" opening day

The Menil Collection presents "Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless Work," the first museum exhibition survey of the more than 50-year-long career of American artist Walter De Maria (1935-2013). On view exclusively at the Menil, the show presents the artist’s remarkable exploration of space, time, and spirituality through works from the museum’s permanent collection, most of which have been recently acquired and never before publicly displayed.

De Maria actively participated in New York City’s avant-garde music and performance circles in the early 1960s. The artist’s radically simple works from this time, with their modest materials and construction, embody the up-and-coming ideas that led to development of the Minimalism, Conceptualism, Earth Art, and participatory art movements that shaped De Maria’s career in the years that followed.

The first gallery showcases a group of plywood constructions and paintings that inspired the title of this exhibition, which was taken from De Maria’s writings from 1960. The artist declared that he wanted to make “meaningless work” about arbitrary actions and playful gestures that lacked any productive outcome.

In many of the presented works, inscribed directions invite the viewer to undertake “meaningless” tasks, often involving the movement of balls and activation of boxes. “Transfer things from one box to the next, back and forth, back and forth, etc.,” reads one. “Walk around the box,” instructs another.

Following the opening day, the exhibit will be on display until April 23, 2023.

Photo courtesy of and © The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents “Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power”

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents “Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power”

Fifty-five years ago, Life magazine published photographer Gordon Parks’ groundbreaking images and profile of Stokely Carmichael, the young and controversial civil-rights leader who, as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, issued the call for Black Power in a speech in Mississippi in June 1966, eliciting national headlines, and media backlash.

On the road with Carmichael and the SNCC that fall and into the spring of 1967, Parks took more than 700 photographs as Carmichael addressed Vietnam War protesters outside the U.N. building in New York, with Martin Luther King, Jr.; spoke with supporters in a Los Angeles living room; went door to door in Alabama registering Blacks to vote; and officiated at his sister’s wedding in the Bronx. In Parks’ finely drawn sketch of a charismatic leader and his movement, Parks, then the only Black staff member at Life, reveals his own advo­cacy of Black Power and its message of self-determination.

The exhibition "Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power" will present the five images from Parks’s 1967 Life article, in the context of nearly 50 additional photographs and contact sheets that have never before been published or exhibited, as well as footage of Carmichael’s speeches and interviews.

Photo courtesy of MusicFest at Willow Waterhole

Willow Waterhole Conservancy presents 10th Annual MusicFest

The 10th Annual MusicFest features eight professional bands, food trucks and Halloween-themed activities and games.

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HISD goes green with net-zero carbon emission school buses thanks to EPA grant

green light

Houston Independent School District is hopping on the city's net-zero carbon emissions bus, so to speak, thanks to more than $6.2 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The funds are part of the EPA's Clean School Bus Program Fiscal Year 2022 rebate competition, which will award nearly $51 million in funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Texas school districts, and $965 million in total to districts around the country.

Houston's $6.2 million will go toward 25 new school buses, according to a statement from the EPA. Fifteen of the vehicles will be brand-new electric buses.

"Taking steps to make our school buses greener while remaining safe and effective is not only imperative for the wellbeing of students and bus drivers, but also for the public at large,” Houston Congressman Al Green said in a statement. “I applaud this announcement by the EPA under President Biden’s leadership. I look forward to seeing the positive impact that this outstanding award to purchase electric and propane school buses will have on reducing our carbon footprint.”

HISD must now submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders that shows the district has ordered the new buses and eligible infrastructure.

The district is among 13 Texas school districts to receive funding. Dallas ISD, the second largest school district in the state behind HISD, was awarded roughly $7.6 million. Killeen ISD and Socorro ISD received the largest sums among the districts, totaling nearly $9.9 million in funding each.

At the time of the statement, the EPA had selected 389 applications across the country totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, mainly in areas serving low-income, rural, and/or Tribal students. More applications are under review, and the EPA plans to announce additional districts that will receive funding, bringing the total investment to the full $965 million, in the coming weeks, according to a statement.

The EPA intends to make available another $1 billion for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023.


This article originally ran on our sister site, InnovationMap.

Edgy Portland doughnut chain opens fourth Houston-area location in Katy with drive-thru, murals, and wicked treats

i put a spell on you

A cult favorite doughnut chain continues to cast its spell on Houston. Portland-based Voodoo Doughnut opened its new Katy shop early Monday, November 28.

Located in a former dry cleaner at 1301 N Fry Road, the new Voodoo features hand-painted murals, a see-through production kitchen, and the shop’s signature spinning display cases, according to a release. Its drive-thru will be open 24 hours a day.

Voodoo Doughnut has earned wide acclaim for its creative doughnuts such as the signature Voodoo Doll with raspberry jelly filling and the Diablos Rex with a vanilla frost pentagram. Other favorites include the Bacon Maple Bar, the Marshall Mathers (topped with M&M’s, naturally), and The Homer, which is topped with pink frosting and sprinkles.

The company has been on a growth spurt. It opened a Cypress location in April and will add a second Austin location later this year. Overall, Katy is the fourth Houston-area location joining shops in Montrose and on Washington Avenue.

When Voodoo announced the new location this summer, it said it expected to hire 75 employees to maintain its 24-hour operations. Perks include healthcare and paid time off as well as not having to wear a name tag or uniform.

“What makes this store opening in Katy the most exciting is the ability to hire so many folks to join the Voodoo Team right here from the local community,” Voodoo CEO Chris Schultz said in a statement.

Explore 8 unique holiday villages at Houston's City Lights

It's the Holiday Season

Downtown Houston has just undergone a transformation, and the enchantment is so real. The extravaganza that is City Lights Downtown Holiday Magic gets lit via eight themed villages — each with its own unique delights — from November 18, 2022, through January 2, 2023.

Open to the public and mostly free, the villages usher in everything from ice for skating to lights for gazing, and festive activities to make your whole family's season bright.

Whether you’re enjoying a night out with friends or an evening of fam-friendly fun, here are eight must-have, magical experiences in the City Lights villages.

See the trees
The trees are ready for their close-up at Deck The Trees Grand Holiday Window display. With 30 brilliantly decked and dazzling designs, the Grand Holiday Window display at the George R. Brown Convention Center is a sight to behold.

Even better, it benefits the Alley Theatre’s educational community and artistic initiatives. You can also catch an outdoor concert with performances on Thursdays through Sundays with carolers, strings, swing ensembles, jazz music, and more.

Check out some eye candy
Get set for a sugar rush in the Hilton Americas lobby, where the hotel’s Land of Sweets has made its wow-worthy return. This year’s iconic holiday chocolate display features a hand-sculpted, Minion-themed masterpiece that boasts more than 2,000 pounds of the cocoa stuff.

Make it a staycation with the hotel’s ’Tis the Season package, which includes luxe accommodations, a holiday treat, and two tickets to the Discovery Green ice rink.

Engage in your own ice capades
Speaking of Discovery Green, you can glide right into the holidays at the park’s bustling Holiday Ice Village. The open-air ice-skating rink has also scheduled in some fun music-themed nights with DJs and party vibes under the city lights. There’s even an opportunity to watch the pros take the ice — and Santa may make a few special appearances, too.

If you’re keeping your feet off the ice, catch a holiday movie under the stars every Thursday or check the box on your holiday shopping at Flea by Night every Saturday. The open-air market features local artisans and small business owners and a range of vintage, handmade, recycled, and repurposed goods.

Float under the lights
Texas Winter Lights is back and it’s a must for your holiday to-do list. The one-of-a-kind poolside tradition is hosted at Marriott Marquis’ Altitude Rooftop & Pool (the lazy river is heated all winter!), where you can stroll through — or float under — the lights at night.

There will be no shortage of Instagrammable photo opps with illuminated activations, including a light-up stallion, graffiti wall, adult playground, and light grove. Plus, you can choose from more than 30 festive beverages. There’s also a nightly snowfall to add to the enchantment.

Have a date with Santa
Santa Claus is coming to town — Main Street Square, to be exact — to share the wonder of the season. Get a pic with Kris Kringle every Friday and Saturday starting at 6 pm in Santa’s Village.

Then explore all the shopping goodness the square has to offer with a series of holiday markets that are held on Fridays and Saturdays, too, all set against a vibrantly lit backdrop of 40-foot water bursts and a 250-foot-long, eight-inch-deep reflecting pool.

Find somebody to smooch
You know what they say: Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes mistletoe. This 150-inch ball of greenery is suspended from a giant 15-foot candy cane in historic Market Square Park — a.k.a. Mistletoe Square. You’ll want your kissable plus-one around, too, for snuggling up under the twinkling lights and enjoying a holiday movie — or making a gingerbread house with Phoenicia Specialty Foods.

See visions of sugar plums
The iconic Fish Plaza at the entrance of the Wortham Theater is dancing into the season with its temporary title of Sugar Plum Plaza — and it lives up to its name. Every square foot has been reimagined in an ode to the holidays with larger-than-life custom-built ornaments and cheerful tunes.

Wander through a wonderland
If you love twinkling lights, the Winter Wanderland has 100,000 of them. The LED-lit scene is the ultimate in merry and bright vibes along the recently reconstructed and beautified Bagby Street from Lamar to Preston. Signature elements include giant angel wings, constellation arches, and an 80-foot light tunnel across from The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.


Be sure to sign up for the free City Lights Pass here. Check in to each village and you might win one of four holiday experiences — the more places you visit, the better your chances of winning.

Make your own magic and chart your holiday course at City Lights here.

Photo courtesy of VisitHouston.com

The trees are ready for their close-up at Deck the Trees.