On May 13, I attended one of the most anticipated readings in Houston to date. From every corner of the city, people assembled in the lobby of the Menil Collection for the Watchful Eye reading of poetry and prose by select Writers In The Schools (WITS) students.
Families with young scholars, K-12, in public schools, private schools, and some alternative programs, such as one-on-one hospital visits, joined together to witness diverse talents and celebrate the joint powers of visual and literary arts. Many students were already familiar with the building and its collections, having visited as part of a WITS-organized school trip. These little ones were able to act as tour guides.
The evening began at 7 pm. Several students were still wearing their school uniforms. Some were outfitted in suits. Ribbons and patent leather shoes shone, and guardians tried vainly to comb over stubborn cowlicks before the short readings.
Long Chu, associate director and veteran employee of WITS for the past 18 years, introduced the program of around 50 students. He also gave a little history of the collaborative partnership between WITS and the Menil, which was established in 1989. He cited the Menil as “a true gift to the city of Houston,” and explained the organizations’ mutual objectives to instill “a passion for creative learning.” Karl Kilian, director of public programs at the Menil, also said a few words of encouragement, then introduced Dinorah Pérez-Rementería as the evening’s emcee. Continue reading