In Return to In-Person Performances, SPA Commissions Works by Local Artists

Say Girl Say / photo by Pam Ashley Photography

SOCIETY FOR THE Performing Arts opened its 2021-2022 season on Friday with a lively free performance by Latin Grammy-winning artist Nella at Miller Outdoor Theater. It was a celebratory evening, SPA's first large-scale in-person performance since Harry Connick, Jr., in March 2020.


The group will continue its dynamic season next weekend with part one of its Houston Artist Commissioning Project, a pilot initiative to spotlight local creative voices. Taking the Jones Hall stage Oct. 15 and 16 are artists spanning multiple disciplines.

Indie-pop duo Say Girl Say will perform the audio-visual piece "Becoming "alongside Two Star Symphony and Input/Output, a multimedia duo who produce immersive "digital-physical" experiences. In his piece "Black, Blue, All Lives; OH MY," spoken-word artist Patrick Davis explores how we are divided and how we are simultaneously united. And dance groups Loop38 and Houston Contemporary Dance Company put on a joint show, "Corpórea y Espíritu (Body and Spirit)."

In a statement, SPA CEO Meg Booth called the Commissioning Project initiative and its goal of presenting new works created by Houstonians "critical to both our mission and the advancement of performing arts forms." It offers "much needed support to our artist communities, and makes our stages a mirror to the creativity and talents of our own city," she said. "The Commissioning Project will develop and feature prominently each year going forward. This is truly an inspiring beginning."

The socially distanced performances begin at 7:30pm, and masks are required for audience members. And at 2pm on Sunday, Oct. 17, the participating artists partake in a free live lecture at the Blaffer Art Museum on the UH campus.

Part two of SPA's Houston Artist Commissioning Project debuts on Nov. 12.

Loop38

Houston Contemporary Dance Company

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