• Art on the Avenue raises funds for the Avenue Community Development Corporation.
  • It is the largest charity art auction event in Houston.
  • The 19th annual event raised $200,000.

The Avenue Community Development Corporation (CDC) was the beneficiary of 19th annual Art on the Avenue art auction, held at Winter Street Studios. The event is Houston’s largest charity art auction.

Nearly 600 supporters turned out at the Heights-area venue to bid on 545 paintings, jewelry and clothing items created by 285 artists and 35 student artists, with proceeds directed to the non-profit, which builds affordable housing for artists, seniors and low-income families.

Two days prior, 250 guests attended a preview party, where they got an early opportunity to bid on the art. Houston Mayor Annise Parker addressed the gathering on the importance of Avenue CDC’s mission.

According to the organization’s website, Avenue CDC serves the greater Houston metropolitan area, with a particular focus on the Near Northside and Washington Avenue communities, just north and northwest of Houston’s downtown. These historic neighborhoods are challenged by an aging and often neglected housing stock, vacant lots and incompatible land uses.

Recently, the area’s close proximity to downtown has encouraged a patchwork of new, upscale development. This new popularity has led to escalating housing prices that have placed homeownership, and rental housing, in certain neighborhoods beyond the reach of many residents.

Avenue CDC develops homes for purchase and rental to help meet the ongoing need for affordable housing. They provide single-family homes, and apartments, and renovate historic neighborhood living spaces. The organization also provides homebuyer education and counseling to help working families buy and maintain their own homes. They promote economic development and offer supportive services such as computer labs and after-school programs that enrich the lives of individuals and families that live in the community.

According to the Democracy Collective, CDCs are nonprofit, community-based organizations focused on revitalizing the areas in which they are located, typically low-income, underserved neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment. While they are most commonly celebrated for developing affordable housing, they are usually involved in a range of initiatives critical to community health such as economic development, sanitation, streetscaping, and neighborhood planning projects, and oftentimes even provide education and social services to neighborhood residents.

Members of the community serve on CDC boards. In 2006, there were 4,600 CDCs, located in all 50 states, and in 2010, the groups were responsible for average annual housing production of 96,000 units.

The two evenings raised more than $200,000 for the non-profit.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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