Arts & Culture

Houston-Area Teen Earns A Top Award For Artistic Contribution To Sixth Ward

A Girl Scout teams up with MECA to transform an empty lot into a work of art.


Seventeen-year-old Francesca Farris has been working outside under the hot Houston sun for the past month or so. With the help of a few friends, she’s created a labyrinth on what was once a vacant grass lot on White Street near the Washington Avenue corridor. Within a few days of working on it, some of the neighbors in the area started asking if they could help out.

“As it came together, we had this dad and daughter walk by,” Farris says. “The little daughter – I think she was around three or four years old – was like, ‘I want to help, I want to help!’ and so she came out for two or three hours. She helped us lay bricks and then she was at the closing ceremony and running around.”

Farris worked in partnership with MECA – the Multicultural Education and Counseling through Art center. They had camp kids create about two dozen colorful mosaics, spaced out along the brick-lined foot path. Farris said that MECA also came up with the name.

“It is called, Tierra, Viento, y Luz, which is Earth, Wind, and Light, she says. “It’s just very whimsical. It’s not like any other labyrinth I’ve ever seen.”

The project was part of Farris earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award in the organization. It recognizes efforts made by girls who demonstrate leadership and community engagement. 

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