East End District
East End showcases public art, Hispanic culture, and many talents of the East End community - inviting tourists and local residents to explore the artistic value present in the area. East End boasts one of the largest collections of outdoor murals in the city of Houston and is home to more than 30 arts and culture institutions, artist studios, showrooms and design and fabrication shops. East End is rich in historical sites and structures that connect the community to its heritage, as well as culinary traditions that offer visitors a taste of the best food Houston has to offer.
East End - the oldest neighborhood in Houston - is a vibrant district, rich in diversity, located east of downtown. The most recognizable artform in the East End are its vast array of murals and urban art. Local artists of the area have dedicated their time to artistic expression, ranging from cultural traditions to political observations. These graffiti styled public art installations range greatly in representing their themes. The art can be seen painted on the side of bus stops, fences along the road, and community centers as they are dispersed around the East End. A walk down Harrisburg Boulevard or Navigation Boulevard will expose pedestrians to unique works of public art. The artists are a mix of professionals looking to express their work, to armatures and students looking for professional experience. This urban art is colorful and lively, illuminating the East End as an artistic hub of creativity.
Esplanade at Navigation was honored by Urban Land Institute through an award for public spaces that exemplify best practices in design, economic viability, marketing and management. The Esplanade is the location of the annual East End Street Fest, weekly markets, and a variety of festivals and events throughout the year.
- East End Street Fest – a celebration of art, music, and heritage in East End Houston. Admission is free to this event on the Navigation Esplanade where visitors enjoy 40 food and art vendors during Cinco de Mayo weekend, along with one-of-a-kind entertainment at two music stages featuring more than 10 bands including (most recently) Latin Grammy Award-winner David Lee Garza, Grammy Award nominee El Dusty, Los Aztecas, Texas Tornados, AFoot!, and the Marching Band Extravaganza. For the last decade, East End Street Fest has brought (on average) 10,000 annual attendees while celebrating the East End’s heritage with art, music and culture.
- “Calle de Colores” – a cluster of murals along Navigation Boulevard which will expand everyday, accessible, local arts programs and create a strong sense of connection between destination points. During East End Street Fest, we will unveil five new murals on the Navigation Esplanade and host a live painting of one additional mural where festival goers can watch a muralist in action. These six murals will launch a program to create a new cluster of murals and public art programming that will bring visitors further along Navigation Boulevard. While these murals are being created, we will host a series of public art tours to meet the artists creating the work and to hear from them directly. Murals in the East End have a long history. They began as an organic, “guerilla” grass roots art movement and have now become one of East End’s most defining characteristics, sought out by locals and tourists alike.