Learning How to “Dynamize”

Over the summer, I added a new word to my vocabulary: “Dynamize.” OK – you won’t actually find it in the dictionary, but it does describe how Dynamo Charities gave back to a family in the East end of Houston.

The project is part of a joint initiative with  former Dynamo soccer star turned Houston Dash managing director, Brian Ching,  and Habitat for Humanity. Ching partnered with the organization to form the House That Ching Built, which raises money to build homes for deserving families in Houston.

The first house in the project was completed back in 2010. Now, the second house is finished, but I was able to catch volunteers add on the finishing touches before the home was presented to the Garcia-Andrade family.

Dynamo Girl Olevia teamed up with Dynamo Charities to help make the house fit for a Dynamo fan. Let’s just say, she definitely put her interior design skills to use!

Fun fact: Funding for this house came from the proceeds that were raised from Brian Ching’s Testimonial Match last December. Overall, $125,000 was raised – enough to cover this house and get started on a third one next year.

Get the full story on Dynamizing the home, below!


A Taste of Angola in Houston

Houston is such an international city, and I love showcasing that diversity on “Is It Art, Yet?” That’s why I invited singer, songwriter and musician Vivalda Dula to perform on the show.

She hails from Angola and is now sharing her gift of music in the Bayou City on her album “Insanidade Mental” (Mental Insanity in Portuguese). Vivalda also plays a mean “Djembe” drum – watch the show below, and you’ll find this instrument actually has a pretty interesting background and meaning.

Her music combines soul with the influences of Africa – it’s hard to stay still while listening to it! Vivalda performed with her band consisting of MV-Robert, a classical guitarist and Tomas Gallego, a bass guitarist.

Aside from multiple appearances at international festivals around country and the world, releasing new music and producing/directing plays for Houston Community College, Vivalda is also actively involved with a special movement against child labor, sponsored by the International Labor Organization.

Learn more about this multi-cultural artist and how her music is spreading a powerful message.