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Empowering Young Artists


One mind at a time

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Empowering Young Artists


One mind at a time

 

ABOUT OUR PROGRAm

Iconoclast is a writing, visual arts and performance program based in Houston, Texas that gives young creative minds from disadvantaged situations a chance to speak out through poetry, visual and performance art. 


 
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Can poetry change the world?


We think it can. 

Each year, our young artists compile their work into a book. 

THEY SAY Volumes I & II are inspiring collections of poetry from some of our most talented creative minds.

OUR BOOK

Can poetry change the world?


We think it can. 

Each year, our young artists compile their work into a book. 

THEY SAY Volumes I & II are inspiring collections of poetry from some of our most talented creative minds.

OUR BOOK

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OUR TEAM


The people that make it happen

OUR TEAM


The people that make it happen

Marlon Lizama

Marlon “Marley” Lizama is a poet, writer, artist, author, and dancer who focuses on the cultural aspect of writing and the arts.  He is Artist-in-Residence in the Iconoclast program hosted by St. Paul’s United Methodist in Houston, TX.  He is currently developing and implementing a writing program for youth from all over Houston, including youth in inner-city schools (e.g., Sharpstown High School) and at-risk youth in the Harris County Juvenile Justice System.

With the help of fellow educators, Marlon developed a “How to Teach High-Level Creative Writing to At-Risk Youth” curriculum, which aims to create creatives, create writers, and create young authors.  He is publishing an anthology of poetry created by the youth who have participated in this program.

Marlon recently published his first book, Cue the Writer: Cheers to the Notion of Love, Hate, God, and Revolution, which is a collection of short stories and poetry from a young immigrant’s perspective, and launched his new website.

Through competitions, performances, poetry shows, and the U.S. Department of State, Marlon has traveled to more than 40 countries.  His work and ultimate mission is to use the arts as a tool to reach out and change perspective, environment, and lives.

Marlon is the recipient of the 2015 John P. McGovern Award for distinguished activities in science, literature, arts and humanities.

Matthew Russell

Matt is an academic, activist, pastor, professor and teacher. He is on staff at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston and is the Executive Director of projectCURATE a non-profit educational and social enterprise incubator.  projectCURATE seeks to build bridges across cultural, economic, religious and racial divides in Houston.

He has taught at Duke Divinity, Fuller Seminary and recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge in Psychology and Religion.  In 2010, he completed his Ph.D. at Texas Tech University in Human Development where he explored how women construct alternative narratives of redemption from years of sustained trauma and abuse.  

Prior to this he planted and pastored a church called Mercy Street, a “church for people that hated church”.

Matt has worked extensively with ex-offenders and recovering addicts.   In collaboration with Marlon and other Houston educators he is developing innovative curriculum for public schools which seek to provide pathways of learning and economic opportunity for kids in the inner city.

Along with other stuff, he leads a weekly mindfulness meditation group at St. Paul’s each week called Con-spire.

Matt is married to Michele and they have three wonderful, crazy boys: Miguel, Lucas, and Gabriel.