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Inspiring Stories from Downtown

The heart of our mission at VoyageHouston is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Houston’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Downtown’s rising stars below.

Kathy Phipps

I have worked with Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence for over eight years as a Case Manager and providing prevention education to the Community on the subject. I am a Survivor of Domestic Violence form a 10-year marriage and an Adult molested as a child. I have worked in the field providing services for victims of domestic violence and ultimately found myself in need of the same services. I was able to see both sides of the spectrum of survivorship. As I received services, I began to see major GAPS in services for survivors of DV and SV. Read more>>

William Issac

I’m a freelance photographer born and raised in Houston, Texas. My journey isn’t far from average. I feel everyone trying to come up in the photography industry is on the same page. You take it day by day, better your craft, and just work, work, work. I started messing with cameras around 2008-2009ish. I had a friend that had one to film and take photos of us blading. We would all hang out and play video games, have sleepovers. Having a nice camera just laying around I was always the one to pick it up and play around with it. I grew up in front of the camera more so than behind it due to skating. Read more>>

Mighty Orq

I started playing violin when I was five and switched to guitar when I was ten. I saw B. B. King on TV after I’d been playing for a couple of years, and realized that’s what I wanted to play. A few years later I saw Duke/Peacock session guitarist and gold coast Blues icon Texas Johnny Brown play live, and that performance energized me even more. After high school, I started playing and touring with the Tony Vega Band, and at 23 started my own group. I’ve since recorded seven albums for a few indie labels including the German company Peppercake, and my most recent for the Houston-based Connor Ray Music. I’ve toured the US and Europe extensively, and continue to record and tour. Read more>>

Xavier Morales

I started playing guitar around 4th grade, and it was a wrap after that. I knew I needed to do something with music. I got into audio engineering about five years ago and film about two years ago. I feel like my film work started to really speak for itself this year and a bunch of doors started opening for me. I got to meet an industry people I had admired almost my whole life and work with some that really assured me that I was doing the right thing and I just went full tunnel vision on my mission. Read more>>

Shatonna Nelson

I was always an advocate from a young age. The very first time I began to mentor was at 14 in high school in student ambassadors. I always liked to help shape people or help them be comfortable in school or around people. Over the years I continually coached and grew and shaped more as I learned. I originally was just focused on giving back by coaching or planning events. I did this while working in hospital admin. In 2018, I decided to step out on faith and begin my PR company. I had already known most high profile people from Houston. I either coached their children or from Humanitarianism. Read more>>

Kendall Roy, Jr.

Since I was young, I was always captivated by art. Whatever you could place in front of me, whatever kind of art-form, I always was met with that rare satisfaction you can only really get through avenues of creation. I was, and still am, always attracted to the way things tick. That led me to writing, a sort of vessel to filter out what was inside. Being self-taught, this led me to a whole new world without boundaries. I would write anything, whatever I could piece together from the part of me that had this desire to create. Eventually, it evolved into musicianship, poetry, and screenwriting. Read more>>

Israel Rodriguez

I’ve been painting for about four years now. Self-taught. I have always been artistic since I can remember. Back in elementary, I would love to draw comics. Marvel characters mainly. About five years ago I decided to follow my creative side and go to school to become a graphic designer. One of the classes I had while attending The Art Institute had us create a stop-motion video. I had a canvas that a friend had given me but I had never painted before. Decided to give it a shot and create a painting as my project. Read more>>

Allison Rosen

Allison Rosen was born and raised in the beautiful state of Texas and is a loyal graduate of Texas A&M University. She is your typical young adult who loves sports, animals, hanging out with her friends, and volunteering her time for a good cause. She has worked in the world of Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine for over 13 years. She works in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities working in the field of cancer outreach, education, and prevention for the underserved population. Read more>>

Demitri Kesoglides

I started in the business side of the music industry. I graduated from Baruch College with my Bachelor’s in 2011 and then came out of New York University with a Master’s degree in 2013. I had tunnel vision in pursuing a 9-5 job in the music biz. Along the journey, I worked/interned for Atlantic Records/Warner Music Group, EMI Music Publishing (when it was still standing), Kinetic Management, Sony Music, and Mercury Records/Island Def Jam/Universal Music Group. I tried my hand at all departments — everything from digital media to music publishing/sync licensing to sampling administration to business & legal to artist management to A&R/talent scouting. Read more>>

Jacey Little

Horse Head Theatre Co.’s (HH) mission is to re-­energize Houston audiences with theatrically designed experiences using non­traditional methods and local talent. We utilize “found” and site­ specific spaces, frequently producing events outside of traditional arts venues that further enhance our storytelling. HH is committed to producing new and innovative works and is known for our theatrical experiences, featuring explosive design elements, audience interaction, immersive environments and pre­-show “ritual” or “ceremonial” activities. Read more>>

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