Melanie Lawson and John Guess, Jr.
Melanie Lawson and John Guess, Jr. have been involved in the arts and culture community in Houston for many years. Journalism has always been in Melanie Lawson’s blood.
As a Channel 13 anchor she has covered virtually every city, state and national election. She’s won numerous awards for her reporting, including an Emmy for her coverage of President Clinton’s visit to South Africa, the only local reporter in the nation to make that trip. Melanie has interviewed a wide range of notables, including three U.S. Presidents, one First Lady, Henry Kissinger, the Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou, Destiny’s Child, George Foreman, Spike Lee, Barbara Walters, Joel and Victoria Osteen, Magic Johnson, Lily Tomlin, Shirley McLaine and Denzel Washington. But Melanie’s favorite stories are those about Houston’s rich, multi-ethnic community – especially stories about children and those quietly working to make a difference in their lives.
Melanie is on the board of numerous community organizations including the Houston Ballet, SHAPE Community Center, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Volunteer Houston, and the Houston Association of Black Journalists. She also belongs to the Houston Chapter of the Links, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and the American Leadership Forum.
John has been the unrelenting voice and architect behind the resurgence of the now nationally recognized Houston Museum of African American Culture, which he was brought in turn around and make tangible in late 2009, and where he recently stepped down as Chief Executive Officer. John has served on the Board of Trustees of the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston; on the Board of the Museum of Fine Arts Glassell School and Core Program; is past President of Art Lies; on the board of the Houston Arts Alliance, and is currently on the board of Artadia, which sponsors artist awards and support in San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Boston, and where he Chairs the Committee on Trustees.
Managing Consultant for the Guess Group, Inc., John is also a documentary filmmaker whose work includes Bert, a film about artist Bert Long, Jr., chosen by the Houston Press as one of Houston’s 10 Best Documentaries.
Melanie and John are passionate collectors of African American, glass and contemporary art, and have had works exhibited at museums across the country and in Europe. They have been honored by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, DiverseWorks, the Bayou Arts Festival and the Center for Contemporary Craft.