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Kat Edmonson Edmonson singer + songwriter

THE SXSW ISSUE: social media etiquette | pop diva party | sxsw fashion checklist | PLUS: Tax tips | Vintage decor | east end wines


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512.328.2421 • 1213 W. 49th St., Austin, TX 78756 www.austinwomanmagazine.com austinwoman magazine is a free monthly publication of AW Media Inc. and is available at over 1000 locations across Austin and in Lakeway, Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville. All rights reserved. For submission requirements, go to our website under “editorial” or contact ideas@austinwomanmagazine.com. No part of the magazine may be reprinted or duplicated without permission. For copies of articles, call 512.328.2421. CORRECTION: On p.92 of our February issue, in the DANCE feature, Tradition Comes Alive, renowned local dancer Gina Lalli’s name was inadvertently misspelled. We wish to sincerely apologize for the error to Ms. Lalli and her many fans.

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o n t h e c ov e r

46

Sultr y, distinctive and st ylish songstress

Kat Edmonson has a unique sound and voice that sets her apar t from the plethora of singer/songwriters rising in the ranks in a variet y of music al genres today. A petite powerhouse who sings, writes, plays, produces, promotes and manages her c areer as a one-woman show ; she splits time bet ween Austin and the Big Apple to write, record and per form, without losing her Austin edge. Her love of jaz z, pop standards and the Great American Songbook hearken back to a bygone area, made fresh by her signature interpretation and approach. Following the worldwide success of her first album, Take to the Sky , she is now focused on her nex t , and af ter a 2010 summer tour opening for another local legend (Lyle Lovet t), Edmonson grounds herself in her

Kat Edmonson Edmonson singer + songwriter

Austin and vintage roots (and love of great food and cooking!)

Sto ry - christine cox P h oto g ra p h y - annie ray h a i r + M a k e u p - georgia bramhall fas h i o n st y l i st - erika cerda lo cat i o n

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70

contents

03.11

12 Contributor

64 health

18 Inspiration

70 GLow

Annie ray

Young and Beautiful

22 Fashion

sxsw style

24 entertaining Pop diva party

28 etiquette

84

SoCIAL mEdIA EtIqUEttE

32 aw talks with...

Caroline Burruss, Colleen Fischer + Sharilyn Mayhugh

38 music

5x5x5 4 sxsw

42 news

let your success rise

57 wow!

amanda keeter

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90

women who Love women

skin recovery

72 art

beili Liu

76 worth

Tax Moves to Make Now

80 profile

barr none

84 vintage dĂŠcor repurposed Vintage Finds

86 love

infidelity

90 uncorked

east end wines

95 AW Happenings 96 Calendar 98 Horoscope


Studio Theater Project Mar 25 - Apr 3, 2011

contributor Annie Ray compiled + edited by Jessica Billeaud Photo by Jake Holt Photography

AustinVentures StudioTheater Choreography by Nicolo Fonte & Stephen Mills

Join us for a night of contemporary works set to a modern day rhythm in the heart of downtown. This is the night we open our studio for a party-like atmosphere consisting of music, drinks and dancers up close and personal.

Annie Ray is the genius behind the photo booth; the interactive, impromptu photo shoots that have been popping up on hip corners all around Austin. The 26-year-old photographer is also the genius behind our retro cover shoot. Born in Lewisville, TX, Ray graduated with a BFA in photography from the University of North Texas and began setting up her famous photo booths shortly after moving to the Capital City. “My focus is to capture the authenticity in people,” said Ray, who’s done almost 500 booths in the past three years, complete with felt mustaches and other goofy props. Her popularity has hit nationwide, as she’s photographed party people in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New Orleans. Keep your eyes peeled for her during SXSW: At press time, she already had 11 booths booked all over the festival.

What’s your favorite thing about SXSW? Getting to meet people from all over the world and hear them talk about why they love Austin.

For Tickets: Visit www.balletaustin.org or call 512.476.2163

What’s your most interesting SXSW moment? My first SXSW I was doing a photo booth at Beauty Bar and ended up meeting the actor who played the older brother from Home Alone, Buzz. I was totally starstruck.

What does a perfect spring day in Austin entail? This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

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Waking up and getting a coffee at Jo’s on South Congress, checking out the SoCo stores and then meeting up with friends at Hula Hut for drinks and salsa/chips.


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cover story video interview

Kat Edmonson on her Musical Inspiration + Influences and her future album

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party pics

Tiara Tuesday Feb 1st, 2011 @ Paggi house

Next tiara tuesday March 1st @ maggiano’s little italy, the domain april 5th @ flemings, downtown

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inspiration

Young and Beautiful B Y S u s i e D av i s

Courage to Believe the Obvious: Stop Listening to the Same Old Lies

F

irst, let me say I am not including this photo because I think I look young and beautiful. Actually, kind of the opposite. My niece, Kate, took this photo when we were in Boulder last October and upon seeing it, all I could think was, “Oh gracious goodness, I’m starting to get those wicked lines above my lips. I’m getting old. I need Botox. I’m too chicken for Botox. My face … my body … I’m falling apart. When did I get so old?” I know. Kinda pathetic, right? Because the truth is: Of course, I’m getting older. I was born in 1963, for gracious sake. I’ve been married 25 years and had 3 babies who are now nearly adults. Of course, I’m getting older. But the ridiculous part of this story is I’ve had

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weirdo, negative thoughts like that hanging around since I was, like, 16. Yep. I have tortured myself for decades. I remember one Christmas in particular about 20 years ago when my sweet mother-in-law got me a saucy, little, wool camel skirt. It was conservative-butsexy in a minister’s-wife kind of way. Okay, it was definitely hot. (She probably would not have described it as “hot” – my terminology.) When I opened it up, I said to her, “I love it! Thank you so much! Do you think I can get away with wearing it?” She knew exactly what I was asking and said, “Of course you should wear it. Wear it now, while you’re young and beautiful.” (Let me push “pause” right here and now: I am not saying Carrie Underwood got the inspiration for her song We’re

Young and Beautiful from my mother-inlaw, but – Carrie did write that song in around 2005. And I can verify that my mother-in-law’s quote dates to Christmas in the early ‘90s. Just sayin’…) Long story short, let me cut to the chase: Today – you are as young as you’ll ever be. And quite possibly in a biological way, you’re as beautiful as you’ll ever be. So, I say: What are you waiting for? If I had a chance to talk to my 20-something or 30-something self, I’d say: Wear the short saucy skirt! Pull out the skinny jeans! Stop obsessing about the lines above your mouth! You are young and beautiful! Shut-up your whiny butt and enjoy the way your body looks today! Give yourself a snappy, little pep talk. Or maybe, turn up Carrie’s song and slip on those hottie jeans. You gotta love what you got … while you’re young and beautiful. Susie Davis is the author of multiple books designed to help women have healthy relationships. She is also a speaker and radio personality. You can hear her on Spirit 105.9 FM in Austin. For more information, visit.susiedavis.org


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the music + sxsw Section

22 Fashion

sxsw style

22

24 entertaining Pop diva party

24

28 etiquette

SoCIAL mEdIA EtIqUEttE

32 aw talks with...

Caroline Burruss, Colleen Fischer + Sharilyn Mayhugh

38 music

5x5x5 4 sxsw

28 32 w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   21


fashion

SXSW STYLE

Must-Have Fashion Tips to Get You Around Town in Style

by E r i k a C e r d a

1.

9.

4.

8. 6. 2.

10. 10a. 5.

7.

11.

3.

Visit In store or Online

By George | 1400 S. Congress A180 • 512.441.8600 | bygeorgeaustin.com Buy Definition | 3100 S. Congress 3B • 512.670.7448 | buydefinition.com Saks Fifth Avenue | 9722 Great Hills Trl. • 512.231.3700 | saksfifthavenue.com Madewell | The Domain • 512.821.1593 | madewell.com Feathers Boutique | 1700 s. Congress • 512.912.9779 | feathersboutiquevintage.blogspot.com 22  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1


12. 16. 18.

SXSW Essentials

16.a 16.b

WATER & ENERGY BARS 19.

SMART PHONE CAMERA

19.a

17.

MAP OF DOWNTOWN SUNGLASSES

13.

RAINJACKET (PONCHOS) 15.

LAPTOP & IPAD

14.

MP3 PLAYER & IPOD EARPLUGS 20.

1. James Perse knitted black sweater $195 SAKS

10. Vintage coin chain belt $20 FEATHERS

16A. Dillon Brown thin studded bracelet $46 By George

2. Current/Elliot rolled-up jean shorts $202 By George

10a. Set Sail Shorts $88 MADEWELL

16B. Dillon turquoise wide studded bracelet $62 By George

3. Hunter rainboots $125 SAKS 4. Ray-ban sunglasses $145 SAKS 5. Emily Too saddle bag $198 By George 6. Silver Shield ring $136   buy Definition 7. Joie mushroom short boots $102 By George 8. Wayward jean Button-up $88 MADEWELL 9. Vintage style key charm necklace $32 MADEWELL

11. Scholar satchel - tan canvas and black trim $148 MADEWELL 12. Thank cross tank w/gold crosses $79 BuyDefinition 13. Raccoon tail hook $140 FEATHERS 14. Jbrand love story bell bottoms $179 By George 15. Dolce Vita black platform sandals $88 FEATHERS 16. Maria Rudman silver & brown medium bracelet $236 By George

17. Fringe pendant gold &brass necklace $62 MADEWELL 18. Charlie black fedora $45 MADEWELL 19. Denim Shorts Romper $58 Buy Definition 19A. Navy blue stretch canvas and leather waist belt $58 MADEWELL 20. Brown Slingback open toe platforms $228 MaDEWELL w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   23


entertaining

Party Styling by The Party Wall thepartywall.blogspot.com

Party by S m i ta B h a k ta

Searching for birthday party ideas for your little fairy princess, who is no longer into fairies or princesses? Well, look no further! Here’s a rocking birthday party idea for your tween daughter, from The Party Wall (thepartywall.blogspot.com). When it comes to planning a party, we all know teenagers can be tough, but tweens have their own set of challenges. Rather than wistfully remembering the days when your little girl loved anything to do with fairies and princesses, including the fairy princess tea party you hosted for her when she was six, get shakin’ on planning a pop music-themed birthday that your little diva and her friends will be sure to love. Set the tone with your invitations The invitations and party printables featured here were graciously customdesigned by Bird of Bird’s Party for our Pop Diva party and definitely helped set the tone (get the whole collection at www.birdsparty.com). To build even greater anticipation for the big event, include a backstage pass with each invitation, which will give your guests exclusive access to the “VIP Lounge” and a chance to meet a mystery guest! Or, go a step further and record a short music video “sneak peek” with your daughter and burn it onto CDs to send video invitations to your guests.

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Kick-up the beat with your party decorations and turn your party into a concert venue Set up a red carpet and VIP entrance for your guests, and have Dad or an uncle dress up and act as “security” at the door. Decorate your party venue with both glamour and whimsy in mind. The party featured here uses teal blue, pink and purple, electric guitar and star motifs and lots of glitter! The theme is girly and very fun. Bright feathers, rhinestones and disco balls complete the look. Within your party venue, set-up an area to be a dressing room or hairand-makeup studio. Set up another area as “Center Stage” and, of course, another area as “Backstage,” so your guests can use their backstage passes to gain entry into the “VIP Lounge.” Have someone dress-up as a well-known pop star or the latest American Idol to meet and greet your guests in the VIP Lounge and sign autographs. The tweens at the party are probably not going to be interested in party games like Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey, so offer activities appropriate for their age group. Here are some ideas: Hire a professional to do face painting and/or enlist your girlfriends to serve as beauticians to your little guests. If you have instruments, set those up too, or make some faux electric guitars using poster board and get some fake microphones, so the girls can use them as props. Have the audience vote for their favorite artists, then have a mock Grammyaward ceremony and give out trophies or other prizes to the winners in each category. Use “Center Stage” as the focal point of your venue and have the girls take turns, either alone or in groups, at karaoke. If you have instruments, set those up too, or make some faux electric guitars using poster board and get some fake microphones, so the girls can use them as props. Have the audience vote for their favorite artists, then have a mock Grammyaward ceremony and give out trophies or other prizes to the winners in each category. And don’t forget to record the performances. Not only will they provide a great reminder to your daughter of her special day, you can record the videos onto CDs and send them to the guests with thank you notes after the party. Serve up some pop star treats After all that live entertainment, your little pop idols are sure to be hungry, so serve up some snacks and some sweet treats. This Pop Diva party styled by The Party Wall features some fabulous electric guitar cookies from Lily’s Cookies (lilyscookies.com) as well as cupcakes embellished with pink and blue sugar sprinkles and guitar toppers from Bird’s printables collection. Pink lollipops, soda pop and popcorn not only serve as treats, but also create a clever play on words. The popcorn is coated with pink and blue sugar sprinkles and served in cute paper cones. See the tutorial across the page for instructions on how to make this adorable popcorn stand. Favors that are sure to go “platinum” Send the little pop stars in-the-making home with some music jams to inspire them. Purchase pop compilations to give out as party favors or work with your daughter to select her favorite pop songs and record them onto CDs to hand out as party favors. Customize the CD cover to include your daughter’s name and birthday. Now there’s a party fit for a pop star!

For more party styling ideas and for party planning and consulting in the Central Texas area, contact Smita Bhakta at thepartywall@gmail.com. 26  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1


How to make a popcorn stand:

The popcorn stand featured here is remarkably easy to make. All you need is a Styrofoam block, wrapping paper, ribbon, lollipop sticks and craft paper. Simply wrap the Styrofoam block in wrapping paper and embellish with ribbon. Use a sharp pencil to make small holes through the wrapping paper and insert the lollipop sticks into the Styrofoam base. Make popcorn cones using the craft paper, being sure to leave small holes at the bottom. Carefully insert the lollipop sticks through the holes at the bottom on the popcorn cones. Fill up the cones with popcorn and enjoy. MORE INFO Smita Bhakta The Party Wall thepartywall.blogspot.com

Tickets available at BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com, 512.477.6060 and all Texas Box Office Outlets. For groups of 20 or more, call 877.275.3804

thepartywall@gmail.com Due to the nature of live entertainment dates, times, prices, shows, actors, venues and sales are subject to change without notice. All tickets subject to convenience charges.

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etiquette

Social Media Etiquette 2011 Mind your Virtual Manners

by S h a r o n Schweit zer

M

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snow. Be careful how you treat it, for every step will show.” I’m sure my mother and grandmother never could have fathomed how true this statement would be in our current environment, where interaction occurs as often in social media as it does in person. As Austin women, we are leaving our digital footprints on the internet right now. Unfortunately, there are several misconceptions about social media – namely, that there are no rules and that we can do or say whatever we want without consequences. The truth is that an online personality develops and takes shape quickly. And if the online community determines, for example, that you are a shameless self-promoter, you will be buried. It is not difficult to follow the rules of social media etiquette and understand the boundaries. Here are ten of my favorite guidelines, which should come in handy for the savvy Austin woman:

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The difference between a faux pas made in private and one that occurs online is sheer scale; there is nowhere to hide on the internet, and the viral nature of the channels means that bad news spreads like wildfire.

1. Understand the Platform:

4. Be a Relationship Builder:

7. Focus on Quality over Quan-

Read and understand the terms of service

Show a genuine interest in what people are

tity: Avoid swamping and annoying

and the engagement framework for each

doing and take the time to build relation-

your followers. Incessant messages even-

social media platform, including Facebook,

ships. People are more likely to recommend

tually irritate your followers and they will

FriendFeed, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Twit-

you, share your information with their net-

disconnect from you, report/bury your

ter, YouTube, etc. Each technology platform

work or do business with you if they know,

submissions or find another place to con-

caters to a different market.

like and trust you. The key is to listen to

gregate that does not include your spam.

2. Social Media is Not Private:

what is being said, and by whom; and then

Users and followers should and will ‘un-

Select the privacy settings manually on Fa-

ensure that your response acknowledges

follow’ and ‘unlike’ when they are over-

cebook – the default settings are minimal.

their view.

whelmed. Sometimes too much informa-

Remember that even deactivated content

5. Respect: Be respectful of others’

remains on the Facebook server. In 2010,

opinions even if you do not agree with

8. Tame Your Ego: Prior to posting

the Library of Congress started collecting

them. Social media allows you to connect

anything online, ask yourself these ques-

Twitter posts as well. Recruiters and em-

with thousands of people that you may not

tions: “How does this information help the

ployers routinely ‘vet’ candidates by run-

have had the opportunity to meet if you

online community?” “What is the substan-

ning their names through social media. The

were relying on face-to-face networking.

tive content?” If you are unsure about your

State of Florida is conducting social media

Many of these people will have different

post, then ask yourself, “What is my agen-

reviews for applicants to the bar with a “his-

values and opinions. Post or tweet some-

da?” Be modest.

tory of troubling conduct.” One local gov-

thing nice before you go negative, and

9. Admit Mistakes: We all make

ernment, Bozeman, MT, even required em-

avoid ‘flaming’ others. Build up the online

mistakes; things go awry or are misinter-

ployment candidates to submit a list of

community. On Facebook, follow up and

preted. If there is something that needs to

personal or business webpages and mem-

respond to acknowledge positive com-

be cleaned up, do so as soon as possible and

berships on internet-based chat rooms, so-

ments and converse with those who post,

with humility. A little levity or sense of hu-

cial clubs and forums. Applicants were then

rather than talk at them. Avoid USING

mor helps, too. Sometimes we take our-

asked to list their login information along

CAPITAL LETTERS, or else I may think

selves too seriously!

with their passwords!

you are SCREAMING AT ME.

tion can be as bad as not enough.

10. Set Boundaries & Limits: It

3. Introduce Yourself First: It

6. Share Content and Add

may not be appropriate to accept all Linke-

is important to introduce yourself to a po-

Value: Social media is all about sharing

dIn and Facebook requests for professional

tential social media connection by referenc-

resources and passing along information

reasons. Make decisions about what you

ing your point of contact. Avoid sending an

that you know would be of interest to the

will and will not tolerate on social media.

invitation using the standard request pro-

online community. It is about publishing

Just because you are interacting with oth-

vided by the technology platform, as it may

content and relating to likeminded indi-

ers online and you appear approachable,

indicate that we have not met, you have not

viduals publicly. Focus on serving others

does not mean you must tolerate abusive

read my profile or you are just cruising

and not on self-promotion. Update your

comments. Be diligent in monitoring and

through the technology platform, trying to

content, stay current and avoid automat-

deleting foul, abusive or defamatory lan-

bolster your contact list.

ing updates. Providing value to others is

guage that may be posted to your blog,

the key.

page or site.

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AW Talks With ...

Caroline Burruss, Colleen Fischer + Sharilyn Mayhugh The Feminine Forces Behind Austin City Limits Live by D eb o r ah Hamilto n - Lynne

I

n February, the wait was finally over. ACL

Live at the Moody Theater, the state-ofthe-art live music venue and home of Aus-

tin City Limits, the venerable and longest-

running music series in television history, as well as the new home of Austin City Limits

Live, opened with Austin icon Willie Nelson strutting his stuff in a tuxedo accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra. Featuring incredible, next-generation lighting and optics, a customdesigned Meyer Sound System, as well as sustainable construction, the venue opened to rave reviews. Behind the scenes were three women working for ACL Live making it all happen – Caroline Burruss, director of business development; Colleen Fischer, director of booking; and Sharilyn Mayhugh, director of marketing. Consummate and experienced professionals, they work seamlessly as a

(l-r) Sharilyn Mayhugh Colleen Fischer Caroline Burruss

team. Mayhugh’s sentiment, “To be in Austin

photography by rudy arocha

leagues. I joined them in the midst of

to launch this venue is the chance of a lifetime,” was seconded by her colpreparations for the opening.

32  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1


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AW: How did you come together as a team

AW: Explain the differences between Austin

and how do you find working together?

City Limits, the television show, and Austin

Caroline Burruss: We all have similar back-

City Limits Live.

grounds and all worked for Live Nation, so we had

CF: Tickets are completely different. KLRU will

a process of how our job functions work together

continue to distribute tickets for ACL tapings

– marketing, sponsorship, booking and business

through their website and they are free. Austin

development – in place that we could translate to

City Limits Live tickets are paid tickets. We are go-

this venue. Before, we all worked with multiple

ing to do 60-to-100 live concerts per year, in addi-

venues, so this is such a pleasure to concentrate all

tion to the television tapings of Austin City Limits.

of our efforts on one venue. It led to better commu-

We also plan on doing a lot of private events.

nication. We are also all in the same office, so we

AW: What type of private events is the facility

can improve on the process.

suited for?

Sharilyn Mayhugh: We all share our thoughts

CF: We are doing the Addy awards tonight, so dif-

and ideas. None of us are shy to weigh in.

ferent types of awards events. Also, we have the

CB: Sponsorship can be the sore thumb. I want to

ability to do concerts and corporate events and

close the deal, but it gets pushed over to how book-

stream them live to their partners who might not

ing and marketing will interact with the sponsors

be able to attend. This is the only facility in the U.S.

as well, so we have to work together. We have to

that combines television production and live mu-

look at the overall strategy as a team.

sic. That is the wave of the future and we are ahead

AW: Are season tickets available?

of the curve. There could be a corporate-sponsored

Colleen Fischer: We have 330 premium seat li-

concert series that could be available worldwide

censes, which allow the holders the option to buy

on their website. It is very exciting.

tickets in advance of when the tickets go on sale to

AW: What can Austinites expect as far as pro-

LOVE YOUR FEET!

the public. The venue seats just under 2700.

gramming?

AW: Tell me about being a woman in your

CF: We aren’t going to rule anything out. I want to

NOW IS THe TIme TO geT yOur FeeT Summer reaDy

business and any changes you have seen over

open up to all genres – Americana, country, R&B,

the years.

jazz. The Austin audiences are very sophisticated

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and aware of all types of music and I want to take

the 10 years I have been in marketing there have

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been a lot of women working on the marketing

AW: If I interview you a year from now, what

side. The one thing I notice about women in this

do you hope to have accomplished?

business is that they are strong and ambitious.

CF: I believe that we will be recognized as a world-

CF: I have been doing this for so long, that I don’t

class facility.

really see much difference in my perspective and

SM: The Austin City Limits brand was already a

my male counterparts,’ but for the most part, there

household name, but we want to expand and build

are definitely more men than women on the book-

on that recognition.

ing side.

CB: Also, the fans will understand the differenc-

CB: I ignored the fact that I was a woman in a male-

es between the television show and the live con-

Foot Pain Ingrown Toenails Bunions & Hammertoes Corns & Callouses Plantar Fasciitis

dominated industry when I started and that helped

certs. We want to grow in sponsorships to in-

me. I started my own business and I just did my own

clude national brands and outreach. We want to

thing. We are very strong and passionate about what

unlock the content for use nationally and global-

we do. You have to be to make it in this business. In

ly, kind of like an idea lab. We are a high tech hub

my last position in sponsorship at Live Nation, there

and we want to build on that association. There

were only two women and in a way, that worked to

are a lot of applications that will be built right

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SM: Hopefully I will be able to reflect on the

CF: We had to build the best, because Aus-

different crowds that have enjoyed the venue

tin has the best music fans in the country.

from show-to-show. Having full houses for ev-

They get ‘it’ – the musicianship. They are not

ery show. I want to think of it with a smile and

into fads or trends, and they support and

be proud of it all. I think this venue will end up

love musicians and live performance. We

making history. I want to be Austin’s answer

work very closely with Austin City Limits,

to Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

the television show, and they have done a

AW: You all moved from other locations.

fantastic job developing the brand. We are

About ACL Live Moody Theater

310 W. 2nd St. (Willie Nelson blvd.)

Block 21, Inc. ACL Live is part of a mixed-use project located in the heart of downtown Austin which includes the W Hotel and the W residences, as well as retail space, office space and restaurants.

What drew you to Austin?

going to build on that.

SM: I have lived a lot of places with my job. I

AW: What is the one thing you would like

am originally from San Antonio and spent a

Austinites to know about the new ven-

lot of time in Austin. I have family in Texas,

ue? Something they might not know?

so, for me, it was coming home.

SM: We are so proud that this venue is in the

CB: I am from Georgia and North Carolina,

process of certification for LEED. This venue

There will be 50 flat screen televisions scattered throughout the venue.

but I have been coming to SXSW since 1990.

was green-built to comply with the very

There are 12 bars + 14 restrooms.

I have been trying to get to Austin for a long

comprehensive LEED Standards. What this

time. This is a lifestyle my husband and I re-

means is that we are energy efficient, water

Two giant Sony Ziris Canvas panel arrays flank the bar on the entry porch.

ally wanted for our children.

efficient, used sustainable construction

CF: I had gotten to know Willie Nelson very

practices and will encourage recycling. For

well over the years and I felt like I was com-

example, the beer cups are compostable. We

ing home to work with family, meaning the

are attempting to be a zero waste venue.

Willie Nelson family. It was very inviting and

When we complete certification, this facility

comfortable for me. That was the pull defi-

will be one of two live music venues in the

nitely.

country to comply with LEED standards.

Total cost of the venue is $40 million.

CB: Honestly, we are all so happy about the

CB: Even though we are a new and larger

Upcoming Performances:

relocation. We know that we are living the

facility, we want fans to know that this ven-

dream.

ue is designed to have the same intimate

AW: What are you learning about Aus-

concert feeling and connection to the musi-

tin that is shaping your decisions re-

cians as in the old venue. It is state of the art,

garding building the ACL Live brand?

but it hasn’t lost the magic.

Dream in Blue

The capacity of the venue adjusts from 1500-to-2700 with no seat further than 75 feet from the stage.

There are 80 speakers in the main venue dedicated to performance use. The gallery is filled with official Austin City Limits historic photographs taken by Scott Newton over 35 years.

Fri, Jan 2 pm

3/6: Texas Songwriters’ Hall of Fame 3/26: Bill Maher 4/2: John Mellencamp 4/3: Janet Jackson 4/27: Tony Bennett

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5 X 5 X 5 4 S X SW Former AW Cover Woman and C3 Promoter Amy Corbin with 3 lists of 5 things to help you navigate sxsw by A m y C o r b i n

SXSW can be a daunting challenge for those who are too busy to dig through the hundreds and thousands of artists who are scheduled to

1. Smith Westerns

myspace.com/smithwesterns

2. Middle Brother

myspace.com/middlebrother

3. The Head & the Heart

myspace.com/theheadandtheheart

perform. Here are five artists

4. The Naked & Famous

you have likely never heard

5. J Roddy Walston & The Business

of, but should definitely check out while they are here:

38  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1

myspace.com/thenakedandfamous myspace.com/jroddy

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Here are five artists repre senting the Lone Star State you should check out:

1. Bright Eyes

The People's Key

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1. Sahara Smith

3. Adele

2. Lance Herbstrong

4. Cut Copy

3. Ruby Jane

5. Fitz and the Tantrums

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news

Let Your E Success RISE RISE’s Women Entrepreneur Day Aims to Inspire Local Entrepreneurs by J es s i c a B i ll e a u d

ver wish you could sit down with talent-

“A lot of these entrepreneurs are so busy,

ed, admirable women from in and around

they want to give back, but don’t have the time

Austin and learn their secrets to suc-

to take 25 individuals to coffee,” said Dana

cess? Wish no longer. RISE Global offers you the

Roefer, RISE program manager. “This gives you

chance to hear from 13 women entrepreneurs in

that chance.” Hosts of a session speak for an

small, intimate groups on March 10th. Hosted

hour, with 30 minutes of open forum following

by austinwoman magazine and The Long Cen-

– an integral part of the program’s success, as it

ter, Women Entrepreneur Day seeks to inspire

gives the audience members the chance to can-

women to take the next step in their businesses

didly ask specific questions. Last year’s pro-

through the success stories of their peers.

gram drew a crowd of 2,000 during the week,

RISE (Relationship & Information Series for

with 85% of the sessions at capacity in various

Entrepreneurs) is a nonprofit program whose

locations around Austin (so make sure to sign

mission is to inspire and empower local entrepre-

up for sessions in advance).

neurs. If you have ever sat in a cold conference

Women Entrepreneur Day offers 11 ses-

room amidst a sea of people and felt it difficult to

sions and a panel discussion hosted by women,

comprehend the speaker’s message, then you

but men are welcome too. Moderated by Keri

may be excited about the friendly format of RISE

Bellacosa of FOX’s Good Day Austin, the after-

Global’s sessions, running March 5th through

noon panel features three driven, dynamic

12th. Founded by Roy and Bertrand Sosa in 2007,

women: Lorie Marrero, nationally acclaimed

the program is a free, weeklong “un-conference,”

author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny

offering countless sessions covering a wide ar-

on Organizing Your Home and Taking

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Festival of Children’s Voices

with St John’s College Choir Featuring over 250 local voices from the UT Combined Choirs, Austin Children’s Choir, Austin Girls’ Choir, and the Conspirare Youth Choir, in concert with the UT Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 5 pm | Bass Concert Hall

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and political fundraiser Andrea McWilliams; and Elizabeth Christian, public relations mastermind and founder of ECPR. The special

MORE FEATURED WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS AT RISE

panel discussion is your chance to hear about each woman’s unique journey through the highs and lows of their business development. RISE has used its success in Austin to enhance its capabilities of assisting and inspiring entrepreneurs throughout the world. Since November 2010, RISEglobal.org has been able to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas between entrepreneurs with a speed and scale that would be impossible in-person, now available by simply becoming a RISE member. Women Entrepreneur Day will also feature one of our own: austin-

woman publisher and co-founder Melinda Garvey who will offer practical steps to becoming an inspired entrepreneur. “Over the past eightand-a-half years, austinwoman has celebrated the accomplishments of so many wonderful entrepreneurs,” said Garvey, who procured the speakers for this first annual event. “We’re so glad to bring some of these amazing women to this forum. I think it’s really timely, considering that women are opening businesses at double the rate of men.” Don’t miss your chance to be empowered and inspired by some of the most dynamic women in our community. Go to riseglobal.org to see all of the details of Women Entrepreneur Day and check the full week’s schedule to see what other sessions spark your interest.

You can’t beat the schedule. I’m a mother of two young children. Having classes two evenings per week allows me to be with my family on weekends. YOU CAN WORK FULL-TIME. You get home at a reasonable hour. The Baylor MBA program in Austin works with my life . . . and my family’s.

TRUSHA PATEL, M.A., M.B.A. VICE PRESIDENT, KK INVESTMENTS, INC

Claudia Conner: director of BIGAUSTIN’s Women’s Business Center shares advice on how to grow a wealthy business by thinking outside of the box

Jan Goss: corporate etiquette expert and author provides lessons on how being professionally polished can further your career

Lisa Copeland: FIAT Austin general manager on how to effectively capture the women’s market

Carolyn Scarborough: “The Book Whisperer” is a professional writing coach and offers tips on actually finishing that book or blog

Paige Davis: co-founder of Blue Avocado and Cherie B. Mathews, owner of Healincomfort.com detail the realities and opportunities of ingenuity and entrepreneurship Vera Fischer: marketing maverick and co-founder of 97 Degrees West hosts an interactive workshop on how to define your brand through your customer Gay Gaddis: owner of the largest independent ad agency wholly owned by a woman in the U.S. (T3) offers key insights and advice that has helped to shape her business and personal success

Renée Trudeau: nationally-recognized career and work-life balance coach shares four strategies to help reclaim your life so you can work less and make more Shari Wynne: co-founder of MWR Legal, a local business law firm serving start-ups, talks about how to remain authentic in your life and business MORE INFO Women Entrepreneur Day 3.10.11, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. | the Long Center Go to riseglobal.org to sign-up

Success c a n h av e a fam ily.

ATTEND AN INFORMATION SESSION

MARCH 17 TH & 31 ST CALL 512.996.4095 OR VISIT US ON THE WEB AND CLICK ATTEND AN EVENT

The Baylor Executive MBA program in Austin meets Monday and Thursday evenings. The 21-month program begins in August.

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on the cover

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Kat Edmonson Edmonson On a Wing

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w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   47


It’s a common question from journalists and interviewers: “What would you tell your 20-something self if you could?” As we grow older, we look back and have those ‘if I knew then what I know now’ moments; often with a bit of melancholy, a longing for a redux, for a second try for the elusive brass ring.

I began singing in my room and writing lyrics to songs when I was only 9 years old.

And then there’s

Katherine

(Kat) Edmonson.

A young woman of 27, Edmonson is not unknown

to Austinites, especially those hip to the music scene. The Houston native is enjoying a steady rise in popularity and respect, not just locally, but nationally, and even internationally. As a chanteuse with her feet firmly grounded and her dreams in flight, Edmonson has opened for Boz Scaggs, Smokey Robinson and Lyle Lovett, and began her quickly burgeoning career out of stubbornness and a deep will to learn. “It never occurred to me that music and songwriting wouldn’t play a central part in my life,” she says over Mexican coffee and migas in the lively Curra’s Grill on Oltorf. Raised by a single mother, Sue Edmonson says her daughter’s extraordinary self-discipline is what’s taken her this far. “Katherine always held herself to doing the very best,” she says. “Sometimes, frankly, she’s too hard on herself. But she uses that energy to research what she’s singing, who she’s listening to, who the musicians are. She’s self-taught, and she’s at it all the time. It’s fascinating to me. I love learning along with her. She’s very sweet to share the knowledge with me.” In fact, Edmonson is teaching herself to play the guitar and brushing up on her rudimentary piano-playing skills. “I was never any good at piano. I can play The Saints Go Marching In,

Let It Be, and a few of the songs I’ve written. I just saw it as a tool to help me work out the melodies to my own songs. I never had the patience to

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truly study the music.” In fact, Edomonson

My mother gave me a stereo with a microphone.

now admits that she’d like to learn more

My best friend and I would sing for hours in my room.

about music theory, and she’s planning to get a piano teacher when she can fit it in. Right now, though, she’s in New York City

Edmonson’s mother also sang jazz when

working on her second album. There’s no

she was in her 20’s, in jazz clubs, but was

time for piano lessons until the album re-

never driven like her daughter. “I really

lease in the fall.

thought until my early 20’s that I wanted to

Edmonson calls herself, and is comfort-

be a professional jazz singer,” says Sue Ed-

When Edmonson graduated from high

able with the title, “singer/songwriter.” “I be-

monson. “But I don’t think I would have ac-

school, only nine years ago, she made plans

gan singing in my room and writing lyrics to

complished what Kat has; she’s got the

to leave Texas. “But I didn’t have the guts to

songs when I was only nine years old,” she

smarts for it – she always knew she had to

leave the south!” So she went to school in

remembers. “My mother gave me a stereo

be better than the others. I don’t think

Charleston, SC to study interior design. “It

with a microphone. My best friend and I

there’s a limit to her success.” In fact, Ed-

was charming and lovely there with the his-

would sing for hours in my room.” Her best

monson has also done some acting, and

torical architecture and cobblestone streets.

friend, Stacey Peterson, remembers those

her mother foresees acting as becoming an

And it was hugely expensive. I had to find a

days fondly. “I couldn’t carry a tune if I tried,

integral part of her career down the road.

job, which I did by going from place-to-place,

but Kat didn’t care. She loved that I would be

“It’s good to have options,” her mother be-

on foot, submitting applications. I was finally

so theatrical with her.” Edmonson is petite –

lieves. “She’s an all-around talent. She likes

hired by Starbucks, on campus.” After her

barely 5’ or 100 lbs. – and Peterson, still living

to go back in time and see the past and

shift would end in the evenings, she’d go over

in Houston, is 5’10”. “We made an odd couple,”

what made others tick.” In fact, Kat Edmon-

with friends to Mama’s Blues Club, and start-

she says laughing. “I never doubted for one

son remembers spending hours growing

ed sitting in with the band there. “I was

minute that she’d be a famous singer one

up watching movies with actors like Fred

hooked,” she says. But not too long after, she

day.” The first song Kat wrote, at age nine,

Astaire, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and

decided out-of-state tuition and Charleston

was Mystery Man; perhaps in homage to her

Debbie Reynolds, then trying to emulate

were killing her financially. Edmonson came

missing father, who that same year had given

their style. “I wasn’t influenced so much by

back to Texas, landing in Austin. “The music

up custody of his daughter. Her parents di-

the music of my time as I was by the old

scene brought me here, plus I’ve always had

vorced when she was only two. “I don’t think

movies from the ‘40s and ‘50s [like High So-

friends here.” With plans to go to ACC for a

of it or him. I guess it would be one thing if I

ciety and Meet Me in St. Louis]. Those mov-

while until she could get into UT, Edmonson

knew him and then he was gone, but you

ies had great music and dance in them,”

enrolled. “I wrote the check to ACC and regis-

don’t miss what you’ve never had,” she con-

she says, realizing that it made her some-

tered. As I was driving home, a song came on

fides. Her mother never remarried.

what of an oddball in school. “I had lots of

the radio – maybe by Charlie Robison, I can’t

friends,” she says, “but I hated school. I

remember – about a girl who would skip

liked theatre and choir, but not class.” In

school to practice for gigs. I realized right then

spite of herself, she made decent grades

that I was on the wrong path. I needed to fo-

and always thought she’d go to college.

cus on my music, not on a bunch of classes I

Things turned out differently.

wasn’t interested in.” She told her mother she wouldn’t be going back to school. She was 19. “She tried to stage an intervention with all of her friends to tell me what a big mistake I was making.

w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   51


One night, while waitressing at Cool River, a customer offered her an idea she couldn’t refuse. “He told me that I should show up on Sunday nights for the Elephant Room’s open jazz mike night.

thought ‘I don’t even know this guy,’ and I didn’t think much of it.” But when they met the following Sunday at the jazz jam, there was immediate chemistry. “The next week,

loved Etta James’ version. He said ‘What key

we played together and started playing to-

is it in?’ and, of course, I didn’t know.” Morde-

gether regularly at the Elephant Room,

cai finally and reluctantly let her go on with

where we quickly established quite a

his band of serious jazz talent for the very last

scene!” And Lovejoy and Edmonson’s friend-

It didn’t stick. There was no stopping me.” In

song, at almost 2 a.m. “As I walked off the

ship turned romantic. Soon, Edmonson quit

fact, that year she made it to the Top 40 on

stage, Mike said ‘You can come back next

her real estate job to focus on her music full-

Amercian Idol, where she was dismissed as

Sunday.’ So she started showing up regularly.

time. She was booking seven or eight gigs a

“too demure.”

She was barely 21. “Without a plan, I kept re-

week, and became known for ‘re-construct-

It was time again to start looking for a day

turning to the Elephant Room. And then I met

ing’ jazz standards and making them her

job to help support her music ‘habit.’ As luck

[renowned Austin jazz trumpeter] Ephraim

own. She’s been compared to Billie Holiday,

(or odd chance) would have it, Edmonson’s

Owens. He came in and listened. After the

though she admits never having been a Holi-

job hunting landed her a position with a well-

gig, he came over to me and said, ‘If you ever

day follower, but also to Peggy Lee and to a

known, fine dining restaurant (to remain un-

need anything at all, please call me.’”

lesser-known, but equally great and compli-

named here) as a bookkeeper. “I went in to

It is said that realizing your dream takes

cated talent, Blossom Dearie. Dearie’s voice

apply for a hostess job, and came out with this

persistence and drive. Edmonson, not short

was small like Edmonson’s, but her vocal

really high-paying, bookkeeping job. I was

of either, began regularly calling and getting

stylings were rich with complex context and

completely intimidated, not to mention hugely

to know all the people in the music scene

languid, original interpretation.

unqualified, but I took it because I wanted the

that she’d ever met, just to check in and

Her romantic relationship with Kevin

money to buy a car.” She did, indeed, buy her-

make conversation. It paid off. People started

ended in the spring of last year. “Those years

self a car shortly thereafter, just in time to find

to notice her. “Then I met Slim Richey. He

with Kevin were intense,” she says, looking

out that the guy who’d hired her had an ulte-

was playing in a band with his wife, and

back. “We were great together musically. But

rior motive. “He hired me because I was inex-

booking gigs around town. We formed a

we did everything together – we formed a

perienced. He was embezzling from the com-

band called The Kat’s Meow.” Since Richey

label to put out our record [her first and only

pany!” That was the end of that job, so she got

had a built-in scene already, the gigs kept

record to date, Take To the Sky on Convivium

a job cocktail waitressing at Cool River while

coming. Then, in a pivotal moment in her

Records, a label owned by Edmonson and

singing nights at the Alligator Grill. “The

slowly rising career, Edmonson met piano

Lovejoy], we wrote songs together,

owner at Alligator started double booking me

virtuoso Kevin Lovejoy. “Ephraim had told

lived together, started a business to-

with another singer – [and] would give the

Kevin about me, as Kevin needed a singer to

gether – it was a lot.” It’s a subject

gig to whomever showed up first – so I quit.”

accompany him.” He called her, fortuitously,

One night, while waitressing at Cool River, a

on the last night of her cocktail waitressing

customer offered her an idea she couldn’t re-

job. “I had quit to take a real estate job as the

fuse. “He told me that I should show up on

assistant to a broker, so my nights would be

Sunday nights for the Elephant Room’s open

free to play out. When Kevin called me, I

jazz mike night. So I did; and that’s the first time I met Mike Mordecai.” Mordecai, known as Austin’s godfather of jazz, was none too happy. “Mike said, ‘What song do you want to sing?’ and I said Stormy Weather because I

52  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1


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that’s visibly difficult for Edmonson to talk about. “Kevin and I have a deep love and respect for each other, beyond anything that’s passed between us,” she says with intent. “It was there from the very beginning. We still work together and care very much about each other.” In fact, Lovejoy traveled last summer with her and his brother (Chris Lovejoy, percussionist) to perform at the Taichung Jazz Festival in Taiwan, China as a trio, at the invitation of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. (Taichung has been deemed a ‘sister city’ to Austin). In the meantime, Edmonson says that she is in the process of discovering the joy of the relationship with self. “I am celebrating the abundance of creativity that I’ve had recently; there’s so much work for me to do.” In talking about her new album, which she will produce on a different label than the first, Edmonson is reflective about her past and her process now. “The first CD I got was The Beach Boys Greatest Hits album, when I was 10. It’s still one of my favorite albums,” she says. So much so, that she will cover one of the songs from The Beach Boys Pet Sounds on the new album. However, the latest work will mostly feature self-written “singer/songwriter”-style music. “It’s only recently that I have taken up the ‘practice’ of songwriting,” she explains. “Whereas before I only wrote when I was inspired, in the last couple of years, I’ve begun to sit down with the intention of writing a song.” Her friend Peterson has faith in her original work. “Because she loves it so much, and always has, I can’t wait to hear her do more of her original work. That’s what really excites me about her talent.” Most things Edmonson

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writes are in her head. “I start with a melody,” she explains, “Simultaneously, I’ll have a word or a phrase in my head, and often times the words and the melody are written together. Then, I pick it out on the piano.”

NONPROFIT SUPPORT “When I quit my day job and became a full-time musician, I had to cancel my very expensive insurance, so I signed up with HAAM. And I use SIMS for counseling when I need it. I really feel I’ve benefited from these organizations, and I will do anything to help support them.” simsfoundation.org healthallianceforaustinmusicians.org

54  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1


The self-produced album (metalliance.

When I started playing clubs where people were quiet and listening,

com/news.php?n=24) will be mixed (like the

I suddenly realized the difference between being treated

first) by legendary engineer Al Schmitt who

respectfully and being ignored and taken for granted.

has worked with greats like Duke Ellington, Lou Rawls, Sam Cooke and Frank Sinatra.

theory. Being around so many amazing musi-

“We have forged a great friendship,” says Ed-

cians helps inspire me to want to learn more.”

monson, who perhaps looks to Schmidt as a

As for her thoughts on how musicians can

father figure. (Her uncle, Stan Edmonson, has

make it, what it’s like to pursue what some

also been a great supporter. When he heard

might see as a ‘foolhardy’ dream, Edmonson

just have the expectation to be a starving

that she was truly committed to her work, he

continues with her conviction. “In general,

artist. I never thought that would be me. I

sent her songbooks and a book about making

musicians are undervalued. People will go to

intended to surpass that. I’ve been broke

your way in the difficult music industry.) She

a location because of the music and atmo-

many times, but starving I am not, and I

will feature some surprise solo artists on the

sphere – take that away and the soul is gone.

don’t ever intend to be.”

record, but “the cast of characters has still not

Musicians are super appreciative when they

Speaking of not starving, Edmonson is a

come together,” she says. “It will be a record

go somewhere that they are truly valued, not

big-time foodie. Her favorite cookbook is The

of mostly originals, and a couple of covers. I

treated like ‘the help.’ When I started playing

Silver Spoon (phaidon.com/silverspoon) and

hesitate to attach a genre to it. It will be my

clubs where people were quiet and listening,

she tweets (@katedmonson) about food dai-

‘own’ little genre,” she says confidently. “I

I suddenly realized the difference between

ly! “I like to have friends over to cook for

don’t want to be boxed in. I have singer-song-

being treated respectfully and being ignored

them. And I have girlfriends who rotate

writer standards, but I’m a lover of good mu-

and taken for granted.”

around to each other’s houses and we have

sic. That’s how I like to be known. I am con-

Financially, Edmonson says it’s been

dinner parties regularly. My mother was a

vinced that this is my path,” she says, and

easier than any other job she’s ever pursued

fantastic cook – she taught me so much

apparently so are her fans. Her record sales

because she believes that “pursuing your

about appreciating and understanding the

for Take to the Sky were on the top of the jazz

passion rewards with abundance. I intended

beauty of food.” It’s a wonder this tiny

charts, and hit it there again after her appear-

to make a living off of this, and a good living

nymph-like woman can eat like she does (her

ance with Lyle Lovett on Jay Leno’s The To-

at that, and I am. As a one woman show, ev-

friend Adam Ahrens says she eats as much

night Show a few months back.

ery bit of money I make essentially goes

as he does, and verifies that she’s a great,

A fan of the Major7 chord, interestingly

back into my biz. Rich and famous, I’m not. I

creative cook) and stays so thin. (Of course,

enough, Edmonson’s lack of jazz background

believe that if I can pay my bills as a musi-

being 27 helps.) “I love jogging around Town

does not deter her. “As an adult, now, I have

cian, I am a success. But I believe that musi-

Lake,” says Edmonson. “I put my iPod on

quite a bit more patience and focus and de-

cians should be able to do more than pay

shuffle and Zen out!”

sire to have a working knowledge of music

your bills. Today, because of the internet, we

Edmonson is primarily gigging on the

have a lot more resources. We can self-pro-

East Coast these days. She’s developed a fol-

duce, self-manage, it’s easier now to find a

lowing in Boston, Philly and New York, where

way to make music lucrative. It’s important

she is now, subletting a place until her record

to have the mentality and intention to suc-

is finished. “I’m distracted in Austin,” she ad-

ceed and make money. I think a lot of artists

mits. “I know too many people and have too

cover story video interview

much fun.” But that doesn’t mean you won’t find her gigging around town. “I love Austin.

Kat Edmonson on her Musical Inspiration + Influences and her future album

It’s my home.”

visit kat online: kat-edmonson.com

Logon today!

austinwomanmagazine.com w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   55


L E A D E R S AT H E A RT Announcing the Seton Heart Institute, the newest member of the most advanced academic health care network in Central Texas. As part of the Seton Family of Hospitals, our cardiologists will share in the educational partnership with UT Southwestern Medical Center, one of the top medical schools in the nation, and scientists and professors at UT Austin to bring innovative clinical research and the most advanced techniques and treatments to Central Texas. To schedule a consultation, please call (512) 324-3440.

56  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1

SetonHeart.com


wow! ofWilliamson County

This Month’s WilCo Landmark:

palm house museum The Palm House Museum would make the perfect Sunday afternoon getaway. Visit and be immersed in Round Rock’s rich history and get useful information about Round Rock. This historic home, built in the 1860s, is now a two-room museum and the local Chamber of Commerce. The kitchen and parlor feature photos and artifacts from Round Rock’s beginnings. The museum also possesses the silver bowl whose lid was blown off during the Sam Bass shoot-out. The museum also doubles as the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center, a handy place to obtain information and assistance with your questions. located at: 212 East Main, Round Rock, TX

w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   57


wow!

women of williamson county

The Power to Ascend Amanda Keeter is not only one of Round Rock’s youngest leaders; she is one of the most inspiring. b y K at y M c I n to s h

A

nyone who claims that young people have no influence has never met Amanda Keeter. Keeter, 27, already has a resume that most middle-aged people would envy, but her life has just begun.

As the development officer for corporate and foundation relations at

Children at Heart Ministries, Keeter fosters supportive relationships and direct funding from Austin-area businesses and private foundations. The Children at Heart Foundation includes seven nonprofits under its umbrella. She lives in Hutto with her husband of four years, Matt, whom she met at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma. One of the organizations Children at Heart supports is the Texas Baptist Children’s Home. Since 1950, Texas Baptist Children’s Home in Round Rock has provided a safe haven for children and families in crisis through its residential programs for both kids and single-mother families. When Keeter was in Kindergarten, she witnessed firsthand the work of Texas Baptist Children’s Home while her parents served as House Parents. Growing up while serving those in need shaped Keeter’s life and her mission. Keeter also gained perspective from her mother’s battle with breast cancer, as well as a disastrous trip to Tajikistan (more on this later). Not only is Keeter excelling at her day job; she is also working on completing her M.B.A. at Concordia University. In her abundant spare time, she serves on multiple boards and committees in Round Rock and created a group of young professionals called “Ascend,” which is limited to 15 young professionals to help them network while making a positive difference in the community. Keeter’s commitment to Round Rock has not gone unnoticed. The Round Rock Chamber awarded her Outstanding Member of the Year and Photo by Allison Notgrass of Focal Point Photographics

Ambassador of the Year. The truly amazing thing about this nonprofit executive isn’t her resume, however. It is that she lives each moment with as much passion and determination as she does humor and grace.

58  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1


austinwoman: How did grow-

learned that the hotel we booked was under

ing up in the Texas Baptist Chil-

construction, and we quickly had to find al-

dren’s Home impact you?

ternative accommodations and safe places

aw: What do you do to keep fit? AK: Jillian Michaels kicks my butt with those workout videos.

Amanda Keeter: My call to serve

to eat before the team arrived. All this while

started then. The people in these homes are

the Ministry of Health and Deputy of Health

not different, just living under different cir-

began a power struggle and threatened to

cumstances. I want to stand up for those

shut down the project. We met with the U.S.

AK: The biggest struggle I face is how to

who have nothing.

Embassy, and with their support, we kept

balance my work and my life. I want to do

the hospitals and Tajik government from

everything, but can’t fit it into a 24-hour day.

breaking up the project. By the end of the

I am learning to put more time into my mar-

trip, I had worked a full month going from 7

riage, because that is what is important. I

aw: So, tell me about the infamous trip to Tajikistan.

aw: What is the biggest struggle you face?

AK: In Oklahoma I worked for a nonprofit

a.m. to 1 a.m. with no weekends off, but in

have to schedule fun. Like, every Thursday

focusing on international programs. Each

the end we had success! We delivered $4.6

night we have pie with another couple and

year we had a major project with the Ameri-

million worth of pharmaceuticals to 11 dif-

play Pinochle. I also struggle with growing

can Association of Family Physicians and

ferent Oblast hospitals, provided two cours-

my hair out! I keep cutting it.

The U.S. Department of State. Weeks prior to

es in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics,

departure, the project manager quit and my

hosted two family medicine symposia, and

boss discovered she had a brain tumor and

did renovation projects in two orphanages.

aw: What were you hoping to accomplish with Ascend? AK: I felt the Chamber was missing

would need immediate surgery. At 23, I flew

aw: If you could go anywhere in

solo to lead the project with leaders from the government and 35 doctors to meet me in

the world, where would you go?

something for young people. I wanted to create a group with quality people who want to

Tajikistan. Fog in Munich cancelled one

AK: I would go back to Tajikistan. I want

make an impact. Anyone between the ages

flight, and the next flight had a reported ter-

to show Matt. That country gave me so much

of 21 and 39 can apply and we choose 15

rorist threat. Finally, landing in Istanbul, I

appreciation for life. The people there are so

people. We meet once-a-month for lunch and

was stranded for five days until the next

grateful. They are welcoming, hospitable

talk to Round Rock leaders. We ask for oppor-

available flight to Dushanbe. To compensate

and generous. I want to go somewhere that

tunities to get involved. The program is a

for my troubles, my employer sent me on a

leaves an impact.

three-year program. I want to empower other people to reach their passion and make a

personal tour of the city, but after my tour guide proposed marriage, all I could think

aw: What is your guilty pleasure?

about was returning to my hotel in one piece.

AK: My girlfriends and I get together and

I finally met my business partner on our

watch The Bachelor and yell at the TV. It is so

flight into Tajikistan, where we quickly

stupid, but we love it!

difference.

Amanda Talks About: Her hobbies “I’m like a granny in a young jumpsuit. I love Lay’s potato chips, gardening and playing cards. I want to become an avid gardener and a painter. I can’t wait to have the time!” Her hubby “We met at an event where the girls took out the guys. Matt was my friend’s date and caught my eye. The next fall we had a social psychology class together. He walked into that class and I felt something I never had. It was like fireworks in there!”

MORE INFO

To find out more about the Children at Heart Foundation, visit childrenatheart ministries.org

Her hectic life “I have a passion to do everything I can do in life. When my parents were sick and I looked at the possibility of losing them, I started to think about life. I never want to pass on an opportunity to aspire to greatness.”

w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   59


5th Annual

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Health - sexual health series - pt. 5

Women Who Love Women Homosexual women speak candidly about accepting their sexual preferences and dispel myths that sexuality is different between homosexual and heterosexual women. b y D a r l i n e T u r n e r - L e e

O

n December 2, 2009, actress Mere-

“I did not want some tabloid to take the

relationship with a woman, she realized that

dith Baxter, best known as Elyse

story and make it up – I wanted it to be in my

she was a homosexual. “Then, everything

Keaton (Michael J. Fox ‘s TV moth-

own words,” Baxter told Matt Lauer.

made sense,” says Baxter.

er) on the ABC hit sitcom Family Ties, ap-

Baxter’s later-in-life revelation put much of

A woman’s awakening to her own sexual-

peared on The Today Show and revealed that

her “relationship” life in perspective. By her

ity has a profound impact on how she per-

she was a lesbian. Baxter, then 62, decided to

own admission, Baxter had difficult relation-

ceives herself and how she interacts

“come out” publicly before a rumored tabloid

ships with men as evidenced by her three

with the world. As has been recount-

“outing” occurred.

marriages. In 2002, after she had her first

ed by many women throughout this

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There is a common (mis)perception that homosexual women are somehow different in their sexual awakenings . According to the women interviewed, this is not the case. series – when women are comfortable with

Sharon

there was not the religious conflict common

themselves as sexual beings and with their

“As a child I would see images of families

in many families. Her gay uncle has been in

own sexuality, they are more confident, more

– moms, dads, kids – and I could not see my-

a relationship for years and she believes this

grounded and more at peace with their place

self in that picture.”

eased her way. Sharon’s one sadness is that

This was the first inkling for Sharon that

she did not have the chance to tell her par-

There is a common (mis)perception that

her sexual preferences were different. Sharon

ents that she is gay. Instead, they found out

homosexual women are somehow different

believes that she was born this way and she

when they found letters between Sharon

in their sexual awakenings. According to

struggled as a child to understand because

and her then girlfriend.

the women interviewed, this is not the case.

she did not have the language with which to

Homosexual women, like their heterosexual

define herself.

in the world.

“My parents are amazing people. My mother was initially crushed because all her

counterparts, also work to figure out what

“I’ve never questioned my sexuality or

dreams for her daughter were lost. My dad

they need in a relationship and what they

sexual preference. It’s just who I am,” she

was more pragmatic. He wasn’t so much

need from a partner, how they feel about

says. While she has been able to accept her-

worried that I am gay as he was worried how

themselves and how best to express these

self, her personal struggle has been, “So,

I’d be treated. I was so touched that he was

feelings to someone else. Homosexual wom-

where do I fit in?”

more concerned about my happiness and my well being than my being gay.”

en and heterosexual women both want to be

In high school, Sharon dated a few guys

loved fully and completely and they want to

but she did not take the relationships seri-

Sharon has been a stable relationship for

fully express who they are without judgment

ously. She never felt comfortable with men.

the past 11 years. Never an activist, Sharon

or preconceived expectations or biases. In

When she developed a crush on her best

seeks to live well “normally” with her part-

very candid interviews, three Austin women

friend, she finally experienced “feeling natu-

ner and any family they decide to create. She

share their stories about how they discov-

ral.” This relationship developed into a two-

would like to see gay relationships normal-

ered their sexuality and the lives they lead

year love affair.

ized, so that gay people are seen as

now. Again, all names have been changed to protect privacy.

Sharon is fortunate her family is extremely supportive. Although raised Catholic,

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people, couples and families, not only as homosexuals.

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Theresa

Dana

Theresa had a more difficult time. From a conservative, religious

It was the contradiction between the “societal norms” and what

family, she was very much bound by convention and her family’s so-

she was feeling that led Dana to examine and face her sexuality.

cial values. She dated boys through high school and college, explored

Raised in a Southern Baptist family, homosexuality was not an option

“sexual expression,” but did not have intercourse. She reserved that for

– not something Dana even contemplated growing up. As a competi-

marriage. After college, she and her boyfriend got engaged as it was

tive athlete, she spent most of her time around girls and women. She

“the next logical step.”

dated as was expected of her, but never had the deep abiding feelings

Theresa’s fiancé told her that she had not experienced enough of life and the world and was initially opposed to the engagement. Ironi-

of love for a man – even the one she was engaged to marry. All of that changed while Dana was in graduate school.

cally, soon after their engagement, Theresa became friends with a

“I was 24-years-old and I found myself having feelings for another

married mom, 17 years her senior. After seven months, they became

woman,” Dana explains. “I didn’t know what to do. I’d never felt any-

lovers. For the first time in her life, Theresa felt “at home.” But she still

thing like this before.”

had not come to terms with her sexual identity.

Dana and the woman eventually established a relationship, but

Theresa married her fiancé. Her family was thrilled, her husband

when things got serious, Dana backed away. “I couldn’t handle it,” she

was happy. For Theresa, “It was the most miserable time of my life.”

says. When an out-of-state job opportunity arose, Dana took it. She

She continued to see her lover and her husband found out about the

maintained the relationship with the woman for a year, but later start-

affair. They tried to work things out, but it was evident that the mar-

ed to see other people – other women.

riage could not work, so they divorced quietly.

Dana found that she is more comfortable in relationships with

“My (ex) husband is a wonderful man,” admits Theresa. “He could

women; she found deeper communication, mutual respect and en-

have been mean or cruel. He didn’t ‘out’ me. He respected my need to

couragement to pursue her career aspirations, rather than to curb her

stay in the closet at that time.”

ambitions in favor of a home and family. She is now in a longstanding

Theresa moved in with her lover (who left her family) yet told every-

relationship with a woman and they have a child.

one they were simply “roommates.” They stayed together for seven years. She eventually cheated on her lover who later moved out and refused to “live a dishonest life.”

According to Austin women, a woman’s sexuality encompasses far more than her physical appearance and her ability to engage in

Theresa finally came to terms with herself, her sexuality and her

sexual activities. A woman’s sexuality encompasses self-awareness

choices when she met her current lover of nearly 10 years. “I finally

and the ability to share her whole self with a partner. A woman with

found my match and I am finally at peace with who I am,” she says.

a “healthy” sex life and in a satisfying sexual relationship is able to

Her new lover would not put up with Theresa’s covert lifestyle. With

share fully with her partner physically and emotionally without fear

her help, Theresa eventually wrote letters to her family and explained

of judgment or rejection. All of the women interviewed admitted that

that she is a lesbian. Her announcement was met with a mixture of

they never experienced sexual satisfaction until they were complete-

anger and confusion.

ly satisfied with and accepting of themselves – regardless of sexual

“My family is still trying to reconcile their love for me with their

orientation. When they let go of societal expectations such as age,

strong religious beliefs,” Theresa explains. “They have definitely soft-

appearance, marital status and sexual orientation, women found the

ened since I initially told them, accepting us and our child, but they,

freedom to not only explore what they wanted sexually, but the cour-

like me, are still a work in progress.”

age to go for it and to settle for nothing less. Now, that’s sexy!

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ART

Beili Liu

An Artist Bridging Cultural Differences b y M a r i ly n M c C r ay

Beili Liu + Lure/Wave at ArtPrize 2010 by romain blanquart

B

eili Liu was born in the small Chinese fishing village of Jilin, to an engineer and elementary school principal. Her parents were members of China’s Lost Generation who had been sent to rural areas by Chairman Mao Tsetung during the Cultural Revolution. Later, the family moved to Shenzhen, one of China’s newly-created Special Economic Zones, near Hong Kong. Fueled by foreign investment, the modern cityscape was a stark contrast from the traditional village in the countryside. “I witnessed a lot of change,” she remembers. “We lived in Shenzhen for about four or five years before I moved to America. All these changes and my past experience inf luence my work. My work addresses these

72  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1

shifts in cultural experiences.” Liu studied Chinese Literature at Shenzhen University, but loved art, particularly drawing. In 1995, she made the decision to move to the United States in search of an arts experience that was not available in China at the time. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee with a degree in graphic design and went on to graduate school. “I was an artist with an interest in continuing to study and that’s what going to the University of Michigan afforded me,” Liu reflected. “In graduate school, my work was called into space.” She explored mixed media and sculpture, creating site-specific, three-dimensional installation  works, designed to transform a viewer’s percep-

tion within a defined space. “Installation art is really creating an environment that we can experience,” said Liu. “People can enter and be immersed in work within the space. Space is something perhaps other worldly, not coming from everyday experience.” As an Asian American artist in the United States, Liu focuses on her cross-cultural experience. The traditions of China inform her work. She has explored concepts like the spirit money, burned for Chinese ancestors in the afterworld in installation works like Origin and the ancient Chinese game of territory control in GO. A group of installations, The Red Thread Legend series, is inspired by an ancient Chinese legend about the human connection formed by the invisible red threads


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It is the one point that is culturally focused where I draw on the similarities between East and West to bring p e o p l e ’s a t t e n t i o n t o h o w w e r e l a t e .

that join children at birth to those who they are destined to meet in life. A prolific creator, her works have been exhibited extensively, throughout the United States, Europe and in China. She took Lure/Return, one of the Red Thread installations to Shanghai in 2009. “It was very well-received. People were surprised and pleased as they entered the gallery, recognizing their story and responding to my translation,” said Liu. “It is the one point that is culturally focused where I draw on the similarities between East and West to bring people’s attention to how we relate.”

She embraces a wide variety of materials, some not very traditional art-making media. Her work depends upon her connection to the materials. Artist Beili Liu: “I think that every material has some“I think that every material has something to offer and has something to say. thing to offer and has something to say.” Some decisions come intuitively and I wait for the moment of surprise,” Liu said as she describes the process. Thread, wool, wax, wire, recycled wood, burned paper, adobe, water and salt crystals all become materials for her work. Liu is creating a new site-specific work, The Mending Project for the space at Women and Their Work. The installation consists of thousands of very traditional Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, pointed downwards, dominating the space. The scissors, forged from black iron with razor-sharp pointed blades form a menacing mass above the performer, Liu, who sits below, performing the simple task of mending. As each visitor enters the space, one is asked to cut off a piece of the white cloth hung near the entrance and offer the cut section to the performer. She continuously sews the cut pieces onto the previous pieces. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, forming a soft new shape on the vast area of the floor beneath the scissors. These scissors are used in each household as a common, humble hand tool and have a cultural significance in China. They are also seen as powerful weapons that should never be pointed at people because that gesture brings ill fortune. This intrusive power is well respected in Feng Shui practices throughout Chinese history. In times of need, they had often been used an effective makeshift weapon for women. “I’ve had this interest in these scissors for many years, about how I could use them,” said Liu. “As a woman artist, I am thinking about it very intuitively, scissors, thread, needles. Threading needles for so long, that it seemed very fitting to sew underneath the scissors.”

74  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1

An offer for a position as assistant professor in the School of Fine Arts at The University of Texas in 2008 brought Liu and her husband, Blue Allen Way to Austin. Although friends questioned the wisdom of leaving Michigan for Texas, the couple reassuringly reminded those who inquired that Austin really isn’t Texas. Settling in, they share a home with large pecan trees and two cats, Lu Lu and Tao Tao. They enjoy hiking the greenbelts and exploring the local food scene. Liu and Way begin each day with a cup of tea, reviewing various projects. Way is an award-winning wood worker who designs furniture and is also Liu’s installation manager. He manages the details, working out the technical and engineering aspects of her diverse installations. Several times a year, they travel together to destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia, because the nature of her work requires that they go and install together. When people ask how Liu can do so many shows a year, she smiles and replies, “I say that I have a really good in-house expert.” The Mending Project Women and Their Work 1710 Lavaca, Austin TX 78701 512.477.1064 February 26 - April 2, 2011 Opening Reception: Thursday, March 3, 6-8pm M-F 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 12-5 p.m. Free and open to the public womenandtheirwork.org beililiu.com For an exclusive, in-depth Q+A with Beili Lui about her work and inspiration, go to austinwomanmagazine.com


Too many women die each year because they are unaware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer. One in three women suffers in silence, and almost one woman dies every minute of this largely preventable disease. That’s why women across our community are making it their mission to fight heart disease, joining St. David’s HealthCare to promote the Go Red For Women® campaign in Central Texas. Go Red and Go Red for Women are trademarks of AHA. Red Dress Design is a trademark of U.S. DHHS. Photo by Korey Howell.

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worth

Tax Moves to Make Now The April tax filing deadline is approaching, but you still have time to make some moves that could make the task a little easier – and less costly. b y S . K ay B e ll

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Internal Revenue Service. Even better, there are still some things you can do between now and April 18th to make tax time a little easier and possibly reduce your tax bill. Taxes, There’s an App for That If you have a smartphone, you have tax help, information and even filing at your fingertips. Intuit, maker of TurboTax, has taken the tax software mobile with the smartphone application SnapTax. Available for both iPhones and Androids, it uses image-recognition technology to read information from your W-2. After you answer a few questions and review your return, hit “file now” and you’re done. You can download SnapTax for free, but it’ll cost you $14.99 when you use it to e-file your return. The one downside of SnapTax is that it’s available only taxpayers who file Form 1040-EZ and then only to those filers who make $80,000 or less. After you file, track the status of your return with IRS2Go, the IRS’s first venture into the mobile tax world. The app, free in both iPhone and Android iterations, will tell you when you can expect your refund. Or, if you’re still working on your return, IRS2Go offers tax tips.

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Dictionary of Tax Terms for

Tend to Your Retirement

iPhone and Blackberry does just

While most tax moves that could cut your

what its name indicates. It’s a reference for

2010 tax bill had to be made by the end of last

complex tax terminology.

year, there still are a couple of retirement-relat-

Dr. Taxes for iPhone answers tax

ed actions you can take now.

questions about deductions, deadlines and

You have until the filing deadline, April 18th

many other tax issues, culled from the most

this year, to make IRA contributions that

common tax-related questions.

count for the 2010 tax year.

Shoeboxed for iPhone helps you

You can contribute up to $5,000 to a tradi-

organize your receipts. Take photographs of

tional IRA, Roth IRA or combination of the

the documents, add notations and categorize

two. If you’re age 50 or older, you can contrib-

them so you won’t miss any deductible ex-

ute up to $6,000. Remember, these are maxi-

penses.

mum amounts. If you made less than your

iDonatedIt for iPhone helps you track and value your noncash charitable donations.

contribution cap, then you can only contribute up to the amount of money you earned. If you make an IRA contribution by the April deadline, be sure to tell the account manager

E-file, Free File

which tax year the retirement contribution is for.

If you’re not able or ready to file your taxes

Otherwise, the financial institution could as-

from your phone, you still have money-saving

sume it’s for 2011 and report that to the IRS. This

options.

could pose problems if you had planned to take

More than 70% of U.S. taxpayers last year

a deduction on your 2010 taxes.

e-filed and tax software manufacturers are

Contributions to a Roth IRA aren’t deduct-

making deals to lure customers. Many offer

ible, but the money is not taxed when with-

free tax preparation and free or nominal

drawn in retirement. Each year, many tradi-

charge e-filing for taxpayers who use the com-

tional IRA owners convert those accounts to

panies’ online products. In these cases, in-

Roths to get future tax breaks.

stead of buying software and loading it onto

If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth

your PC, you go to a company’s website and

but have since changed your mind, you have

use the software there.

time to reverse that decision. You have until

Free tax preparation and e-filing also is available through the IRS’s Free File program.

Oct. 17 to move the amount converted to a Roth IRA back into a pretax account.

This partnership between the government

Now, are you ready to file your taxes? If

and tax software manufacturers who are

you’re still not quite there, that’s OK. You still

members of the Free File Alliance is in its

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ninth year.

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Free File is open to taxpayers with 2010 adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less, re-

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Get the latest tax tips and general financial advice from S. Kay Bell @ dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com

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w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   79


PROFILE

arr B NONE

b y S h e l b y O ’ N e i ll

Austin’s Barr Mansion, the first certified organic events facility in the nation, bounces back after disaster, thanks to the dedication of owner Melanie McAfee.

The Historical Barr Mansion Photo by Andy Peterson of Studio 563

T

o say 2010 was a tough year for Mela-

flipping houses for profit. Her next project

being pregnant and barely being able to

nie McAfee is an understatement.

became a dilapidated mansion off the Sprin-

walk around. I did all the cooking for the

She lost her sister and mother, got di-

kle Cutoff in northeast Austin.

weddings for many years. I did the flowers

vorced, and, on June 9 th, lightning struck and

“This house was one that I was going to

and everything, I’ve worn every hat here.”

burned to the ground the artisan ballroom of

fix up, but I fell in love with it and didn’t want

After securing historic registration for

Barr Mansion, the wedding venue she’s

to let it go,” she recalled. “It was a pretty big

Barr Mansion, McAfee took up the hat of

owned for the past three decades.

financial commitment, so the house had to

activist.

“2010 was the bad year,” McAfee said.

go to work. It was known in the neighbor-

“In the ‘90s, there was this national stir-

“That was my year that I am so glad is over,

hood as ‘the haunted house,’ so we had a lot

ring to rethink our food,” she said. “I had 10

so 2011 is looking good.”

to overcome.”

years of business under my belt by then

McAfee and her half-dozen employees

Weddings seemed like a natural fit for

and had been waking up to what was go-

worked nearly around the clock for months

the stately home and the grounds, but first,

ing on. My kids were in elementary school,

to supervise construction of the new ball-

McAfee had to put her carpentry skills to

so I got very involved in the school program

room while maintaining the historic man-

use, recreating the original wraparound

wanting there to be healthy lunches. I

sion and its grounds in preparation for their

porch and gingerbread-detail and even in-

think I was a little ahead of my time, in-

February re-opening, which will also mark

stalling the house’s first indoor restroom.

spired by Alice Waters and this organic

the venue’s 30th anniversary.

She, her husband and their eventual brood

standard that was happening. I tried to in-

of three kids also called Barr Mansion home

corporate that into the schools, but that

during those years.

ended up with chicken fingers and pizza, of

In 1981, McAfee was married, pregnant and looking for a job. She had graduated from The University of Texas with an Eng-

“I raised my children in this house,”

lish degree but worked in renovation,

McAfee said. “I can remember cooking and

80  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1

course, so I threw myself into the business.”


With her children at school and growing, McAfee began to pour more and more time into the business and soon made the decision to expand the venue by adding a ballroom to the property. She also joined the fight for the creation and adoption of organic standards, which ended up heavily influencing the ballroom’s design. “I was so involved with organics, that I wanted the building to reflect those passions,” she explained. “I wanted everything to be really touchy-feely. I wanted everything to come from the earth.” Examples of those earthy touches included the ballroom’s thatched roof, which was imported from Turkey and thatched together by English workers. The artisan ballroom opened in 2000, and business boomed. McAfee and her Barr Mansion team, which soon grew to include her daughter Abbey as the on-site florist, worked an average of two-tothree weddings each weekend. “The weekends that are the hardest are the weekends when we have five,” said Keegan O’Connell, one of the two wedding planners currently on staff at Barr Mansion. “We’ll have one on Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday, but never two at the same time. In 2007, McAfee finally achieved her dream of becoming the first certified organic events facility in the entire nation. The next year, the grounds earned organic certification too. On June 9 th, 2010, all that progress literally went up in flames. McAfee, no longer living on the property, received a call from a neighbor that lightning had struck the ballroom. The local wedding and environmental community rallied behind the Barr Mansion crew by throwing a fundraiser, and Marquee Rents offered a discount on a structured tent, which stood in for the ballroom until it could be rebuilt. Some brides cancelled, once they learned of the fire, but others stuck with McAfee and her team.

w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   81


We’re here .. ttle. i L s ’ e f i L r o f

s n i a r Sp

...and all of Life’s Little Stitches. Allergies. Fractures. Burns. Cuts. Colds. Coughs.

“I was blown away at how well Barr Mansion handled the whole situation concerning

“Everyone in the community was so won-

married at the venue on Nov. 11. “I can’t even

derful at a time when we were really hurt-

begin to say how wonderful everyone was to

ing,” she said. “We’re so excited that we were

work with and how attentive and under-

able to pull it off and want to thank the com-

standing they were.”

munity for all the support they gave us.”

Adrienne Tessler, who had her wedding at Barr Mansion on Oct. 3rd, agreed. “Melanie was so nice and pleasant. You could just tell that the family loved to throw weddings and that doing them perfectly was their specialty. My first reaction to hearing the news about the fire was, of course, to cry, but my second working with the caring and talented staff of

No appointment necessary Most insurance accepted Physician on duty at all times Computerized X-Ray on premise

Barr Mansion.” The venue closed for December and January, giving the employees more time to restore Barr Mansion to its former glory. “We’ve become a little army to overcome everything we’ve been through,” McAfee said. “Everyone’s been so good about wearing lots of hats. We’ve had cooks painting the porch.” With construction on the new ballroom nearly completed (see sidebar), McAfee

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Barr Mansion.

the fire,” said Tahnee Thompson, who got

was to thank my lucky stars that we were

Open 8am-11pm Every Day

looked forward to all that 2011 will bring for

Artisan Ballroom in progress

How to Book a Barr Mansion Event Barr Mansion’s new ballroom opened in February, so now brides and others interested in events at the venue have multiple configuration options. One of the most popular options for Barr Mansion brides is to have the wedding ceremony in the rose garden, the cocktail hour around the patio, group photos on the lawn and the reception in the ballroom. The wedding party also has use of the mansion, giving brides a beautiful place to get ready.


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w w w. A u s t i n P e r m a n e n t M a k e u p . c o m

Owner Melanie McAfee Photo by Andy Peterson of Studio 563

When it comes to luxury transportation, we exceed our customers expectation.

A Sneak Peek Inside the New Ballroom While the ballroom’s first incarnation focused on materials from the earth, the new ballroom had a different inspiration. “This time the focus is [on] the future of organics,” owner Melanie McAfee explained. “Organics [are] changing so I tried to be much more local-oriented and look at the carbon footprint.” With an energy-neutral focus, importing another thatched roof from thousands of miles away no longer made sense. Instead, the new ballroom is roofed with galvalume, a recycled material with a low carbon-footprint. The signature curtain-wall, which was lined with single-paned windows in the original, will now be covered with double-paned windows to reduce energy expenditures. LED lights will replace the original paper lanterns and twinkle lights, and McAfee has met with local artists to design new lighting fixtures out of found materials. She also added a pizza oven that burns mined clay instead of wood, making it require less fuel than any other type of oven. She hopes to debut a line of organic pizzas, which will surely delight many grooms. Finally, increased square footage upped the seated dinner capacity to 200. “We’ve done everything differently, but it has the same look and spirit of the original,” McAfee said.

MORE INFO For more info or to schedule a tour, contact Keegan or Rick at Barr Mansion at 512.926.6907 or go to barrmansion.com

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vintage décor

Repurposed Vintage Finds b y k at e s ta ff o r d

old door plates as art: Looking for something easy to fill that small space in your kitchen or by the stairs? I found three old door plates at a favorite antique store of mine and simply put a nail through the holes on the top and hung them together in a row. It’s a subdued statement, but catches people’s eye as they walk by my awkward small wall space – now not so awkward but artfully displayed.

tin ceiling tile boards: What a fun way to organize your desk space! Find a small or large vintage ceiling tile and hang it above your desk. Then, get some cute magnets and start placing to do lists or inspiring pictures and quotes to keep you working. Ceiling tiles come in many different sizes and styles, from simple to ornate.

card catalogue storage: I love the long, slender rectangle of an old library card catalogue drawer. Either place them on your desk to collect mail and important papers, or hang a collection of them on your wall for additional shelving. Drawers in a scuffed-up, knotty wood could bring that old-world feel to your home or a metal drawer could modern it up with an industrial flavor.

architectural pieces: Found some amazing old architectural pieces at an estate sale that have just been sitting in your garage because you just don’t know what to do with them? Give these little gems a new story by bringing them to your shelves of books as bookends.

embroidery hoop frames: Tired of all the rectangular frames on your walls? Mix it up by using an old embroidery hoop to frame a unique piece. I put a frameless frame inside of an old hoop I picked up from a vintage store and then placed more around it to create a clever collection. Or add it to another mix of rustic frames to add interest with the circular shape.

84  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1

vintage lamp: You can take just about anything to a lamp specialty store and get it wired to be a lamp. I spotted a jar at an antique store in Austin and used it as a floral centerpiece for my brother’s rustic wedding, but then had other ideas for it!


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w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   85


LOVE

[Ask Lois] Infidelity b y Lo i s G o o d m a n

Q:

My husband and I

have

had

a

rocky marriage for a while. A few weeks ago, I

found out that he was seeing someone else. I was devastated. I thought that maybe we could go to therapy and work on it, but he isn’t interested.

A:

While I am a big supporter of the genders being more alike than different, this is an area that is an exception to the rule. I am about to give a vast generalization, which from what you state here, most likely applies: When women get out of relationships, they usually go through

Now he’s moving out and I fear that

a grieving period. They spend time by themselves doing some form of personal work

we are headed for divorce. Do you

before they even consider getting into another relationship. This doesn’t mean

think there is anything I can do to

they aren’t lonely. They are, but they move through the stages of grief alone,

turn this around?

knowing they are not their best self.

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“LIfe Is for ceLebrATIng, every chAnce you geT.”

–MArco Head Maitre d’

busIness MeeTIngs

When men feel a relationship is over and there is no chance of change, they seek out

WeDDIngs

tionship’s demise.

a new partner. The relationship is usually

Break-ups are horrible. The only real up-

over in the male mind before any discussion

side is the opportunities they present to

of separation or divorce takes place. Most

grow from our mistakes. Not making chang-

men need what I call a “bridge to the other

es from the lessons learned may create the

side,” whereas women will usually swim

same outcome when love presents itself

across the turbulent river.

again. It can also promote an environment

Of the men who have affairs, only 12% cheat because they would do it no matter

specIAL occAsIons

tim and doesn’t look at her part in the rela-

of fear and distrust which will make it impossible to ever find a healthy relationship.

what. (It is who they are.) This means that

If your husband doesn’t want to go to

88% of men cheat for an emotional reason.

therapy, he is done. I believe he detached

The excuse most men give for having an af-

and emotionally left a long time ago. I sug-

fair is that they “can’t win” in the marriage.

gest you work on what the real issues were

In the case of your husband, it is highly pos-

in your relationship by yourself. What cou-

sible that he hit the “can’t win, game over”

ples therapy does for a relationship is multi-

before you had a chance to realize what was

faceted. Even if it means getting a divorce

going on.

in the end; having a third party help both

The biggest problem with men having

partners reach a shared reality about the

an affair before the actual break-up is that

truth of what really happened is invaluable.

from all appearances, the reason that the

I hope you both can sit down at some point

marriage broke up was because of another

and reach some kind of mutual understand-

woman. The real issues of the break-up

ing around what led to the divorce. In the

which happened much earlier never get ad-

long run, it will be the win of what will ap-

dressed. The woman sees herself as a vic-

pear to be a horrendous loss.

Q:

I left a 10-month relationship in order to check out someone I had been emailing. I felt like in the original relationship we didn't have enough in common. I thought that the new one had more to offer and we had many things in common that we both enjoyed. In the end, the new relationship didn't go the way I had wanted,

so now I am going back to the first one. Do you think that is wise? No. I think going back to that relationship is settling. If it wasn't good enough to hold your attention the first time, it isn't worth having at any time. The fact that you were even emailing someone else while

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you were in the first one should have been enough of an indication that you weren’t happy, but then, on top of that, you were willing to leave. Having an unsatisfying relationship is far worse than being

:A

alone. I suggest that you be by yourself for a while. You need to learn to love yourself and your own company. Coming to a relationship from a place of desire and completeness, rather than from need, means you will never consider settling for less again.

Send your relationship and love questions to asklois@austinwomanmagazine.com.

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w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   89


UNCORKED

b y Cl a u d i a Al a r c ó n

East End Wines:

The little wine shop that could Even though opening an independent wine shop during an economic downturn was a risky prospect, local wine aficionado Matt Miller decided it had to be done.

I

90  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1

first met Matt Miller when he was work-

The setting could not be more ideal, a his-

ing as a wine steward and buyer at Cen-

toric East Austin home surrounded by land-

tral Market Westgate. He had been

scaped grounds and a sizable parking lot at

thrown into the wine arena by pure chance,

the confluence of 11th Street and Rosewood

working part-time as a delivery driver for a

Avenue. Originally constructed in 1890, the

small wine shop in downtown Austin while

building is landmarked as the Haynes-

studying computer science at The University

DeLashwah House, named after two of its

of Texas. Intrigued by the intricacies of wine,

first occupants: one of the first Austin city

he began to explore more seriously to further

councilmen and the first African-American

his knowledge of varietals and regions. During

pharmacist, respectively. Inside, the sights

his six-year tenure at Central Market, he devel-

are even more stunning, a wonderland for

oped his customer service skills and learned

oenophiles with every single wall lined floor-

the inner workings of a large-scale retail busi-

to-ceiling with wine bottles. Each wall is

ness. He also learned, (in his words), “how to

dedicated to a different region, with the front

bridge the gap between geeky wine-snob land

room holding New World wines arranged by

and everyday enthusiast.” I came to trust his

varietal according to the labels, including

recommendations, including the wines he

some from the best Texas wineries. As you

placed at the short-lived and much missed

walk through the house, you find Old World

A22, Central Market’s little wine bar. Our paths

wines classified by region, a large section on

crossed again during my two-year stint as a

Champagne and other sparkling wines, and a

wine sales representative, after Miller had

small section of dessert wines. In the side

moved on to run a small wine program at an

room, there are coolers with ready-to-drink

independent liquor store in West Austin, where

whites and a good selection of beers, plus

he had the freedom to buy and sell wines he

wine accessories and gifty things. To help

believed in and liked. In this environment, he

him select the 800-plus labels available at the

began to think as a patron rather than a retail-

shop, Miller recruited longtime friend Sam

er, and eventually the inevitable happened: the

Hovland as wine buyer. Hovland has been

idea of his very own wine shop. On April 17,th

part of the Austin food and wine industry for

2010, East End Wines held its grand opening to

over 20 years, working at the Austin Wine

the public in a property bought by the Miller

Merchant in the late ‘90s, and later as a wine

family in July of 2009.

buyer and consultant for a number of


restaurants. He has worked with

Join Our Nightly Celebration of Food, Wine & Memorable Times

the prestigious Headliners Club since 2000, managing the wine list, dealing with about 40 local wine representatives and suppliers, and maintaining the wine cel-

JO CL DE Au VE TR BL IN PE SP RE

lars for the club. Given the combined experience of these two young men, it is no wonder that the selection at

Pu

East End Wines is to die for, a dream for connoisseurs looking for

DP

rare finds and specific bottles, and

Job

a place where new wine drinkers

Fin

can learn and discover. “Every wine [at the shop] has been tasted

Liv

and selected for shelf placement

Ble

by me and Sam,” says Miller. Their careful attention to detail guarantees that when you ask a question, you will get an informed answer that will help you buy the right bottle for the right occasion. Every Friday evening, they host tastings with different themes, whether it’s seasonal arrivals, a visiting wine-

FlemingsSteakhouse.com

maker or a specific wine region. Thanks to their licensing, they can sell and open any bottle on premise, although Hovland is quick to point out that, “We are not a wine bar, we are a store where you can drink.” Indeed, there is no by-theglass program or seating inside

Fleming’s features the finest prime steaks and an award-winning list of 100 wines by the glass. Join us for cocktails & appetizers after work or enjoy an evening with family & friends in our lively, relaxed atmosphere.

the store, but any bottle of beer or wine can be enjoyed outdoors on one of their picnic tables or to sip while you shop. To get you in the mood and give you some guidance to start, Miller and Hovland share some of their current picks here. Make sure to stop by and pay a visit to this one-of-akind wine lovers’ paradise.

11600 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin The Domain 512-835-WINE (9463) 320 East Second Street, Austin Downtown 512-457-1500 w w w . a u s t i n w o m a n m a g a z i n e . c o m   91


Matt’s picks

WHITE UNDER $15

Sam’s picks

This past year I had a bit of a love affair with the

Podere del Giuggiolo ‘09. This is a great

Rayun Chardonnay 2009 from Chile. It is uno-

bottle, with a balance of mineral and fruit that makes

aked, yet has a lovely lemon cream note and a crisp

it versatile for food pairing. A steal at $10.47.

finish. It is organic and refreshing, while still retaining varietal character. $9.77.

RED

I love value wines from the South of France, and

Masi Tupungato Paso Doble Malbec/

UNDER $15

one on the top of that list is the Chateau d’Oupia

Corvina ‘09. Italian producer Masi makes a wine in

Les Heretiques 2008. A blend of Syrah and

Argentina that is reminiscent of Valpolicella Ripasso

Carignane, it has ample blackberry and plum flavors

while involving Malbec. Neat trick. $14.97.

with a soft, dusty finish. Our price: $9.97.

BEST

Black Ridge Pinot Noir at $9.97. It is tough

Barnett Pinot Noir Tina Mare Vine-

VALUE

to find Pinot Noir that tastes like Pinot Noir at this

yard 08. High-end California Pinot Noir from the top

price, and this is a pure, simple expression of the

of Spring Mountain, made better as it gets more com-

grape. Its cherry and cola flavors are hard not to like;

plex with bottle age. This bargain just caught my eye.

it finishes clean and dry and is quite drinkable on its

$34.97.

own or with light fare.

WINE

Louis Perdrier Brut Rosé. You can never go

Graham Beck Brut Rose NV. Chardonnay/

FOR

wrong with bubbles, especially pink bubbles, and at

Pinot Noir. Color from skin contact. Toast. Very light

DATE

$9.77 a bottle, it is easy on the wallet while still retain-

salmon color. Pretty cherry & ripe strawberry. A huge

NIGHT

ing a bit of class. If you want to spend a bit more, the

amount of bang for buck. Persistent. Apple skin. Earth

Graham Beck Brut Rosé is one of our favorites as well.

from the Pinot Noir. $17.97

PICNIC

The Gelisi Antonio Prosecco is a perfect

Uma Torrontes 2010. Flavors of white flow-

WINE

match with soft cheeses and fresh fruit on a warm

ers like honeysuckle along with some white peach.

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Just the right weight and fruit – we drank a lot of this

with a dry finish to compliment its fruity character.

over the summer! $7.97

Our price: $13.97.

OBSCURE,

I have to agree with Sam on this one. The Bres-

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UNUSUAL,

san Schioppettino 2004 may be my favorite

Only a tiny amount of the output of Chinon is white,

OR

wine in the shop. Bressan has become an industry fa-

from Chenin Blanc. This is a great example, with

SPECIAL

vorite producer, and deservingly so; the wine is com-

bright acidity, focused fruit, and a nice mineral back-

BOTTLE

plex with black pepper, rich fruit and earth tones. It

bone to carry it. The Bressan Schioppettino

appeals to both New World and Old World tastes. Our

‘04 from NE Italy. Awesome stuff, tiny production,

price: $43.97.

from a very interesting producer. Serveaux Pinot Meunier Brut NV. 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne. Dense red fruit balanced by the acidity, this is intense but elegant wine. Pretty amazing. $59.27

MORE INFO: East End Wines | 1209 Rosewood Ave. | 512.904.9056 | eastendwinesatx.com 92  austinwoman m a r c h 2 0 1 1


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WeDDIngs

aw happenings

TIARA TUESDAY First Tuesday of every month Austin-Domain 10910 Domain Drive Austin, TX 78758 s p o n s o r e d by: 512-501-7880

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Maggiano’s Little Italy | @ The Domain Launch of our monthly issue silent auction + charity prize giveaway

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calendar

march 2011 1

2

Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery presents “Best of Texas” March 1 – April 9, 2011 Reception: March 4, 6 - 9 p.m. Gallery hours: Tues. - Sat.: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. 1137 West 6th St. russell-collection.com

Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Spring Self-Renewal Retreat Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa led by nationally-recognized career/life balance coach and author Renee Trudeau 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. To register visit reneetrudeau.com

Harry Ransom Center presents Poetry on the Plaza: Culture Unbound Free - Noon hrc.utexas.edu/memevents

Kahramana presents Rakasa Revue Belly Dance Showcase Honors International Women’s Day with a Fundraiser for Women Survivors of War 8 p.m. Adult admission: $20 advance/$25 cash at the door Children 6 and up: $5 advance/$5 cash at the door Children 5 and under: Free Gemini Playhouse 5214 Burleson Road #209 kahramana.info

North Hills Gallery presents “Life Patterns” by Members of the 620 Group     March 2 - April 3 Reception March 6, 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sun. 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Closed Sat. 7050 Village Center Drive

3

Conspirare presents The BIG SING 6 p.m. – Free Northwest Hills United Methodist Church conspirare.org 512.476.5775

5

ART on 5th presents Limited Editions from Local Favorite Paul Stankiewicz 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 1501 W. 5th St. arton5th.com Concordia University’s College of Business presents the “Conversations With …” Speaker Series The Role of Big Businesses in Austin presented by Allyson Peerman, Vice President of Public Affairs for AMD and Russell Bridges, Government and Community Affairs Manager for 3M Austin 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. concordia.edu/speakerseries Girlfriend Getaway Weekend Enjoy a weekend of inspiration with outstanding speakers Fri., March 4 4 p.m. - Sat., March 5 at 5 p.m. Tickets for Saturday only $249.00; $299 for the full weekend girlfriendgetaway.eventbrite.com Email susan@flourishover50.com or call 512.843.2250

Go Red For Women® Summit Fri., March 11th, 8:30am - 1pm @ Downtown Hilton The morning concludes with a heart healthy lunch and dynamic keynote speaker. To attend, contact kay. weldon@heart.org or visit heart.org/ austintxgoredluncheon

12

Celebrando Austin! 7 - 11 p.m. Hilton Austin Hotel 500 East 4th Street Tickets individual $110, couple $205, $1,000 for a table of 8 celebrandoaustin.org

11

South by Southwest (SXSW) March 11 - 20 Interactive, Film and Music Conference sxsw.com/attend

22

TAG Talent ‘Unofficial’ SXSW Party In support of Reel Women and ATA (Animal Trustees of Austin) Karma Lounge 119 West 8th Street 8 p.m. – 3 a.m. Sun. 3/13

15

American Society of Women Accountants-Austin Chapter Open to women in business, finance and accounting-related fields Meets the third Tuesday of each month, 6 - 8 p.m. Networking, Dinner, Speaker and CPE 512.589.8852 or aswaaustin.org for details

Reel Women Dialogues A Conversation with SXSW Women: Visiting Festival Directors, Producers and Filmmakers. 7 p.m. - Free Picture Box Studios 701 Tillery Street, Suite A-7, 78702

                 

Yoga Yoga presents Yoga by Donation Classes 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Yoga Yoga Northwest 12001 Burnet Rd. 78758 yogayoga.com Texas Outdoor Woman Network (TOWN) meeting Open to women interested in outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking, and more! 6 p.m. LCRA Red Bud Complex; 3601 Lake Austin Blvd in room RBC 225 townaustin.org WEBINAR: Discover Your Strengths – A Myers-Briggs MBTI® Roadmap for Career Development 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. - FREE forwomenssake.com

Friends of Bright Leaf presents Guided Hikes March - 12 and 13 Meet at 9 a.m. Meet at the parking lot off 2222 and Creek Mountain Road. brightleaf.org

Yoga Yoga presents Yoga Yoga Teacher Training Open House 10 a.m. - Noon Yoga Yoga South - 1700 S. Lamar RSVP to training@yogayoga.com For information, visit yogayoga.com Reel Women’s First Monday Mix – The Stompin’ Grounds 3801 S. Congress Ave. 6 - 8 p.m.

18

25

Travis County Master Gardeners presents Chickens in the Garden Saturday, 10 a.m. - Noon Zilker Botanical Garden 2220 Barton Springs Rd. tcmastergardeners.org

Explore UT 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. The University of Texas at Austin campus utexas.edu/events/exploreut/

7

The Natural Epicurean presents Open House for the Upcoming Professional Culinary Tracks 10 a.m. - Noon The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts, 1700 S. Lamar RSVP to culinary@naturalepicurean.com For information, visit naturalepicurean.com

16

What Women Need to Know About Divorce 2nd Saturday of each month. This workshop is designed as a resource to help women take the next step, no matter where they are in the process of untying the knot. 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. 512.732.1244 AustinDivorceWorkshop.com

Viva Las Vegas Benefiting AIDS Services of Austin and its Capital Area AIDS Legal Project 8 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Tickets $65 advance; $75 door The Austin Music Hall 208 Nueces Street asaustin.org

Tequila Tasting at Mexic-Arte Museum 6 - 9 p.m. $35 per person 5th and Congress mexic-artemuseum.org

4

c o mp i l e d + e d i t e d b y k i r a t a n i g u ch i

Central Market, North Lamar Cooking Class Celebrate Tennessee Williams’ Birthday with the Harry Ransom Center. Enjoy food inspired by Williams’ life and works 6:30 p.m. Pre-payment and registration required at centralmarket.com Ransom Center members receive a discount WEBINAR: Mentoring – A Great Gift to Give and Receive 2:00 pm – 1:00 pm FREE forwomenssake.com

26 30

The Long Center presents Harry Connick Jr. 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49 Visit TheLongCenter.org for more information Travis County Master Gardeners presents Termite Training for Homeowners Wednesday, March 30 – 1 - 2 p.m. Travis County Agrilife Extension Office 1600-B Smith Rd., 78721 512.854.9600

Submit events:

calendar@austinwomanmagazine.com

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horoscope march 2011 b y D e b o r a h C a r t e r

Aries

• Mar.21-apr.20 Flares are firing, flags are flying, it’s your year! You can feel it in your bones – everything’s changing. Finally you know what you want to do. It’s just that it’s a difficult career month – it feels like things are conspiring against you. Even though you have so much energy for transforming your life that it’s almost burning a hole in your psychic pocket, you still have to wait. Hang out with friends, change your hair and plot your next move, because every month gets better and better. By year’s end, the change in your finances will be nothing short of an explosion.

Taurus

• Apr.21-May.21 The push-pull is beginning. You feel the urge to sequester, to research, to work on lengthy projects and you want to begin now. Well ... not yet. You still have things to do, places to go, people to see – especially that. It’s like you are the minister of a huge wayward flock and giving the sermon that no one gets. But, at the end of the day (or two months actually,) you’ll be done with all these crazy friends, will have gotten your people situated and can safely begin your life’s work. Take care of your health – you don’t want any surprises.

Gemini

• May.22-June.20 You’re always considered the most social of all signs and the more friends you have, the bigger your audience. This is the month where you begin to see how it might work for you, to expand your fan base and increase your visibility. It’s not just about work anymore. Take a look around: Which groups and organizations are vying for your attention? Join a few and throw your heart, soul and creativity into making them better. Expect to be surprised and astounded at the end of the month. And, watch your spending – especially credit cards.

Most of us who study Western astrology use an earth-based system called “Tropical.” This system isn’t bound by the actual positions of the constellations in the heavens (so natural shifts are unimportant), but is geocentric.This means we visually divide the sky according to our position on the earth and how things appear to us. From our vantage point, the signs of the Zodiac encircle the earth like a great cosmic clock with the planets sprinkled across the clock face like moving gemstones, each stone a different color and size. We can look to the clock to see what time it was, what time it is now and what time it will be – nothing mysterious about it.

Cancer

• June.21-July.22 It’s time. You’ve spent the better part of the last seven years establishing what you believe, what you know and where you are going. Travel and education were so big a part of the last couple of years, you will feel reticent to let them go. But, you are heading into a new era, an era where the changes to your career and social status grow incrementally. Go with the flow. A surprising turn of events forces you into the spotlight, so don’t hold back. Act. Reticence won’t serve you, especially this year. And, don’t worry about funding.

Leo

• July.23-Aug.23 This month feels like a crowded new ride at Disneyland. You’ve been standing in line for an hour, when finally, it’s your turn. You get into your seat and the big iron bar comes down, locking you into a course of action that you can’t get out of, even if you suddenly changed your mind. The gears shift and move under you as the ride begins. It’ll be scary, maybe take you to some exotic place and you’re excited and nervous. Remember these two axioms: “All knowledge is valuable,” and “Travel is the best education you can get.”

Virgo

• Aug.24-Sept.22 I know you like to think of yourself as moderate, but not this month. Be careful about going overboard. Most people don’t realize this, but you Virgos are the true workaholics of the Zodiac. You obsess, you pick, pick, pick; but you love your work right now, so you willingly let it make you crazy. You may do something great, especially if it’s creative. But, the danger is obsessions. Watch out for jealousy. Be careful of extremes. Be careful of power struggles with children or partners. And try not to push either one too hard.

Libra

• Sept.23-Oct.22 Up until this month, this ‘learning to be a new you’ thing has been a solitary path. Up until this month, your work required all of your energy and wits to stay on top of it, while distracting you and keeping your hands full. No time for fun. Now, however, something fun and interesting clamors for your attention. Go with it. It looks like some surprising new developments in the partnership department are going to require some bold, new action on your part. Don’t be passive. If you see something you like, go get it.

Scorpio

• Oct.23-Nov.21 When you talk, people listen (whether you want them to or not). When you speak, people react strongly to you. Your words seem to have extra power now to influence people, so try to use that power for good, not evil. How have you managed transportation in the past? Things are different now, so you may want to make some adjustments. Issues with neighbors, brothers or sisters? Now is the time to transform your relationships. Work direction a little vague? This month, you can change what you do and how you do it. It’ll work out better than you can imagine.

Sagittarius

• Nov. 22-Dec. 21 Busy, busy, busy. Moving furniture, juggling social obligations and balancing playtime with work-time. Work is changing and transforming, and this month, anything you do that is new and creative is operating in tandem with the Universal Plan for your future. No more waiting. Clear out that second bedroom and create an office. Put the car in the driveway and use your garage as a studio. Make friends with a few children. Make some art. Take a road trip and visit your siblings. Yes, you can get all of this done this month, but the rewards come at the end of the year.

Capricorn

• Dec.22-Jan.20 You get the award for the most number of changes in a month, and by December, in a year. The place you call home now bears so little resemblance to the place you called home two years ago, that it‘s as if you are now a completely different person. You have more responsibility at work; it’s true, and that can be good and bad. The real transformation happens where you live. What new action can you take to expand your living quarters? How can you increase the value of your home base? This may be a good month to buy a new car, too.

Aquarius

• Jan.21-Feb.19 Aquarius is a ‘fixed’ air sign. That means, when you get a thought or idea in your head, it can sometimes get ‘stuck.’ That trait has traditionally been a strength, until this month. It’s time to change your way of thinking. Examine any strong thoughts, especially a longheld belief system. Find a good therapist and/or commit to self-examination. Allow spaces for surprising insights, bold impulses and giant leaps of consciousness. If you hear a voice in your head telling you, “That won’t work because ... ,” just smile and say, “There I go, talking myself out of a good idea again.”

Pisces

• Feb.20-Mar.20 Happy Birthday Pisces! It’s an exiting time to be you, especially at work. Take a look around: You won’t be hanging with this same crowd in a year, you won’t be driving the same route to your job in a year, you won’t even have the same office. This is no subtle shift: It’s a radical departure, a major change in your work environment and it’s all for the best. Don’t fear the change, embrace it. Any actions and/or changes you begin this month will initialize a major growth in your future income.

Deborah can be contacted at: PinkWestAstrology.blogspot.com • Pink West, 28515 Ranch Road 12, Dripping Springs, TX • 512.447.2888 or deborah@pinkaustin.com.

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