www.todoaustin.com Volume VII / Aug 2015
Now we just need inclusion.
Austin Performing Arts Illustrate Innovation
Economic Segregation Poet Usha Akella Son de Rey Black Film Festival
Los A-T Boyz band members Fernando Rodriguez, Chris Rivera, Paco Rodriguez and Raphael Rodriguez (L-R) with Austin Symphonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peter Bay (center). Mari Hernandez photo.
C E N T R O Dog U days R andB A N O HABLA Austin
HABLA hosted a robust panel of healthcare experts at a recent plática prompting a conversation about the Dell Medical School at UT and innovation district, Central Health’s Brackenridge Campus, and the new Seton Teaching Hospital. With commentary from Frank Rodriguez, Senior Policy Advisor for Mayor Adler, Juan Garza, Vice President of Financial Management of Central Health, former Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, and Christiann Vasquez, the recently-named President of the Seton teaching hospital at UT, visions and perspectives for healthcare in Central Texas were shared. Free school supplies Free school supplies are being distributed in the area this month. The Hindu (Hindu Charities for America) and Jewish (Jewish Federation of Greater Austin) communities of Austin purchased enough school supplies for over 1,000 homeless and other economically disadvantaged children in Manor, Austin and Del Valle. They’ll need a hand packing the supplies on Aug. 16. To assist, call 512994-4638.
GivePulse volunteer opportunities City of Austin leaders announced a partnership with GivePulse, a local civic good startup, to make it easier for Austinites to find volunteer opportunities. The online tool at GivePulse.com matches community members and service-
Delivering diversity in media to Austin
learning students who want to make a difference with nonprofits and organizations seeking volunteers. The VolunteerATX Drive calls all Austinites to volunteer at least one hour in August. Residents can make good on that pledge on Saturday, Aug. 8 by joining Keep Austin Beautiful for a “Clean Lady Bird Lake” event from 9-11 a.m. Find details at givepulse.com. COA asks how to increase recycling Austin Resource Recovery is asking residents to help them increase Austin’s recycling. Through Aug. 24, Austinites can share their insights about recycling through an online survey, text messages and community meetings. A recent study found that 44 percent of things thrown in the trash could be recycled. This means that more recyclables go in the trash than the recycling cart. The City wants to learn from residents about what is causing this problem and what might solve it. Go to insights. austintexas.gov or text 512-580-7778. GAACC August events Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce Business Buzz is Aug. 12, 10-11 a.m. at the Asian American Resource Center. “Enhancing the Online Presence of Your Business,” features speakers from Google who’ll inform entrepreneurs on ways to enhance their business using websites and Google services. The workshop is free and open to the public. A networking mixer on healthcare, Aug. 26, 6-8 p.m. at Seton, St. Vincent de Paul Auditorium, features a mini-panel of healthcare entrepreneurs explaining how they have operated their businesses successfully. Removing UT’s Jefferson Davis statue In March, UT Student Government passed a resolution calling for the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue that prominently stands on the campus. The group’s push for removal gained significant momentum after the Charleston shooting ignited a national conversation on Confederate iconography. Efforts quickly caught the attention of UT administration, and President Fenves assembled a task force charged with recommending solutions for the Confederate statuary on campus, with extra attention on the Jefferson Davis statue. The task force received well over 2,300 online submissions from the public on the issue.
Volume VII, Number 4
for more than five years, TODO Austin
PUBLISHER/EDITOR // Gavin Lance Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org
printed journal, and TODOAustin.
ART DIRECTOR // Dave McClinton // dmdesigninc.com
com offer news, opinion, cultural
ASSOCIATE EDITORS // Evelyn C. Castillo, Paul Saldaña, Katie Walsh, Erica Stall Wiggins
arts and lifestyle stories written
SENIOR EDITORS // Lobo Corona, Sonia Kotecha, Diana Sanchez, Lesley Varghese, Yvonne Lim Wilson
by, about, and for all ethnic communities in multicultural Austin.
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS // Anthony Garcia, Mia Garcia, Harish Kotecha, Alexandra M. Landeros, Callie Langford, Genoveva Rodriguez, Monica Peña, Blake Shanley
summer songs By Gavin Lance Garcia
TODO Austin is launching a series of collaborations with local performing arts organizations this month. Announcements are forthcoming, and with respect to these new ventures, our cover features a snapshot of what Austin’s music solidarity might look like in the near future. Photographer Mari Hernandez recently captured Austin Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Bay with members of local Latin-music fixture, Los A-T Boyz, at the A. B. Cantu Pan American Rec Center’s summer Hillside concert series. It was the Maestro’s first visit to the venue, and despite the heat, he expressed his pleasure at discovering the wealth of music appreciation in the Eastside. In recent years, premiere groups like the Long Center and Texas Performing Arts have made sincere efforts to increase program diversity and outreach. It is, of course, good business to pay more than lip service to the local Hispanic, Asian and African-American populations; but not an economic necessity just yet. Increasing patronage from ethnic minorities is a challenge that has no easy answers and there’s no point in looking back in Austin’s history for clues. Simply put, Austin arts have survived – even flourished – on the support of one select demographic. Underserved communities move cautiously toward the ticket box office, for a variety of reasons. For evidence of the cultural chasm, peruse any major performing arts group’s slick, printed program and study the list of the organization’s financial benefactors. The surnames underscore Austin arts’ ethnic exclusivity. Likewise, faces-of-color are too often equally sparse among seated patrons. The good news is that key Austin arts’ administrators are a dynamic lot. Their
marketing plans promise to be as bold and innovative as the creative industry, itself. As for the response from those being targeted, who are asked to invest their resources in the arts, we have apparently arrived at the hour where we can either join voices as a united chorus – in harmony – or hit a sour note. Speaking of avoidably limited support, a recent report stated that the percentage of students from low-income families in Austin has been shrinking. Schoolchildren from lower socioeconomic households in the Austin Independent School District plunged to 59.7 percent in 2014-15.
In response to this news, Paul Saldaña, Austin ISD Trustee District 6, made five pointed observations worth noting. 1) Austin continues to be the most economically segregated city in the U.S.; 2) AISD’s student enrollment continues to decrease (now in year three of student enrollment decline as families are moving to nearby suburbs); 3) While some families may not meet the federal definition of low-income and/or qualify for free and/or reduced lunch, many families are still struggling with affordability issues and to maintain a quality of life in Austin; 4) Over 50,511 AISD students out of 84,609 still technically meet the federal definition of low-income or economically disadvantaged; and 5) The total number of Title 1 schools in AISD continues to increase; today 78 of 129 campuses are Title 1 schools compared to 55 Title 1 schools 10-15 years ago. Saldaña’s hard facts leave much to ponder as kids return to school in August. On a happier endnote, help celebrate KAZIFM 88.7’s 33 years of service to Austin at its Summer Festival on Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Travis County Expo Center Arena. For more info, go to kazisummerfest.org
WRITERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS // Güner Arslan, Javier Auyero, Alka Bhanot, Gabriela Candanoza, Roy Casagranda, Cindy Casares, Gabriela Castaneda, Kevin Cokley, Priscilla Cortez, Meredith Cox, Alejandra Cueva, Victoria Desselle, Rose Di Grazia, Swapnil Dighe, Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Mark Guerra, Mari Hernandez, Yadira Izquierdo, Korina Jaimes, Chaille Jolink, Ryan Jordan, Ali Khataw, Ramey Ko, Callie Langford, Heather Lee, Sanford Levinson, Julia Lee, Esteban Lopez, Liz Lopez, Otis Lopez, David Marks, Caitlin Moore, Cristina Parker, Tatum Price, Raul Rangel Uribe, Esther Reyes, Marion Sanchez, Shubhada Saxena, Dani Slabaugh, Amanda Sprague, Corey Tabor, Sergio Tristan, Blanca Valencia, Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez, Tara Veneruso
TODO Austin // Multicultural Media for All of Austin. TODO Austin is a free print and online journal for all of Austin highlighting our multicultural heritage and promoting the concept of community in an ethnically diverse city. Circulation throughout Austin, from the Westside’s Pennybacker Bridge to the Eastside’s Montopolis Bridge.
WEB DESIGN // Mike Hernandez COVER // Photo by Mari Hernandez
ADVERTISING/SUBMISSIONS/EDITORIAL: email@example.com, 512.538.4115
TODO Austin is published by Spark Awakened Publishing. © 2015 Spark Awakened Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are the authors and should not be taken to represent those of Spark Awakened Publishing or of any of its associates or partners.
TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 03
Let’s expose the underbelly of the nation’s most economically segregated city By Javier Auyero, Caitlyn Collins and Katherine Jensen
Austin conjures two parallel images in America’s popular imagination: Glowing descriptions of a “cool,” fast-growing city for the “young and creative” known for internationally famous musical events and Formula 1 racing compete with portrayals of increasing socioeconomic inequality and residential class, racial and ethnic segregation. But like many U.S. cities and metropolitan areas, wealth and poverty are booming alongside each other — a thriving, highly unequal technopolis — magnifying the effects of social insecurity and reconfiguring the cityscape. Austin now enjoys the worrisome privilege of having the highest level of economic segregation of any large city in America. New exclusive areas of prosperity emerge, while deprivation forces others to the urban margins where environmental risks and poor-quality housing, schools and public services prevail. In times such as these, socially produced forms of suffering take on exceptionally alarming features. Sight — what we see and we don’t see about a city and its residents — has a politics, It is part of a power struggle. If civil society is going to have a serious debate about inequalities and their effects on livability, we should start by seeing this city in a different light. We must begin to recognize socially and politically those who remain invisible in public view and thus marginalized in policy debates. As social researchers, we set out to make the other side of Austin visible and to examine the subjective experience of socially and politically produced suffering. We try to call attention to the ways in which individuals, alone or in groups, make sense of and cope with these inequalities — sometimes in ways that contribute to the perpetuation of these inequalities, as when folks blame themselves for a predicament that has unequivocal structural origins, and other times in ways that challenge extant arrangements, as when they insightfully describe the political and economic origins of their precarious conditions. The study of social suffering takes a particular relevance in the context of neoliberal 04 TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM
governance in the U.S., under which most previous forms of protection are being swiftly dismantled (i.e. welfare benefits, employerprovided health care coverage, traditionally defined retirement pensions, etc.). The record shows, time and again, that left to their own devices, market forces will exacerbate extant disparities and that decisive state intervention is needed to address the causes and manifestations of increasing social, economic and spatial divides and inequalities. Structural inequalities that spur individual suffering can be ameliorated through policy changes. For example, Seattle is raising its minimum wage to $15 over the next several years. California legislators rolled out a sweeping package of enhanced protections for undocumented immigrants, bolstering California’s reputation as a national leader on immigration policy. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered emergency measures to investigate the health hazards and wage thefts endured by thousands of nail salon workers uncovered in a recent New York Times investigation. And here in our backyard, plans are underway for a 27acre, master-planned community to provide affordable, sustainable housing for people in Austin who are chronically homeless. This is a matter of deepest urgency. If we want Austin to be a livable city for all, nothing should be left off the table in a frank conversation about potent and determined state policies — from the kind of protections and “best practices” that organizations such as Workers Defense Project have long been advocating (protection of workers’ rights, sanctions against wage theft, etc.) to massive affordable housing programs and policies that challenge glaring inequities in public school funding, neighborhood infrastructure and safety, and access to adequate health care and livingwage jobs. In order to foster the political will necessary to enact these sea changes in policy, Austinites must first learn to acknowledge the suffering they usually do not see in their midst — and acknowledge that this individual suffering has structural causes that can be changed. Javier Auyero is a professor of sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. Caitlyn Collins and Katherine Jensen are Ph.D. candidates in sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. They are authors of the upcoming book “Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City.”
The Texas Capitol’s Confederate memorial problem By Sanford Levinson
In the wake of the Charleston church shooting, the fate of the statues and other emblems commemorating the ostensible heroes of the Confederacy is still roiling the nation. In Texas, the debate has largely centered on the University of Texas at Austin, where an effort to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis is gaining steam. But the debate — as important as it may be, especially to those of us affiliated with UTAustin — won’t likely stop with the university. The true elephant in the room is the grounds of the Texas Capitol, which contain a handful of memorials to those who fought for the Confederacy. The most prominent is the monument to the Confederate war dead on the Capitol’s south grounds. Installed in 1903, it depicts Davis standing atop a pedestal surrounded by several soldiers. The side of the monument reads: Died for state rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The people of the South, animated by the spirit of 1776, to preserve their rights, withdrew from the federal compact in 1861. The North resorted to coercion. The South, against overwhelming numbers and resources, fought until exhausted. The message perfectly captures the ideology of the so-called lost cause, as portrayed by apologists for the Confederacy then and now. Their cause had nothing to do with slavery, they say, and everything to do with the vindication of the Declaration of Independence and its commitment to the proposition that the only legitimate government was the one that acted with the “consent of the governed.” That no longer applied in Texas and 10 other states following the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, and withdrawal “from the federal compact” was therefore appropriate, their argument goes.
eloquently exclaimed, ‘I salute thee!’” This brought forth a great roar of approval, the report continued, followed by Lanham’s threat to assault anyone who “abused President Davis or the noble cause he championed.” During the 2000 presidential primary season, then-Gov. George W. Bush entered the controversy over flying the Confederate flag over the South Carolina Capitol by saying that it was the state’s business, not his — a position echoed recently by a current presidential candidate from Texas, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. In 2000, no one bothered to ask Bush what he thought about the monuments on his own state Capitol grounds — and 15 years later, as the controversy flares anew, no one is asking Cruz or former Gov. Rick Perry, one of Cruz’s 2016 rivals. No doubt they’re relieved that Texas doesn’t fly the Confederate battle flag or incorporate it as part of the state flag. But that doesn’t get them off the hook. As South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley put it, all citizens should feel equally welcome when entering the near-sacred grounds of their state capitol. She recognized that would never be the case so long as those opposed to the “noble cause” of perpetuating slavery — or even the principle of secession — were forced to confront a flag whose central meaning required accepting the legitimacy of a government that viewed some citizens as sub-human. What’s true in South Carolina is just as true in Texas. To deny the brutality that is inflicted on many of our fellow citizens — and not just African-Americans — as they visit what is, after all, their Capitol is simply obtuse. What, for example, should parents say to their children when asked about these presumably great men? The monument is not merely honoring the brave young men who gave their lives on behalf of a thoroughly wicked cause; it is celebrating that cause and its articulation by “leaders” like Davis.
The Austin American Statesman, covering the dedication of the statue on April 16, 1903, featured the speeches of former Gov. Francis Lubbock, a onetime aide to Davis, and the current governor at the time, S.W.T. Lanham. Lubbock, according to the newspaper account, was “delighted to see the grand work of commemorating the Confederacy.”
UT-Austin’s motto is “what starts here changes the world.” Some might see that as typical Texan braggadocio. The real question is whether what starts on the UT campus changes the state Capitol grounds just a few blocks away.
Lanham, not to be outshone, “pointed directly at the statue of President Davis, and
Sanford Levinson is a professor of law at The University of Texas at Austin.
John Yancey’s “Can U See” exhibit is running through October 17, 2015. Yancey, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, was influenced to create art by the vibrant and sometimes volatile social, political, and artistic developments of the late 1960s and early 70s. Yancey says that his art can be divided into two categories: public art such as murals, ceramic mosaics, and commissioned work and paintings and drawings from his traditional studio practice. With both aspects of his work he “strive(s) to create works that carry the potential to act as agents of continuing cultural inquiry and critique.” His art uses cultural symbols, personal metaphors, and storytelling to deal with issues of race, politics, and retaining culture. Austin Summer Musical for children features a full month of free Junie B. Jones musicals. Shows will be held during three consecutive weekends – August 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23. Shows on Saturdays will take place at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday shows are 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. All showings are free; children must arrive an hour in advance to receive tickets for seating. Please arrive early, tickets will go fast! – V.D.
IMMIGRATION A common sense approach: border policy solutions Many Americans are frustrated with our immigration policies. But research and experience show that it’s not enough to focus only on the problems with our current policies. We also need to paint a picture of what the country would look like with workable, commonsense immigration policies in place paired with transparent and accountable enforcement practices that respect human rights in border communities. There are border enforcement policies and solutions that will ensure that we treat both citizens and non-citizens alike with respect for their rights and fairness.
A free dance workshop for girls ages 5-12 is Saturday, August 8, from 1-3 p.m. in the Dance Studio. Dance Another World is an English language immersion program, taught through dance. Using content-based teaching, young girls learn English through dance. We focus on communicating with our friends and through our bodies and learn to speak the English language comfortably. Registration is free and open to the public. Also on August 8, from 2-5 p.m., the Flor de Nepal Writing Workshop Series takes place in the Raul Salinas Classroom. The series promotes Mexican American writers and poets, creating and nourishing ties between writers by highlighting cultural works, as well as offering workshops for writers within the community. Two reading performances will be held during the series in October and December. This month’s Cine de Oro film screening is “La Ausente” (1972), which follows a man suffering great pain after his wife’s death in an automobile accident, and investigating the mysterious surroundings of the accident. Please arrive to the screening 15 minutes early; following the film, a lunch will be provided for seniors. Call 512-974-3789 to RSVP, there is limited space available.
Friday, August 28, 7-10 p.m. | “Monsoon Wedding” film screening. Cultures and families clash in Mira Nair’s exuberant “Monsoon Wedding,” a mix of comedy and chaotic melodrama concerning the preparations for the arranged marriage of a modern uppermiddle-class Indian family’s only daughter. Food available for purchase. Rated R for language. Free. AARC Ballroom Free ESL Classes | Application process continues through August. Classes provided by Austin Community College held in locations throughout Austin, including classes at the AARC. Now accepting applications for Fall 2015. Step 1: Apply through www.austincc. edu/abe/. Step 2: Complete the writing and speaking test. Step 3: Registration (select a class). Call ACC’s Adult Education information line at 512-223-5300 for details. To talk to an ACC Admissions Assistant call 512-223-5123. Classes begin August 26. Save the date! Saturday, October 3 | “I Want the Wide American Earth” Smithsonian Exhibit Grand Opening + AARC Two-Year Anniversary Open House Celebration. A traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution celebrates Asian Pacific American history across a multitude of incredibly diverse cultures. Plus, celebrate the two-year anniversary of the AARC with interactive historical activities, kids’ crafts, cake and refreshments. Activities throughout the day. Free.
changes to uphold human rights and due (DHS) should do: Clarify that immigration laws are enforced solely by federal immigration officials. process in all of our communities. Create a transparent, uniform DHS process Solutions involve de-emphasizing military-style for receiving, processing, and investigating all tactics on the U.S.-Mexico Border and protecting complaints in multiple languages, to align with best the quality of life of border communities. What practices and joint recommendations submitted customs and border protection (CBP) should do: recently by NGOs. Timely inform complainants of Implement nationwide data collection and public the status of their complaint and the outcome of reporting of all Border Patrol roving patrol and the investigation. Prohibit DHS personnel, including checkpoint activities including stops, referrals to CBP agents, from using race, ethnicity, and other secondary inspection, and searches aggregated by protected characteristics as a factor in routine demographics to include perceived and actual race, investigatory stops, detentions, and searches ethnicity, and immigration status. Reduce the zone except where a reliable, current suspect description of CBP operations from 100 to 25 miles from the or affirmatively required statutory determination border for boarding vehicles, and from 25 to 10 miles like asylum eligibility exists. Move away from for entering private property. CBP should conduct wasteful spending projects like drones, Operation sector-by-sector analysis as required by existing Stonegarden, and fences. Deploy 1,000 distress regulations to determine whether a shorter distance beacons in the desert, including throughout Arizona, would be reasonable. Exclude urban and sensitive areas, and all other areas not within three miles of the border from drone and additional invasive surveillance. Equip all CBP officers and agents who interact with the public with body-worn cameras paired with privacy protections. Scale back militarytype training, tactics, and equipment of CBP officers and agents. Provide annual training for CBP agents on Fourth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures, Fourteenth Amendment prohibitions on racial profiling, and on stereotyping and implicit bias. Enhance de-escalation training and improve language skill training for new officers and agents. Disband and prosecute border paramilitary vigilante organizations.
Throughout the Southwest border region, there are urban and rural communities with a long history of diversity, economic vibrancy, cooperation, and deep roots in the area. Border communities, like communities throughout the country, are entitled to human rights, due process, and policies that recognize their dignity, humanity, and the constitutional protections that this nation values. Unfortunately, policymakers have far too often thrown border communities under the bus by pursuing policies that are ineffective and wasteful for security. These injustices, which go against equality, fairness, and law and order, are frustrating to Americans but not inevitable. We can and should make commonsense policy What the Department of Homeland Security
the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Imperial County in California, and the New Mexico Bootheel region, to save migrants and others who fall into distress because of heat and other circumstances. Extend federal aid programs aimed at preventing migrant deaths to include areas in the South Texas interior that have CBP checkpoints, but are ineligible for funding under current rules. Border communities deserve to hold border enforcement accountable for wasteful practices that emphasize military-style tactics and violate the constitutional rights that we all value. We need border security that involves and enlists border communities in providing for safe borders in ways that respect human rights and due process and treat everyone fairly.
Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition’s July vigil in front of the Governor’s Mansion TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 05
Asian Austin’s A-List
Usha Akella By Asian Austin staff
“My passion for poetry has sustained me for more than three decades” says Usha Akella, named Creative Ambassador by the City of Austin in 2014. “Poetry, travel articles and interviews with artists are the focus.” This month, she is acting as festival director and organizer of Matwaala, a South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival being held August 1-2. Akella, the author of three books of poetry, is included in the 2012 Harper Collins Anthology of Indian English Poets. She scripted and produced “Ek: An English Musical on the Life of Shirdi Baba” in 2012 in Austin and Houston. She’s read widely for reputed organizations across the world, representing India at various international poetry festivals including the Sha’ar International Poetry Festival in Israel and the Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, the oldest poetry festival in the world. Among Akella’s other achievements is the Wine poem award won at Struga (the first Indian and woman to do so), the Nazim Hikmet award at the Siir festival, Turkey, and the Egan Memorial Award. She teaches creative writing workshops to children and adults from her home in Austin and at schools and community colleges. Akella judged the 2012 Austin CAP Metro’s “Poetry on Wheels” contest that culminated in the placing of poetry in buses. Akella launched the Poetry Caravan in Greenburgh/ White Plains, NY in 2005 to provide poetry readings and workshops to disadvantaged people in women’s shelters, hospitals and senior homes. The Austin chapter of the Caravan ran for a year as a young caravan of kid poets and musicians who took their talents to senior homes. She also writes travel articles and interview artists and poets for magazines, newspapers and journals. Asian Austin (AA): You were recently named a Cultural Ambassador by the City of Austin. How is that going? Usha Akella (UA): I see it as a recognition of talent by the city I live in. I share the title with two other artists and think it sounds more weighty than it actually is. Essentially, it is a title awarded to traveling artists and the license to act as a representative of the city as a cultural goodwill ambassador. I was 06 TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM
UA: A dream to work toward. It’s not handed out free or without small print.
invited to Hyderabad Literary Fest in January and met with the Telangana government minister, handed over an artistic token to him, made a few suggestions that I thought were good ideas to promote exchange between the cities. I am not sure anything has come out of it. Sustained interest and work has to happen from both sides to make things happen. I am just the harbinger.
AA: Is there anything particular about Austin that inspires you? UA: Definitely community! Its embrace. AA: Eurasians and Asian Americans are becoming a powerful force in Austin economically, culturally, politically and otherwise. How do you see them fitting into the larger Austin culture and community?
AA: Did you know what you wanted to do with your life or did it just happen? UA: I knew I wanted to be a poet before I was 10. I’ve worked at it for almost all my life so the rest happened and is happening.
UA: Via contributions and realizing we already have a spot. And seeing ourselves as part of a larger whole, not marginalizing ourselves or restricting ourselves to our pocket.
AA: What was your attraction to your vocation? What drew you to do the work you do, your profession?
AA: What do you consider the most important cultural value for you and for those close to you?
UA: I gratefully blame my attraction to poetry to my genes! There are writers on my father’s side. I didn’t have much choice I think. I teach Creative writing from my home today as an extension of my passion. I grew up in India without any guidance or creative writing classes so I teach kids and adults sometimes. When I visited India in January, I taught a workshop at a school voluntarily as a way of giving back.
UA: We’re human being first within different cultural paradigms to express it. Culture does not mean shutting others out. That would be shutting out life and evolution. If culture has a grand purpose—in my opinion—it is to recognize our universality and oneness. AA: How did you first get involved with The Dialog Institute of the Southwest, one of the local nonprofit organizations you support?
AA: What is the Poetry Caravan? UA: It’s like a poetry on wheels concept- taking poetry to those who can’t access the simple pleasures of a poetry reading or workshop. I launched the first chapter in the New York area about a decade back. That chapter has done well over 900 free readings approximately. The first thing I did as “cultural ambassador” was to launch the Austin chapter. We take poets to do poetry readings at senior homes and women shelters for now and the AIDS center. I’d like to get into hospitals and prisons eventually. All programs are free. AA: Tell me about your other current projects. UA: Well, the one looming on the horizon is MATWAALA, the first South Asian Diaspora Poetry Fest in Austin and maybe even the U.S. The festival is a two-day affair and the public portion of it is on August 2 at Casa de Luz. The idea of a sole poetry festival emerged after a recent editorial project I co-edited with Pramila Venkateswaran for www.museindia.com. The issue focused on a project involving Diaspora artists and poets that generated the idea for sustained collaboration and initiatives. Matwaala, South Asian Diaspora Poets Collective is a community of poets whose origins go back to South Asia. Our aim is to promote South Asian poetry and collaborate with other arts in North America. The mission of our initiative is to encourage solidarity, promote members’ work, and increase awareness of South Asian poetry in the mainstream American Literary landscape. We have a line-up of 10 eminent and wellestablished poets coming from the U.S. and Canada, and our poet of honor is Keki
Daruwalla, the Parsi poet from Delhi. I hope to see Austin’s Persian community out to hear him read as well as poetry lovers from Austin. We’ve received tremendous support from API and ACC as well as good folks from the Indian community. AA: What does the American Dream mean to you?
Matwaala - South Asian Diaspora Collective and Festival The festival will be held at Casa De Luz on Sunday, August 2, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Co-hosted by the Poetry Caravan, ACC and Austin Poets International, the festival is the first project of the collective. The festival director and organizer is Austin poet Usha Akella. The Dialogue Institute’s reception, dinner and reading for the poets is slated for Saturday, August 1, 6 p.m. Other events will flag off the poets’ presence in Austin. The guest of honor is the eminent 78-year-old Parsi poet, Keki Daruwalla of New Delhi and noted poets Saleem Peeradina (Michigan), Ravi Shankar (Connecticut), Pramila Venkateswaran (Poet Laureate, Suffolk county, New York), Phinder Dulai (Canada), Anis Shivani (Houston), Usha Akella (Austin), scholar Amritjit Singh (Ohio), Sasha Parmasad (New York City), and local Austin
UA: By attending their cultural programs. Friendships evolved and I think I was recognized as a good match to their overall mission of breaking down boundaries between religions. Asian Austin at www.AsianAustin.com is an online news source featuring news about Asian American people, organizations and events in Austin. Visit the Asian Austin website and “Like” us on Facebook for calendar and event details! Contact publisher Yvonne Lim Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. poet Shubh Bala Schiesser. Daruwalla is considered to be one of India’s leading poets with over 10 volumes of poetry and half that number in short stories. His Collected Poems were published in 2006 by Penguin India. He won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Asia in 1987 for his book “Landscapes.” His latest books (2014) are Fire Altar: Poems on the Persians and the Greeks” and a short story volume entitled “Islands.” Poetry readings, a youth reading, panels and papers will be featured. The evening ends with a reception and a cultural segment featuring Natyalaya School of Dance, Rohit Dhamankar (Carnatic musician), Kai Cole (Violin prodigy) and Julie Slim and band. Rama Thiru, Austin photographer will exhibit her work. Seating limited. RSVP appreciated at email@example.com or call 914686-4487.
Saturday, September 26th • 11AM - 10PM // Sunday, September 27th • 11AM - 8PM pecanstreetfestival.org
Austin’s performing arts season illustrates growth and innovation By TODO Austin staff
As Austin’s population swells and economic indicators signal a robust market, local performing arts organizations are offering increasingly diverse shows, concerts and events. There’s also an effort being made to increase patronage from underserved communities, with more family-friendly programming, discount ticket opportunities and outreach efforts. Austin-based artists are ubiquitous on season calendars, as well, another good sign of civic bridge-building. Upcoming productions promise moving experiences for audiences, particularly the fare on offer from some of the city’s more prominent outfits, Austin Opera, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin, Long Center and Texas Performing Arts. Surveying the fall season, the Long Center, “Austin’s creative home,” is bolting out of the gates Sept. 4-6 with Ballet Austin’s “Hamlet.” One of Artistic Director Stephen Mills’ signature works, “Hamlet,” is a stunning, lush and emotionally driven contemporary ballet, based on the classic Shakespearean story. On Sept. 13, the renowned artistic ambassador for Mexico, the Folkloric Ballet of Mexico, appears in Dell Hall. The group has brought the aesthetic manifestations most profoundly rooted in Mexican folklore to audiences for generations. Other highlights include Austin Shakespeare’s “Sunday in the Park with George” Sept. 24-27 and Tapestry Dance Company’s premiere, “In Your Shoes,” Oct. 1-11 in the Rollins Studio Theatre. Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club’s “Adios Tour” transports the audiences to the heart of Havana’s 08 TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM
clubs and dancehalls Oct. 18, in Dell Hall. The formidable 13-piece band is the genuine article, featuring legends of Cuban music and stars of the “Buena Vista Social Club” film and World Circuit’s much acclaimed Cuban albums. “Spirit of India: Bollywood Masala Orchestra & Dancers,” Oct. 21 at the Long Center, invites patrons to explore the lush and exotic land of India. Taking a new step toward the authentic taste, richness and excitement of Indian live music and dance, Rahis Bharti, one of India’s greatest musical figures, and the Bollywood Masala Orchestra and dancers, will guide a lavish musical journey from Rajasthan to Mumbai. The winter holiday season will be stellar at the Long Center with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - the Musical,” on Nov. 27-29 in Dell Hall. The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage, with favorite characters including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph. Tapestry Dance’s “Of Mice and Music: A Jazz Nutcracker,” is Dec. 10-20, and features an original score and live jazz music. Ballet Austin’s “Nutcracker,” Dec. 5-23 at the Long Center, is the quintessential Austin Christmas experience, with Stephen Mills’ take on the timeless tale showcasing a cast of hundreds. Austin’s oldest performing arts group, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, begins its 105th season on Sept. 18-19. The ASO will offer programming that includes a series of eight Masterworks concerts, a Halloween Children’s concert, holiday events, a Texas Young Composers Concert, and the
Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series, from Sept. through June, 2016. ASO opens the Masterworks season at the Long Center with pianist André Watts performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor. The evening also features Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in E Minor and recent Pulitzer Prize winner, Kevin Puts’“… this noble company.” On Oct. 16-17, Maestro Peter Bay conducts Glazunov’s “The Seasons: Autumn,” and Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 in F Major, with violinist In Mo Yang performing Saint-Saën’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor. On Nov. 20-21, the Symphony teams with Austin’s Grammy winners, Conspirare, for an all choral program including Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé.” Also on the program is Poulenc’s Gloria featuring soprano, Mela Dailey. ASO’s Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series once again presents the best in symphonic pops entertainment, with Warner Bros. presents “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II” on Oct. 24, with classic Looney Tunes projected on the big screen while the Symphony performs their exhilarating, original Carl Stalling scores live. On Dec. 29-30, Austin Symphony brings the best of Sinatra to the Palmer Events Center with “My Sinatra,” starring Cary Hoffman. The Long Center’s Dell Hall is the site of Austin Symphony’s annual Halloween Children’s Concert on Oct. 27. The exciting concert features frightfully fun symphonic music that is stimulating for young eyes and ears (ages 2-10). The Symphony presents its Christmas tradition, Handel’s “Messiah,” accompanied by Chorus Austin, on Dec. 1 at Hyde Park Baptist Church. Both a holiday classic and a city favorite, the night of musical magic promises to comfort through its familiarity and joy of rediscovery. Austin Opera’s season opening gala concert, Sept. 26 at the Long Center, spotlights rising dramatic soprano, Heidi Melton, joined by Rachele Gilmore, Liz Cass and principal conductor, Richard Buckley, performing selections from beloved operas by Wagner and Strauss. Famous for its triumphal march and soaring arias, Verdi’s grand opera,
La Santa Cecilia
“Aida,” is performed Nov. 7, 12, 15 at the Long Center. Joined by the Austin Opera Chorus and the Austin Opera Orchestra, the opera is a tour de force of choral scenes, dance, massive sets, and vocal power with some of Verdi’s greatest music. Issachah Savage and Karen Slack will make their Austin Opera debuts in the beloved story of illfated love and betrayal.
Spirit of India
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club
Ballet Austin’s Hamlet
Texas Performing Arts continues to be a cultural leader in the University of Texas and Central Texas community, presenting interdisciplinary performances that bring together the world’s most innovative and talented artists. Kicking-off the season is Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Billy Childs paying homage to the great singer-songwriter, Laura Nyro, Sept. 10 at Bass Concert Hall. Twyla Tharp celebrates her 50th anniversary as a choreographer, taking 12 dancers on a national tour (including an Oct. 20 Austin stop) to debut new works set to music by Bach, Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein, and John Zorn. “Frankenstein (1931) with the UT Wind Ensemble” is on Austin’s Halloween season’s must-see list, with a 70-minute score orchestrated for wind ensemble and performed by UT’s renowned wind ensemble with a screening of the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff, Oct. 29, at Bass Concert Hall. Ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro, appearing Nov. 21, at the same locale, has been
declared a musical “hero” by Rolling Stone and earned comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. An Austin new-music favorite, eighth blackbird, returns for another on-campus residency. The centerpiece of their Nov. 13 program at McCullough Theatre features “Murder Ballades,” a work by composer Bryce Dessner, best known for his work as the guitarist for the indie rock band The National. Latin Grammy-nominee, La Santa Cecilia, exemplifies the modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture rock and world music. The group draws inspiration from all over the world, using Pan-American rhythms from cumbia, bossa nova, rhumba, bolero, tango, jazz, rock, and klezmer music. They headline an evening of world music, Dec. 3 at Bass Concert Hall, with an opening set by Yuna, a charismatic young singer-songwriter from Malaysia who is the first artist from her homeland to break into the American market.
LOGO DESIGN // BRAND DEVELOPMENT // WEB DESIGN 512.827.2618 // SUNDARAMDESIGN.COM 4201 West Parmer Lane Building C • Suite 250 • Austin, TX 78727 TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 09
Good Times at Güero’s For great tunes and great rita’s!
Please join us for live music on our outside jardin stage, every Wednesday through Sunday. THANKS TO THE FANS & BANDS WHO SUPPORT US!!!
1412 S. Congress Avenue • Austin, Texas 78704 Open Weekdays 11am-11pm; Weekends 8am-11pm
OUTDOOR SHOWS ARE “WEATHER PERMITTING” -----------------------------------------------------------------------SAT 8/1 THE BREW (2PM) & EL TULE’ (6:30) SUN 8/2 ERIN JAIMES (NOON) & THE RECUPERATORS (3:00) -----------------------------------------------------------------------WED 8/5 KDRP RADIO SHOW (6:00) THU 8/6 LOS FLAMES (6:30) FRI 8/7 THE BOB FUENTES SHOW (6:30) SAT 8/8 TEXAS TYCOONS (2:00) & LOS AZTEX (6:30) SUN 8/9 ROCKIN’ REULE (NOON) & BLUE MIST (3:00) -----------------------------------------------------------------------WED 8/12 KDRP RADIO SHOW (6:00) THU 8/13 BEYOND THERAPY (6:30) FRI 8/14 THE BOB FUENTES SHOW (6:30) SAT 8/15 JIM STRINGER (2:00) & LOS TIPICOS DE CUBA (6:30) SUN 8/16 JONAS ALVAREZ (12P) & MITCH WEBB Y LOS SWINDLES (3:00) -----------------------------------------------------------------------WED 8/19 KDRP RADIO SHOW (6:00) THU 8/20 TRENT TURNER (6:30) FRI 8/21 THE BOB FUENTES SHOW (6:30) SAT 8/22 AL DRESSEN (2PM) & WINK KEZIAH (6:30) SUN 8/23 FOLKWINE (NOON) & MC & THE MYSTIX (3:00) -----------------------------------------------------------------------WED 8/26 KDRP RADIO SHOW (6:00) THU 8/27 AMANDA CEVALLOS (6:30) FRI 8/28 THE BOB FUENTES SHOW (6:30) SAT 8/29 GLEN COLLINS (2:00) & JEAN PIERRE & THE ZYDECO ANGELS (6:30) SUN 8/30 AUSTIN HEAT (NOON) & CHICKEN STRUT (3:00)
Son de Rey focuses on ‘Ojos Azules’ and new challenges By Liz Lopez
Son de Rey have also performed at Easter Seals’ Dia De Los Muertos Festival, Pecan Street Festival, Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair (San Antonio), Poteet Strawberry Festival and El Camino Real Music Festival (Bastrop). They’ve also shared the stage with A. B. Quintanilla and Los Kumbia All-Stars, Del Castillo, Ruben Ramos & the Mexican Revolution, Michael Salgado, and Dennis Quaid. “We hope to perform with Ozomatli, as we have modeled ourselves after that band,” added Ramirez.
In 2014, Son de Rey were nominated in three categories of the Austin Music Awards, including Best Latin Rock Band, Best Latin Traditional Band and Best New Act in Austin. This year, they were nominated for Best Latin Bandand the Best World Music Band. Despite the nominations, the band has never held an offer to perform at SXSW’s music fest. “Our goal this year is to hit bigger venues and go to SXSW as an official artist,” stated Ramirez. “We have played during the festival (week), but not at SXSW’s invitation.”
The secret of a band staying together and evolving while others come and go isn’t rocket science, says Mikael Ramirez of the Austin-based quartet, Son de Rey. The key is to adjust to changes that are inevitable in the music business and to welcome the creativity of members. Son de Rey was founded in 2003 by David Moreno, a songwriter, arranger and keyboardist. This reporter first heard them at a performance on 6th Street several years ago, noting the strong horn section and great vocals. Very impressive work. But what followed, the departure of some band members in 2010, caused Moreno to put the group on pause. Instead of throwing in the towel, Moreno didn’t stop what he’d started and re-created the group, recruiting lead vocalist Luis Mikael Ramirez via an online ad on Craigslist.
The band’s EP, “Ojos Azules,” released in August, 2012, was produced by Grammy winner Fabian Hernandez (known for his Chente Barrera and Ruben Ramos recordings, as a former member of the Little Joe y La Familia band and tours with the Hamilton Loomis Band). The five-track EP was a success, reaching the top 100 list of downloads on iTunes in the Pop Latino category and remaining in the Top 10 in ReverbNation’s Austin Latin Charts. That led to Son de Rey’s first full-length project. “Ojos Azules,” a production featuring 10 tracks including re-mastered songs from the EP. The work was released this past May after a successful marketing campaign through Indiegogo.
Ramirez, a University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas–Pan Am alum, was job searching, though not sure of what career-path he wanted to take with his degree. “One thing I always wanted to do was sing,” he said via a phone interview, taking advice from a friend who encouraged placing the ad. Although a job offer for a cruise line attendant failed to materialize, the former member of the Longhorn Singers remained in Austin and locked in to the opportunity to do what he aspired to do – sing.
The compositions on “Ojos Azules” reflect interpersonal hardships and emotions, blending sounds that echo from their common heritage with contemporary, mainstream American music. Ramirez created the original music and lyrics for the title track, “Ojos Azules,” as well as “Ese Agosto” (Dimelo), “Quieren Ser, Juego de Amantes” (Pray for a Lover) and “Dime,” in addition to co-created “Oye Mi Amor” with David Moreno. “Ojos Azules” includes remakes of Los Angeles’ Azules’ “El Listón de Tu Pelo,” Phases’ “Yo La Veo,” and a cumbiaSpanglish version of Wham’s, “Careless Whisper.” “Ojos Azules” is available on multiple online music stores now and at live appearances.
Another change from the prior iteration of Son de Rey was the addition of a female member, vocalist Deborah Moreno. Rounding out the band is drummer and percussionist, Marc Ruiz. Their love for Latin music and similar upbringings in Mexican American households has unified the group, leading them to achieve some goals while strive to reach others. “Our process has been ‘easy does it’ – take it step by step,” said Ramirez.
The band has performed at several music festivals, include at Pachanga Latino Music Festival in 2011 and 2015. “One big difference about our performance in the two festivals is that we did not have a single recording available (in 2011),” stated Ramirez, who notes that at this year’s festival, they were given an opportunity to showcase the songs from the CD, which was officially release around the same time in May.
The band’s most recent music video, for “Juego de Amantes” (Pray for a Lover) debuted in July, 2014, with a screening in the E. 6th entertainment district. They were also invited by a Spanish language television program to participate in a music video, Somos Hermanos, along with top
Mexican Regional and Tejano artists, as part of an effort to fight children’s hunger. “It is huge for (us as) musicians to be embraced by our own culture” said Ramirez. “It can be a hard thing.” He believes that in some cultures, people may have difficulties expressing themselves physically, even through dance. As an example, Ramirez shared an observation he finds puzzling, that of an audience who stares during a live performance with minimal interaction. Yet there are shows where patrons stand at arm’s length but approach the group afterwards to inquire about the group. Ramirez opined that “el machismo” could be a factor at some venues or festivals. Plans are in the works for a music video for “El Listón de Tu Pelo.” “That song resonates with us and we hope to launch it in September or October,” said Ramirez. In September, they’ll also be featured on stage at the Pecan Street Festival and again in October at Easter Seals’ Dia De Los Muertos Festival. A standing gig at the El Rincon Restaurant in Pflugerville is scheduled the first Friday of the month. For show updates and to learn more about “Ojos Azules,” visit www.sonderey.com
Anand is why While having lunch one August day after hours of the physically taxing Ultimate Frisbee activity, Anand began to display bouts of confusion and irritability to his friends. After unsuccessful attempts to reason with him, his friends decided to seek medical attention. While walking with him, his right side went completely lifeless. Unsure of the situation’s severity, his friends put him in an ambulance. Days later, MRIs confirmed the CVA/stroke, leaving Anand with memory loss and aphasia. Thanks to attentive medical staff, prompt speech therapy, and a stubborn dedication to recovery, today Anand has regained virtually all of his speech and memory faculties and lives without activity restrictions.
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Kansas endures, riding its ‘miracles out of nowhere’ By Meredith Cox Any band with 40-plus years of history is bound to have a story or two to tell. Kansas, the progressive rock band that hails from the eponymous state, is no different. Despite numerous lineup, life, and music changes, Kansas has been recording and touring nonstop since the early 1970s. They’ll be playing at the Long Center on Aug. 20. Recently, the earliest members of the band came together to work on a documentary about their earliest years and rise to fame. “(Drummer) Phil Ehart and I were talking about just doing something to leave behind for our kids,” says guitarist Rich Williams – like Ehart, a founding band member – in regards to how the band came about to make the documentary. “I was in Topeka at the time and kept thinking, ‘How would we do this?’ Every corner I walked around was another memory. We just weren’t sure if it would be a book or something else.” The “something else” ended up being a documentary called “Miracles Out of Nowhere,” available now on VH1 Classic and Palladia. “It’s not a Behind-the-Music-type be all, tell all,” Williams says. “I think everyone’s seen that. If we told the full history of Kansas, we’d still be telling it. Instead, we told up through the first five albums, because we wanted it to be inspirational. There was a bit of reluctance from the band members
in the beginning, because there are skeletons in everyone’s closet. Everyone’s got children, friends, and family that cause reservations, you know? So we all agreed on that in the beginning – that certain tales were better left untold, and now we’re very proud of what’s been made.” One of the biggest changes that Kansas has experienced in recent years is the retirement of their lead singer Steve Walsh – the iconic voice of most of the group’s biggest hits – after 41 years with the band. It was no easy task finding a musician to replace him, but Kansas believes they’ve got someone who can hold his own – musician Ronnie Platt. “At the Moondance Jam Festival about eight years ago, I saw this band called Shooting Star that
To Do Música NEW LATIN MUSIC RELEASES, CLUB CLOSINGS AND AUGUST DATES By Liz Lopez
Regional Mexican/cumbia/Tejano group Los A-T Boyz are nearing the completion of a new album, “Este Es Mi Barrio,” while readying for a tour in September that will take them through Chicago, Michigan and the Midwest. The, they’ll likely make an appearance at the 35th annual Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio on Oct. 24. The new Street People CD, “Rejuvenation,” was officially released July 29. The release features 12 tunes, nine of them original, penned by Austin’s Johnny Degollado, Eddie Aleman of San Antonio, and Temple’s Chavelo Matamoros. “Rejuvenation” was arranged and Produced by 13 time Grammy recipient Gilbert Velasquez in San Antonio. Street People was the first group that Gilbert recorded in the 1970’s. Latin Groove Music announced that Tejano singer Stefani Montiel will soon release a new single, “Quien Quiere Shots?,” produced by Gabriel Zavala.
Brown Sound News Tejano Ranch, an important live music venue in Austin which showcased Mexican regional acts and events, closed its doors earlier this summer. The former club, located on North Lamar, 12 TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM
Ronnie was performing with,” says Williams. “I saw him play and thought, ‘This guy is just killing it.’ He commanded the stage; he was a killer singer. So when Steve announced that he was ready to retire, Ronnie was the first guy who popped into my head. I knew that he was a guy who could really do it. Travelling on the road with someone, day in and day out, you need to know what you’re getting into with someone. He was just one of us from the beginning, like a guy who had grown up in Topeka and hung out at the same music store.” So far, the lineup change seems to be nothing but good for the band. Williams says, “It’s been extremely revitalizing. We’ve added stuff we haven’t played in years and have gotten an incredible response from the audience. There’s an
offered a stage, sound and marketing experience, unequaled in local Latin music, for decades. Now, many of the notable acts that performed at Tejano Ranch will join popular DJs and hopefully draw fans of Tejano and other music genres at the OK Corral from Thursday to Saturday (629 W. Ben White Blvd.). In recent weeks, acts like La Diferenzia, Ram Herrera and David Lee Garza y los Musicales have taken the stage there. For a schedule of bands go to the club’s Facebook site. Buckets Deli and Sports Bar, at 2020 E. Cesar Chavez St., is open and hosting events now, according to a source at the newer venue, Bucket’s Backyard Bar & Grill, located in Southpark Meadows (9900 S. IH 35 Bldg. M, #200). The south location hosts DJ JK and three colleagues who take turns spinning each Wednesday evening, beginning Aug. 5, starting at 9 p.m. Eclipse - A Tribute to Journey and 80’s Music, will be rocking on Friday, Aug. 7, 9 p.m. For more, see Bucket’s Backyard Bar & Grill, Southpark Meadows Facebook page or call 512-215-8929.
Recommended August Shows Conjunto Los Pinkys will perform at the Central Market Hatch Chile Fest on Thursday, Aug. 6 (North Lamar) and 13 (Westgate) from 6:309 p.m. Visit Hatch Chile Fest @ Central Market on Facebook. ------Latin at Heart, led by Billy Wilson, will perform on Friday, Aug. 7, 6:309 p.m. at Central Market, 4001 N Lamar St. Visit the Latin at Heart/Billy Wilson pages on Facebook for more. ------Rumores will be performing new material on Friday, Aug. 7, from 8 pm. at the Austin Moose Lodge, 2103 E M Franklin Ave. There’s a small cover charge. www.facebook.com/yayo.castillo.54
infectious new energy in the band on stage and in the crowds.” It’s been so good, in fact, that Kansas has decided to record a new studio album after 15 years. “We’ve always been touring but now we have this desire to record again. We went into the studio to attack a new song and it came out great. Now everyone is collaborating and sending ideas back and forth and who knows what will come of it. It’ll be a little different just because of the nature of the players in it, but it will be familiar too. It’ll be a Kansas record. There’s a thriving world of music much larger that popular radio, so we’re going to be true to ourselves and true to our fan base that’s kept us afloat for 43 years. We’re not going to try to be anything other than ourselves.”
------La Vida Buena will be one of the many performers at the Electrify Austin Showcase on Friday, Aug. 7 at 11:30 p.m. with doors open at 9:30 p.m. at the Swan Dive ,615 Red River St. Tickets available at www.eventbrite.com ------Amanda Cevallos takes the stage on Sunday evenings and Money Chicha performs every Monday in Aug, starting at 10:15pm at the Continental Club Gallery, 1315 South Congress. www. continentalclub.com ------Austin-based Brazilian singer, songwriter and keyboardist, Paula Maya, with Joe McCreary on drums and Ben Bradshaw on bass, will feature songs from Maya’s new album “Iluminar” on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 6:30 p.m. at One2One Bar, 1509 South Lamar. For music samples and information, visit www.paulamaya.com ------Tiarra Girls and Bidi Bidi Banda are in the line-up with Dale Watson & His Lone Stars at the Austin Chronicle 25th Annual Hot Sauce Fest on Sunday, Aug. 23 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ------Leticia Rodriguez, the first American artist to be invited to perform at the XXI International Festival de Las Romerias de Mayo, Holguin, Cuba this past May, takes the stage on Saturday, Aug. 29, 8:30 p.m. at Cactus Cafe & Bar on the UT campus, 2247 Guadalupe St. www. cactuscafe.org ------Felipe Borrero, aka El Tiburon, and Dez Desormeauz, members of the Brew and other bands, will play a series of dates in August, including every Sunday with the Brew at the Oasis, 7-10 p.m. Also look for them Aug. 8 & Aug. 29 at Gloria’s Restaurant Domain, Aug. 15 at Toro Negro Lounge, and Aug. 22 at Abel’s North (formerly Cool River).
KLRU features some of your favorite whodunits for a MONTH FULL OF MYSTERY! KLRU-TV, Austin PBS broadcast 18.1 cable 9 klru.org
Foyle’s War Revisited
Saturday, August 8 at 8:30 pm & Saturday, August 15 at 10 pm Go behind-the-scenes of the acclaimed, must-see series with host John Mahoney (Fraiser) and learn the secrets of the final Foyle’s War episodes in season 8.
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia Saturday, August 16 at 8:30 pm & Saturday, August 29 at 8 pm Sherlock and Watson are plunged into a case of blackmail involving the crafty Irene Adler. Can she outsmart Sherlock at his own game? And at a battle he is ill prepared to wage – love?
Also This Month
Get the complete list at klru.org
An Eastside Education
POV: Point and Shoot
Arts In Context: People’s Choice
This documentary series follows the students, teachers and staff at Eastside Memorial High School (Austin ISD) as they fight to meet state accountability standards or watch their school be closed.
KLRU, Austin Film Festival and the Bullock Texas State History Museum a present preview screening and discussion on Aug. 10th of this documentary on the struggle for political freedom and personal transformation. Go to klru.org to RSVP
After creating Red vs. Blue, the longest running webseries in the world, Rooster Teeth is ready to tackle their first feature-length film. Watch as the project comes together.
Watch online at klru.org/eastside
The film airs on KLRU Monday, Aug. 24, at 10:30 pm
Thursday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 pm
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is community supported. More than 85% of our funding comes from the public. Please consider investing in KLRU.
COA welcomes citizens to engage in civic discussion; launches Asian American Quality of Life Initiative this month By Victoria Desselle
August is an exciting and groundbreaking month for Austinites as the City of Austin is launching the Asian American Quality of Life Initiative. The project seeks to evaluate and enhance the quality of life for the city’s Asian American community members through strategic measures such as health and community score card assessments, research methods, and engagement approaches to embrace all citizens who identify as Asian Americans. As such, the Initiative seeks to foster a sense of belonging and create an environment of home that many have found in the city. The City wants to hear from voices in the Austin’s Asian American population to tackle the questions: What do you like about Austin?; What are your challenges?; How can the City serve you better?; How do you like to be involved? The Austin City Council adopted a resolution calling for a quality of life “check” and engagement with Austin’s diverse Asian American community.
CASA Superhero Run brings together Austin heroes of all ages in the race against child abuse Want to dress up in a cape and mask and use your superpowers to help better the lives of more than 2,200 of our community’s most vulnerable children? Then show-up at the CASA Superhero Run 5K & Kids 1K on Sunday, Sept. 13 at The Domain Central Park.
Since 2010, CASA of Travis County has been hosting this heroic event to raise crucial funds and awareness for children who’ve been through abuse or neglect. Be their very own superhero – a CASA volunteer. Over the years the race has 14 TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM
THE INITIATIVE WILL FOCUS ON: 1. Community Scorecard: Assessment of health and services needs. 2. Quantitative Research: The City Council authorized a contract for services in April, 2015. The consultant is preparing a questionnaire and translating into several languages spoken in Austin. 3. Outreach & Engagement: Facilitated discussions and other participation opportunities. Sign up to be notified. The Asian American Quality of Life Commission, which advises the City Council on issues related to the Asian American Resource Center and will provide on-going guidance and support for the City’s Asian American Quality of Life Initiative, meets the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Boards & Commissions Room at City Hall. They’ll meet Thursday, August 18, this month.
Austin’s growing … and changing. Got something to say about it? The City’s listening. Check out Austin’s Conversation Corps, a platform designed for citizen engagement in civic dialogue focused on hot topics in our great city. Conversations are hosted all over Austin, in all 10 City Council districts, at all times of the day, with discussions centering on each month’s topic. The month of August is focused on Workforce Development and September’s topic will be Community Engagement. Conversation Corps encourages all citizens to get involved, as citizen input is indispensable. Conversations are also available in Spanish. For more information, visit www. atxtalks.org. Interested in joining the Corps? Become a host. Members of Corps host dialogues once a month. Upcoming free host training courses will take
place at Leadership Austin (1609 Shoal Creek Boulevard) on Aug. 6 from 5-9 p.m. and Aug. 23 from 2-6 p.m. Training host applications can be found at questionpro.com/t/AJ3GPZR3pb. For more info on joining Conversation Corps, contact Julie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Another great outlet to engage in civic discussion, or give feedback and comments on public issues affecting you, is through SpeakUpAustin! The community engagement portal is specifically designed to facilitate topical discussions, create an outlet for citizen ideas, and connect with other members of the community who share your interests. In the past, numerous city policies in place today have originated through citizen ideas posted on the website. Visit www.speakupaustin. org to have your voice heard.
As part of the initiative, the City Council will receive recommendations to enhance or create new City services, programs or practices to address issues discovered. If interested in learning more, send feedback or comments to Marion Sanchez, Community Engagement Consultant, AAQOL@austintexas. gov. You can also find information on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AsianLifeATX), talk about the initiative at #AsianLifeATX, receive a newsletter or visit the website at http www.austintexas.gov/ asianlifeaustin.
expanded to support hundreds more children served by CASA of Williamson County and CASA of Central Texas (covering Hays, Caldwell, Comal and Guadalupe counties). During past years at CASA Superhero Run, we have witnessed spontaneous dance parties, a marriage proposal from Buzz Lightyear to Batgirl, children being literally flown through the race by their parents, adults running the 5K in some of the most cumbersome costumes possible, and more. For 2015, the CASA Superhero Run will introduce the first ever superhero obstacle course challenge thanks to BAM Academy. There will also be a superhero costume contest, tons of photo opportunities with your favorite superheroes, food and drink vendors, family activities, high-flying aerial superhero feats and much more. Join CASA and thousands of superheroes on Sept. 13 to show your support for Austin kids, and don’t forget your cape & mask. Register, donate or fundraise at casasuperherorun.com.
Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce By Monica Peña
This year’s 40th annual Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) Convention and Business Expo will take place in Austin from Aug. 6-8 at the Hilton Austin Airport. This year’s event has been expanded to include something for business owners and nonbusiness owners alike. Convention participants will have the opportunity to attend informative workshops, a business expo, procurement matchmaking, luncheons, hospitality suites, networking sessions, and receptions with excellent facilitators and speakers. Hispanic business and community leaders from all over the state of Texas will gather for this statewide event. Non-Chamber members, individuals, and students are welcomed to participate. TAMACC is a nonprofit 501(c)6 organization founded in 1975 by a small group of Hispanic businesspersons interested in increasing business opportunities. The association, strategically headquartered in Austin, is the organizational umbrella for, and provides advocacy, technical assistance, programs, and services to, the network of local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce with
a base membership of over 15,000. TAMACC is the leading advocate for over 500,000 Hispanic businesses in Texas. To register, find out how to get more involved, or for more details, visit: http://tamacc.org/
If you cannot attend the entire conference, consider joining the business expo for workshops as they are free to the public. The Business Expo is a great opportunity to find the newest technology, buy some great products, and visit with businesses and public entities who are looking for professionals to do business with. The workshops will be set in classroom style with a smaller setting to ensure comprehensive discussion and effective understanding. The workshops have two focuses that of business growth and the other is personal development. Check back often at www.tamacc.org for a complete list of workshops. This is a free event but registration is required to save your space.
Capital City Black Film Festival
BRIDGE2BRIDGE From Montopolis Bridge to 360 Bridge, Everything Austin
Bring yourself, your friends, your family and even your dog to cool off at the ninth annual Austin Ice Cream Festival on Saturday, Aug. 8 at Fiesta Gardens. The event will include games, activities, eating and homemade ice cream contests, popsicle stick sculptures, live entertainment and lots of ice cream. The $10 entry fee includes free ice cream, with kids 8 and under free. icecreamfestival.org Mazapan (Puro Chingón Collective), with AdzuaGette (The House of Shakur) and ’Illma (Queer Qumbia en Tejas) are celebrating a two year anniversary by dusting off the bestest, queerest, most tropical rhythms for a summer dance party competition on Thursday, Aug. 13, 9 p.m. at Spiderhouse Ballroom. The benefit for Allgo includes art, dance and interactive photo fun. purochingoncollective.com
PALMER EVENTS CENTER/BRASS HOUSE JAZZ CLUB Capital City Black Film Festival returns Aug. 13-15, bringing together talented African Americans involved in media and the film industry to provide burgeoning Black filmmakers from across the nation an opportunity to showcase their work. “Austin is ready and made for this,” said Austin native Julius Tennon, co-president and producer of JuVee Productions. “It’s important to us to help bring attention to the festival in Austin where independent film is continuing to blossom. There’s a huge need to be inclusive of artists of color and to give them an outlet to showcase their work. It’s essential for us to have a stage on which we’re able to put our voices out there.” After a successful inaugural year in 2013 and unexpected growth in 2014, CCBFF continues to flourish in its third year, going from two to five screens with a diverse slate of feature films (including the world premiere of LaRon Austin’s “blackhats”), documentary/feature films, short films, documentary/short films and music videos. This year’s festival kicks-off Thursday, Aug. 13, with “Harlem Lights!” at the Palmer Events Center, and continues through Saturday, Aug. 15, with 60 film screenings, interactive industry workshops, panel discussions and more. The “Harlem Lights!” reception highlights the history of African Americans in film, with live music, rare photographs, film clips and local actors in attendance. Austin’s old Harlem Theater and the actors who made it a cultural institution will be honored. Lifetime achievement awards will be given to Tennon, actress, comedian, musician “Damita Jo” LeBlanc, and jazz musician Gil Askey, one of the architects of the Motown sound. For more info on the festival, visit capcitybff.com.
Join the South Asian community as they honor India’s Independence Day on Saturday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., at the Capitol. The Parade of India is a free celebration of cultural diversity featuring dance troupe Monsoon Dance leading a march on the Great Walk of the Capitol with music, Indian food, cultural programs and more in partnership with several local organizations. Open to all. monsoondance.com Red Salmon Arts presents Cine Resistencia on Saturday, Aug. 22, with a free screening of the film, “Rhymes for Young Ghouls,” a 2013 Canadian drama that’s an eyecatching feature about a teenage, Aboriginal, revengeseeking drug-dealer, Aila, the weed princess of Red Crow reservation. At Resistencia Bookstore (4926 E Cesar Chavez St, Unit C1). 7 p.m. with snacks provided. resistenciabooks.com Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Legends” is in town at the Frank Erwin Center, Wednesday-Sunday, Aug. 19-23. Experience unimaginable family fun as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon mythical and mysterious creatures including a Unicorn, a Pegasus and a Woolly Mammoth. uterwincenter.com Join 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats at the 11th annual Bat Fest on Congress Ave. Bridge, Saturday, Aug. 22. With three stages of live music including Cypress Hill, Men Without Hats and Alejandro Escovedo, 75plus arts and crafts vendors, food and drinks, fun children’s activities, a bat costume contest and other bat activities. From 4 p.m.-midnight. $15 (8 and under free). roadwayevents.com Roy Lozano’s Ballet Folklórico de Texas’ annual summer outdoor extravaganza is Saturday, Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m. at Zilker Hillside Theater. “Noche de Folklor,” directed by Jesús “Chuy” Chacón, features students from its School of Dance and dancers from the performing company. The free event will also include a performance by special guests, The Irish Dance Company. balletfolkloricodetexas.com
Austin Arts Block Party THE LONG CENTER Ten of Austin’s best and brightest arts organizations invite the public to an unprecedented joint effort the Austin Arts Block Party, celebrating more than 138 shows, concerts, exhibits and events through the 2015-16 performing arts season. Never before have so many of Austin’s leading arts organizations collaborated on this scale, inviting the community to preview upcoming productions, enjoy live performances, a Kids’ Zone and exclusive tours. The free event, Sunday, Aug. 23, from 1-6 p.m. at the Long Center, offers some of the year’s very best discount ticket opportunities. RSVP for a fast-pass to get the all access lanyard required for entry. Visitors will be treated to previews from the upcoming seasons of Austin’s premier performing arts organizations, including Austin Opera, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Shakespeare, Ballet Austin, Conspirare, Long Center, Pollyanna Theatre Company, Tapestry Dance Company, Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, and ZACH Theatre. Live performances will take place throughout the day in the Rollins Studio Theatre and Michael & Susan Dell Hall. Back stage tours will give an up close and personal experience of what goes into staging a performance at the Long Center. Staff from each organization will be on hand to answer questions, book subscriptions and single tickets. Visitors can enjoy live music from 1-2:30 p.m. on ZACH’s campus in advance of the final performance of “Sophisticated Ladies.” Following the block party, guests are encouraged to attend the free Hartman Foundation concert in the park, presented by Austin Symphony Orchestra. All visitors will have the chance to enter a Grand Prize Giveaway which includes tickets to dozens of performances in the upcoming seasons of all of the participating organizations, a nearly $15,000 value. Admission is free to Austin Arts Block Party. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. TODO AUSTIN // AUG 2015 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 15
O R Q U E S TA B U E N A V I S TA S O C I A L C LU B :
BALLET FOLKLÓRICO DE MÉXICO
DE AMALIA HERNÁNDEZ
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club is saying goodbye with their 2015 farewell tour. Performing are original members Jesus Ramos, Guajiro Mirabal, Barbarito Torres, Eliades Ochoa, and the incomparable vocalist Omara Portuondo. 2015–2016 SEASON SPONSORS
TheLongCenter.org | 512.474.long (5664) | tty: (800) 735-2989
This legendary Mexico City company, founded by the great Amalia Hernandez, has been thrilling audiences for six decades with their authentic representations of traditional folkloric dances, colorful costumes and expert musicians. 2015–2016 SEASON SPONSORS
TheLongCenter.org | 512.474.long (5664) | tty: (800) 735-2989
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