01 Mexic-Arte Museum Vol.I,
25 years later
This is TODO Austin
Quality of Life Forums Underscore Hispanic Split
According to one mode of reasoning, there are two sides to every story. In Austin, where cultural synthesis is ever encouraged, we freely acknowledge that there are more than a few voices waiting to be heard.
The time has come for the voice of TODO Austin. The tabloid provides the community— that means all of Austin—with a medium to effectively bring our collective creative faculties to the fore. We’ll provide a free journal of news, opinion, arts, entertainment and lifestyle. Despite some reports to the contrary, we’re of the opinion that there is a continuing thirst for physical media throughout the entire Austin geographic area. One glance at our pages and you’ll notice a richness of color, in design and content. TODO Austin unites disparate elements and reflects a concept of community in an ethnically diverse metropolis. Any person who has lived in Austin long enough knows the challenges we face. As a niche publication, we will be a news source for people of every ethnic ancestry. Proportionally, we’ll have a concentration of Hispanic content mirroring the changing demographics of Austin. In effect, TODO Austin is aiming for mainstream Austin’s heart as we spotlight the city’s multicultural heritage. I would like to acknowledge our advertisers for providing their support of TODO Austin. They see our destination and are on the same track of tolerance. This represents an extraordinary commitment and one which inspires. We hope to meet and exceed our diverse community’s expectations. – Gavin Lance Garcia
Dawnna Dukes, UT SR VP James Hill, UT Pres William Powers, Gonzalo Barrientos
Shawn Sahm’s SDQ2 at Austin Music Awards
TODO Austin Volume I, Number 001 Publisher/Editor - Gavin Lance Garcia Art Director - Dave McClinton www.dmdesigninc.com Production Director - Mark Gates Contributing Writers/Artists - Deborah Alys Carter, Mia Garcia, Liz H., Alexandra M. Landeros, Maria Cecilia Lopez, Virginia Pratt, Kristina Vallejo, Maverick Shaw, Kuetzpalin Vasquez, Dean Windsor Advertising - Skeeter Amesquita, Lynn de los Santos
Margaret Moser and Alejandro Escovedo at SXSW
TODO Austin is published by Spark Awakened Publishing. ©2009 Spark Awakened Publishing. All rights reserved. Unsolicited submissions (including, but not limited to articles, artwork, photographs) are not returned. Contact Us: email@example.com / 512.538.4115 About the Cover Title, Artist Currently on exhibit at Mexic-Arte
Austin American-Statesman journalist Juan Castillo recently wrote an insightful story on the cultural shift in Austin (April 19) and the “crisis” city leader’s sense as the Hispanic population booms and grows increasingly powerful. As city demographer Ryan Robinson, quoted from a February report to the City Council stated, “We risk collapsing the entire system due to, if nothing else, the sheer enormity of this piece of our overall community.” In response, the city organized a series of forums to hear the concerns and challenges of the Hispanic community and to address key factors related to their quality-of-life in Austin. In many quarters of the Hispanic community, the forums held this spring have been seen as successful and helpful. But there was a severe response from some to the April 7 gathering on Cultural Arts, held at the Mexican-American Cultural Center.
Clark, Thomas & Winters Attorneys Paul Ruiz, Kerry McGrath with Dixie McGrath at UT Law fete
Several members of the Tejano Music Coalition who were in attendance felt their opinions were overshadowed by the views of Latin Americans present. Many Tejanos left the forum early in protest. “I really appreciate what the City is attempting to accomplish,” said Tejano community leader Leonard Davila. “This has been needed for many years, at least since LBJ signed the Civil Rights Laws. Communication is the key, but a lot of the people who talked that night spoke in a Spanish that was foreign to us. I heard several comments behind me saying that ‘a translator should be up there for us’ because we didn’t understand what was being said. There were translators for English to Spanish but not Spanish to MexicanAmerican Spanish.” Davila’s response was echoed by others in the Coalition, some of whom have contacted City Hall with complaints. “There is one radio station that caters to us with a Tejano music format, “said Davila. “They were not invited to this forum according to Jose Jamie Garcia, Jr., its owner and operator. Instead, we got representatives from Univision, which caters mostly to the Mexican Nationals. ‘Hispanic’ includes the Tejano, Mexican-American and Chicano communities also. That has been the problem that we have fought for generations. Exclusion. Here we go again.” -- L. Castro
Statues of Strength Dot Austin Landscape A pair of monuments honoring the contributions of African-Americans and Tejanos to the city and state will soon grace Austin. Barbara Jordan made history throughout her life and that tradition continued on the University of Texas campus as a statue of the late lawmaker and UT professor was unveiled Friday, April 24 during a moving tribute. As the first statue of a female personage on campus, the likeness of Jordan joins 15 other statues on the forty acres and resides among the Battle Oaks, located northwest of the tower. Artist Bruce Wolfe created the UT bronze statue, which is more than eight feet tall and weighs close to 900 pounds. Former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, a friend and colleague of Jordan’s, and Rep. Dawnna Dukes made poignant remarks about the civil rights champion during the ceremony. William Powers Jr., president of the university, described Jordan as “a woman from Texas who mesmerized the nation” with “her rigorous devotion to ethical standards in politics and society.” The South Lawn of the Texas State Capital Grounds is expected to be enhanced soon with a statue honoring the contributions of Tejanos to the state. The monument will depict a life-sized, bronze statue of a husband and wife, along with their son and daughter, in clothing from the 1750’s. The proposed statue is currently advancing through the Legislature. The resolution, by state Rep. Kino Flores, D-Palmview, directs the State Preservation Board to erect a statue on the Capitol grounds recognizing the contributions of Tejanos. The privately funded monument is being designed and sculpted by artist Armando Hinojosa. The monument was envisioned several years ago after Dr. Cayetano Barrera of McAllen, who noted that the Capitol building and grounds held 31 statues and monuments, none dedicated to Hispanics. Spanish and Mexican pioneers have lived in the Texas region since 1519. To follow the progress of the monument, visit www.Tejanos.com. – MG
Detail from proposed Tejano statue
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AAIM Honors Three Who Give Hope
Ballet Austin’s Cinderella
LLILAS names New Director
Pachanga Fest Heads Eastside
Ballet Austin’s Mother’s Day weekend production of the classical masterpiece Cinderella promises a fresh and contemporary twist on the traditional story of a young woman’s rise from rags to royalty. Rich with humor, romance and adventure, Artistic Director Stephen Mills’ choreography makes this production of Cinderella lush and lyrical. Complete with evil stepsisters, a fairy godmother and a pumpkin that transforms into a chariot, Cinderella will delight young and old alike with exquisite dancing, elaborate costumes and lavish set design. The story will be further enhanced by the Austin Symphony as it brings Alexander Glazunov’s luscious score to life at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Retiring Company dancer Allisyn Paino will perform the role of Cinderella. Paino will become Ballet Mistress at Ballet Austin, and continue to working closely with the company. Ballet Austin’s production of Cinderella will be performed Friday, May 8 at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 10 (Mother’s Day) at 3 pm at the Dell Hall at the Long Center for the Performing Arts at West Riverside Drive and South 1st Street. Tickets are $24-$74 and are available by calling 476-2163, online at www.balletaustin.org or at Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center at West Third and San Antonio Streets, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays. – MG
The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies has named Prof. Charles R. Hale, UT Dept. of Anthropology, as the new LLILAS director, effective September 1, 2009. Dr. Hale was selected by a universitywide committee of representatives from the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Fine Arts, the LBJ School, and the Law School. Internationally respected in his field of activist anthropology, Dr. Hale focuses on race and ethnicity, identity politics, and consciousness and resistance. Dr. Hale received his B.A. from Harvard and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He taught at the University of California, Davis, before joining the faculty at the University of Texas in 1996. -- MG
May is Latino Music Month in Austin and it will end with a roar at the 2nd Annual Pachanga Latino Music Festival, now relocated to the Eastside. The month long Latino celebration showcases the diverse musical styles of Hispanic artists living in our multicultural city. Pachanga brings the month’s festivities to a close on May 30 at East side park, Fiesta Gardens. The Pachanga lineup includes over 20 DJs and bands from across the U.S. and Mexico, encompassing a wide range of genres from rock to mariachi to hip-hop. Among the headline acts joining local artists Brownout and David Garza are Michael Salgado, from San Antonio, Plastilina Mosh from Monterrey, Mexico, Mexican Institute of Sound, from Mexico City, and Cordero, from New York. The all day festival will include a new component this year: the Niños Rock Pachanga, which will start at noon and run until 4:00 p.m. This interactive kids area will feature hands-on cultural activities, dance lessons, music workshops, and festival artist appearances. In addition to the music and fun kids area, Pachanga will showcase a cultural arts market and cuisine from local Latin American and Mexican restaurants. Producers of the festival, set in a beautiful lake side park in East Austin, promise a party the whole family can enjoy. – KV
LLILAS’s Charles Hale
Austin Area Interreligious Ministries will hold its annual Hope Awards program at 5:30 p.m., May 6 at the University of Texas Alumni Center, 2110 San Jacinto Blvd. The Hope Awards serves as a way to honor and thank those who have made significant contributions to our community. This year’s Hope Awards will honor Alan Graham & Mobile Loaves and Fishes, a group who have been providing meals and clothing to the homeless and needy for over 10 years, The Institute of Interfaith Dialog, which hosts interfaith functions throughout Texas, and Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, Director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.
Betty Sue Flowers
Dean Susana Aleman and CT&W’s Stephanie Cramer
UT Chicano Law Students Feted
courtesy of Ballet Austin
Following a year of successes, University of Texas Chicano Hispanic Law Students celebrated their 34th Cultural Celebration and Awards on March 28 on the UT campus. In 2008-2009, the group created the Diversity Education Weekend and fully endowed the Dean Susana Aleman Scholarship. Law School Dean Lawrence Sager commented on law schools across the nation “scrambling to achieve diversity,” while his UT Latino law students are already “ambassadors to the future, providing cultural richness.” Incoming CHLSA president Christi Caballero replaces Edward Adrian Sandoval, who spearheaded a year of “monumental” successes. The evening was sponsored by a number of foundations and local law firms, including Clark, Thomas & Winters.
Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma) at 2008 show
Tickets are on sale at all Front Gate Tickets locations and at frontgate.com. The first 500 tickets sold will also receive a copy of the critically acclaimed new release Soy Sauce by Mexican Institute of Sound. Tickets are $20.00, and children under twelve are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Featured speaker for the Hope Awards will be the Houston Mayor Bill White, who has been recognized for his commitment to interfaith engagement. Mayor White will be “interviewed” by Evan Smith, Editor of Texas Monthly and host of PBS’s Texas Monthly talks. Austin Mayor Will Wynn, Chief of Police Art Acevedo, and a host of other dignitaries will also be on-hand. Emcee for the evening will be the dynamic singer and songwriter, Sara Hickman, joined by the Will Taylor and Strings Attached in providing musical entertainment. Proceeds from the Hope Awards program assist AAIM, operating since 1941, in its vital work of building bridges between the faith communities and harnessing their shared compassion to serve the vulnerable and voiceless citizens of Austin. AAIM’s Hands on Housing is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The AAIM Refugee School teaches refugees English and the cultural skills they will need to be successful as new Americans. To host a table or purchase tickets for the AAIM Hope Awards call 386-9145, or purchase tickets online at www.aaimaustin.org. – MG
If you’ve been craving Asian food, then head east on Sixth Street. Mekong River on 215 E. 6th Street, offers Vietnamese and Thai fare, specializing in noodle and pho (pronounced “fuh”) dishes. The Pad Thai is always comfortably delicious: wok-tossed rice noodles with bean sprouts, scallions, egg, ground
Lunchtime Adventures Along the Rivers of the World (Sort Of) by Alexandra Landeros
Working in downtown Austin sometimes has its perks: fresh air walks on the Capitol’s green lawns, front door service courtesy of various bus routes, cultural escapes ranging from libraries and art museums, to the Museum of the Weird on 6th Street. But when it comes to eating lunch, you probably know that it’s nearly impossible to get a sandwich and chips for less than eight dollars. And if you’re on a budget, anything more exotic is best left to business meetings funded by someone’s wallet other than yours. Maybe it’s time to hop on the metaphorical canoe and paddle around for an international downtown adventure.
roasted peanuts, and your choice of chicken, shrimp, or tofu. For something a bit lighter, try the Pho Rau noodle soup with steamed broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and cabbage. You can add your desired meat of choice. This healthy soup is served with cilantro, basil, bean sprouts, and lime on the side. Pile it on! A small bowl will fill you up before you get a third of the way through, and you won’t feel the post-lunch lethargy. But if you really need an extra kick of caffeine and sugar to help you through the afternoon, order the Thai Iced Tea or the Café Sua Da (Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk). If you are more inclined toward Tex-Mex, then paddle southwest to Rio Grande on 301 San Jacinto Blvd. For a variation on the soup and sandwich, have the – you guessed it – soup and quesadilla. Go with a meat filling
such as brisket, or go vegetarian. By the time you get your actual lunch, you’ll probably be satiated by the tasty chips and just-right salsa (not too mild, not too spicy). But you won’t feel guilty about taking the leftovers for a late afternoon office snack. Rio Grande offers eco-friendly recyclable packaging, and they are great supporters of the bicycling community. (The mini or virgin margarita is another guiltless way to get through the afternoon.) Although Marrakesh on 906 Congress Avenue has nothing to do with rivers – it’s worth a try for something a bit different. The place has received mixed reviews for its service and quality of food. But most times I’ve been pleased with the kibbeh plate. Kibbeh, made with ground meat and spices, is covered in bulgur wheat and lightly fried, and tastes lovely dipped in the yogurt mint sauce. The plate comes with pita bread and hummus, as well as a tomato-cucumberonion salad with a zesty, aromatic dressing. For a unique desert, order a portion of halvah – an intensely rich confection made of sesame paste that you will later daydream about. There you have it, whether it’s to a river along the Texas-Mexico border or in the Far East, there are healthy and exotic alternatives – under ten dollars – to the usual sandwich and chips. And for those days you bring a bag lunch, find a seat on one of the Capitol lawn benches – but watch out for the hungry squirrels. See you around lunchtime on the streets of downtown Austin!
Mexic-Arte Celebrates a Legacy of Change Next wave supporters — front: Claudia Zapata, Roberto Manzo MIDDLE: Toni Nelson Herrera, Angela Hicks, Alexandra Landeros BACK: Priscilla Guajardo, John-Michael Cortez, Melissa Ortiz, Jessica Lazuka, Katie Droen
By Maria Cecilia Lopez
The story of Mexic-Arte Museum begins in Mexico City where Sylvia Orozco, current Executive Director of the museum, met Pio Pulido Frenkel and established the Centro de Investigación e Información del Arte. Over the next several years, the pair researched and compiled resources on Mexican culture – art, books, articles, taped interviews, photographs, and slides – marking the beginning of Mexic-Arte Museum’s Permanent Collection. Orozco and Frenkel hoped to one day return to the United States and share this wealth of information with the Texas community.
n 1983, the colleagues moved to Austin, bringing with them their collected treasures. Then Orozco ran across Sam Coronado, a colleague with whom she’d studied art as a student at the University of Texas. The three artists – Sylvia, Pio, and Sam – felt there was a strong need in Texas for a Mexican arts and cultural center, a place where people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures could learn about and appreciate this unique heritage. On July 18, 1984, Mexic-Arte Museum incorporated as a nonprofit agency and settled into 300 square feet of space within the Arts Warehouse. The museum’s mission was to enrich the Central Texas community through education programs and exhibitions focusing on traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture. “The arts in Austin perpetuate the city’s individuality and promote the driving force of creativity that makes it so unique,” said Claudia Zapata, a former intern at the museum and curator of its Aztec and Maya Revival exhibition. “Mexic-Arte Museum’s staff reinvigorates the concept of the museum as a communal learning institution and does not carry the barrier of elitism usually connoted with the art world. I’m one of many who’ve learned from Sylvia the practical information of what it
takes to sustain a Latino Art museum.” Mexic-Arte Museum was one of the first art venues to find a home in downtown Austin, and in 2001 the Museum received major support from the City of Austin to acquire the building and property on 419 Congress Avenue. Two years later, in 2003, the 78th Legislature of the State of Texas designated it as the “Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas.” Today, Mexic-Arte Museum is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with over two decades of world-class exhibitions, engaging cultural events, and outstanding education outreach programs. To honor its years of service to Texas communities, the Museum will be hosting a series of special events throughout the year beginning with the Gala de Plata on April 25th. On May 1, the Museum will open its Permanent Collection Exhibition, “A Legacy of Change,” organized around five themes: Death & Rebirth, Mestizaje & Connections, Conflict & Struggle, Identity & Consciousness, and History & Memory. The exhibition also highlights the story of how Mexic-Arte Museum and its collections came into existence, shedding light on the interesting cultural and social background of the creation of a Latino Art museum. As Mexic-Arte Museum makes plans for the
future, its vision is to expand its education and exhibition department and programming. In 2006, Austin citizens approved a $5 million bond to build a new facility and expand the Museum’s capacity to meet the growing educational, cultural, and artistic needs of Austin’s diverse communities. The museum, as with many grassroots nonprofits and arts organizations in towns, thrives on support and participation from donors and members. As Austin’s young professional crowd continues to grow, the Museum is offering new and original events, exhibitions, and membership opportunities, as well as fresh spins on old ones. Museum member John-Michael Cortez is certain of a bright future. “Mexic-Arte is such a wonderful space for people of all backgrounds and interests to gather and learn about our rich culture while networking and socializing,” said Cortez. Unique experiences abound and one never knows what one might find: Pre-Columbian artifacts, Aztec Mummy movies in a recreated vintage cinema, miniature contemporary artwork displayed in a miniature museum, whimsical ceremonial masks, a Diego Rivera painting, or a mixed-media installation by a soon-to-be famous young artist whom you’ll get to meet at one of the openings.
Highlights of 25 years of change celebration Día de los Muertos Since 1983, Mexic-Arte Museum’s signature late autumn event has grown to become a popular fall ritual in the city and a source of “Keep Austin Weird” pride. Kicking off with a procession at Saltillo Plaza in East Austin and ending at the Museum site’s family festival on 5th Street, Día de los Muertos is a time when traditional Hispanics honor and remember loved ones who have passed, through celebration rather than mourning. In 2008, the procession participation hit a record high and featured hundreds of “Thriller” dancers decked out in Michael Jackson era zombie wear. Patrons are happy to bring their Chihuahuas dressed as Frida Kahlo or calevera, joining in the parade and savoring traditional foods and drink, live music, and dancing in a hauntingly romantic and uniquely cultural atmosphere. Acción Arte Member Group The new member group was designed for individuals dedicated to taking action and making art and culture fun for young people in Austin. Recent Acción Arte events included a behind-thescenes tour of the exhibition Creando
Fuerza, as well as a hands-on demonstration of silkscreen printing at the Serie Project. Upcoming events feature concerts, readings, lectures, films, workshops. A fantastic way to spend lunch or happy hour doing something off the beaten path. Young Latino Artists (YLA) Exhibition In 1996, Mexic-Arte Museum developed the Young Latino Artists exhibition program as a forum for young Texas curators and artists to show new and experimental work. Each year, the YLA curator makes studio visits throughout Texas to make a selection of about ten artists, presented in a themed exhibition, such as YLA 11: Juventud Desenfrenada (Youth Gone Wild) and YLA 13: Everything’s Going to be Okay. In 2010, the Museum will present YLA 15: In Retrospect, an invitational of YLA artists from the past 14 years.
Friday, May 1, 2009, 7:00-9:00 PM – A Legacy of Change: 25th Anniversary Permanent Collection Exhibition Opening (free admission) Saturday, May 2, 2009, 2:00 PM A Legacy of Change: Symposium on the State of Latino Art Museums Eduardo Diaz - Smithsonian Latino Center, Washington, DC, Henry Muñoz - The Museum Alameda, San Antonio, TX Sylvia Orozco - Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX Carlos Tortolero - National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago IL
Sunday, May 3, 1:00-4:00 PM Free Family Day—Mexic-Arte Museum welcomes art lovers of all ages to be among the first to explore A Legacy of Change. This Family Sunday will feature: 1:30 PM: Live dance performance by the children of Ballet Folklorico Mexikayotl 3:30 PM: Family-friendly tour, Hands-on art activities, Interactive scavenger hunt Thursday, May 14, 2009, 6:00-9:00 PM – Arts on the Move open house (free admission)
Mexic-Arte Museum 419 Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701 • 512.480.9373 email@example.com www.mexic-artemuseum.org To join Mexic-Arte Museum’s Acción Arte, go to www.mexic-artemuseum.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (512) 480.9373. With membership to the Museum, you get invitations to Exhibition Member Previews, free/discounted admission to special events and workshops, and business and social networking opportunities. You can also keep up with Museum happenings on MySpace (www.myspace.com/ mexic_arte), Facebook, or Twitter (mexic_arte).
Saturday, May 16, 2:00 PM Regina Vater, “The Artist as Curator.” Austin based Brazilian artist, curator of the exhibition Brazilian Visual Poetry at Mexic-Arte Museum in 2002, will talk about her experiences. Saturday, June 13, 2:00 PM Jesse Herrera, “Celebration of the Patron Saint of San Miguel Tzinacapan, Puebla.” Austin photographer will speak on his travels to Puebla, Mexico, over a period of eight years, to document San Miguel Tzinacapan’s celebration of their patron saint. Saturday, July 11, 2:00 PM Sam Coronado, “Claiming Space, Creating Opportunity: The Serie Project and Mexic-Arte Museum’s Promotion of Latino Artists.” Talk will be about Sam’s role in founding Mexic-Arte Museum, the development of the Serie Project, and the special relationship between the print center and the museum.
Latino Alternative Music Showcase This spring, Mexic-Arte Museum hosted its 3rd Annual Latino Alternative Showcase, sponsored by TKO Advertising in Austin, and Cosmica Artists Management in Los Angeles, CA. The showcase has brought old favorites to the stage, as well as up-and-coming bands and musicians: Pistolera, Maneja Beto, Upground, David Garza, Patricia Vonne, Ceci Bastida, Cuban Cowboys, Monte Negro, Salvador Santana Band, Lipstick Terror, Sarah Sharp, Pilar Diaz, Cosmopolitan, and Leche. The event provides a perfect opportunity to enjoy both great art and music. As one of the few Mexican art museums in the United States, Mexic-Arte Museum continues to contribute to the state’s cultural enrichment as it welcomes over 75,000 visitors annually. And it’s just the beginning. With an impressive history as one of the foremost arts institutions in the region, the next few years will see the Museum dramatically expand its facility, its scope and resources.
Pecan Street Fest Paints a Green & Ethnic Mosaic
L-R: Luis Zapata, Shannon Sedwick, Rob Lippincott.
By Dean Windsor
When Esther’s Follies founder Shannon Sedwick speaks of the transformation of the Old Pecan Street Festival, she can hardly contain her giddiness. Now in its thirty-first year, the spring fling takes place May 2-3 on 6th St. The bi-annual arts and crafts festival is undergoing a metamorphosis engineered by the event’s savvy production agency, Special Events Management. “There’s a new vision as we’re going green, bringing in more diverse music with lots more styles, and involving business owners on the street,” said Sedwick. “Now it’s slick compared to its roots.”
he festival, the largest art festival in Central Texas, attracts more than 300,000 people per event and serves as the primary fundraiser for the Old Pecan Street Association, an organization established to preserve and beautify 6th Street. While patronage at Pecan Street has always been diverse, a concerted effort has been made to “go green” and market to families and ethnic communities in response to the city’s cultural shift. To that end, Sunday’s Latin Stage will feature a varied roster of rock, pop and Tejano bands that have one thing in common, a Hispanic heritage. “The Latin Stage is just one component, as we also have emerging bands and acts from all cultures, from African to Russian to Bangladesh,” said Luis Zapata, co-owner of SEM with Guero’s Taco Bar honcho Rob Lippincott. “It’s cleaner now, with more diversity culturally, aesthetically and ethnically.” SEM, whose initial foray in event production occurred four years ago with
the South Austin Celebration, is producing its sixth Pecan Street Fest this spring. While costs for the event have quadrupled since its inception, it continues to have a $43 million economic impact annually, making it one of Austin’s signature events along with SXSW and the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Though these events brings more dollars and people into downtown Austin every year, detractors of the festivals have raised questions about the harmful effect such gatherings have on the environment. SEM’s response was to focus on going green. “We have a clear vision,” said Zapata. “We’re moving to solar stages, biodiesel generators, propane electric golf carts. Other features are environmental workshops, recycle stations for compost and plastic paper, environmental vendors. The next step is to make it an ecologically friendly event. “We hired Austin’s top environmentalist Brandi Clark, who’s worked with environmental groups such as Ecology Action and Keep Austin Beautiful, and created the Austin EcoNetwork initiative, to give assessment on how to go green
and advise us on how to use new services. Debbie Russell, one of the city’s most notable activists, is implementing the recommendations.” Zapata, noting the festival’s support for the City of Austin’s Pecan Street Project and Green City initiatives, designed to transform the city into America’s clean energy laboratory, sees an opportunity for Pecan Fest to be an industry trendsetter. As Lippincott states, the festival “reflects modern Austin society while showing the street off in a good light. We’re getting better sponsors, music, artists, and continuing to make it fun for everyone, from families to students. It helps generate a sense of community, interaction in a fun environment. We also have a good relationship with the city which is important when costs are rising to do outdoor events. Everyone, including street retailers, feel like there is something special going on.” The show features artisans from all over the United States who display and sell homemade art and craft work. “It’s revered all over the country as one of the best,”
Sedwick noted. Festival goers can find paintings, sculpture, woodwork, candles, jewelry, cowboy hats, home decor, games, and enjoy a wide variety of performances on five stages. The event also supports a dozen charities, ranging from pet adoption to cancer research education. While the spring 2010 festival will be the 60th version, members of the Old Pecan Street Association are cautiously optimistic about the future. “We started OPSA to celebrate heritage, diversity, and architecture on the street,” said Sedwick, who’s been involved with the association for more than twenty years with Esther’s Follies, enjoying a 31-year run on the street as the troupe’s owner, producer and actor. “We strive to maintain the historical integrity of 6th Street. The new Pecan Street Festival is actually widening the diversity and bringing people from all walks of life to the city center. It’s never been better.”
Pecan Street Festival — Latin Stage — Sunday May 3
By Kristina Vallejo and Mia Garcia
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After 5 by Maverick Shaw
I was born on a village farm in the bellwether state of Missouri. We moved to Austin in 1984 and after graduating from Westlake High, I began working with my dad, Greg Shaw, at Guero’s Taco Bar. One magic day comedian John Leguizamo approached me and asked if I planned on “decorating gift bags for the rest of (my) life.” I stood speechless, beside myself, continuing to scribble a butterfly. The privilege of meeting artists at the bar illuminated forgotten skills and talents I had taken for granted. “You are an artist Maverick,” Clifford Antone once told me, “but you have to get your mind right.” Like a beacon of warning from a lighthouse, the truth called out to me: use it or lose it. I began to focus on positive thoughts and visualized myself as a writer and photographer. So here I am illustrating the Austin nightlife society I know and love. Apple Bar (120 West 5th) is one of my favorite lounges, flowing with music, superstar treatment and group hugs. My partner-in-crime, Jodie Tedrow, and I favor the one-stop-shop as downstairs, pianist Reuel Meditz moonlights as a composed bartender. Curious out-of-
Gay Kim Swift cheers a bogey-free round
Alex Gehring achieves par by two putts.
towners, same-sexers, and an intranet pick-up artist make their way upstairs where manager Joshua Marroitt shakes it for a team of ladies. Stepping out to the overlook and the newly-designed perch, I spy a blaze of Pedi cabs, valets, and perfumed wild-boys. Back inside, the space is packed with the infamous bachelorette party and a school of A&F metro-sexuals. We crawl down the stairs and turn ourselves loose onto the wet street like kids racing to the playground for recess. Kiss & Fly (404 Colorado Street) on a Friday afternoon is boozy, blue and bright. Spring fever has sprung with NC-17 sounds of sexytime neighbors throwing care to the wind. “I need purple and black skivvies for work,” seasonal go-go dancer Adam surmises as he stumbles through the manly ritual of the three S’s. Fresh from Jovita’s stage, singer/songwriter Allison Attal has made it down to the warehouse district for a sneak peek at Adam’s choreographed shimmy-shake. She is greeted by doorman Jansen who ignites promnesia of the midnineties. The stomping ground is dusted with firsttime memories of 404, Area 52, Polyester’s, and Vicci. Novelty is restored when a flash-in-the-pan
proves more than a glint . . . this location is destined for gold. She hobnobs through the entrance and a flood of nostalgia tides over her. Smokey outdoor patio, upstairs VIP DJ lounge, bottle service, caged male/female go-go dancers, elevated catwalk, giant mirror ball spinning over a crowded dance floor, and sexy bartenders at every corner/every level. Tonight’s auspicious occasion is the 15 year return of RuPaul. Fox News anchor/reporter Jenni Lee professes her unwavering affection for the tranny as the famous Drag Racer glitters with an encore performance. Shortly afterwards, DJ Sliver reunites with the 1995 one-x-hit-wonder “Planet Soul/Set You Free.” Everyone feels ten years younger. Stanton Strickland, at his East Austin historical landmark home, puts life in perspective. Looking like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary, he offers me a complimentary ticket to “Austin Symphony Presents the Charlie Daniels Band.” The Long Center’s renovation is beautiful and brings to mind the good-luck wedding custom of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something multi-colored.” We are impressed by the cityscape framed between giant columns and a sweeping arch. The night sky is bright with constellations. After taking our seats among the plucked and preened, a band of bubbas, good ol’ boys and the rhinestone-studded, the brilliant conductor Peter Bay steps into action and summons the orchestra to resurrect. At age 72, Charlie Daniels remains a superior fiddler with faith in the Good Design. Youngest band member Chris Wormer bridges the generational gap with his talent, charm and looks. Packed with meaning, the old hymn “How Great Thou Art” segues into “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” conjuring up a
standing ovation. Regardless of whom we love, what political ideology we hold, when and how we see, or where we walk, there are musical moments when all good people share one soul. The cell phone vibrates to the call of Kim Swift and I make a mad-dash to the Peter Pan Mini-Golf course on Barton Springs for an impromptu photo shoot. “Interview” magazine photographer Antwan Duncan shoots as girls gallivant around the holey ground. The famous putt-putt park adheres to a strict policy of decency, but the theme of “Fantasy Prom” makes the mood ridiculous. Just after midnight the gates are locked for the closed set. We march in sequined gowns, tinseled wigs, gold lame stirrup pants, polyester suits, molester mustaches, etcetera. Kathleen and Amanda flaunt shamelessly in costume as Andrew and Adam make out atop the turtle sculpture/hole #4. Tonight is the SXSW wrap-up and our esteemed group has no time for frowning. A sleeve of snow cone cups dwindles down as champagne and vodka bottles are generously served up. We celebrate life and love with laughter. Enjoy in joy.
Princess Amanda Peters Waits On Frog Prince
TruthandBeauty by Deborah Alys Carter
It’s spring, and those of us in not on a beach find ourselves immersed in one of Austin’s busiest season (almost as busy as Christmas—ask any retailer). I love the energy, the cute clusters of brightly dressed, obviously European bands walking up and down South Congress in front of my big windows. Everyone on the street looks as cool as can be, and during SXSW badges dangle from their necks catch the sunlight like silverplated medallions: Passes to an alternate universe.
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I love the events, parties, shows, Galas, and everywhere music pours from patios, groups we’ve never heard of (but might soon) next to seasoned pros. Musicians fill every venue fit to play. Spring is also the month for our own awards shows. The Austin Film Society begins March festivities with the Hall of Fame Awards. The Film Society relies on donations and the largesse of The City to maintain offices at Austin Studios, sound stages that used to be our old Mueller Airport. The Film Society flies celebrities from all over the world (meaning Hollywood) to present the awards to their celebrity friends in front of Austinites who bought seats and tables for the event. Its fun, and it could be more fun if we Austinites could decide what to wear. A client was preparing for The Hall of Fame awards show, and was taking her grown son. She called many friends for dressing advice. She got all sorts of opinions: Jeans with a cami and blazer, long skirt and boots with a tee, all casual suggestions. Now, remember that I have worked with photographers, produced fashion shows, dressed models, reworked anchorwomen. The Truth is, this clothing thing is my field of expertise. Every year for the last six years my salon has been back stage at this event, providing hair and make-up advice to the stars. She is sitting in my chair and reciting these options like the definitive list. I was in shock. The theme for the Awards show, posted on their website, was “Dallas”: Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, etc. And, my client wasn’t really asking me what I thought she should wear. I think she wanted me to approve the safe, more casual choice. She was in for a surprise. We no longer live in a small town. Everywhere we look, we see skyscrapers, traffic jams, and high-rise cranes. Our Real Estate values currently (and consistently) rise above the National norm. National magazines have representatives and camera people everywhere, and you never know when you are going to be quoted in print or television these days. We now have events to attend where we meet celebrities. It’s time we grew up. I love the casualness of Austin life-style as much as anyone. It’s one reason I live here. What I do not love, however, is attending an event at the Bass Concert Hall in the evening and sitting next to a couple wearing cargo shorts and Birkenstocks. I’m sorry, but I know they had to buy their tickets three months in advance, like me, and mark the date on their calendars. They, too, were looking forward to a bit of beauty in their lives. What would it have taken for them to contribute to the atmosphere, to walk into a closet and make an effort to “Dress For The Event”? “Dress For The Event”. It does take a little more time. It does take us out of our arrogant Austin casualness. But the growth and sophistication we can see happening in our city demand that we take stock of our smalltown-mindedness and our wardrobes. We need to re-think who we are as a city and embrace our own personal style and not the lack of it. We Austinites love to pair styles, themes, and incorporate our Texas heritage, even while dressing for black tie. We love vintage and new, we don’t mind of our men wear a tuxedo jacket with boots and a silver belt buckle. I’ve had lots of conversations with fashion correspondents from all over the country, and they are enamored with Austin. Compared to the other big cities, when we try, we set a different standard for personal style that can be envied, if not copied. We need to embrace the truth of our own unique “Dressing up”, and not be afraid of it. We need to embrace dressing up as fun, a reflection of our pride in our changing city. It can be a beautiful thing.
Featured Artist Cecilia Paz Mujica
the 31st annual spring pecan street festival WE’RE GREEN NOW!
fine artS & craftS • live muSic & performing artS on 5 StageS • new kidS’ art tent • over 400 artiStS carnival rideS • cool SponSor exhibitS • new ecological area • international & healthY foodS • petting zoo
Santiago Jimenez Jr. • The Lemurs • Suzanna Choffel • The Blue Hit • Built By Snow • Austin City Showgirls • Corto Maltese • The Steps • La Distancia • Grupo Energia • South Flavas Poetry Slam
over • Kona Isle Dancer • El Tule • Salsa Candela • The Spirit of Flamenco 80 acts • Los Bad Apples • Flying Balalaika Brothers • The Boxing Lesson performing! • Omar Lopez • The Buddy And Babe Juggling Show • The Banjo Club • Noise Revival Orchestra • The Stone Ravers • Najo Jazz Orchestra • Agave Love • Foco Rojo • At-boyz • Haydn Vitera • Frenetica • No Mas Bodas • Wino Vino • Phoenix Hart • Leti De La Vega • La Guerrilla • Foot Patrol • Many Birthdays • and much more! Santiago
Jimenez Jr. on Sunday!
Visit our Web site to win one of 30 scholarships from Capital One Bank!
www.oldpecanstreetfestival.com produced by special events management
Published on May 4, 2009
TODO Austin is a free-distribution, full-color, monthly newspaper that focuses on Austin's multicultural community. TODO Austin is published...