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Volume II, 10 | February 2011
Celebrate Black History Month
by Mary Parsamyan
The Colors on Clay exhibit continues at Mexic-Arte Museum through March 27. The exhibition features firstname.lastname@example.org a selection of brightly colored ceramic artwork decorated to reflect the imagery of Mexico and South Texas, with depictions of everyday culture and life. Generically referred to as “San José tiles,” the works were locally produced by groups of artisans from 1931 to 1971. www.mexic-artemuseum.org www.facebook.com/todo.austin ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------For 20 years, Austin Dance India has presented traditional Indian style dance with contemporary www.twitter.com/todo_austin twists. Parampara Part II: A Modern Take on a 1000-year Tradition, will be performed Feb. 4 - 5 (8 p.m.) and Feb. 6 (3 p.m.) at the Long Center, Rollins Theater. The performance will showcase ceremonial Madeline Goldmanworks as well as contemporary Indian art forms, Rohm is a SCAD creating a modern day representation of Indian tradition. www.austindanceindia.com graduate, Italian ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Renaissance art guru, In honor of Black History Month, Topdog/ recent Austinite and Underdog, written by Suzan–Lori Parks, the first African American woman to receive the Drama animal lover. She Pulitzer Prize, runs Feb. 17 - March 13, Thur. - Sat., covers local artist 8 p.m./Sun., 5:30 p.m. at The City Theatre (3823 Jesse Greene on p. 14. Airport Blvd.). The play tells the story of Lincoln, a retired master of the three-card street hustle, and Booth, a master thief, played out and explored in a Heather Buffingtonone-room apartment that is their field of unrealized Anderson earned her dreams. www.citytheatreaustin.org ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------master’s degree from Black History Month culminates with the annual King’s College London African American Community Heritage Festival with her dissertation on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 1:30 - 4 p.m. at HustonTillotson University (900 Chicon St.). The free festival that explores issues features vendors, live music, children’s activities, of race and gender health screenings and more in conjunction with HTU’s University Day open house for high school in Nina Simone’s Civil students and their families (check-in at 8:30 a.m.). Rights Protest music. www.gotoht.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Art Night Austin is a preview of artists and partners Amy Ford is mother collaborating in Spring 2011, where culture enthusiasts of three brown venture through Austin’s premier galleries, museums beauties, president and temporary art spaces for a sampling of the most interesting work being created, exhibited and of Parenting Across performed in Austin. On Saturday, Feb. 26, each space Color (p. 7), author will be paired with complimentary chef-prepared of Brown Babies Pink bites, select wines and music to complete the cultural trek. www.artallianceaustin.org Parents and adoption ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------educator/advocate. Enjoy the City’s 6th Green Garden Festival, featuring presentations, information and fun activities for eco-friendly gardening on Sunday, Feb. 27, 12 - 4 Heather Lee enjoys p.m. at Zilker Botanical Garden. Learn how to make good food and a our community an even cleaner place to live and help hearty laugh. Find her protect Austin’s environment, one yard at a time. www.ci.austin.tx.us/greengarden/festival.htm article, “Food for a ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Broken Heart” on p. 13. UT Theatre and Dance presents The Threepenny Opera, directed by third-year MFA in Directing candidate, Halena Kays. Mack the Knife is on the Suzi McCoy, prowl through London with the help of the city’s M.S., LPC is a most virtuous whores and upstanding thieves in this raucous musical. Feb. 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 psychotherapist in p.m. and Feb. 20, 27 at 2 p.m. at Brockett Theatre in private practice in Winship Drama Bldg. (23rd St. & San Jacinto). www. North-Central Austin. TexasPerformingArts.org
Yoga made ESY for You. 1050 East 11th St. #150 ~ 512.779.8543 www.eastsideyoga-austin.com
premiering at the macc this spring spring break camp
Meeting customers communication and information technology needs and challenges of tomorrow — today.
Music, Culture, Life!: ages 5-12 Ridin’ Low Workshop for Teens: ages 13-16 March 14-18 For information and to register, call 512-974-8785
the mexican american experience T E L E C O M M U N I C AT I O N S BROADBAND & WEB HOSTING
Featuring Ruben Ramos, Little Joe, Roberto Pulido, & many more! Doors open at 5pm, show starts at 6pm. March 16 & 17
I N F O R M AT I O N T E C H N O L O G Y SERVICE INDUSTRY SURVEILLANCE AND SECURITY S TA F F A U G M E N TAT I O N
www.rzaustin.com | (512) 386.7336 RZ AUSTIN
RZ PORT ARTHUR
BRANDI COWLEY 1611 W. 5th Street 512.473.0700 | brandicowley.com PHOTO BY ZOE ALEXANDER
600 River St., Austin, TX 78701 512-974-3772, maccaustin.org The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require special assistance for participation in our programs or use of our facilities please call 512-974-3772 or 711 Relay Texas. La ciudad de Austin está comprometida al Acta de Americanos Incapacitados. Si requiere asistencia para participar en nuestros programas por favor llame al www.cityofaustin.org/parks teléfono número 512-974-3772 e 711 Relay Texas.
TODO Austin VOLUME II, NUMBER 010 Publisher/Editor - Gavin Lance Garcia
UT Receives Human Rights Grant By Harmony Eichsteadt
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Travis County (CASA)
The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin recently received a $450,000 grant to establish the Embry Women’s Human Rights Initiative. According to the CWGS website, “the Embrey Women’s Human Rights Initiative sustains research, teaching, and activism as human rights strategies in resistance to oppressions along narrative borders of ability, class, ethnicity, gender, indigeneity, nationality, and sexuality.” Institute Director Dr. Kristen Hogan said that it is important that Women’s Human Rights are addressed in this particular matter. “Education matters,” she said. Educational institutions have a long history of incubating activism, and this initiative is a perfect example of the power of a university to affect change. In addition to having several signature courses, funding for faculty development and international graduate students, local high school curriculum development, and an international women’s conference in 2012, the initiative will pair students with local organizations working for human rights as part of a service learning component. Students and faculty will have the opportunity to study existing human rights documents, to talk about what works and what doesn’t, where women (and other marginalized groups) are included, where they are excluded and to see and participate first hand in the work that is being done locally and globally to support human rights for all. Dr. Hogan noted that it is important to notice that human rights violations happen here in our country, in our city, and that people are working against them everywhere in the world, not just in the U.S. CWGS Director Dr. Susan Heinzelman said that the initiative will “begin to generate solutions that might lead to systemic and sustainable change around the world.” For information about the Initiative visit the CWGS website at www.utexas. edu/cola/centers/cwgs.
Sara Hickman “Best of Times” Release Party Official State Musician of Texas 2010, Sara Hickman, has pulled together an incredible list of Texas’ finest musicians to play her songs on an album called “Best of Times.” All proceeds of the album benefit the Theatre Action Project, an Austin based nonprofit that provides arts programs to thousands of local youth. Theatre Action Project hosts a CD release, party and fundraiser on February 5, 2011 at the Paramount Theatre. The concert lineup includes performances by Robert Earl Keen, Ruthie Foster, Patrice Pike, and the White Ghost Shivers offering music lovers a night of country, folk, blues, gospel, and contemporary rock. — Bowen Wilder
Senior Editors – Harmony Eichsteadt, Jillian Hall, Gabino Iglesias, Katie Walsh
Rose Ramirez loves Austin. She recently moved here with her fiancé from Washington state and loves how the warm weather helps her flowers and her avocado tree grow (she also loves gardening), and how she has all the perks of a city but never feels like she lives in one. Rose loves her cat Connor. She considers him to be more human than pet. Rose also loves being a CASA volunteer. Whether Rose is showing the staff how Sofia, her CASA child, likes to dance, or getting ready to advocate in the courtroom for the well-being of this baby girl, Rose displays a supernatural energy and enthusiasm for her work as a CASA volunteer. Having had past experience with the family court system, Rose remembers volunteers like those from CASA who made all the difference in difficult times, and now she gives back with her own time. Though Rose recently started a new job in Austin, is going to school and is planning her upcoming wedding (according to her, you don’t get busier than wedding planning), she still makes time to see Sofia more than is required. For her, the feeling of accomplishment knowing Sofia is being well taken care of is the best feeling ever. Rose says that CASA is always the least stressful part of her week.
F E B R U A RY AT T H E M I L L E N N I U M All things love and black history are celebrated this month at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex.
On Friday, February 11, the Millennium hosts a night of fun for friends and lovers with Roll & Bowl. The cost is $5 per person and allows an entertaining night of roller skating and bowling on Valentine’s weekend. To celebrate Black History Month, drop by the Millennium for a free movie at the 2011 Black Filmmaker Classics Series. On the screen, Thursday, February 17, is Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It,” from 6-8 p.m. The following week, Thursday, February 24, features a Viewers’ Choice flick from 6-8 p.m. Patrons may send in their film request (email@example.com) no later than February 9.
04 TODO Austin // FEB 2011 // TODOaustinonline.com
Art Director - Dave McClinton www.dmdesigninc.com Executive Editor - Erica Stall Wiggins
The Millennium, at 1156 Hargrave Street, is hosting African American Speed Dating on Thursday, February 10. For $5 per person, singles are encouraged to comingle with other potential Valentines. Speed dates are five minutes long. To register, send an e-mail with name, e-mail address, and age range to info@myec. net by February 3. Arrive at 5:45 pm to complete your reservation.
Sara Hickman by Lili Hickman Waldon
Grownups looking for a place to have a good time, dance, skate, mix and mingle are invited to the Austin’s Adults Only Skating and Dance Party at the Millennium’s East End Arena, the largest indoor roller skating rink in Central Texas. The night’s soundtrack is Ol’ Skool and the latest R&B/Hip Hop sounds, provided by MYEC’s DJ Please. Call the Millennium at 512 472-MYEC for information about hosting your event. Schools, organizations, and community groups are welcome to bring receptions, dinners, programs, and other special events to the facility. Call 512-472-6932 for additional information.
Associate Editors – Sonia Kotecha, Alexandra M. Landeros, Julia Lee, Esther Reyes, Blake Shanley, Bowen Wilder, Yvonne Lim Wilson Contributing Writers/Artists – Mohammad Al-Bedaiwi, Heather Buffington Anderson, Joseph Banks, Lina Begum, Stefanie Behe, Adriana Cadena, Deborah Alys Carter, Jennie Chen, Brandi Cowley, Amy Ford, Mia Garcia, Madeline Goldman-Rohm, Paul Hernandez, Anoop Iyer, Yadira Izquierdo, Gary Jaffe, Nandini Jairam, Vandana Kumar, Callie Langford, Heather Lee, Otis Lopez, David Marks, Mike Martinez, Suzi McCoy, M.S. LLP, Jessica Meyer, Jay Parmar, Mary Parsamyan, Kathy Pham, Rebecca Robinson, Marion Sanchez, Rupal Shah, Kristina Vallejo, Kuetzpalin Vasquez, Thomas Yoo Photographers – Heather Banks, David M. Collins, Lisa Dean, Jenny Fu, Mark Guerra, John M. P. Knox, JoJo Marion, Jay Parmar, Aimee Wenske, Matt Ziehr Advertising Contact 512.538.4115 firstname.lastname@example.org TODO Austin is published by Spark Awakened Publishing. © 2011 Spark Awakened Publishing. All rights reserved. Unsolicited submissions (including, but not limited to articles, artwork, photographs) are not returned.
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TODOAustinOnline.com Multicultural Media for All of Austin TODO Austin is a free, colorful print and online journal for all of Austin highlighting our multicultural heritage. Our mission is to promote the concept of community in an ethnically diverse city.
WRITE TO US with stories, submissions, etc.: Contact@TODOaustinonline. com Editorial – 512.538.4115 Bevis Griffin by Stephanie Foxx of S. Foxx Studios, NYC, ca. 1986-87 ON THE COVER:
Let’s Talk About It “I was born in Ciudad Juárez. I have lived here for many years. It is not a city of thugs; it is a city of hospitable people...ordinary persons seeking to provide, through honest means, a better future for their families. We are human beings, we are not numbers. As such I would like us to be remembered.”
The People’s Pain in Ciudad Juárez By Katie Walsh
So begins the self-published work, “Ciudad Juárez 2008-2010: A Photographic Testimony of Our Pain.” History professor Guillermo Cervantes set out to document, through words and images uniquely of the people, the underbelly of the violent beast swallowing up the livelihood of this Chihuahua town since Felipe Calderón’s war on drugs officially began 3 years ago. Despite the heavy presence of Ciudad Juárez in the news, the book presents a story yet untold. Most international coverage of the violence there is dehumanized, lacking the personal struggles of its citizens in favor of sensationalist reports of carnage and death toll figures. “A Photographic Testimony...” tells a much different, human interest story, one of a people held hostage on their own soil.
ALL IMAGES FROM “CIUDAD JUÁREZ 2008-2010: A PHOTOGRAPHIC TESTIMONY OF OUR PAIN.
“I think it is necessary for the international community to understand Ciudad Juárez through the eyes of its inhabitants; we live here every day, we are scarred by the economic and social effects of this war, we don’t bear weapons, we don’t live in bunkers, we don’t have armored cars nor bodyguards, as our politicians do; yet we pay the price with pain and blood while trying to make an honest living,” Cervantes said. On March 27, 2008, Operativo Conjunto Chihuahua (or Operación Coordinada) introduced the militarization of Ciudad Juárez as the solution to organized crime and cartel violence. Today, anywhere from 7,500 to 10,000 Federales and soldiers patrol the streets, yet the violence and deaths continue to escalate. Cervantes says that many times, confessed murderers walk free while everyday people are harassed and prosecuted. “They break into houses, they frisk youngsters at parks, they menacingly point their assault rifles at ordinary citizens while clad in black ski masks. Yet murder rates go up, more than 10,000 businesses have closed down because they can’t afford to pay extortion; we all are constantly at risk of being kidnapped, all this while their convoys parade back and forth through the city and the bad guys are on the loose,” Cervantes said. 300 images comprise four sections of the book. Each section begins with an anecdote and then unfolds into a collection of silent, captionless photos, allowing the reader to follow the story through their own interpretations. The underlying message of “A Photographic Testimony...” is that Juarenses are honest, hardworking people fighting to offer their families a future amidst a war they never wanted. “My work is a desperate effort to give voice to the ordinary citizens of Ciudad Juarez,” Cervantes said. “We are the true victims.”
Community Action for Immigrants’ Rights Last month we told you about the more than 40 antiimmigrant bills that have been introduced in the House this legislative session. These bills range from denying citizenship to U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants to requiring local law enforcement to stop anyone who looks “suspicious” of being an undocumented immigrant. The result of the 82nd session will either allow unfounded fears to infiltrate our principles or will allow our Texas values of family, freedom and pursuit of happiness to persevere. This month, I invite you to join us in defeating these proposals and upholding freedom and justice by participating in the following actions co-coordinated by members of RITA (Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance): February 22: March, Rally & Advocacy Day: Over 3,000 individuals from throughout the state will convene in Austin to march down Congress Avenue, rally at the Texas Capitol, and visit Texas legislators. Esther Reyes of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition announces various actions organized by members of the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session. —photo by Jason Cato
March 18: Town Hall Meeting On Immigration: Latino activists, artists, elected officials and interested citizens will
By Esther Reyes
take part in a discussion during the Pan Americana Festival to examine how we can support the human rights of immigrants. March 19: Musicians and Artists for Peace March & Concert: We ask you to join us as we gather with musicians and other performing artists for a march and rally in the name of peace and justice. Ongoing Statewide Actions: Postcard Campaign and Community Forums: RITA members will send postcards to targeted Texas legislators urging them to embrace diversity and recognize the contributions of all sectors of our society. Members will also organize educational forums in their respective communities. The Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition’s first forum took place Friday, January 28 at Cristo Rey Church. Our next community forum takes place Friday, February 22 at St. James Episcopal Church (1941 Webberville Road) at 6:30 p.m. To join us in standing on the right side of history, contact Esther Reyes at 476-2472 or via email at email@example.com. TODO Austin // FEB 2011 // TODOaustinonline.com 05
Yvonne Lim Wilson is founder and publisher of Asian Austin at www.AsianAustin.com, an online news magazine featuring news about Asian American people, organizations and events in Austin. Contact Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org. ________________________________________________________
Asian Austin: About Town By Yvonne Lim Wilson
What are some of your favorite Lunar New Year traditions? “With the Vietnamese, we keep to the traditions and get together with family and enjoy each other’s company, eat and play traditional games. We cook banh chung (rice packets filled with meat, wrapped in bamboo leaves) and the kids look Photo by Yvonne Lim Wilson forward to the red envelopes.” Governor Dao of Xishuangbanna, China surprised Thy Nguyenreception guests with an impromptu dance performance.
Dancers from a performance at the Xiang Yun Buddhist Temple
The Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is celebrated by Asians throughout the world as the most important holiday. It traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month, which falls on February 3 this year. 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which is considered the luckiest sign in the Chinese Zodiac. The rabbit will supposedly bring peace and calm and be a time to use diplomacy to solve problems, according to Chinese astrologists. Those born in the year of the rabbit are considered to be calm, cautious and good listeners. Traditional dragon and lion dances, along with firecrackers, are meant to scare away the evil spirits, making room for a positive, fresh start for the new year. This is also a time to focus on family, similar to Christmas or Thanksgiving in Western cultures. Several Asian cultures give special red envelopes filled with lucky money to children during the Chinese New Year. And every family has its favorite Lunar New Year foods to enjoy together. Austin has a rich diversity of Asian cultures, and February is an excellent month to get out and participate in many of the Lunar New Year festivities, including family friendly events, an evening cocktail gala, Buddhist chanting and more.
A SAMPLE OF UPCOMING LUNAR NEW YEAR EVENTS: FEB. 2 THROUGH FEB. 20 f Xiang Yun Temple Celebration of Chinese New Year — Various times at Xiang Yun Temple, 6720 N. Capital of Texas Highway. — Multiple events including a special New Year’s Eve dinner and prayer service, cultural performances, Thousand Buddhas Dharma Service and Chanting Service. FEB. 3 f Capital Area Asian American Democrats Awards & Lunar New Year Celebration — 6 to 8 p.m. at Texas AFL-CIO, 1106 Lavaca St. — Enjoy food, fellowship and cultural performances, as well as help honor recipients of the annual Capital Area Asian American Democrats Awards. FEB. 5 f Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce Lunar New Year Gala — 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave. — Celebrate TACC’s Annual Business Awards, enjoy food from ten local Asian restaurants, cultural entertainment, a silent auction and an art show featuring local artists and renowned master Artist Wang of Houston. FEB. 6 f Chinatown Center Lunar New Year Celebration — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Chinatown Center, 10901 N. Lamar Blvd. — Family fun complete with firecrackers, two lion dance troupes, kiwi the clown and more. Visit the calendar page of Asian Austin at www.AsianAustin.com for a more details on Lunar New Year events in Austin.
“My aunt wants me to sing (in Vietnamese).” Leah, 4 “I like the dragon dance.” - Khien, 7 “The best thing was what my mom would cook — salted duck soup, and then add leftovers for the next day, even better! In Malaysia, you open up your house and people come. It was great as a kid going from house to house to house, getting to eat all the food and collecting hong bao [red envelopes].” - Marina Ong Bhargava “When I was younger, we gave presents — it was like Christmas! My mom [who is Japanese] always made inarizhsu, it was so good, I would eat a whole plate of it. And we would eat mochi rice cakes for good luck for the rest of the year. On New Year’s Day, you’re supposed to not do those things that you don’t want to do for the rest of the year — no fighting and no cooking.” - Armand Daniels
Good Times at Güero’s For great tunes and great rita’s! Please join us for live music on our outside jardin stage, every Thursday through Sunday. THANKS TO THE FANS & BANDS WHO SUPPORT US!!! ALL OUTDOOR SHOWS ARE “WEATHER PERMITTING”
1412 S. Congress Avenue • Austin, Texas 78704 Open Weekdays 11am-11pm; Weekends 8am-11pm
---------------------------------------------------Thu 2/3 THE BOB FUENTES SHOW (6:30) Fri 2/4 LOS FLAMES (6:30) Sat 2/5 TRENT TURNER BAND (6:30) ---------------------------------------------------Sun 2/6 THE TEXAS TYCOONS (3:00) Thu 2/10 THE FABS (6:30) Fri 2/11 LOS FLAMES (6:30) Sat 2/12 THE SIZZLE EFFECT (6:30) ---------------------------------------------------Sun 2/13 TIBURONCITO (3:00) Thu 2/17 MATT SMITH (6:30) Fri 2/18 LOS FLAMES (6:30) Sat 2/19 EVE MONSEES & THE EXILES (6:30) ---------------------------------------------------Sun 2/20 MITCH WEBB & THE SWINDLES (3:00) Thu 2/24 JOHNNY GIMBLE (6:30) Fri 2/25 LOS FLAMES (6:30) Sat 2/26 TOO BLUE (6:30) ---------------------------------------------------Sun 2/27 CHICKEN STRUT (3:00)
PARENTING ACROSS COLOR OFFERS TRANSRACIAL FAMILY SUPPORT Families throughout the city will celebrate Black History month during February, especially those members of Parenting Across Color (PAC). Parenting Across Color is a local organization dedicated to supporting and educating families created through adoption who are comprised of Caucasian parents and African American youth, many of whom have spent time in the foster system. PAC parents carry the responsibility of introducing African American children to a culture to which the parents do not belong, making the month of February vitally important, given the influx of cultural events and opportunities around the city. Parenting Across Color was the brain child of Dr. Ruth McRoy and Mrs. Ora Houston, who recognized an increasing number of
transracial families attending services at St. James Episcopal Church. The monthly support group has met on a regular basis since 2003 and serves approximately 84 families in the Austin area. PAC recognizes the necessity of cultural competency in adoption and provides speakers on topics like white privilege, racial socialization, identity and racism. In addition to the educational component, PAC meetings serve as a safe and nurturing place to share with other families the joys and challenges of being a multicultural family in a race conscious world. African American youth are disproportionally represented in the child welfare system. According to the 2009 Data Book for the Department of Family and Protective Services of Texas, African American children
represent 11% of the total child population of the state, yet represent 34% of the children eligible for adoption. In 2009, 36% of adoptions completed in the child welfare system were transracial. Yet very little, if any, training is provided to foster and adoptive families on ways to meet the needs of their children. How does a white parent learn to comb black hair? Or connect to a community to which they do not belong? How does one impart on a child the life lessons the parents have never had to learn? Parenting Across Color meets these needs in adoptive and foster families around Austin and plans to open chapters of support in other communities in the next two years. Requests from Dallas, Oklahoma City, Denver and Washington, D.C. have poured into Parenting Across Color after the
Empowerment Experiment Founder Maggie Anderson to Speak at Black History Month Program The Austin Black Newcomers Association (ABNA) is an organization which fosters community engagement by providing culturally sensitive programs and a network of supportive relationships for emerging leaders. Additionally, they offer a web directory of local organizations to enhance new Austin residents’ personal and professional lives. The ABNA will celebrate Black History Month with a free program featuring a keynote speech by Margarita Anderson, co-founder of the Illinoisbased Empowerment Experiment (EE). The event’s theme is “Still Dreaming: Sustaining the Black Community with Service and Activism.” The event will be held at the Lady Bird Auditorium at the LBJ
Museum and Library on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. Austin City Council Member Sheryl Cole is also scheduled to speak. ABNA President and Founder Dr. Monica Anderson (no relation) says, “The mission of our organization is to motivate Austin’s new residents to become actively engaged in this vibrant and historic city that welcomes people of all ethnicities. This event is designed to acquaint everyone with our community service initiative and inspire them to get involved because one person or one family can make a difference.” The title sponsor for the event is The University
publication of “Brown Babies Pink Parents”, the book penned by Parenting Across Color President, Amy Ford. In “Brown Babies Pink Parents”, Ford shares with other parents the lessons she was never taught in preparing to become a foster parent or adoptive mother. Parenting Across Color is growing, as the need for foster and adoptive homes increases. Education and support surrounding transracial parenting is freely given to any family in need. The group meets on the second Saturday of every month at St. James Episcopal. All families are welcome and childcare is free of charge. For more details, including the upcoming Culture Camp for African American children growing up in Caucasian households, go to www.parentingacrosscolor.com or contact Amy Ford at (512) 844-7907.
Margarita (Maggie) Anderson, co-founder of the Illinois-based Empowerment Experiment
of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE). Maggie Anderson will also give an on-campus lecture to UT students during her tour visit to Austin at the invitation of Professor Juliet Walker. Other major sponsors are IBM and the National Black MBA Austin Chapter. The event is free but attendees must register for a ticket online at http://abnaee-esli.eventbrite.com. For more information about the event or the Austin Black Newcomers Association, please visit http:// austinsblacknewcomers.org. TODO Austin // FEB 2011 // TODOaustinonline.com 07
photo by Scott Newton
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photo by Lisa Dean
photo by Scott Newton
CONT. FROM PAGE 8
United Sounds of Austin By Bowen Wilder
As a compliment to SXSW 2011’s top notch Latin themed official showcases, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center is co-presenting four free concerts from March 16-19. The Mexican American Experience (Wednesday and Thursday, March 16-17), produced by Crossroads Events, celebrates the successes of the native Latino community’s music, dance and social achievements. Crossroads chairman Leonard Davila, a former musician and a leading advocate for the Latino population is optimistic that this year’s event will become an annual affair. “Our Mexican American culture has a great story that needs to be told,” he said. “Our show was created to showcase just some of the great musical talent that comes from the Mexican American community. It’s not just Mexican music that influences our music, but jazz, R&B, country, rock and salsa. With the music industry in town, I’m hoping that some of our musical talent might be discovered and given the opportunity to be heard across the rest of the world. That’s why holding this event during SXSW is so important. Our artists have been excluded from these types of events for too long. If Crossroads doesn’t act, nobody will.” The Mexican American Experience is highlighted by a rare Austin appearance of Tejano legends, Los Tres Amigos, featuring Little Joe Hernandez, Ruben Ramos and Roberto Pulido with the Mexican Revolution. Grammy and Tejano -winning artists litter the line-up, including Grupo Vida, Aviso, Jimmy Edwards, Joe Bravo and Stefani Montiel. Perennial Austin Music award winner 10 TODO Austin // FEB 2011 // TODOaustinonline.com
Los Texas Wranglers will be joined by newer show-stopping acts like Braulio y Fuzzion, Llueve and Cinco Doce. Tejano Hall of Fame member David Marez is also among the acts that exemplify Latino heritage in its truest form. Bellas Artes Alliance, a nonprofit group formed in 2010 to promote Latino arts and artistic talent, co-presents the Pan Americana Festival with the ESB-MACC and the US Hispanic Contractors Association on Friday and Saturday, March 18-19. The event brings together a multinational convergence of Latino artistic talent highlighted by some of the country’s most notable music acts together with up-and-coming artists to “collaborate, celebrate and collectively promote their passions in pursuit of a new, transnational cultural and artistic enterprise.” The Friday date is headlined by A.B. Quintanilla III and Kumbia All Starz, a cumbia group based in Corpus Christi. The All Starz are led by one of music’s most brilliant writers and producers, Quintanilla III, the older brother of the late Tejana singer Selena. The band’s 2006 debut “Ayer Fue Kumbia Kings, Hoy Es Kumbia All Starz” topped Billboard’s Latin charts, and generated the hits, “Chiquilla” and “Parece Que Va A Llover.” Also on the bill is San Antonio Tejano stars, Latin Breed, who have notched several Latin radio hits in their storied career, and Austin’s Scarlett Olson, whose rhythmic sound and vocals are inescapably awe inspiring.
The incomparable Ozomatli is the featured act on Saturday evening. Going on fifteen years, the renowned Los Angeles culture-mashers make music that transcends borders, as they have been given the honor of being named U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors. — BW
Wild is the Wind: A TRIBUTE TO NINA SIMONE Bemba Entertainment’s third annual tribute to Nina Simone is Saturday, February 19, at 6:00 p.m. at the Huston-Tillotson University King-Seabrook Chapel. The event highlights Simone’s life and musical career through music, dance, and film, including scenes from the documentary Nina Simone: La Legende (The Legend). Her music will be brought to life in a multidimensional performance featuring Yashi Vaughn and the Simone Tribute Band, with dance interpretations of pivotal songs in Simone’s career from Ballet Afrique. Since Simone’s death in 2003, there has been a steady stream of tribute concerts as new generations of fanatics have gathered to experience the sound of the High Priestess of Soul. From various film soundtracks to remixes and a planned biographical film, Simone seems to be ever present in contemporary culture and is receiving more exposure than ever. Upon first listen, admirers are captivated by her voice, which is both strange and familiar. Simone’s biography is an interesting study in the evolution of contemporary American culture, as one discovers how a black girl from Tryon, North Carolina rises to become a leading musical figure during one of the most controversial and turbulent periods in American history. From all this knowledge there is still mystery and allure to this folk, soul, blues and jazz musician. We are still yearning for more and then some. — Heather Buffington Anderson
THE TODO ARTS LIST PRESENTED BY TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS Texas Performing Arts is proud to recognize Austin’s many outstanding arts organizations CRANK COLLECTIVE PRESENTS DRONE
John Cecil presents his latest satirical rock musical comedy. Two pilots stationed in a South Texas trailer fly a remote control surveillance drone over the Texas-Mexico border. A romance leads to espionage-mayhem, all set to live music from a fourpiece band. Feb. 4-12, Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. at The City Theatre (3823 Airport Blvd.). www.droneshow.com
One of today’s pre-eminent classical pianists returns to perform an all-Schubert program in the intimate Bates Recital Hall, Thursday, Feb. 10, 8:00 p.m. Ax’s repertoire ranges from Bach to the 20th Century, and his warmth and intelligence make him one of the most endearing and approachable musicians around. Described as a rare and marvelous artist, Ax is noted for his poetic temperament and unsurpassed virtuosity. www. TexasPerformingArts.org
NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND: BLACK WATCH
Based on interviews conducted by Scottish playwright Gregory Burke with veteran soldiers who served in Iraq, this stirring play is viewed through the eyes of those on the ground. Black Watch reveals what it means to be part of the legendary Scottish regiment in the war on terror, and what it means to make the journey home again. Hailed as a cultural landmark, the production makes powerful and inventive use of movement, music, and song, all to create a visceral, complex, and urgent piece of theatre. For this special presentation, the audience will be seated on the Bass Concert Hall stage. Feb. 16-20. www. TexasPerformingArts.org
MIRÓ QUARTET WITH COLIN CURRIE, PERCUSSION
One of America’s highest-profile chamber groups, Miró Quartet is comprised of Daniel Ching, violin; Sandy Yamamoto, violin; John Largess, viola; and Joshua Gindele, cello. The ensemble is joined by 2010 Grammy Award winning percussionist Colin Currie. Feb. 22, 2011, 8:00 p.m. at Bates Recital Hall. Presented in partnership with the Butler School of Music, the program features works by David Maric, Franz Schubert, Steve Reich, John Zorn and more. www.TexasPerformingArts.org
JERRY SEINFELD National Theatre of Scotland: Black Watch
BLUE MAN GROUP
PARADOX PLAYERS’S BIOGRAPHY
In this drawing-room comedy, Marion Froude is known for her many romantic adventures. From her Manhattan salon, the free-spirited portrait artist writes her autobiography. Scandal looms and panic ensues among her male acquaintances. At Howson Hall Theater, First Unitarian Universalist Church (4700 Grover Ave.), Feb. 11-27. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m./Sun. 3 p.m. www. paradoxplayers.org
This outfit is best known for wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine comedy, music, and technology to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The New York Times heralds the show as “One of the most delightful performance pieces ever staged.” With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages, and cultures. Presented by Texas Performing Arts in partnership with the Long Center for the Performing Arts in an effort to elevate and expand a local Broadway presence. Feb. 22 - 27, 2011 at the Long Center. www.TexasPerformingArts.org
America’s premier comedian is hitting the road in a return to his first love – stand-up comedy. Hailed as “the master stand-up comic of his generation” and “the best comedian of our time” in a Washington Post article by Tom Shales, Seinfeld has an uncanny ability to joke about the little things in life that relate to audiences everywhere. Seinfeld now sets his sights on performing his material across the country in 2011. Friday, Feb. 25, 7:00 & 9:30 p.m. at Bass Concert Hall. www.TexasPerformingArts.org
BACHUS CONSERVATORY’S ODE TO LOVE
From Austin’s premier music school comes “Ode to Love: Celebrating Valentine’s Day” on Sunday, Feb. 13, 3 p.m. at the Recital Hall, Suite 112 (8000 Anderson Sq.). Love birds will hear selections from Madama Butterfly, Die Fledermaus, The Student Prince, The Magic Flute, Lakme, Don Giovanni, Norma, The Tales of Hoffman, and more. www.bachusconservatory.com
CHADDICK DANCE THEATER
REVEL MUSIC’S CROWN THEY GOOD
Cheryl Chaddick’s dance performances explore self image, feminine energy and anger. This evocative four-piece composition kicks off with choreography/dance by Chaddick, whose work is imbued with emotional resonance that offers new insight into the human condition. Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 17-19, 8 p.m./Sunday, Feb. 20, 2 p.m. at Austin Ventures Studio Theater at Ballet Austin (501 W. 3rd). www.chaddickdancetheater.com
Jerry Seinfeld Blue Man Group
Music from the extended brotherhood of American composers, from romping good time jazz to the eclectic , includes works by Foss, Ellington, Dorsey, Wiedoeft, and Austin’s Aaron Bramwell. Performed in a private home on Friday, Feb. 25 at 6:00 p.m., and Northwest Hills United Methodist Church (7050 Village Ctr. Dr.), Saturday, Feb. 26 at 6:00 p.m. Featuring saxophonist Harvey Pittel. www.revelmusic.org
TEXAS CHORAL CONSORT’S THE SEASONS
Following the success of Haydn’s “Creation,” TCC presents its sequel—the composer’s “other” masterpiece, “The Seasons.” The rarely performed work celebrates everyday life in the passing of the seasons: oscillating between stunning arias, dramatic choruses, and amazing orchestral flourishes. Saturday, Feb. 26, 8:00 pm/Sunday, Feb. 27, 3:00 pm at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church (8134 Mesa Drive). www.txconsort.org
What Works in Relationships? By, Suzi McCoy, MS, LPC
Did you know that social science researchers have actually done in-depth studies to answer this question? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a card, flowers or chocolates may bring a short-lived smile to your sweetheart’s face, but what are some of the deeper components of healthy partnerships that just might make for everlasting love?
Sharon Bridgforth By Harmony Eichsteadt Photography by Elvis Nolasco
Positivity, for one. Leading researcher John Gottman, Ph.D. has noticed that among couples who report being mostly satisfied with their relationship, there are about five positive exchanges to every negative one. That might mean a compliment or acknowledgement, a validation, or an expression of affection or gratitude for every one complaint. Conversely, the ratio is only two negatives to one positive for couples who report being mostly unhappy in their partnership. The result is that those positive exchanges build up an emotional bank account of goodwill that can be drawn from in times of relationship stress. When you do have a complaint, communication is less likely to turn defensive if you ask for what you want rather than complain about what you’re getting. For example, saying “I’d like to see the tools put back in the utility room,” rather than “It bothers me when you leave your tools out.” While on the subject of complaints, avoid venting. Strive for communicating your upset to your partner in a sentence or two, period. Citing multiple instances when this issue has been a problem for you can quickly drain that goodwill account down or even leave you with insufficient funds for the
Sharon Bridgforth has been an author working in the field of Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic (TJA) since 1990. She produces art that combines poetry, dance, music, theatre, personal expression, collaborative work and audience involvement. TJA was birthed in the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s. In “When the Ancestors Call,” by Dr. Omi Osun, Director of UT Austin’s John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies Joni L. Jones says, “the work fused music/sound, dance/movement and the spoken word, was primarily initiated and perpetuated by women, relied on breath as the spiritual fire of the work, and set no limits on blackness.” Unlike traditional forms of performance arts, where there is a distinct line between the creator and the performers, TJA is processfocused. “It is about the humility involved in apprenticeship as one painstakingly acquires one’s own aesthetic character through the guidance of masters. It is about the performers finding their way, bringing their distinctive gifts to the work and letting those gifts ring forward through the characters, and through the breath of the company,” Jones continued. Bridgforth comments on the process: “Before I had language for it, this is the medium I was working in.”
Bridgforth noted. “People come there from all backgrounds with an impulse to heal.” Her work has been taught in classes at UT Austin and performed at a number of venues, including the Long Center. She has been funded locally by institutions like Women and Their Work and nationally with grants from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts.
Although Bridgforth recently moved to Chicago as the visiting multicultural faculty member at DePaul University, she lived in Austin for 20 years and still considers it home. When asked about her experience as a black artist in Austin, she said that she “grew up in Austin” as an artist and always experienced “unconditional support” here. Though Austin is progressive, she also noted that it is still very segregated. “The spirits are alive there,”
Bridgforth will be in Austin on February 20 for a free performance of “RING/SHOUT: A Work In-Progress, Pt. 2” for the Austin Project, sponsored by The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, University of Texas at Austin. 6:00 PM, F. Loren Winship Drama Building, RM 2.180. For more information on the performance visit http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/caaas/ events/16760.
Most recently, Bridgforth co-edited “Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project” with Dr. Omi Osun, Joni L. Jones and Dr. Lisa L. Moore, available from the University of Texas Press. Included in the book is Bridgforth’s “Finding Voice Facilitation Manual.” Bridgforth is proud and honored to recognize Black History Month. “People died for it,” she said. And the month is a chance for all people to “practice standing in their own humanity and fight[ing] for all human rights.” When asked if she was doing anything to celebrate Black History Month, she chuckled and said “basically my whole life is Black History Month.” Though Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic is “globally conscious, the form is black. It’s my inheritance,” Bridgforth said.
next stressor. This is how resentments take hold. If you must bring up the complaint, the “Assertion Formula” can be a useful guideline for how to best express it. For example, “I feel (an emotion) when you (an observable behavior). I would prefer (an alternate behavior).” For example, “I feel annoyed when you answer your phone during our date. I would prefer that you turn it off.” You are not using the Assertion Formula correctly if you instead say something like “I feel like you are an idiot when you act like a know-it-all.” Nothing good can ever come from the use of pejorative labels. Finally, a good adult partnership is characterized by plenty of listening to your partner with paraphrasing, seeking to understand, or reflecting back the gist of what you are hearing in your partner’s communication to you. Listening communicates empathy, one of the crown jewels of useful communication between humans. Years of practicing therapy have revealed that people don’t want “to be right” as much as they just want “to feel heard.” Empathy accomplishes that while bringing defenses down. So, how about trying some of these strategies for yourself and see how your own relationships might benefit? Suzi McCoy, MS, LPC is a psychotherapist in private practice in Austin,TX. She is offering a Fair Fighting course on Saturday, February 12 from 9 AM to 1 PM for $49/person. Call 345 -0535 for information.
By Julia Lee
How do you explain a fat slave? The inescapable narrative about the cause of the current obesity epidemic, about any weight gain, is that Americans overeat and don’t get enough exercise. We drive our cars, sit in front of our computers then eat junk food all day. We’re taking in too many calories and not exercising enough to expend them. If you take in more calories than you expend, you become fat. Period. End of story. Or is it?
In both books, Taubes sets out to prove that the calories in/calories out paradigm has very little scientific evidence to support it. In fact, Taubes says, “it is surprisingly easy to find evidence that refutes the conviction that we get fat because we take in more calories than we expend—that is, because we overeat.” Huh? How can this be? What’s he seeing that we, and apparently the vast majority of nutritionists, doctors and reporters, aren’t? In the first chapter, “Why Were They Fat,” Taubes argues that looking at obesity historically gives us clues as to the real reason people get fat. He points out, “one piece of evidence that needs to be considered in this context, however, is the well-documented fact that being fat is associated with poverty, not prosperity— certainly in women, and often in men. The poorer we are, the fatter we’re likely to be.” Long before the current obesity epidemic and the invention of TV, video games, industrial farming and high fructose corn syrup, researchers noticed high rates of obesity in poor populations around the world: throughout Africa, the South Pacific, the West Indies and in African and Mexican American populations as well as in the Native American tribes of the U.S.
In a fascinating new book, “Why We Get Fat, and What We Can Do About It,” Gary Taubes examines the science behind the “calories in/calories out” paradigm, and finds it lacking. This new book is a “lighter” version of “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” Taubes’ dense and exhaustive history of nutrition science.
How is this possible? How do extremely poor people with very little food become obese? “The science tells us,” Taubes writes, “that obesity is ultimately the result of a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one—specifically, the stimulation of insulin secretion caused by eating easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich foods…” He continues, “these carbohydrates literally make us fat, and by driving us to accumulate fat, they make us hungrier and they make us sedentary.” This requires a radical change in the way all of us think about eating and weight gain. Instead of thinking: “this woman is fat because she eats too much and doesn’t exercise,” we would have to think: “this woman eats a lot and doesn’t exercise because she’s fat.” It turns cause and effect on its head.
Are Americans willing to even consider this theory? Probably not. Most people reading this will reject it completely. And Taubes knows this: “[the calories in/calories out way] of thinking about our weight is so compelling and so pervasive that it is virtually impossible nowadays not to believe it. Even if we have plenty of evidence to the contrary… it’s more likely that we’ll question our own judgment and our own willpower.” But the question remains: how do you explain a fat slave using the calories in/calories out paradigm? Would slaves really be allowed to consume more food than the master’s family? It’s a thoughtprovoking question, and one that can’t be easily answered just by suggesting that they should have eaten less and exercised more.
Food for the Brokenhearted If the cure for a broken heart had been discovered by now, perhaps many poets and therapists would be seeking different endeavors in life. And, of course, the world would be a happier place. But, as we all know, there’s no single cure for a broken heart. There are, however, combinations of remedies that can help alleviate that forlorn feeling. The heart-mind connection is generally understood by most humans. If we are met with a stressful or traumatic situation, our heart rates increase dramatically. When someone is feeling depressed, we might assume they are suffering from a broken heart. When someone is cruel or callous, we tell them “have a heart.” All of the organs within our bodies are connected. But the heart and brain are thought to be so intertwined that we’ve even developed within our languages ways in which to describe a symbiotic relationship between the two. The belief that a person’s spirit resides within their heart is
By Heather Lee
prevalent in many cultures. Within traditional Chinese medicine, heart problems are often treated through the brain or nervous system. In acupuncture, the heart meridian affects not only the physical heart, but also the mind. Heart disease is considered by many to be the main health concern in our country today, perhaps because it is so crucially linked to a myriad of health problems; including mental health problems. When a patient with heart disease sees the doctor, he might be told to avoid stress. This is sound advice because feelings, no doubt, have a profound effect on our bodies. When we are feeling down, our eating habits might vary from having no appetite at all to having an insatiable one. Could it be possible to eat away the blues? Food can comfort as it heals. A heart-healthy diet is always a good place to start, whether you have a bad heart or your heart just seems a little broken.
tablespoon of flaxseed oil once daily with a meal could help protect those brain cells and blood vessels.
Mandarins are said to calm the nerves of a broken heart | Photo by Katie Walsh
Calcium deficiency is thought to play a major role in heart disease. A diet consisting of calciumrich foods is essential; however, it is important to also include Vitamin D in your diet because it aids in calcium absorption, as do cucumber, celery and lettuce. Oat straw tea is not only good for calcium absorption, but is also
known to help with depression and calming of the nerves. Omega-3 fatty acids are key components of a healthy heart and mind. They are known to enhance the membrane walls of brain cells and guard against coronary heart disease. Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3, as is flaxseed oil. A
A broken heart can result in depression and/or nervousness. In addition to the heart-healthy choices in one’s diet, certain foods are known to help with these symptoms. To calm your nerves, try some chamomile tea, lemon, mandarin, fresh basil or milk. For depression, eat brown rice, cucumber, apples and cabbage. Apple cider vinegar is also said to alleviate depression. Try a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a little water three times daily to kick those blues. There’s no one cure for a broken heart. It comes to us naturally. But it can also be treated naturally. Outside of food sources, proper rest and the avoidance of stimulants like alcohol and caffeine can help mend a broken heart. As for a little chocolate; well, yes, it is a stimulant. But sometimes the heart just needs a little boost, especially on Valentine’s Day.
TODO Austin // FEB 2011 // TODOaustinonline.com 13
Austin Gets Dense By Madeline Goldman-Rohm
A mere four homes in Austin have been touched by the style of street-influenced fine artist Dense83—not much of a feat for the prolific Chicago painter.
of a number of bars, retail stores, galleries and coffee shops around the city that have shown his art. Greene picked up the tag name “Dense” while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as he liked how its comprising letters looked in graffiti form. The year ‘83 marks the birth of this truly eclectic artist.
In the hip, young neighborhood of Wicker Park in the Midwest’s Windy City, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t familiar with the 5’7”, 140-lb African American hipster who goes by the government name of Jesse Greene. Just mention the alias “Dense83” or describe the vibrant color palette, mixed media approach and harsh, mechanic graffiti forms over sophisticated, soft, organic and abstract motifs in his work; any Chicago pedestrian would instantly point you in the direction
Austin is his next conquest. Since Greene‘s arrival three months ago, “Dense” tags have begun to pepper lampposts, garbage cans, electrical boxes and newspaper dispensers around UT campus; art works on canvas and cuts of wood (selected
meticulously from Urban Outfitters’ trash pile behind their store) now brighten one of the walls of Luxe Apothetique at the Domain. And he has shoots scheduled with a number of local models to continue the mark he left on Chicago with freelance photography for brands like Bear.Illa. These exhibits of Dense83’s multifaceted work are only the beginning of his artistic plans in his new city of residence. The artist is actively looking for the perfect retail space and location at which to open his own fine art gallery and art supply store. Austin, your art scene just got Dense.
the artist Dense83
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Frame of Reference
By Blake Shanley
The World of Undercover Mexican Girl Through Words By Alexandra M. Landeros
Sometimes the people who end up playing an important role in your life are people you don’t know but work in the office down the hall from you, are your next door neighbors, or in my case, write a column several pages away from you in the same newspaper. For the longest time, Brandon Badillo of Bemba Entertainment and I were sharing space in TODO Austin without really knowing much about each other. I knew he organized multicultural music concerts and that a lot of the bands he seemed to like were funk or soul bands either of Latino or African American influence. This was not music I listened to. I listened to old-timey blues and rock. Last year, as the Public Relations Director for Mexic-Arte Museum, I chose to contract him as the music booker for the museum’s annual Dia de los Muertos festival, Viva la Vida Fest. I started to learn about his World Music Nights at Momo’s, and I always promised myself that I’d go at least once to see what it was about. Still, not fully understanding that there was a connection between the music that Brandon booked and the music that I liked, I procrastinated—after all, Tuesday night outings are tough on a girl who has to be at work by 9 a.m. the next morning. The very first music I ever listened to as a child was a two-volume series of records published by Disney called Children’s Favorite Songs, with tunes such as The Sidewalks of New York, Red River Valley, Swanee River, Shortnin’ Bread, The Yellow Rose of Texas, Buffalo Gals, On Top of Old Smoky, and My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean. These are standard American folk tunes, some dating back to the mid-1800s, and some of which have either influenced or been influenced by African American culture and musicians. Later on, in high school and college, I developed a love for swing music and New Orleans jazz,
particularly musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. As a young adult in the working world of Austin, Texas, I was introduced to indie and alternative music. Finally, now in my mid-thirties, I worked my way back to the British rock of the 1960s, such as the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac (the early version with Peter Green), and more obscure musicians such as Rory Gallagher and Frankie Miller. These rock and roll bands were heavily influenced by early rhythm and blues. This naturally led to my discovery and love of the music that influenced these bands, such as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. Then recently, during a tour of far southwest Texas with the Purple Bee music collective, I heard Mo Pair’s Groovin Ground’s rendition of James Brown music, and I found that I actually had an affinity for soul music. I finally understood then that soul music wasn’t something too exotic or too funky for what I believed were my very straight-laced tastes in rock and roll. It’s expressive, it has a catchy rhythm, and it really does want to make you get out of your seat and dance. After all, soul music happens to derive from a blend of gospel music and rhythm and blues. It is soulful—the soul music I’ve been learning about lately sounds like it is played from deep within the heart. Soul music isn’t for a particular age or ethnic group, or for a certain type of crowd. This type of music—a fusion in its own right that has evolved since the late 1950s—attracts all kinds of people. Including me. So join me on Saturday February 19th at the KingSeabrook Chapel at Huston-Tillotson University for Bemba Entertainment’s 3rd Annual Wild is the Wind Tribute to Nina Simone. For info and tickets, visit www.bembaentertainment.com.
I’m bursting at the seams with joy today. I want to scream bloody-love-murder to the masses, standing in the middle of the street, awakening hibernating souls miles, cities and oceans away. I think I actually see tiny little hearts and stars twinkling around me. My ego feels silly for writing such emotional drivel, but, truly, I feel as though I am sparkling from the inside out, shooting rays of sunshine powerfully and intensely from my core. If I could see myself from the outside, I would roll my eyes at the embarrassingly obvious look of newlyrealized in-love-ness. But no, there is no man-friend or lover to be given credit for this absurd smile on my face. Why then all the squishy “love” oozing from my pores? f Is it the extra niacin I took for the much-desired rush of the “flush” that makes me tingly and red all over? f Is it the glorious sun that forced its way into my window this morning as I ate my local organic blue eggs with avocado, onions and kraut atop sprouted bread? f Is it the delicious new black dress and black hair I am confidently sporting? YES. YES. AND YES. Is it the awareness that I wake up nearly every morning feeling that it’s a new day with new possibilities, purpose and energy? f Is it the clear understanding that I really am free to determine exactly what I want to experience in this lifetime? f Is it that I finally feel I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, with the right people regardless of where I am, what time it is, what I am doing or who I am with? YES! YES! AND YES! It’s all of those things and then some. I feel alive and I feel a love. For my life, my Self, my past, present and future. For the natural world around me. And for every person with whom I share this incredible experience on this incredible planet.
THE E M M A S . B A R R I E N TOS M E X I C A N A M E R I C A N C U LTURAL CENTER B E L L AS A R T E S A L L I A N C E A N D T H E U N I T E D STATES HISPANIC CO N TR AC TO R S ASS O C I AT I O N P R E S E NT:
Friday, March 18
AB Quintanilla III presents
Saturday,March 19 Ozomatli
The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require special assistance for participation in our programs or use of our facilities please call 512-974-3770 or 711 Relay Texas. La ciudad de Austin está comprometida al Acta de Americanos Incapacitados. Si requiere asistencia para participar en nuestros programas por favor llame al teléfono número 512-974-3770 o 711 Relay Texas.