Page 1 I‘m dreaming of a multicultural Christmas.


SAFE Cities Network La Pastorela Austin’s New Year 2018 Asian American Film Fest

People of Color Christmas

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS broadcast 18.1 / cable 9



Research consistently shows that PBS Kids resources build literacy skills, boost math learning and foster social-emotional growth.

Learn more at Also This Month

Decibel KLRU’s Decibel looks at the scope of food insecurity and affordability issues in Central Texas. Find out more at

Sunday, Dec. 17th at 6 pm; Thursday, Dec. 21st at 7:30 pm; Friday, Dec. 22nd at 6:30 pm; Tuesday, Dec. 26th at 4pm

Call the Midwife Holiday Special

Austin City Limits Hall of Fame 2017

Nonnatus House responds to an SOS from a tiny mission in South Africa on this year’s Call the Midwife Holiday Special.

Enjoy the 2017 Austin City Limits special as Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and the Neville Brothers are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Performers include Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, Trombone Shorty, Raul Malo, Ry Cooder and more. Chris Isaak hosts.

Monday, Dec. 25th at 8 pm; Thursday, Dec. 28th at 9 pm

Saturday, Dec. 30th at 7 pm; Sunday, Dec. 31st at 10 pm & 11 pm

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is community supported. More than 85% of our funding comes from the public. PLEASE CONSIDER INVESTING IN KLRU.

C E N T R O U R B A N O HABLA Austin

Open Government data The City of Austin is one of seven cities worldwide and the only U.S. city to participate in the Open Government Partnership’s inaugural pilot in 2017. As the program draws to a close, Austin is celebrating civic innovation at an open government showcase on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at the new Central Library. “The City of Austin’s commitment to improving systems of governance alongside one-third of the world’s population is a testament to our spirit of innovation,” said Kerry O’Connor, Chief Innovation Officer. Public input for 2018 bond The Bond Election Advisory Task Force, established by the Austin City Council in 2016, is providing several opportunities for the public to weigh in on a potential 2018 bond. Feedback opportunities in multiple languages include interactive town halls, an online survey, by calling  Austin 3-1-1, and an online bond simulator. The Task Force has seven remaining town halls scheduled throughout the city. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, Spicewood Springs Library, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, Northwest Recreation Center, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, Hampton Branch Library at Oak Hill.

Bond Election Advisory Task Force

Dems gear up for election The 2018 elections have already kicked off. Now is the time to get engaged and help elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Among Travis County Austin’s MULTICULTURAL media source for EIGHT YEARS • Find us at

Democrats running are Judge Steve Kirkland for Justice of the Supreme Court Place 2; Judge R. K. Sandill for Justice of the Supreme Court Place 4; Kathy Cheng for Justice of the Supreme Court Place 6; Judge Maria (Terry) Jackson for Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals; and Judge Ramona Franklin for Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals Place 7.

Municipal Court hours change Effective Dec. 1, the operational hours for the downtown location of the Austin Municipal Court, 700 E. 7th St., will change. The court will still remain open 12 hours most days, with extended hours on Thursday. The new hours for this location will change to 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday. This change is being made so the Court can better accommodate the needs of the people seeking Court services, and so the Court can better allocate staff during peak times of use. According to an analysis, most people come between 5-7 p.m., while less than five percent of the Court’s business is conducted between 7-10 p.m. Muslim women casting call The creative team behind the Norwegian drama, SKAM, is looking for Muslim women ages 1719 years old to audition for a lead role. The show will film in Austin on a schedule that will have minimal intrusion on students’ school commitments.  Prior acting experience is not required, and if cast, talent  will be paid professional scale. Interested applicants should send their  name, phone, email, birth date, current city of residence and a photo to North Shoal Creek plan The Planning and Zoning Department has released the draft North Shoal Creek Neighborhood Plan.  The draft plan is the result of an extensive planning process which included public meetings, online surveys, and small group discussions. Members of the community are invited to an Open House to review and comment on the draft plan. The Open House will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., in the Pillow Elementary School cafeteria.

Volume IX, Number 8 PUBLISHER/EDITOR // Gavin Lance Garcia ART DIRECTOR // Dave McClinton EDITOR //Lesly Reynaga // MANAGING EDITOR // Meredith C. Cox ASSOCIATE EDITORS // Liz Lopez, Monica Peña, Katie Walsh, Erica Stall Wiggins, Yvonne Lim Wilson

Latino representation still an issue at City Hall By the League of United Latin American Citizens, District VII

The Austin City Council has selected six finalists for the position of City Manager after a year-long secret search process. None of the six candidates included is of Latino ancestry. This is despite Austin’s Latino population comprising over 35 percent of the city’s total population. This is unacceptable. In May 2017, LULAC District VII went to the Austin City Council requesting that the City Council address the underrepresentation in Latino employment in Austin City government. Unfortunately, the Austin City Council continues to fail in appointing Latinos to key leadership positions in City government and other entities such as Central Health board members. The lack of underrepresentation restrains Latinos from translating its population presence and growth into political, civic, and economic participation to successfully influence policy outcomes.

Positions on the City’s organization chart provides the following: 15 employees, or 26 percent, are White Male 19, or 33 percent, are White Female 4, or 7 percent, are Black Male 4, or 7 percent, are Black Female 10, or 18 percent, are Latino Male 2, or 4 percent, are Latino Female 3, or 5 percent, are Asian American Male 0 are Asian American Female Of the above that are occupied by acting positions: 5 percent are White Male 5 percent are White Female 2 percent are Black Female 2 percent are Latino Male 4 percent are Asian American Male

In 2013, according to the census, the City’s demographics included 49.7 percent white; 34 percent Latino; 7.2 percent Black; and 6.1 percent Asian. Since 2013, the Latino and Asian communities have grown with estimates of Latinos at 39 percent and Asian at 8 percent. Latinos are also underrepresented at the executive level. In mid-2017, City-wide ethnicity shows White at 54 percent; Latino at 29 percent; Black at 14 percent; and Asian at 3 percent. LULAC VII will take all necessary avenues to ensure that this discriminatory pattern does not continue, especially in the hiring of the City Manager for the City of Austin. LULAC will take all possible courses including legal action to ensure there is equity in employment for the City of Austin. LULAC requests that the Austin City Council re-do its search process in a comprehensive, inclusive, and transparent manner.

LULAC requests that the City Council redo its selection process to have a fair, balanced, and equitable outcome. A quick look at the Executive CONTRIBUTING STAFF // Rose Di Grazia, Callie Langford, César E. López Linares, Genoveva Rodriguez, Diana Sanchez PRODUCTION SERVICES // Anthony Garcia CONTRIBUTORS // Margaret Bassett, Alka Bhanot, Roy Casagranda, Cat Cardenas, Cindy Casares, Evelyn C. Castillo, Lobo Corona, Nora De LaRosa, Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Mark Guerra, Mari Hernandez, Yadira Izquierdo, Chaille Jolink, Ryan Jordan, Ali Khataw, Ramey Ko, Harish Kotecha, Sonia Kotecha, Julia Lee, Lauren Lluveras, Isabel Lopez-Aguilar, Art Markman, Cristina Parker, Carola Rivera, Paul Saldaña, Marion Sanchez, Sameer Shah, Blake Shanley, Dani Slabaugh, Corey Tabor, Rama Tiru, Carola Rivera, Aaron Rochlen, Blanca Valencia, Lesley Varghese, Lichen Zhen

The League of United Latin Americans (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil-rights organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. LULAC District VII comprises several councils in Austin, Texas. LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. ONLINE EDITION // TODO Austin // Multicultural Media for All of Austin. TODO Austin is a free print and online journal for all of Austin highlighting our multicultural heritage and promoting the concept of community in an ethnically diverse city. Circulation throughout Austin, from the Westside’s Pennybacker Bridge to the Eastside’s Montopolis Bridge. TODO Austin is published by Spark Awakened Publishing. © 2017 Spark Awakened Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are the authors and should not be taken to represent those of Spark Awakened Publishing or of any of its associates or partners. ADVERTISING/SUBMISSIONS/EDITORIAL:, 512.538.4115 TODO AUSTIN // DEC 2017 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 03

Texas Not a Legitimate Democracy When it Hinders Black, Latino Voters By Lauren Lluveras

Texas has a shameful and ongoing history of suppressing black and Latino votes. Though a lower court’s 2013 ruling found Texas’ district map was “discriminatory at its heart” against voters of color, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently asked the Supreme Court to take up an appeal of the decision. The ruling invalidated two of Texas’ congressional districts, Districts 27 and 35, as well as nine state House districts on the basis of racial discrimination. The attorney general’s action is the newest in a long battle over Texas’ voting districts that has taken place during the past six years.  Spanning back to 1970, Texas has engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination in every 10year redistricting cycle. This fact has historically earned the state federal oversight until 2013, when the Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder gutted the Voting Rights Act and freed several states and local governments from federal preclearance requirements. A day after the Shelby ruling, then-Gov. Rick Perry seized upon the opportunity to make the state’s gerrymandered district maps permanent. Gerrymandering isn’t the only way Texas suppresses the voices of black and Latino voters. In 2016 alone, the state spent more than $3.5 million defending a set of restrictive voter ID laws that hindered black and Latino voters. The law, Senate Bill 5, has been to court four times since 2014 and each time was struck down as racially discriminatory. Studies show voter ID laws, such as the one in Texas, keep people from the polls. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Rice University have found that in states with voter ID restrictions, even those who actually have the accepted forms of ID, often don’t turn out to vote due to a misunderstanding of the law. In Texas, the NAACP estimates that more than

half a million voters of color are restricted from voting by the state’s voter ID restrictions. In the past, Texans could count on the federal government to intervene on behalf of voting rights. But in late September, the Supreme Court rejected a request to speed up their review of Texas’ district maps. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice dropped their prior federal opposition to Texas’ voter ID law. These two developments mean that both SB 5 and 2013’s gerrymandered district maps will likely still be in place when Texans head to the polls in 2018. Under the state’s current maps, Texas Republicans hold 3.2 more congressional seats than they would if the state had “fair” maps in place. The federal silence on these issues affects all Texans, but the burden is not distributed evenly. SB 5 and Texas’ district maps are critically injurious to the state’s black and Latino residents. The state’s population grew by 4.3 million between 2000 and 2010, and the majority of growth (as much as 90 percent by some estimates) took place within the state’s black and Latino communities. Because of this population growth, Texas gained four additional congressional seats, which under the state’s district maps went to white Republicans. Voters in Texas can support legislation that would create a nonpartisan body to create district maps. The state can also work with local groups to ensure Texas’ black and Latino communities understand the policies around when and where they can vote, as well as how to register. There is no federal right to vote, leaving states to determine voting rights, for better or worse. What we are witnessing in Texas amounts to disenfranchisement and is an outright attack on communities of color. The right to vote is central to democracy. As long as the state employs tactics that discourage and hinder black and Latino voters, it cannot be a legitimate democracy. Lauren Lluveras is a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Justice System Can’t Stop Domestic Violence or Mass Shootings By Noël Busch-Armendariz & Margaret Bassett

A few years ago, one of our studies found that 57 percent of adult Texans reported knowing a friend, family member or co-worker in an abusive relationship. One in three adult Texans experienced family violence in their lifetime, and more than a third of Texans said that family violence is a very serious problem. And then there is this: The majority of Texans think that the state is not providing enough assistance.

Finally, we must move ahead knowing that progressive intervention, meaningful offender accountability, and victim safety are critical to any solution. Offender interventions must be widely available, thoughtful and evidencebased, and definitions of success must go beyond simply not being re-arrested and completing a batterer’s intervention course.

During decades of providing formal services to victims and their families, we have learned a driving theme that applies not just to Texas, but our country: The complexities of domestic violence offenders and their victims’ lives are misunderstood, marginalized and considered private. Until it’s not. And the result can be deadly. Past violence doesn’t always predict future violence, but in more than half of the mass shootings, it does. We can do more because the warning signs are present more often than one might think.  The shooting in Sutherland Springs is the latest example. We could scapegoat the Air Force for its egregious procedural error — yes, they absolutely should have submitted the critical information to keep Devin Patrick Kelley from being able to purchase a firearm — but the fact remains that access to guns will always be available in this country. We can all agree that the possession of firearms by domestic violence offenders increases the risk of homicide for their family members and others.  But this issue goes beyond that. We need to reject the idea that domestic violence and mass shootings are part of the fabric of our lives, and to do that, we have to make some changes. We first have to admit our mistakes. Our dependency on the criminal justice system to “solve” family violence has resulted in an ineradicable problem because it is ill prepared. As a system, it only acknowledges criminal behaviors, but much of family violence is about strategies and patterns of behavior. Some of these behaviors are kind and loving, while others are coercive and hurtful. Second, we must realize that family violence is a confusing and thorny issue that affects everybody: the victim, children and extended family, and the abuser. It is among the most


nuanced of all violent crimes and nonviolent behaviors. Devin Kelley was a mass murderer, but to some he was a longtime friend … who as a teenager was friendly if awkward. The complexity of family violence lies in the relationship between the offender and victim, the tenacity of the offender’s behaviors over time, the relationship that the offender has with his community and others, the lack of consistent reporting, and under-resourced services for victims and offenders.

Many of us know someone who has either caused or has been on the receiving end of domestic violence. We do. We’ve studied it for years. The red flags are there. We know that most who perpetrate domestic violence will never become mass shooters — and that’s a good thing. But there are outliers. Kelley showed those warning signs. As a country, more of us need to understand that the progression of domestic violence and the seeds of mass shootings start long before something happens. Violence should not be a legacy issue. And if we want things to change, we need to say: Enough.   Noël Busch-Armendariz is a University Presidential Professor and director of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin.  Margaret Bassett is the deputy director of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. 

State of Ascension: Mixed Media Vessel Work By Rejina Thomas. On view through February 28, 2018, “State of Ascension” features art Thomas created during the past two decades. The themes embodied in her meticulously crafted containers and paintings position the womb as a metaphorical looking glass from which viewers experience and understand the world. Based in Seattle Washington, Thomas’ artwork is held in private and public collections around the world.  That’s My Face. Friday, Dec. 15. That’s My Face  is a young adult film series and discussion. December’s film is “Middle of Nowhere,” directed by Ava DuVernay. When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, Ruby drops out of medical school in order to focus on her husband’s well-being while he’s incarcerated - leading her on a journey of self-discovery in the process. Black Minds Matter Online “Public Course” Series. The course focuses on Black boys and men. There will be a live stream viewing and discussion afterwards led by local facilitators in academia and subject matter experts.  December 13: Advancing Black Male Policy, Support and Research by Kaye Crawford. December 20: Campus Climates and NonCognitive Outcomes by Jackson Brown and Binta Brown.

Austin among 11 Communities United to Provide Public Defense to Immigrants Facing Deportation At a time when harsh immigration policies are disrupting our communities, separating families, and increasing detention and deportation, leaders and legal service providers from across the country gathered in Columbus, Ohio to launch the Vera Institute of Justice’s  Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Cities Network, a multijurisdiction network dedicated to providing publicly-funded representation for people facing deportation.   SAFE Cities Network members come from 11 politically, economically, and ethnically diverse jurisdictions united in their commitment to the belief that, regardless of whether an immigrant will ultimately stay in the U.S. or leave, a crucial way to keep our communities safe is to ensure legal representation for those whose future depends on it.

Noche Navideña, Saturday, Dec. 2, 4-8 p.m. Join the ESB-MACC and Univision for an evening of traditional Latin-American Christmas with children’s arts activities, music and special international artists: Bronze Band, Los Bohemios Perdidos with Christabel Lin, Camille Schiess, Carlos Ufret, Juan de Los Ángeles, Javier Jara and more. Shuttle bus transportation will be provided from Sanchez Elementary and Martin Middle School from 4-8 p.m. Indigenous Healing Workshops. Level 1: Sunday, Dec. 3 1-4 p.m. Level 2: Sunday, Dec. 10 1-4 p.m. Learn traditional methods of healing rooted in Apache and Mexica cultures. Explore teachings of curanderxs passed down through generations and help us continue to heal our community. Register  online or email Lori Community Forum: A Tribute to Sor Juana. Thursday, Dec. 14 7-9 p.m. Join us for a very special interactive community forum and help us determine the direction of our 2018 Tribute to Sor Juana. Sábados en Familia. Saturday, Dec.  16th 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Join the ESB-MACC   for Sábados en Familia December Las Posadas!  The ESB-MACC will be offering  FREE Arts Activities varying from Bilingual Storytime, corn husk doll making and other arts activities. For more information please contact us at 512-974-3785.

Through their leadership and pioneering practices, SAFE Cities Network jurisdictions-which includes the cities of Austin and San Antonio--will offer an expanding model for encouraging both safe and welcoming communities. Each jurisdiction was selected by Vera through a competitive request for proposals process. All selected jurisdictions demonstrated their commitment to deportation defense by investing public dollars, which were matched by a catalyst fund administered by Vera. “Immigration is part of our nation’s past, present, and future, and our communities will find more opportunities to grow and thrive when we recognize and embrace this fact,” said  Nicholas Turner, president of the Vera Institute of Justice. “That means that all residents must see their justice systems— from our law enforcement to our courts— as delivering on our country’s promise of fairness,”     The launch of the SAFE Cities Network coincided with the  release of a new study from Vera  showing that providing universal public defense dramatically increases the likelihood of indigent immigrants prevailing and returning to their families, jobs, and communities. Providing legal representation to those facing deportation maintains trust in governmental institutions and supports public safety for the entire community.

AARC Community Art Exhibit Program. The AARC’s Community Art Exhibit Program displays artworks year-round that celebrate the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage, history, identity and creativity of Asian American Pacific Islanders. Exhibits are displayed on a quarterly schedule. The Exhibit Program’s Call for Artworks applications will re-open January 1- March 15, 2018. Migration by Raquel Zawrotny & Samuel Velasquez. On Display through December 16. In Migration, Zawrotny and Velasquez studied how various Asian and Pacific Islander cultures and peoples are connected to one another through universal folklores. Commonalities are found in these stories through symbolic flora and fauna like the lotus and the elephant. They depict how various folklores of East and Southeast Asia have evolved through time when their culture bearers migrate away from their birth places. They mix different media and techniques as well as stylizations to represent the diversity of stories. Waves Of Hope: Asian American History In Austin. Austin is home to many Asian Americans along with their rich history, culture, and traditions that are preserved and passed on to future generations by their families and communities. This exhibit showcases some of the history that is lesser known but nevertheless important to document and remember. the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York City.

“Local law enforcement is most effective when it can focus on keeping our community safe,” said Dr. Ronal Serpas, former Police Chief and Professor of Practice with the Loyola University New Orleans Criminal Justice Department. “This requires smart policies, such as those being advanced in these SAFE Cities, that build and maintain the trust all our residents have in law enforcement and the justice system.” The evaluation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, which pioneered universal representation for detained indigent immigrants in deportation proceedings, showed a successful outcome rate of 48 percent, an 1100 percent increase from the pre-NYIFUP 4 percent success rate for cases that did not have attorneys at

“NYIFUP has helped hundreds of New York immigrant families receive due process, avoid permanent separation, and remain together,” said Oren Root, director of the Center on Immigration and Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice. “We are thrilled that NYIFUP’s success has led to its replication in the 11 SAFE Cities jurisdictions.”    Under the new SAFE Cities Network initiative, 11 jurisdictions are providing funding for trained legal service providers to represent immigrants facing deportation proceedings supplemented by a catalyst grant administered by Vera. Vera will provide technical expertise and support, including assistance in identifying and training legal service providers, providing opportunities to share best practices with other jurisdictions, and providing data collection and analyses for the purpose of evaluating the network’s impact.   The rest of the members completing the list of SAFE Cities Network are Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Dane County, WI; Oakland/Alameda County, CA; Prince George’s County, MD; Sacramento, CA; and Santa Ana, CA. TODO AUSTIN // DEC 2017 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 05

People of Color Christmas offers a unique experience this holiday season By Carola Rivera

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Museums and Cultural Programs Division is proud to present “People of Color Christmas,” an original, comedic, contemporary Austin Holiday play written by award-winning Vietnamese American playwright Christine Hoang, Color Arc Productions. Color Arc Productions, whose mission is to shine light on diverse stories through theatre, film, and music, premiered its inaugural production “People of Color Christmas: The White Elephant in the Room” in December of 2015 at Ground Floor Theatre. This year, Hoang revisited the script and created the new iteration of People of Color Christmas that local audiences will get to experience this holiday season. “To create this play, we asked ourselves: ‘What stories do you want to tell that you

have not yet heard or seen or told on stage?’” Hoang says. “What did Christmas mean to you as a kid, and what does it mean to you now as an adult?’ The outcome of this internal exploration is a play that explores issues of family, race, class, gender, love, and relationships in a heartfelt and hilarious way.”

POC Christmas is the first show to tour the Museums and Cultural Programs Facilities, rotating between the Asian American Resource Center, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, and the Dougherty Arts Center, respectively. Over the first three weekends in December, the production will relocate its holiday set to each of these three sister sites and perform for diverse audiences throughout Austin.

Communities all over town get the unique opportunity to see the show at their closest location. A total of seven performances will include Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. at the AARC (8401 Cameron Rd.); Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. at the ESB-MACC (600 River St.); Friday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. and Saturday Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the DAC (1110 Barton Springs Rd.). American Sign Language interpretation is available at certain shows.

In advance of the performances, in November, the George Washington Carver Center hosted a free screening of “BornAgain Artist,” a documentary short by Christopher Kim chronicling the 2015 making of “People of Color Christmas: The be available at Oak Meadows Elementary School, where shuttles will be available to and from the Village.

With more than 200,000 lights choreographed to holiday music, the Community First! Village of Lights by Mobile Loaves & Fishes is one of the biggest Christmas light displays in Central Texas. This year, the community will get to experience the joy of Christmas on two weekends--Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9. Be sure to include a stop at the Advent Market to shop for unique, handcrafted gifts made by formerly homeless craftsmen and artisans who live at the Village. Your purchase of gifts and concessions during the event helps our Community First! neighbors earn a dignified income.

The Austin Trail of Lights, Austin’s largest holiday tradition and the second largest event in the city, is also back this season. Run by the Trail of Lights Foundation, the annual event in Zilker Park celebrates the unique spirit and people that make Austin the place we love to call home.

Tickets to POC Christmas are free and can be reserved through Eventbrite. To get your tickers and for more information, visit

Additional information can be found at

The Austin Trail of Lights is a community event that invites 400,000 people every year to come celebrate the holidays in the heart of Austin, Texas during the month of December. The event showcases everything that we love about Austin— from music and food to creativity and family fun. Thanks to the Trail of Lights Foundation, the event is free for at least half of the nights to make sure that anyone who wants to be part of the experience has a way to do so.

Bring your appetite as the Community Grille will be serving the best burgers, Frito pies, nachos, mini corn dogs and French fries in town. And there’s nothing quite like sharing hot cocoa with your family gathered around one of the community fire pits as you roast s’mores together!

Austinites and Central Texans alike bring friends, families and neighbors out to the Austin Trail of Lights each year to enjoy more than 40 displays, 2 million lights, Austin’s favorite food trucks, nightly entertainment and holiday activities. Running a total of 15 days open to the public, the event has something for everyone.

Parking will be available in the “Overflow Parking” lot on Hog Eye Road, immediately next to Community First! Village. Additional parking will

This year’s event will see more entertainment, new lighting, activities and community programs than any previous year. Visitors in 2017 will see new


The team bringing POC Christmas to life includes Creative Team Director Rudy Ramirez, Dramaturg Ashley Jernigan, Stage Manager Michael Logue, Asst. Stage Manager Cortney DeAngelo and Lighting Designer Amy Lewis. The cast consists of Lilli Lopez (Gabby), Christine Hoang (Mai), Allegra Fox (Sasha), Gene Zhou (Stu), Ben Bazan (Matt), Ryan Darbonne (Daniel), and Tony Le (Johnny).

Set at an annual white elephant gift exchange party, POC Christmas is a comedy that universal audiences will find fun, hilarious and engaging. Through catchy a cappella tunes and tacky Christmas sweaters, discover the heartfelt stories these friends reveal and the white elephant re-gifts they will steal.

Give back this season while enjoying the best Christmas light displays

The Advent Market will open at 5 p.m., followed by the light show at 6 p.m., a Christmas-themed movie at the Community Cinema at 7 p.m. and lights out at 9 p.m.

White Elephant in the Room.” The 10-minute film won a juried Best Documentary Short Film award at the Austin Asian American Film Festival in November 2016.

modernized displays, interactive environments, Austin’s famous food trucks, local musical talent, movies, local merchants and more. The Austin Trail of Lights began in 1965 as a small gathering known as the “Yule Fest.” What began as a gift to the city of Austin from Austin Parks and Recreation Department, has now grown to be a community-wide celebration of the spirit and people that make Austin unique. In the 53 years since the first Yule Log was lit, the Trail of Lights has expanded to more than 40 displays, 2 million

lights and holiday activities that create countless memories. Today, the Trail of Lights is one of the three largest events in Austin and receives national accolades while remaining a deeply cherished local tradition. Help the Austin Trail of Lights feed the hungry by bringing a can of food with you to Zilker Park. With your support, we can collect more than 25,000 meals for the Central Texas Food Bank. More information at



December 2017 Featured Events:

December 9th, 1-4pm Elisabet Ney Museum Holiday Family Salon Join us in opening the 2018 Wish Tree, featuring art activities with a hint of coming celebrations of all kinds 304 East 44th St., 78751

More information at:

December 9th, 10th, 8pm Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street, 78701 People of Color Christmas An original, comedic, contemporary Austin Holiday play loosely based on the truelife stories of this quirky and loveable group of diverse friends. December 15th, 8pm & December 16th, 5pm Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd. 78704 People of Color Christmas December 9th, 10am-1pm Mexican American Cultural Center Sabados en Familia Explore a new culturally-relevant topic through music, visual arts, and wellness activities for the whole family, healthy lunch included More information at:

Visit our Facebook page for all upcoming events! The City of Austin is proud to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require assistance for participation in our programs or use of our facilities, please call 512-974-3914.

Good Times at Güero’s For great tunes and great rita’s! Please join us for live music on our outside jardin stage, every Wednesday through Sunday. ThAnkS TO The FAnS & BAndS WhO SuPPOrT uS!!! deCeMBer Line-up


1412 S. Congress Avenue • Austin, Texas 78704 Open Weekdays 11am-11pm; Weekends 8am-11pm

OuTdOOr ShOWS Are “WeATher PerMiTTinG” -----------------------------------------------------------------------Fri 12/1 The eriC hiSAW BAnd @ 6:30 SAT 12/2 The BreW @ 2:30 / eL TuLe’ @ 6:30 Sun 12/3 MCLeMOre Avenue @ 12:00 / 3 ChOrd rOdeO @ 3:00 -----------------------------------------------------------------------Wed 12/6 Sun rAdiO ShOW @ 6:00 Thu 12/7 LOS FLAMeS @ 6:30 Fri 12/8 The BOBBy FuenTeS ShOW @ 6:30 SAT 12/9 TexAS TyCOOnS @ 2:30 / eASTSide kinGS @ 6:30 Sun 12/10 rdO @ 12:00 / BLue MiST @ 3:00 -----------------------------------------------------------------------Wed 12/13 Sun rAdiO ShOW @ 6:00 Thu 12/14 jOrGe TAMAyO & FriendS @ 6:30 Fri 12/15 MC & The MiSTix @ 6:30 SAT 12/16 jiM STrinGer @ 2:30 / ex rOMAnTikA @ 6:30 Sun 12/17 TrenT Turner @ 12:00 / TiBurOn @ 3:00 -----------------------------------------------------------------------Wed 12/20 Sun rAdiO ShOW @ 6:30 Thu 12/21 The dOC POinTer BAnd @6:30 Fri 12/22 The BOB FuenTeS ShOW @ 6:30 SAT 12/23 TOM Ben LindLey @ 2:30 / Audrey MALOne BAnd @ 6:30 Sun 12/24 (CLOSed FOr ChriSTMAS eve) -----------------------------------------------------------------------Wed 12/27 Sun rAdiO ShOW @ 6:00 Thu 12/28 Tex ThOMAS @ 6:30 Fri 12/29 The ruBiLATOrS @ 6:30 SAT 12/30 The SideMen @ 2:30 / GLen COLLinS @ 6:30 Sun 12/31 TriO MuSiCAL @ 12:00 / ChiCken STruT @ 3:00


| By Liz Lopez

Peligrosa began in Austin in 2007 as a collective of DJs playing eclectic records from around the world and has grown from three to 13 members. Peligrosa celebrates its 10 year anniversary on Friday, Dec. 15 from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. at The North Door, 502 Brushy St. Peligrosa DJ Craze is a Nicaraguan American DJ, record producer, label owner and turntablist world champion who will be blessing the turntables. He is the only solo DJ in history to claim the DMC World DJ Championship trophy three times consecutively. Riobamba is an EcuadorianLithuanian DJ/producer and cultural promoter based in Brooklyn. Drawing inspiration from her hybrid diaspora roots, borderless digital dialogue, and bodega soundtracks, she reconstructs stories of migration and displacement to build out her own club rituals. There will be a special Chingo Bling Pop-Up Shop and Meet & Greet. Presale tickets are $10 and are available online. More information on Peligrosa’s Facebook page. The Austin Tejano Music Coalition is host to the annual Toy Drive to benefit the Travis County Brown Santa program. The event will be held on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 1-8 p.m. at Dance Across Texas and the cover is $10 along with an unwrapped toy. This year’s headliner is the Tejano Music Awards Conjunto Album of the Year winner, David Farias. Also featured will be Molly Ferguson, the 2017 Tejano Idol winner, as well as George Mercado, James Rodriguez and Daisy Loren. Children 13 and under are admitted free and food will be available for purchase. 2201 E. Ben White Blvd. For information, call Christina at 512-5772638 or Aggie at512-912-6925. The Latin Dukes CD debut, “Tus Miradas” is now available for streaming and purchase on CD Baby. Based in Austin, they play an eclectic blend of Latin music, drawing influences from Madrid to Havana and beyond. The new Rick Fuentes and the Brown Express “Live in Concert DVD” is now available from the band’s website,

El Tule

El Tule is working on a new album and the link to a free download of “Bailando” is available on Sound Cloud. According to their Facebook page, the CD release will be February 9 at Central Market, followed by a show on February 10 at Hotel Vegas. They perform their “First Saturday” show at Guero’s Taco Bar on South Congress from 6-9 p.m. “Bidi Bidi Brunch Brunch” is a continuing series held one Sunday each month from 11a.m. - 3 p.m. with “Selena music, all the time, always.” There is a taco-themed photo booth with props and costumes. Dress as “La Reina” if you wish. Artist Federico Archuleta will be in attendance with his art on Dec. 10, Jan. 14 and Feb. 11. El Chilito, 6425 Burnet Rd. Los Aztex, Sarah Fox and Joel Guzman, celebrate their record release of “Christmas Miracles” with a “Party Jam” on Monday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. at the One2One Bar on South Lamar. Muniz Independent Insurance Toys for Tots Toy Run will be held on Saturday, Dec. 23 with registration at 9 a.m. Breakfast/lunch will be available, followed by the run at noon. Take an unwrapped toy that day for children from 6 months to 18 years old, but you can donate in advance on Sunday, Dec. 17 from 2-6 p.m. at the venue during a Wrapping Party. This is a free event for the community and for more information to update and confirm, visit the Facebook pages for Millie Ruedas Muniz and Danny Sifuentez (Texas Club). The Chris Castaneda Project and Marcos Orozco will be performing. Texas Club, 4914 Burleson Rd. Rick Trevino is celebrating the release of his acclaimed new Christmas album, Oh Ven, Rick Trevino


Emanuel, and will be giving away five autographed CDs. Trevino’s upcoming performance will be at the Austin Trail of Lights on Dec. 5 from 6-10 p.m. along with other performers. Austin based band Salero will be performing for “Salsa Sundays” at 8 p.m. at the La Cueva Sports Bar. DJ Ulises Jiménez will be spinning from 5 p.m. and Salsa classes at 6 p.m. 15505 IH-35, Pflugerville, TX. Visit the Salero Salsa Facebook page for updates. Superfonicos ‘ debut of the new track “Suelta” is forthcoming and are set to perform with Grupo Fantasma on New Year’s Eve. Doors at 7 p.m. Empire Control Room and Garage, 606 E. 7th St. Visit for the tickets. Continental Drift, a 10-piece band from Austin, recently released “The Tide” that features Alex Maas (The Black Angels) on the first single from this produced by Adrian Quesada at Electric Deluxe Recorders. The band plays “Afro-centric grooves interwoven with Latin and American funk, soul, and psychedelia.” Members are David Dalton, Guitar; Jake Ames, Guitar; Jedidiah Rodriguez, Bass; Casey Clemmons, Keys; Zach Boston, Drums; Fernando Flores, Percussion; Shane Walden, Trumpet; Ricardo Chaves, Bari Sax. Grounded in Music students from three different Boys and Girls Clubs will showcase their skills followed by a performance from GIM instructor Oscar Ornelas (and friends). Saturday, Dec. 9, 3-5 p.m. The Skylark Lounge, 2039 Airport Blvd. RECOMMENDED SHOWS Leti Garza will be performing at the 14th Annual Women & Fair Trade Festival on Friday, Dec. 1 from 8-9 p.m. at St. James’ Episcopal Church, 1941 Webberville Rd. For details, visit --Hear diverse music on Friday, Dec. 1 at One2-One Bar. Cienfuegos brings a diverse array of Latin genres with a focus on traditional Cuban styles such as Son, Bolero, Guajira, and Cha-Cha (performs from 9-10 p.m). The Art Tigerina Band plays cumbia, ranchera, tejano, country, and rock from 10:30 -11:30 p.m. Plan Sonidero is a big band with a big

sound that plays authentic cumbia music from midnight-1 a.m. Nagavalli plays Eastern Soul Rock 7:30-8:30 p.m. --The Brew plays at Guero’s on South Congress Saturday, Dec. 2 from 2:30-5 p.m. Also, every Thursday from 8-11 p.m. with vocalist and percussionist Josseph Durán at Tamale House East, 1707 East 6th St. --Los Texas Wranglers along with “La Reina de Polkas,” who will be making her Austin debut, perform Sunday, Dec. 8, 6-8 p.m. The act will be followed by Timberos del Norte and dance music with DJ El Rio, 8 pm - 11:30 pm. Ladies: no cover, otherwise $7. Sunday, Dec. 3. One-2-One Bar. --Latin Grammy-winning 123 Andrés returns to Austin with an interactive and bilingual concert for families. Tuesday, Dec. 5 5 p.m. Esquina Tango Austin, 209 Pedernales St. Ticket information --Oscar Ornelas will be filling in on piano for Margaret Wright from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7 at The Skylark Lounge, 2039 Airport Blvd. --Atash will be performing and have a special live broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 13. Doors at 7 p.m. and show time 7:30 p.m. Cover is $10 at One-2One Bar. Ticket information at --Six-time Grammy award winner Flaco Jimenez and Conjunto Los Pinkys will play together for the annual Blue Christmas Tex-Mex Dance Party at Antone’s. Monday, Dec. 25. Doors at 7 p.m. Show at 8 p.m. --“La ultima parranda del año:” La Frenetika Vallenato, Cumbia y Gozadera will be performing at the Whip In on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 9 p.m.-midnight. No cover. --Pre-New Year’s dance with AJ Castillo, Ruben Ramos and The Mexican Revolution, as well as Live In The Mixx Jesse The Jammer Jesse Cruz. Saturday, Dec. 30 at Cuauhtemoc Hall in San Marcos (7 p.m.-1 a.m.). Contact 512-787-2489 or 512-787-7523.

How to celebrate the holiday season Austin-style By Carola Rivera Step out this holiday season for diverse holiday activities taking place across the city. December offers several attractions and here are just a few to experience. ARMADILLO CHRISTMAS BAZAAR The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar returns for its 42nd year this December 14-24 at the Palmer Events Center. The 11-day fine art shopping destination features national and local awardwinning artists, a live music stage, two full bars and local food, all in a festive, lively atmosphere. Meet and shop from over 175 carefully curated artists. Fill your holiday season with great stories and handmade gifts with an exciting variety of fine art, heirloom pieces, and stocking stuffers. Make holiday shopping a fun tradition in an upbeat, family-friendly environment. With over 170 curated artists, this year’s festival boasts nearly two-dozen carefully curated newcomers. Enjoy at least three live bands a day on the Armadillo stage with performances

HC4A Gala helps raise scholarship funds for Austin area students By Harish Kotecha

Hindu Charities for America held a successful third annual Gala in November at the Crowne Plaza Austin. The main objective of the HC4A Gala is to raise funds for vocational education while creating a networking opportunity for local Austin businesses, community members and government officials. The Gala was a fun-packed evening geared towards fundraising for scholarships with almost 500 attendees enjoying entertainment and a banquet dinner provided by Taj Palace Indian restaurant. The main attraction of the evening was “Dancing with the Stars,” a celebrity dance show presented by four of Austin’s renowned Bollywood dance schools (Monsoon Dance and More, ABCD Dance School, Abhinaya School of Performing Arts and Agni Dance). The dance schools were paired with seven celebrities and accomplished individuals from local Austin community. The celebrities, as well as the dance schools, pledged to donate scholarships. There was also a silent auction, supported by local artists and businesses, as well as live music, a DJ and a raffle for a cruise for two donated by SkyPass Travel Austin. Amongst the chief guests and speakers were Mayor Steve Adler, U.S. Congressman Lloyd

beginning at noon and playing into the night. With a collection of musicians as well curated as the art, the Armadillo stage boasts greats like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Nakia, The Watters, Ruthie Foster, Charley Crockett and Shinyribs. Tickets are $8 for a single-day pass and available through Christmas Eve at the door or online in advance. For best value, purchase a season pass, which allows entry throughout the duration of the 11-day Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Season passes are available online through  December 13.  Free admission for children 12 and under. Ticket and more information at

Mexico City earthquake victims. The items were donated by Mercado vendors. For more information, call (512) 660-1845. HOTEL VAN ZANDT’S 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Hotel Van Zandt will be continuing its tradition of hosting 12 free, holiday-inspired events for the second year in a row. From December 4-15, you and your family, friends, significant other (and even your pets!) are invited to warm up by the fire in The Living Room of the hotel and rock along to some Christmas tunes, decorate cookies, take pictures with Santa, and more. There will also be holiday-inspired cocktails available for purchase on most nights.

ARTISAN MERCADO OFFERS SHOPPERS UNIQUE CHRISTMAS GIFTS The Artisan Mercado, an outdoor marketplace for Latino-themed art and arts and crafts, offers an alternative to mass-produced items found in traditional stores from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Frost Bank Plaza (401 Congress Ave.). The Mercado sells locallycrafted, fine jewelry, glassware, ceramics and tapestry pillows; Mexican, Colombian  and African dresses, handbags and crafts; and Honduran and Texan paintings, prints and mixed media. The marketplace is free and open to the public. While parents are shopping, children can attend Doggett and Houston Indian Consulate official C.R. Sen. The success of the gala can be attributed to the tireless and selfless efforts of numerous volunteers, HC4A board members and the involvement of various Austin communities. The live fundraising segment by Seema Govil and Willie Abraham caught lot of attention and turned out to be fruitful. The Gala raised over $70,000, which is earmarked for 2018 to fund scholarships for economically disadvantaged students in Austin.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar by Jennifer M. Ramos

a free wreath-making workshop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Youth can assemble a Christmas wreath or “corona navideña” similar to those found in Mexico during the holiday season. In addition to showcasing a variety of handcrafted goods, the Mercado is hosting an Arts and Crafts Charity Sale to benefit

Teatro Vivo’s Pastorela is back this season By Lesly Reynaga

Teatro Vivo brings back La Pastorela, a traditional holiday classic with a contemporary twist, presented at the Emma S. Barrientos-Mexican American Cultural Center, under the direction of Alexis A. Arredondo.  La Pastorela  follows a group of pastores (shepherds) traveling to Belén, where the angel San Miguel has told them that the redeemer will be born. In this retelling, a group of DREAMers embody the “pastores” and are working toward a hopeful future. Along the way, they encounter devils that try to stop them, while angels intercede on their behalf. The classic battle between good and evil is woven with current issues that are important to our community. “Not everyone gets to go home for the holidays,” Arredondo says. “This year,  La Pastorela  gets its usual dose of fun-loving angels, zany demons, and joyous music, but with a little message of

The event offerings this season includes Jingle Bell Rock Band & Christmas Tree Topping, Laughter & Libations – Christmas Vacation Movie Night & Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, Listen & Sip – Christmas Classics on Vinyl, Holiday Trivia with Taylor Ellison, Christmas Karaoke,  Not-So-Ordinary Christmas Carols with Suzanna Choffel, Canines & Christmas (begins at  12:00 PM), Calling all Crafters for Christmas Cookie Decorating (4:00 – 6:00 PM), Comedy, Confections & Cocktails for Elf Movie Night, Pictures with Santa Claus, TJE’s Austin Motown Christmas in Geraldine’s (begins at 8:00 PM). Unless otherwise indicated, events will be held in the Living Room and begin at 6:30 p.m. More details at hope thrown in about our people.” Pastorelas are one of the oldest and most enduring Christmas traditions in Mexico. Originally, the Mexican pastorela was a religious theater created for the purpose of converting “heathen natives.” Once appropriated by popular theater, it was never the same. Pastorelas take many forms and are vigorously influenced by invention and improvisation from the talent participating. With humor, singing, and a live band directed by Clemencia Zapata, La Pastorela is sure to be a fun experience for the entire family. The show will run December 7-17, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets start at $15. Children under 12 come in free with a donation of two canned food items. Thursdays are “Pay What You Wish” at the theatre, available an hour before the show. This project is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and FuturoFund. More information at

Hindu Charities For America was conceived with the purpose of providing a platform to those living the American Dream to give back so that those living in economic hardships can rise and achieve the same American Dream. More information at TODO AUSTIN // DEC 2017 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 09

Austin’s New Year 2018 brings eclectic live music to three stages

own soul chops with searing vocals that drip with blood, sweat and tears.” “Heart Attack,” the band’s debut album, was released in November of 2016. From their humble beginnings on a college campus four years ago, Magna Carda has steadily risen to the top of the Austin music scene as the premiere hip hop act. Described by Mashable as “Austin’s answer to The Roots,” Magna Carda is led by the city’s most dynamic MC-producer duo — Megz Kelli and Dougie Do — whose work pairs like a fine wine with the meat-and- potatoes backbone of the group’s signature live instrumentation. With their genre-defying blend of rap-meets- jazzmeets- R&B-meets- electronic, the band has quickly captured the imagination of listeners and the attention of critics alike in Austin and beyond.

It’s never too early to start making plans to ring in the new year right here in Austin, especially with the show-stopping headliners scheduled to perform at Austin’s New Year 2018 on Sunday, Dec. 31. The annual alcohol-free celebration will showcase a variety of art, food trucks and live music on three stages. This year’s event will feature an all-star line-up, including acts such as Brownout, Ian Moore Band, Tomar and The FCs, Magna Carda and Money Chicha. Brownout is an 8-piece outfit formed ten years ago by members of Grammy Award-winning Latin revival orchestra Grupo Fantasma. The band has evolved into a musical force all its own. After garnering their third Austin Music Award last year, the band has continued to produce music that is unflinchingly progressive, while evoking the classic influences of artists such as WAR, Cymande and Funkadelic. Since his arrival as a solo artist in 1993 with his self-titled debut on Capricorn Records,  Ian Moore’s journey has been one of perpetual forward motion and constant change. The record included the hits “Satisfied” and “Blue Sky”

Host your holiday party at Z-Tejas By Rose Di Grazia If you usually come for a happy hour at Z-Tejas, you should not forget about their exquisite dinners! Don’t get in a rut and only order appetizers at this Southwestern gem--trust me, I’m guilty of that. I was in the habit of visiting this place for many years and dining in for happy hours and dancing, only I forgot to look at the rest of the menu. All those years, I was so focused on the fun I had dancing that food was secondary. Last Friday, I got to kick up my heels to the Latin jazz/salsa sounds of the Brew and I indulged in some wonderful dishes, such as the poblano stuffed pepper and the stuffed pork tenderloin. The pepper was stuffed with chicken on a bed of rice and black beans. It was topped with a green chili cheese sauce. It was creamy and finger-licking good, as KFC might say, although this dish blows any fried chicken dish out of the water. Next I took a bite of the pork dish. This was stuffed with chorizo and served with a vegetable medley, not to mention the Green Hatch mashed potatoes. My meal was paired with a Berry Peach Margarita--the perfect ending to a fantastic meal.  Z-Tejas is located in a cute little house on West 10 TODO AUSTIN // DEC 2017 // TODOAUSTIN.COM

Magna Carda

and even featured the track, “Harlem,” for which he made a video with rap icon, Ice Cube. Coming out of Austin, Texas, he grew up sharing the stage with the likes of Joe Ely, Willie Nelson, Albert King, Doug Sahm, Townes Van Zandt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Charlie Sexton and Doyle Bramhall II.

Money Chicha is an Austin-based group featuring members of the Grammy-award winning Latin orchestra Grupo Fantasma  and its offshoot funk

Tomar and the FCs was formed in 2015, when Tomar decided to return to his roots as a front man. The band self recorded and released their first EP, “Day by Day.” Deborah Sengupta Stith of the Austin American Statesman selected it as one of her top releases of the year writing, “Williams shows his 6th Street. Just up the stairs, you will see people lounging on chairs on the patio deck. Inside you will find the friendly hostess and the bar. Sit inside and enjoy dinner or head down the walkway to another outdoor deck and sit under the stars to dine in the open air. After dinner, head downstairs to listen to the sounds of the great entertainment the restaurant offers.

outfit Brownout  which performs a fuzzed-out, reverb-drenched and percussion-heavy style of music inspired by the sounds of Peru and Colombia in the 60s and 70s. This style of music, sometimes called “chicha” music, is known for its infectious Latin beat, its psychedelic, surf guitar pyrotechnics and its melodies influenced by the indigenous culture of the Andes mountains. The rest of the lineup includes Charlie Faye & The Fayettes, Jane Ellen Bryant, The Watters, Kalu & The Electric Joint, James Junius, Warren Hood Band, Mobley, That Girl Dre, Monae Miller, Lesly Reynaga and Tiarra Girls. Austin’s New Year begins at 3 p.m. at Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores), located on South 1st Street and Riverside Drive, with a grand fireworks finale at 10 p.m. Learn more at


Black Fret to host its fourth annual ball benefiting local musicians Austin nonprofit Black Fret will hold its fourth annual  Black Fret Ball  Saturday, Dec. 9 at  the Paramount Theatre.  The evening will be a celebration of the 2017 season culminating in the announcement of the  2017 Black Fret Artists, with performances by many of this year’s nominees.

Austin whose mission is to empower musicians to create and perform great new music. The organization is an innovative evolution of the age-old symphony patronage model that is focused on supporting popular local music. Black Fret grant recipients unlock their grant dollars by writing, recording and performing new music and by providing community services to other area nonprofits.

Last year, Black Fret gave out $220,000 in grants to local musicians. It awarded $150,000 in 2015 and $130,000 in its 2014 season. “This fourth Black Fret Ball will be the cap on an amazing 2017 season,” said  Matt Ott, Co-Founder of Black Fret.  “We’ve awarded $500,000 over the last three Black Fret Balls and are honored to deliver grants to all of our 2017 Black Fret Nominees at the Paramount.” The kind and hospitable manager, Aaron Benavidez, will make you feel right at home and will be happy to set up your next party or event. With the holidays right around the corner, this is the perfect place to have that office Christmas or New Year’s Eve bash. No more driving around downtown looking for a place to park, dine and dance. Why do that when Z-Tejas has all you need in one spot? For more information visit

The 2017 Black Fret Nominees include Akina Adderley, Black Pistol Fire, Bright Light Social Hour, Carolyn Wonderland, Cowboy Diplomacy, Croy and the Boys, Daniel Eyes, David Ramirez, Eric Tessmer, Greyhounds, Jackie Venson, Jane Ellen Bryant, Kinky Machine, Leopold and his Fiction, Los Coast, Mobley, Sarah Sharp, The Deer, Warren Hood and Whiskey Shivers.  Black Fret is a public charity headquartered in

2017 Black Fret Nominee Jackie Venson

In addition to their grants, all Black Fret Nominees have continued access to oneon-one mentoring from Black Fret’s Advisory Board, which consists of some of Austin’s top music industry leaders. Anyone wishing to attend the Black Fret Ball may become a member of Black Fret by signing up online. All Black Fret memberships provide entry for the member and a guest to all upcoming Black Fret events in the coming year. To sign up and for more information, please see



BRIDGE2BRIDGE From Montopolis Bridge to 360 Bridge, Everything Austin

The Austin Symphony is once again bringing free music to all Austinites this holiday season. “Christmas in the Community” is a series of concerts held throughout the city featuring different ensembles of the orchestra playing familiar holiday music, from Dec. 2-23. For a schedule of performance locations and times, each open to the public with no tickets required, see


It’s time to celebrate the season with Austin’s favorite holiday tradition, Ballet Austin’s  “The Nutcracker,”  presented by the Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund. The seasonal classic, featuring  Stephen Mills’ enchanting choreography, Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, and live accompaniment by the  Austin Symphony Orchestra, offers 14 performances from  Dec. 8-23 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Evening and matinee performances are available.   The longest-running production of  The Nutcracker in the State of Texas, Ballet Austin’s interpretation of this world-famous ballet is now in its 55th year and is bigger and better than ever. The colorful cast of nearly 200 individuals features 47 dancers from Ballet Austin’s professional, apprentice and training companies and more than 147 student performers. “Our most important holiday traditions are those that bring family and friends together to relive favorite memories and make new ones, and Ballet Austin’s production of the ‘The Nutcracker’ is one of the traditions we hold dear,” said Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin’s Sarah and Ernest Butler Family Fund Artistic Director.   “The Nutcracker”  draws audiences into the family home of a young Clara Silberhaus, who receives a nutcracker doll from her mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer, during a frenetic holiday party. In her dreams later that night, Clara’s toy transforms into a Nutcracker Prince who helps her defeat a rascally army of rodents, led by the dreaded, three-headed Rat King. With victory assured, our heroine and her prince are transported to the delectable court of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where courtiers from many cultures dance to celebrate their accomplishments. As her dream dissipates, Clara is left to marvel at her wintry escapades and the doll that inspired them all. For more information and tickets, please visit


Tapestry Dance Company’s Austin-tatious rhythm tap and jazz spin on the beloved yuletide story, “The Nutcracker,” returns Dec. 7-17 to Rollins Studio Theatre. “Of Mice and Music” is performed to a jazzed up version of Tchaikovsky’s score and beloved jazz classics, with a musical spotlight on some of Austin’s best jazz musicians joined by the professional company and rising stars. Mexic-Arte Museum opens its exhibit Mix ‘n’ Mash: Latina Legends, with a festive holiday party and art sale on Friday, Dec. 8, 6-9 p.m. The works of over 200 artists will be displayed through Jan. 7, 2018 on quality panels. Each limited-edition Mix ‘n’ Mash artwork is uniquely crafted for the exhibition, including a special selection of Latina Legends inspired artworks. mexic-artemuseum. org Conspirare Christmas featuring Craig Hella Johnson’s unique programming breaks down the conventional boundaries of pop, classical, folk and season favorites, revealing the music’s essence and embracing our shared humanity. Collaborating on this year’s concert is Austin’s electrifying singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez. Monday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m. at the Long Center. Tickets from $20. Graham Reynolds, along with some of Austin’s best musicians, wreak musical havoc through an explosive set of holiday favorites on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. at Rollins Studio Theatre. By putting most of tunes in a minor key, Reynolds brings the joy of the season into a new perspective with a set that is raucous, rocking, beautiful and introspective, and everything in between. One of the most anticipated concerts of the season is Celtic Christmas, held in one of Austin’s most historic houses of worship, St. Mary Cathedral. Some of the city’s most honored vocalists combine with the extraordinary  Schola Cantorum of the Cathedral  for a  night of enchanted wonder, matched only by the humble offerings of the Irish and Scottish traditional music played. Dec. 21-22. Salvage Vanguard Theater next Works Progress Austin workshop, “Casta,” a new play by Adrienne Dawes, is Friday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m. in the Hicks House at Austin Seminary. Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca.  The complexities of contemporary racial identity(ies) are echoed in this distant mirror of casta paintings.

The Austin Asian American Film Festival has a mission to tell Asian and Asian American stories via media arts. The best in independent and mainstream film will be showcased by the AAAFF from December 7-10 at the AFS Cinema, highlighting the best in new Asian and Asian American cinema. “This year’s program celebrates the past, present and future of Asian and Asian American cinema,” says AAAFF Programming Director Anand Modi. “Filmmakers from around the world are investigating history, reckoning with contemporary life, and presenting their visions of the coming years and decades. Once again, we’re excited to present work by established and emerging filmmakers who are telling important stories and exploring the boundaries of what movies can be.” The festival kicks off with Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu’s “The Chinese Exclusion Act,” a film that examines the early Chinese American experience. For the first century of its existence, the U.S. had no legal restrictions on immigration. This all changed in the latter part of the 1800s, when anti-Chinese agitation by politicians, industrialists, laborers, and media led to federal laws targeting Chinese abroad and those already in the country. “The Chinese Exclusion Act” is a sweeping chronicle of the entire exclusion era, through historian interviews and never-before-seen archival material. Another anticipated title is “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” In 1982, Vincent Chin was brutally beaten by unemployed autoworker Ronald Ebens. Four days later Chin died, and Ebens was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $3,000, but never saw a day in prison. Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña’s film explores the economic decline of the auto industry and the failures of the justice system through the public outcry and national mobilization of a pan-Asian American civil rights movement. The AAAFF offers badges, single tickets and free screenings. Visit for more information. TODO AUSTIN // DEC 2017 // TODOAUSTIN.COM 11



TODO Austin December 2017  
TODO Austin December 2017  

TODO Austin is a print and online monthly journal that focuses on Austin multicultural community.