Coinciding with the festival is the first total solar eclipse visible in Central Texas since 1397. Fusebox will incorporate this rare celestial event into the festival activities.
For eight days, artists and audiences will flock from around the world for one-of-a-kind performances, exhibitions, parties, and conversations across Austin. This year's festival pays homage to the past two decades of Fusebox while gazing ahead to the future.
"We are collaborating with the Simons Foundation along with several other local organizations, including Waterloo Greenway and The Long Center, to present several eclipse-related events, beginning the night before the eclipse and including an eclipse viewing party on the Long Center lawn the day of the eclipse," writes Ron Berry, co-founder and co-artistic director of Fusebox, in an email to CultureMap.
There will also be a new public art installation at Waterloo Park "in conjunction with the eclipse," he writes. It'll be made by sculptor and choreographer Guadalupe Maravilla, whose surreal and skeletal works use tribal symbols and large-scale constructions to transform the environment.
Fusebox tapped partners like the Contemporary Austin, Women & Their Work, Texas Performing Arts, and more to showcase singular artistic experiences.
The partnership Texas Performing Arts is a continuing one, bringing remarkable premieres like Tania El Khoury's interactive live memoir, Cultural Exchange Rate. This project shares memories from a border village between Lebanon and Syria, as well as a "brief migration to Mexico," using secret boxes and multi-media curation.
"I hope attendees fall in love with some artists that they didn't necessarily know anything about," writes Berry. "I hope folks encounter some ideas that spark them in unexpected ways. I hope that the festival connects people to each other in some meaningful ways. And I hope people feel more connected to this place, Austin."
Other highlights this year include:
- Choreographer Abby Zbikowski's Radioactive Practice, a boundary-pushing, explosive contemporary dance work
- Singer Dorian Wood's 12-hour folk song composition, Canto de Todes, that questions social change through lyrical storytelling
- Interdisciplinary artist Justin Shoulder'sAnito, which reimagines diasporic myths through "queered ancestral" alter-egos and the Sydney, Australia's underground club scene.
"We've really tried to hang onto a sense of approachability and hospitality and joy. We want to create very personable, tangible relationships between artists and audiences. I think that was true back then and continues to be true today."
Dance, film, music, literature — you name it, it's represented. For longtime Fusebox fans, the festival is a chance to reflect on the organization's growth from funky upstart to Austin arts institution. For newcomers, it's an opportunity to immerse in a dynamic arts ecosystem.
Fusebox Festival will run from April 7-14. Find tickets at fuseboxlive.com.