I don't know about y'all, but the new year kicked in to high gear already and I'm once again swamped with a million awesome things to do this weekend. Between SXSW, Trader Joe's and Twinkies, we at the office can barely fit all the surprising changes affecting Austin this week. My little fingers are getting worked down into nubbins! (And if there's anything I would prefer to avoid, it's a hand of filed-down nubbins.)
Instead, I'd like to get my hands on tickets to all of the exciting events that are coming up this weekend. (See what I did there?) Once again, it's gonna be a doozy of a weekend, so we're helping you stay on top of all the hottest parties and events so you can get the most of your precious days off. And for most of you, it's a long holiday weekend. Woot!
Friday night, there are two amazing music benefit shows that you simply cannot miss. The first is the Benefit for Esme Barrera's Family over at The Annex at 1808. This concert will be a bittersweet memorial to the much-loved Austinite who loved Austin's music. Bands will play over nine hours of music starting at 5 p.m., and friends and organizations will be allowed to share their memories of Esme between sets. It will be an emotional night of support and encouragement for a community that has lost one of their own.
Also happening Friday night, The Paramount Theatre welcomes Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin to the stage for the Marathon Kids Benefit Concert. Marathon Kids is working hard to build a community of fitness and nutrition in the lives of Austin area youth, promoting incremental movement that translates into lifelong activity. This concert is a fun way to see two of your favorite Austin musicians on the beautiful Paramount stage and benefit this worthwhile cause.
Starting Saturday morning, the Architects of Air interactive sculpture exhibit will be open for business on the terrace of the Long Center for the Performing Arts. You'll feel like a kid again crawling through the labyrinth of inflatable "luminariums", which are actually stretched PVC that transforms daylight into new shapes and colors. The traveling exhibit sets up shop at the Long Center until Jan 20, but you'll want to be first in line for this trippy art experience. Just remember, you'll have to remove your shoes before you go in.
Right next door at the Palmer Events Center, The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival returns to Austin this weekend for its tenth strong year. Starting Friday at noon, over 200 artists from across the globe set up their needles and stations to show off and record their latest work. That's right, they're doing tattoos in the convention space; and every day, a winner will be crowned for the Best New Tattoo of the Day. Come see what the leading artists are creating and experience the tattoo culture in all its glory: pinup girls, burlesque dancers, the tattooed Snake Man and plenty of live music to keep you busy. Combined with the after parties all over town, there's definitely enough to fill your entire weekend.
And if it's community you seek, look no further than the MLK Day of Service. Sign up with Hands on Central Texas or United Way Capital Area in order to join in this very special day of volunteering at Huston-Tillotson University to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over 700 volunteers came out last year, so the hope is to top even this number in the efforts to help transform our city. This is one of the Austin Area Heritage Council's MLK Celebration events that will culminate with Monday's MLK March from the statue of Dr. King at UT and the Celebration Festival at Huston-Tillotson University.
Finally, in the vein of service and fun, the Alamo Drafthouse has teamed up with Lights.Camera.Help. for the Reel Change Film Frenzy. On Friday afternoon, ten filmmaking teams were linked with ten Austin area nonprofits and tasked with making a cause-driven short film. In under 48 hours. The results will be on display for viewing to the public on Sunday night at 7 p.m. at the South Lamar Drafthouse. The winning organization (chosen by the audience) will win a cash prize, but all ten nonprofits will benefit from having a professionally shot movie to explain their missions.
Lots of fun as well as community building to be done, so what are you waiting for? Remember to make this weekend something special and meaningful. We'll see you back here in a week!