Y'all, we're officially back in the busy swing of things in this first weekend of February. (Did January even happen? I blinked and it was gone.)
If you take a look at our weekend calendar, you're going to be blown away by the activities populating our Austin lives. From music to theater to comedy to athletics, we are fer rills keeping our city moving and shaking.
While the (ahem) pretend holiday of Valentine's Day is right around the corner, this month also plays host to a much more significant celebration of prosperity and remembrance: Black History Month. In honor of this more-than-a-month, this weekend's calendar includes a few events that recognize the African-American Community in Austin and beyond.
Oh! And there's some sort of sports event happening this weekend, too, right? Is that a big deal? (I just watch the commercials...)
For starters, The Butler School of Music is hosting a special Black History Month Concert at the Bates Recital Hall on Friday evening. Renowned composer and choral director Roland Marvin Carter will be joined by choirs from The University of Texas, Huston-Tillotson University and Prairie View A&M for an exciting evening presenting Carter's best-loved works. Admission is free to the public and will also be live-streamed from their website.
Also on UT's campus, The Austin Symphony is hosting a cool free concert at Gregory Gym on Sunday (for those, like me, who don't even know who's playing in the Super Bowl). Super Sousa Sunday will feature the Austin Symphony Brass Ensemble playing the rousing, crowd-pleasing music of "The March King," John Philip Sousa. The big band music might even get you in the mood for the big game.
All weekend, The George Washington Carver Museum presents a new production of Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years. Using the two sisters' recorded memoirs from their bestselling oral history, playwright Emily Mann brought the Delany Sisters' to vivid life, chronicling their lives before and after the Civil Rights Movement. Their candor and humor will intimately personalize for audience members the ongoing struggle for equality in our country.
On Saturday morning, The Color Run Austin explodes into vibrant life out by Decker Lake. Benefiting Habitat for Humanity, this winding and wacky 5k takes runners around Walter E. Long Park in East Austin. Runners are dressed all in white, and upon reaching incremental goals, they will be splattered with neon sweat-proof paint. In the end, the happy, satisfied health nuts will look like they were caught in Willy Wonka's factory as it exploded. More satisfying, however: all proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity.
Talking about fundraising, later that day, you're invited to an old-fashioned Rent Party at Mitchie's Gallery, a community center and art gallery that showcases African and African-American work. Owner Joyce Adejumo is facing potential closure of the gallery after a series of health concerns, and the community she serves are rallying to save this valuable center that greatly supports the community. All day, the gallery will be filled with live entertainment from dancers and musicians and poets, who will be showing off the strength of the support put out toward Adejumo and her gallery.
Saturday evening, the Palmer Events Center is opening its doors to the crazy, colorful revelers who love to shake what their mother gave them at Austin's annual Carnaval Brasileiro. Bringing the biggest party of the year in Brazil to Austin, this music and dance celebration has been described as a cross between Mardi Gras and Halloween. So you know it's going to get out of control. This year, the theme is The Wizard of Oz, so you can expect to find plenty of Wickedly Sexy Witches of the West and maybe, if you're lucky, you're own Yellow Brick Road.
These are just some of the great things happening in Austin this weekend, and only a few of the events happening all month long during Black History Month. Keep it safe and keep it sexy, Austin!
See ya next weekend!