Classical music events may be a little intimidating to get into, but Austin's friendly classical music radio station, KMFA, is making sure everyone gets involved in the most Austin way: an open house and market. At this event, Mayor Kirk Watson will declare April 1 "KMFA Day," with a proclamation followed by music, tours, lessons, and more.
This is the station's second open house at its new home space, the bespoke Draylen Mason Music Studio, but the day of recognition is a new achievement. As part of the official proceedings, a work by Austin-born sculpture artist Betty Gold will be dedicated to former KMFA President and General Manager Ann Wilson. The work, Alas VIII (Wings VIII) (1992-1993), was recently moved to the KMFA entrance.
Being an open house, this day festival encourages visitors to experience the different spaces through hourly tours and cloistered performances. The schedule could easily keep visitors engaged for the length of the event (2-6 pm), with appearances by Austin Saxophone Ensemble and One Ounce Opera; ballet workshops and shows by Density512 and Red Nightfall Productions; and performances by multiple local high school bands.
There will also be more interactive offerings, like an "instrument petting zoo" and an "arts partner marketplace." Snacks will be provided by Topo Chico, and some of the events take place outside on the Malcom Cooper Patio.
KFMA has gone through a period of dramatic change recently. George Preston is the organization's new president after Wilson, appointed in January as its first new CEO in a decade. He brings experience from Chicago, Boston, New York City, and more. This may be one of Preston's first civically minded events with the organization, but its schedule is always packed with creative happenings including fundraising dinners and appearances at festivals in and out of Austin.
A scroll through the stations current offerings, from radio personalities to local and national programs, shows a wide commitment not just to venerable arts organizations and their canons, but to more casual, everyday arts appreciation. KMFA works closely with local schools and on-campus resources, including the Butler School at the University of Texas at Austin.
More information about KMFA Day is available at kmfa.org.