Photo courtesy of Texas Performing Arts

Making plans for the days ahead just got a lot easier. From live music to celebrity comedic encounters, locals and visitors alike are sure to be entertained. Head to the races at COTA for GT World Challenge America or feast on the many flavors found at The Arboretum. Check out the top seven things to do in Austin this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, May 18

Amplify LIVE presents "I Live Here I Give Here"
Historic Scoot Inn hosts a benefit concert in support of the philanthropic I Live Here I Give Here organization in Central Texas. Highlights include a performance by headliner and local star, Jackie Venson, plus sets by Tameca Jones and Mélat. Laurie Gallardo of KUTX 98.9FM will emcee. Go to ilivehereigivehere.org for ticket and donation information.

Friday, May 19

Kyle Fair: A Tex-travaganza
Kyles from all over the Lone Star State are invited to converge for a day of celebrating their namesake, Kyle, TX. Participating Kyles will receive a free fair T-shirt while supplies last. (Non-Kyles are more than welcome to attend, too.) The free festival includes live music, fireworks, carnival rides, a margarita contest, and a rib cook-off over the course of three days. All Kyles are encouraged to stick around on Sunday for the world’s largest same-name gathering, in another attempt to break the Guinness World Record. Go to kylefair.com for more information.

SRO Motorsports presents GT World Challenge America
Gear up for a weekend of high-octane, sports car action at the Circuit of the Americas. According to the website, Fanatec GT World Challenge America weekend highlights include a barrage of on-track racing, autograph sessions, an exclusive race grid walk, a car corral, and more. Visit showpass.com for more information and to get tickets.

The Austin Symphony presents "Eastern Winds"
Enjoy an evening of live music at The Long Center for the Performing Arts as part of the ongoing Masterworks Series. This concert features Jiebing Chen playing erhu with conductor Peter Bay, and serves as a showcase of the Far East’s musical artistry. Song selections for the program include Yasushi Akutagawa's Music for Symphony Orchestra, Chen Gang & He Zhanhao's The Butterfly Lovers Concerto, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Op. 35. Tickets can be purchased at my.austinsymphony.org.

Texas Performing Arts presents "Steve Martin and Martin Short: You Won't Believe What They Look Like Today!"
Movie stars, friends, and longtime funnymen Steve Martin and Martin Short bring their show to the Bass Concert Hall for two nights only. Audiences can expect an intimate and uniquely informal evening of storytelling, conversations, stand-up material, and musical numbers all compiled into an evening with two of the most beloved figures in show business. They’ll be joined on stage by special guests Jeff Babko and The Steep Canyon Rangers. Visit texasperformingarts.org for more information.

Saturday, May 20

A Taste of The Arboretum
Explore the many flavors that fuse together to create an iconic neighborhood and retail plaza, The Arboretum. This family-friendly foodie event will highlight a mix of specials and exclusive menu items at participating eateries. Featured specials include free Amys Ice Cream samples, complimentary peanuts for dine-in orders at Five Guys Burgers & Fries, complimentary food and wine samples from Con Olio Oils & Vinegars, and more. See a list of vendors at thearboretum.com. Admission is free and open to the public.

Women & Their Work presents "Paradise Bloom" opening reception
A selection of local women artists explore the meaning and definition of “paradise” through their work at this new Women & Their Work exhibition. The exhibition features paintings, installations, neon lighting, and photography to portray the concept of paradise from each artist’s unique perspective. Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display until July 6. Reception admission to the reception is free.

Steve Martin and Martin Short
Photo courtesy of Texas Performing Arts

CitySquare presents A Night to Remember featuring Steve Martin and Martin Short at Bass Concert Hall on May 19.

Photo courtesy of I Live Here I Give Here.

Amplify Austin Day kicks off 24 hours of fundraising for local nonprofits


The biggest giving event in Central Texas kicks off March 1 at 6 pm, and runs 24 hours. The results of Amplify Austin Day, started by nonprofit I Live Here I Give Here (ILHIGH) in 2013, span seven Central Texas counties to support 700 organizations. The annual event has raised nearly $93 million to-date for local nonprofits, businesses, and initiatives all over the Central Texas region.

ILHIGH’s plan for 2023 is to reach $100,000 in donations for the Amplify Fund – with several Austin businesses joining in to help accomplish that goal. Amy’s Ice Creams is offering a new ice cream combo, “Central Texas Swirl,” and will donate five percent of sales from every Austin location to the Amplify Fund. Italian eateries Juniper and Uncle Nicky’s have agreed to donate 10 percent of their overall sales from March 1. Uncle Nicky’s will also donate 10 percent of its sales from March 2.

Large companies such as Google and NXP Semiconductors have donated $10,000 to the general ILHIGH Amplify Fund, while others have chosen to make donations to specific categories. For example, Juiceland committed $10,000 to support LGBTQIA+ nonprofits by donating 100 percent of net sales from all of its Central Texas stores’ net sales on March 2. The Shield-Ayres Foundation will match donations up to $10,000 for every nonprofit in the housing, shelter, and homelessness category.

In their own Amplify Austin Day campaign, the Red River Cultural District is offering three special giveaways for supporters that give between $10 and $50 with prizes valued at over $1000:

  • Red River Weekender ($10 to $20 donation for entry): a two-night stay at the Alexan Waterloo’s private guest suite, two general admission tickets to any 2023 Empire Control Room & Garage show and $100 bar tab, and a $25 gift card to Vaquero Taquero.
  • Moody Center Sleepover ($21 to $30 donation for entry): A two-night weekend stay at The Hotel Indigo Downtown, two general admission seated tickets to a 2023 Moody Center concert, and a $50 gift card to Italian restaurant Marinara Miracles.
  • Mohawk Madness ($31 to $50 donation for entry): a “Golden Ticket” that gives the winner and a guest free access to every Mohawk event, daytime and nighttime, from March 10 to 19, a Mohawk custom t-shirt, tote bag, and grinder, and a $50 gift card to Jersey-inspired pizza spot Hoboken Pie.

The 24-hour virtual day of giving will begin at 6 pm on March 1 and end at 6 pm on March 2. More information about Amplify Austin Day and the nonprofits it supports can be found at amplifyatx.org.

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Space-inspired screenings invade Austin Film Society ahead of Wes Anderson's upcoming release

Asteroid City

Yes, Wes Anderson was born in Houston, but we like to claim the UT graduate as our own here in Austin. With his latest film Asteroid City set for release in just a matter of weeks, the anticipation is high. Thankfully, Austin Film Society (AFS) is helping locals get ready.

On June 9 and 10, AFS will screen a series of three films the Texas director cites as influences on his new project. The series is free and will culminate with a special sneak preview of Asteroid City on June 10 at AFS Cinema.

Set in a fictional American desert town circa 1955, the film follows the itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention. Organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition, the convention is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

In true Wes Anderson form, the large ensemble cast features both previous collaborators (Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Adrien Brody, among others) and newcomers in the Anderson universe such as Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Maya Hawke, and more. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May to rave reviews.

The trio of AFS screenings leading up to the sneak peek will include On The Waterfront, directed by Elia Kazan, on Friday, June 9, at 5 pm, followed by Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind at 9 pm. The series continues on Saturday, June 10, with John Huston's The Misfits at 5 pm before the Asteroid City preview screening at 8:30 pm.

A new book about the mid-century cinematic influences on Asteroid City will also be available for purchase throughout the weekend series. Edited by Jake Perlin and published by Pushkin Press, Do Not Detonate Without Presidential Approval focuses features essays, photography, and a new conversation between Perlin and Wes Anderson.

This series of films is free, and tickets will be available to the public on Tuesday, May 30. To reserve tickets to these events, click here or visit austinfilm.org.

Lil Yachty, Jenny Lewis, and more join summer schedule for ACL tapings

Summer Sounds

Summer at Austin City Limits isn't just about the festival. The music is flowing in at the Moody Theater, where four diverse new acts will be taped for the world's ongoing enjoyment, even if Austin is too far to visit.

The taping schedule for Season 49 already includes Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tanya Tucker, and Jorge Drexler, but more is coming. The more recent announcement brings in rapper Lil Yachty, singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis, jazz duo Domi and J.D. Beck (stylized DOMi & JD Beck), and Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. The latter duo will be accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, to mark the guitarists' first appearance in a decade.

Lil Yachty beckons to the mainstream youth of 2023, having built a career on recognizable red braids and an absurdist sense of humor in his melodic flows. Still only 25, he is gaining acclaim through his creative approach. Domi and J.D. Beck take an equally, if not even more wacky approach, combining their jazz sensibility with high-profile artist features like Snoop Dogg and Mac DeMarco.

Jenny Lewis and Rodrigo y Gabriela are the more long-established acts — Lewis, a former child actor, known for her honest lyrics and campy style, and the guitar duo known for blending disparate styles like nuevo flamenco and heavy metal. Their appearance with the Austin Symphony will expand the instrumentation of their latest release, In Between Thoughts…A New World.

Austinites can see the live performances if they win passes through KLRU, the PBS station that airs Austin City Limits. Tapings will later be available on KLRU and YouTube.

  • June 28 — Lil Yachty
  • July 7 — Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • July 8 — DOMi & JD Beck
  • July 26 — Jenny Lewis

City of Austin offers bonuses to meet lifeguard staffing shortage

Just keep swimming

It's that time of the year again! Pools are getting busier on the weekends, and that means the demand for lifeguards is on the rise. Right now, the City of Austin is offering pay bonuses to help fill its shortage.

The City currently operates 45 public aquatic facilities, including Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy Pool, as well as 22 neighborhood pools and 11 splash pads.

In an effort to fill over 500 lifeguard positions at pools and summer camps, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has changed its bonus structure. The new structure is tied to the number of hours worked.

To receive the bonuses, an employee must earn a minimum of $20 an hour work between May 21 and August 12 to be eligible for any bonus payouts. For example, lifeguards will receive a $250 bonus for 200 hours of work, and 300 and 400 hours of work will add another $250 bonus.


Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.