World Music Festival debuts at Zilker Hillside Theater on Oct. 23

Oaxaca Arte en Movimiento will be among the performers featured at the first annual World Family Music Festival.
Oaxaca Arte en Movimiento will be among the performers featured at the first annual World Family Music Festival. Contributed by City of Austin 

From classical Indian dance to the sounds of samba, Austinites will be able to enjoy global grooves at Zilker Hillside Theater on Oct. 23 from 4-8 p.m. The World Family Music Festival marks the first time the city’s cultural centers come together to host a festival.

“It’ll show the richness of cultural diversity in Austin,” says festival co-producer Daniel Llanes, who will also perform at the event. “People tend to stay in their own segment of the community, but this brings it all together.”

The free family-oriented event features performers such as award-winning world music band Atash, Keito St. James, who founded the Polynesian dance and music company called Tropical Productions, Mexican folkloric dance company Oaxaca en Movimiento, and more. In addition to the music and dance, fest-goers can also expect poetry, food trucks, and children’s activities.

Anu Naimpally will perform at the upcoming World Family Music Festival.
Anu Naimpally will perform at the upcoming World Family Music Festival. Contributed by Philip Rogers

The festival will help kick off a season of events available at Austin cultural centers and museums. “Many people don’t realize that we offer many free and low-cost access to the arts,” says Laura Esparza, division manager of museums and cultural centers for the Austin parks department. Throughout the year, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, the Asian American Resource Center and the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center all host numerous events and their own festivals such as the Día de los Muertos Festival or Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

Esparza says the joint world music festival will become an annual event families can enjoy. “The world lives here,” she says. “It’s important to recognize all the music and culture that represents Austin.”

For more details, click here.

Festival Lineup:

3:45 p.m.        pre-show featuring Wesley Methodist Choir

4 p.m.           Opening Ceremony – Hula Halau Kaeepa – Keito St. James

4:10pm        For the Love Of It – Daniel Llanes

4:45pm      Oaxaca Arte en Movimiento

5:10pm      Atash

5:45pm      Thom the World Poet

5:55pm      Varonil

6:25pm      Anuradha Naimpally

6:50pm        Austin Samba

 

Where to celebrate Day of the Dead in Austin

Festive items are sold at the 32nd annual Viva La Vida Festival celebrating Dia de los Muertos, The Day Of The Dead, on Saturday, October 31, 2015. Erika Rich/Special to American-Statesman
Festive items were sold at the 32nd annual Viva La Vida Festival celebrating Day of the Dead in 2015. 
Erika Rich for American-Statesman

Day of the Dead isn’t a spooky holiday. It celebrates the life of loved ones who we still miss with offerings, altars, food and music. In Austin, the Day of the Dead spirit strengthens each year with bigger festivals and celebrations honoring the dearly departed.

Although the holiday is celebrated from Nov. 1-2, the festivities in Austin start early. Here’s a look at some of the city’s biggest Day of the Dead celebrations.

The Día de los Muertos Festival, presented by the Easter Seals of Central Texas, is quickly becoming a festival to watch. Since its launch in 2013, it’s been consistently boosting its musical offerings, bringing high-caliber Latin acts including the late Tejano legend Emilio Navaira as well as Venezuelan rockers and Latin Grammy winners La Vida Bohème. On Oct. 15, trailblazing Latin music mashers Ozomatli headlines the festival at Fiesta Gardens.

The family-friendly fest includes a crafts and activities area for children, and fest-goers can bring lawn chairs and blankets. General admission tickets cost $30; VIP costs $150. Children younger than 6 party for free. Proceeds benefit the Easter Seals of Central Texas, a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for people with disabilities. Check out more details at austindiadelosmuertos.com.

Isabella Vail, 5, looks at the art at the 31st annual Viva la Vida Festival in downtown Austin on Saturday October 18, 2014. The Viva la Vida Festival is Austin's largest and longest-running Day of the Dead celebration.  The event had a parade, Latino entertainment and food, art activities and community altars.  JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
 The Viva la Vida Festival is Austin’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead celebration.  JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead event, the Viva la Vida festival, expands this year with more event venues including the Frost Bank Tower Plaza for art activities and Brazos Hall for a member’s cocktail lounge, food trucks, lowriders, performances, face painting and more.

After more than 30 years, Viva la Vida knows how to throw a party. The sprawling downtown celebration on Oct. 29 from noon-8 p.m. includes a lively procession with a keep it weird attitude. Don’t be surprised to see everything from portable altars to samba dancers en route.

Mojigangas, props made of paper mache, are  marched through the 32nd annual Viva La Vida Festival & Parade celebrating Dia de los Muertos, The Day Of The Dead, Saturday, October 31, 2015.
Mojigangas, props made of paper mache, are part of the Viva La Vida festival parade. 

The procession begins at noon at Fifth Street between Interstate 35 and Waller Street and ends at the festival location at Fourth Street and Congress Avenue, where live music, vendors and costume contests will await. Visit mexic-artemuseumevents.org for more details.

Continue celebrating on Oct. 29 from 1-6 p.m. at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center with food, live music, children’s activities, artisans and dancing. The free event also includes a classic car and bike show. For updates, visit austintexas.gov/esbmacc.

Austin Selena fans wait hours in line to purchase limited-edition makeup

Selena fans lined up for hours to purchase MAC cosmetics' limited-edition makeup honoring the Tejano star. NANCY FLORES/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Selena fans lined up for hours to purchase MAC cosmetics’ limited-edition makeup honoring the Tejano star. NANCY FLORES/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

More than a hundred Selena Quintanilla fans set their alarm clocks, packed snacks, took the day off work or school and drove from all over Central Texas to get to the MAC Cosmetics store at The Domain early Thursday for the launch of the limited-edition Selena makeup collection.

“I’m hot and sweaty, but it’s worth it,” said Lisa Arellano, 47, who drove from Killeen at 5:30 a.m. to make sure she was one of the first customers in line to purchase “whatever is left.” Online orders quickly sold out on Saturday, so in-store purchases today were key for the Tejano superstar’s loyal fan base. Earlier this year, MAC responded to more than 37,000 people who requested the creation of a Selena makeup line via a Change.org petition.

RELATED: SELENA INFLUENCED STYLE, BEAUTY

Customers at The Domain’s MAC store were allowed inside one at a time and the line snaked outside the store and onto its sidewalk. It gave the fans many hours to swap Selena stories. “Selena just gave me four new friends today,” said Yolanda Garcia, 20, who pointed at the other young women who waited alongside her. “She died the year I was born, but I love her.”

The collection’s “Como La Flor” bright red lipstick was by far the most popular item purchased, but many fans admitted that they’ll likely keep the makeup as mementos or wear only on special occasions.

Selena fans Alexis Casarez and Hannah Gomez visited the MAC store at The Domain. NANCY FLORES/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Selena fans Alexis Casarez (L) and Hannah Gomez visited the MAC store at The Domain. NANCY FLORES/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

For Austinite Carmen Chávez, 30, that special occasion is coming up quick. She’s getting married on Saturday, and has been dreaming about wearing one of the new lipsticks for her big day. “There are so many things I need to be doing to prepare for the wedding right now, but I’m here,” Chávez said. She took the day off of work and arrived at 6:30 a.m. By 1 p.m., she was almost at the store’s register.

MORE LATINO CULTURAL ARTS: CULTURA EN AUSTIN

With Selena songs playing full blast throughout the store, many customers danced their way inside as employees cheered and applauded. Some fans dressed up like Selena and others wore T-shirts in her honor.

It’s been a good year for the pop culture icon who has received numerous posthumous awards this year including a Madame Tussauds wax figure,  a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a spot on the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

“It’s exciting to see that Selena is still relevant today,” Chávez said. “I’m glad MAC also recognized how powerful she is.” To check a MAC store near you, visit maccosmetics.com/stores.

The limited-edition makeup collection honoring Selena Quintanilla includes everything from lipsticks to blush. NANCY FLORES/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The limited-edition makeup collection honoring Selena Quintanilla includes everything from lipsticks to blush. NANCY FLORES/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

U.S.-Mexico border imagery shines in ‘Icons & Symbols of the Borderland’ exhibit

Artwork by Richard Armendariz is among the pieces featured at the "Icons & Symbols of the Borderland" exhibit.
Artwork by Richard Armendariz is among the pieces featured at the “Icons & Symbols of the Borderland” exhibit. Photo contributed by Mexic-Arte Museum

When I close my eyes and think of the Texas borderlands, my home, I see snapshots of the symbols I’ve carried throughout my life — the elaborate images on a soft San Marcos blanket or the street vendor peddling garapiñadas — the bright red sugar-coated peanuts — on the international bridge.

The borderlands, the fluid place between two giant worlds, inform everything about my identity. Often, it’s the icons and symbols of a place you connect with that can offer glimpses into your own life.

The Mexic-Arte Museum’s latest exhibit, “Icons & Symbols of the Borderland,” shines a light on the cultural imagery of the U.S.-Mexico border. Sometimes it’s the landscape of the area that resonates the most in the artwork; other times it’s the food culture or religious iconography.

The latest exhibit at Mexic-Arte, which runs through Nov. 13, features the artwork of Miguel Valenzuela.
The latest exhibit at Mexic-Arte, which runs through Nov. 13, features the artwork of Miguel Valenzuela. Photo contributed by Mexic-Arte Museum

“In an age where visual representations are fundamental to communication and lifestyle, icons and symbols are the key to ethical precepts, inspirations and beliefs,” guest curator Diana Molina, director of the Juntos Art Association in El Paso, said in a written statement. “They provide a framework for ideals, emotions, philosophy and, ultimately, patterns of behavior.”

WANT MORE LATINO CULTURAL ARTS? CHECK OUT CULTURA EN AUSTIN

The exhibit, which runs through Nov. 13 in the museum’s main gallery, includes the work of more than 20 Juntos Art Association artists. A poignant photo collage by Molina examines the wall that already exists in different border communities from Texas to California. A painting by Antonio Castro titled “Rebirth” depicts an agave growing out of dry, cracked ground in Ciudad Juárez. Agaves, which can survive in the harshest of conditions, bloom after many years. It begins to die after a giant, flowering stalk grows from its center, but it leaves behind seeds for new life. In Castro’s painting, the agave sits in the middle of a desolate road peppered with bullet casings. Instead of a flowering stalk, a newborn baby offers a symbol of another kind of new life.

Museum admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and students and $1 for children 12 and younger. Visit the Mexic-Arte Museum for free every Sunday. The museum, at 419 Congress Ave., is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 pm. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Visitors can also catch an exhibit of Day of the Dead altars through Nov. 13 in the adjacent annex gallery. Keep an eye out for our upcoming story on each of the elaborate altars this year.