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Latest from Michael Barnes

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Randy Wicker roared as UT student activist in the 1950s
 Randy Wicker, a nationally recognized gay journalist and businessman who had been a radical student activist on the University of Texas campus during the 1950s, was having no luck in his quest to share his singular life story with current LGBT student groups in Austin. Then came a minor miracle. After a good deal of missed chances during...

Posted: a day ago

Randy Wicker, a nationally recognized gay journalist and businessman who had been a radical student activist on the University of Texas campus during the 1950s, was having no luck in his quest to share his singular life story with current LGBT student groups in Austin. Then came a minor miracle. After a good deal of missed chances during...
Get your ‘Hamilton’ tickets for Austin right now
 At last you have permission to order those “Hamilton” tickets for the once-in-a-generation musical that will stop in Austin
            at Bass Concert Hall for three weeks in 2019. Michael Luwoye and Isaiah Johnson in the ‘Hamilton’ national tour. Contributed by Joan Marcus The happy catch? To secure those tickets...

Posted: 3 days ago

At last you have permission to order those “Hamilton” tickets for the once-in-a-generation musical that will stop in Austin at Bass Concert Hall for three weeks in 2019. Michael Luwoye and Isaiah Johnson in the ‘Hamilton’ national tour. Contributed by Joan Marcus The happy catch? To secure those tickets...
Five Austin parties we loved so much
 One can relax during the 
            Feed the Peace Awards for the 
            Nobelity Project at the Four Seasons Austin Hotel. You know why? Because even when the AV system crashes or a stray joke bombs, 
            Turk and 
            Christy Pipkin are going to smile, glide back on stage and make it all...

Posted: 3 days ago

One can relax during the Feed the Peace Awards for the  Nobelity Project at the Four Seasons Austin Hotel. You know why? Because even when the AV system crashes or a stray joke bombs,  Turk and Christy Pipkin are going to smile, glide back on stage and make it all...
Flipside Austin parties before, during and after SXSW
 SXSW muscles its way onto Austin’s social calendar in a couple of weeks, but you can wrestle down plenty of other options
            for parties before, during and after the main event.   Feb. 23: 
            Wonders and Worries Unmasked. JW Marriott.    Feb. 28: 
            Austin Music Awards. ACL Live. March 1: ...

Posted: 3 days ago

SXSW muscles its way onto Austin’s social calendar in a couple of weeks, but you can wrestle down plenty of other options for parties before, during and after the main event. Feb. 23:  Wonders and Worries Unmasked. JW Marriott.   Feb. 28:  Austin Music Awards. ACL Live. March 1: ...
ICYMI: New $6 million portal for Laguna Gloria
 The 
            Contemporary Austin has raised $6 million to make the entrance to 
            Laguna Gloria more welcoming. The entrance to Laguna Gloria will be transformed by a $6 million welcoming project. Contributed by Reed Hilderbrand READ MORE about the plans at our premium site MyStatesman.com. The beloved 14-acre site, home to...

Posted: 4 days ago

The Contemporary Austin has raised $6 million to make the entrance to Laguna Gloria more welcoming. The entrance to Laguna Gloria will be transformed by a $6 million welcoming project. Contributed by Reed Hilderbrand READ MORE about the plans at our premium site MyStatesman.com. The beloved 14-acre site, home to...
Enter the hypnotic, disturbing beauty of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’
 Anyone who was lucky enough to see “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance” in the early 1980s will never forget it. The experimental movie about the tensions between the environment and the tentacles of modern urban life broke into the national consciousness without the use of words. First-time director Godfrey Reggio used slow-motion...

Posted: 4 days ago

Anyone who was lucky enough to see “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance” in the early 1980s will never forget it. The experimental movie about the tensions between the environment and the tentacles of modern urban life broke into the national consciousness without the use of words. First-time director Godfrey Reggio used slow-motion...
Austin Answered: How did Austin come up with half streets?
 Reader Sue Fawcett queried our Austin Answered project: “Whose idea was it to create ‘½’ streets, such as 38th ½ Street, instead of creating a different street name? I grew up in the Northeast, and never encountered a street designated as a ½ street.” I’ve always imagined that this fractioning...

Posted: 5 days ago

Reader Sue Fawcett queried our Austin Answered project: “Whose idea was it to create ‘½’ streets, such as 38th ½ Street, instead of creating a different street name? I grew up in the Northeast, and never encountered a street designated as a ½ street.” I’ve always imagined that this fractioning...
AUSTIN ANSWERED: What was Dirty Sixth before it was Dirty Sixth?
 A reader asks of our Austin Answered project: “What was Dirty Sixth before it was Dirty Sixth?” It would take a small book to answer that question fairly. In fact, Dr. 
            Allen Childs wrote one, “Sixth Street,” for the Images of America series. This fantastic shot was taken in the 200 block of East Sixth...

Posted: 6 days ago

A reader asks of our Austin Answered project: “What was Dirty Sixth before it was Dirty Sixth?” It would take a small book to answer that question fairly. In fact, Dr. Allen Childs wrote one, “Sixth Street,” for the Images of America series. This fantastic shot was taken in the 200 block of East Sixth...
Get ready for Ellsworth Kelly at the Blanton Museum of Art
 Top arts news of the week: UT opens 
            Ellsworth Kelly masterpiece at the 
            Blanton Museum of Art. Although museum members, directors and backers have peeked inside the chapel-like building on campus, everyone can see it
            during regular museum hours beginning Feb. 18. Check into the Visitors...

Posted: 6 days ago

Top arts news of the week: UT opens  Ellsworth Kelly masterpiece at the  Blanton Museum of Art. Although museum members, directors and backers have peeked inside the chapel-like building on campus, everyone can see it during regular museum hours beginning Feb. 18. Check into the Visitors...
Imagine a new welcome at Laguna Gloria
 The Contemporary Austin is hanging up a new welcome sign at Laguna Gloria. The beloved 14-acre site, home to Clara Driscoll’s 1916 villa and, now, the sprawling Marcus Sculpture Park, is set to undergo a multiphase face-lift. The first step is to break ground March 21 on a new $6 million guest-friendly entrance complex and improvements...

Posted: 7 days ago

The Contemporary Austin is hanging up a new welcome sign at Laguna Gloria. The beloved 14-acre site, home to Clara Driscoll’s 1916 villa and, now, the sprawling Marcus Sculpture Park, is set to undergo a multiphase face-lift. The first step is to break ground March 21 on a new $6 million guest-friendly entrance complex and improvements...
Longtime Austin Symphony manager Ken Caswell dies
 Kenneth “Ken” Caswell, who managed the 
            Austin Symphony from 1980 to 1998, has died.  Kenneth Caswell. Alicia Mireles/Austin American-Statesman “The entire Austin Symphony family is saddened by the passing of former executive director, Ken Caswell,” said 
            Anthony Corroa. &ldquo...

Posted: 7 days ago

Kenneth “Ken” Caswell, who managed the  Austin Symphony from 1980 to 1998, has died.  Kenneth Caswell. Alicia Mireles/Austin American-Statesman “The entire Austin Symphony family is saddened by the passing of former executive director, Ken Caswell,” said Anthony Corroa. &ldquo...
Ellsworth Kelly crowns Austin with an artistic jewel
 Patches of color drip ever so slowly down the walls, then pool onto the smooth black granite floor. On sunny days, the tall white barrel vaults swim with jewel-toned iridescence. Not only do the intense hues migrate minute by minute, they alter from day to day according to the position of the sun above “Austin,” a phenomenal new...

Posted: 8 days ago

Patches of color drip ever so slowly down the walls, then pool onto the smooth black granite floor. On sunny days, the tall white barrel vaults swim with jewel-toned iridescence. Not only do the intense hues migrate minute by minute, they alter from day to day according to the position of the sun above “Austin,” a phenomenal new...
North Austin Lions Little League team was a hit at 1951 World Series
 Last year, our big profile of the Rosedale neighborhood lit up some athletic memories. “I knew and went to school with many from the Rosedale area in the ’40s and ’50s,” writes John Watson of Johnson City. “The relatively newly arrived Little League had the North Austin Lions team make it to the Little World...

Posted: 12 days ago

Last year, our big profile of the Rosedale neighborhood lit up some athletic memories. “I knew and went to school with many from the Rosedale area in the ’40s and ’50s,” writes John Watson of Johnson City. “The relatively newly arrived Little League had the North Austin Lions team make it to the Little World...
How did Austin come up with half streets?
 Reader 
            Sue Fawcett queried our 
            Austin Answered project: “Whose idea was it to create ‘½’ streets, such as 38th ½ Street, instead of creating a different street name?” East 38th ½ is among several fractional street names in Austin. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman...

Posted: 13 days ago

Reader Sue Fawcett queried our Austin Answered project: “Whose idea was it to create ‘½’ streets, such as 38th ½ Street, instead of creating a different street name?” East 38th ½ is among several fractional street names in Austin. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman...
Get a sneak peek inside Ellsworth Kelly’s stunning ‘Austin’ at UT
 The much-anticipated opening of 
            Ellsworth Kelly‘s’ “Austin,” a phenomenal new building that doubles as a monumental work of art on the University of Texas campus, is not
            until Feb. 18. But now we can give you a look inside. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Designed by late American...

Posted: 14 days ago

The much-anticipated opening of  Ellsworth Kelly‘s’ “Austin,” a phenomenal new building that doubles as a monumental work of art on the University of Texas campus, is not until Feb. 18. But now we can give you a look inside. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Designed by late American...
This Austin mentor refuses to give up on kids
 Mentoring the children of parents who are incarcerated or on probation might not have seemed like a natural retirement career for certified public accountant Leroy Nellis. For numerous reasons that will become clear, it was exactly right. First, he had seen the need with his own eyes. For nearly 20 years, Nellis served as Travis County budget...

Posted: 15 days ago

Mentoring the children of parents who are incarcerated or on probation might not have seemed like a natural retirement career for certified public accountant Leroy Nellis. For numerous reasons that will become clear, it was exactly right. First, he had seen the need with his own eyes. For nearly 20 years, Nellis served as Travis County budget...
Glimpse inside Austin parties for history and the arts

Posted: 18 days ago

Two subjects galvanized this year’s  Angelina Eberly Luncheon, which benefits the  Austin History Center Association, the nonprofit ally of the  Austin History Center. One was the Driskill Hotel, traditional site of the always gratifying midday event. Leading the public...
Women lead second wave of giving sparked by Impact Austin experiences
 During the past decade or so, giving groups have blossomed all over Austin. Moderately comfortable individuals and families pool their resources, invite nonprofits to apply for grants, then they vet those charities and vote on grant winners. Among the most successful and best documented of these donor-advised funds has been Impact...

Posted: 17 days ago

During the past decade or so, giving groups have blossomed all over Austin. Moderately comfortable individuals and families pool their resources, invite nonprofits to apply for grants, then they vet those charities and vote on grant winners. Among the most successful and best documented of these donor-advised funds has been Impact...
Austin’s Sam the Space Monkey starred in kids’ books
 We didn’t know that Austin’s own Sam the Space Monkey, who took flight Dec. 4, 1959, was also a star of children’s books. Fans have not forgotten this little pioneer, the subject of the 1962 Wonder Books Easy Reader edition, “The Monkey in the Rocket.” A few weeks ago, we profiled the Indian rhesus monkey, a...

Posted: 19 days ago

We didn’t know that Austin’s own Sam the Space Monkey, who took flight Dec. 4, 1959, was also a star of children’s books. Fans have not forgotten this little pioneer, the subject of the 1962 Wonder Books Easy Reader edition, “The Monkey in the Rocket.” A few weeks ago, we profiled the Indian rhesus monkey, a...
How Austin Opera got its groove back
 Austin Opera — in the midst of producing Straus’ tour-de-force “Ariadne auf Naxos” — unveiled its most inspired and innovative season in a long, long time on Jan. 25 at the Long Center. Take the Opera ATX project, which reaches out to new audiences with fresh material in unexpected venues. The first effort, planned...

Posted: 20 days ago

Austin Opera — in the midst of producing Straus’ tour-de-force “Ariadne auf Naxos” — unveiled its most inspired and innovative season in a long, long time on Jan. 25 at the Long Center. Take the Opera ATX project, which reaches out to new audiences with fresh material in unexpected venues. The first effort, planned...
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