Leadership Austin, Tx Cultural Trust, Tx Young Masters

4/21/2010 Wednesday 8:22 pm

Another action-packed day today.

I was the lead-off speaker this morning at 8:45 at Zachary Scott Theater where Leadership Austin was hosting their final “Essential” class for 65 talented and diverse professionals in the Austin area.  Leadership Austin is an incredibly cool organization headed up by Heather McKissick.  They are at the forefront of getting leaders to engage with the community by learning about the way Austin works be it education, commerce, high tech, or, like today, the arts.

The morning session was devoted to “How Have the Arts Changed Austin?”  My approach was to give a quick overview of ACGS programming as a representative of the many fine nonprofit arts orgs in this town, and then look at the question form the standpoint of how the arts affect individuals.  To do this I focused on letters, emails and statements made to me from people who have been directly affected by our education outreach program: students, parents, alums, teachers, administrators, etc.  I even pulled statements students made during the massive social impact study the UT school of social work did last year.

It was a fun talk.  Carl McQueary – curator of art for Seton Hospitals – followed me with a discussion of Austin art history and the Louis Black – founder of the Austin Chronicle and co-founder of amazing Austin things like South by Southwest and the Austin Film Society – brought us home with an amazing series of tales and insights from his incredible life.

Speaking of film, as I was heading out, Karrie League, co-owner of the Alamo Drafthouse, was walking in.  She was scheduled to speak closer to the lunch hour.

But by then I was at the Four Seasons Hotel for the Texas Young Masters Award Luncheon hosted by the texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission on the Arts.  My young student Vincent won an award this year.  They are given every 2 years and carry a 3-time $2500 summer study stipend.  This year another Austin guitarist won – Vijay Meunier – who has been heavily involved in our school programs first at Lamar Middle School and now at McCallum and is a private student of Jon Dotson here in town.  I should say that my student Thales won the award 2 years ago, and Marco Villa, a then-McCallum student, won the award back 4 years ago!  This is a highly competitive interdisciplinary contest that is run statewide and we’re very proud of the strong Austin classical guitar showing.

Much more to say, but no time to say it!  Tomorrow begins with lunch with Lorenzo Micheli (yes, he’s still here thank to the Icelandic volcano!) then a 10am meeting with KLRU to discuss the summer documentary on the festival followed by an 11am with KUT also about the festival.

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