January

1/28/2012 Saturday 3:55 pm

What a month!

Coming off of the Holidays, which were rich with time with family, friends, and Glenda, the New Year has charged out of the gate at a remarkable pace.

ACGS is growing again.  With growth has come interesting challenges, particularly in the areas of staffing, process and communication.  last week web traffic related to our curriculum, GuitarCurriculum.com, roughly quintupled (!) including inquiries from all around the English-speaking world.  More donations and ticket sales are fueling a higher level of service than we’ve ever produced before and the main theme of 2012 has been to figure out how to scale up sustainably.

The first week of the New Year I found myself at dinner at Fonda San Miguel with Maestro Peter Bay, Texas Performing Arts Director Kathy Panoff, composer Graham Reynolds, Conspirare’s Ann Hume Wilson, Texas Music Office’s Casey Monahan and several others – talking about big problems and possible solutions in the arts.  What an honor!

The next night was dinner at our place with Joe Williams and Quentin Lucas… joe wrote the amazing piece we premiered at Austin Pictures.

Another early highlight (January 8th) was our Alamo Drafthouse afternoon showing of the KLRU TV Special about Austin Pictures.  Many of the major contributors convened to watch the show on the big screen and answer trivia questions like: “What did Matt Hinsley begin when he was 6? A) Guitar, B) Vegetarianism, C) Tennis, or, D) Tae Kwon Do”?  (answer below!).

Speaking of the Alamo, we’re cooking up something big for Friday June 22nd!  Think food, wine, outdoor film, live musical performance and armless knife-throwing… and you’re on the right track.  More later!

The week following began with a marvelous lunch with the new president of Austin Community College.  We talked about art and community, of course, and did a little dreaming too.  That week a wrote an article for Austin start-up magazine: Popular Hispanics, about guitar in Austin.  Should come out around South By Southwest.

My cousin Laura came in later that week and we went with Glenda to see the “Austin Grand Prix” swim meet at UT.  It was my first major swim meet.  I left inspired!  Plus we got to see heavy hitters like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin.

The third week Glenda and I went to… Harry Potter World in Orlando!  It’s amazing I’ve written about anything else, really.  We had a blast.  Saw my Mom and step Dad, my brother and his family, my sister and her family, my Austin Marcia and… my 98 year old Grandfather and his wife Marilyn.  Grandpa is doing unbelievably well, and it was a simply marvelous visit.

This past week was nonstop.  Tuesday night I talked and played for the Point Venture Lion’s Club, Wednesday I pitched on the air live at KMFA for their 45th birthday, Thursday I was on live with John Aielli on KUT’s Eklektikos and our Swedish guest artist Johannes Moller, and Friday we were on Fox 7 Morning News.  Johannes is an amazing young man.

Dreaming big dreams these days.  And searching for the time to put plans into action.  Deeply thankful for each and every day, each opportunity, and each person I’m fortunate enough to meet and work with along the way.

Things begin to get really crazy now.  I’m traveling almost every two weeks for the entire spring.  Immediate items of interest are our gala at One World Theater with Eliot Fisk on February 11th and, before that, I’ll play live at the Cactus Cafe on February 6th for their Views and Brews.  Before THAT I’ll go to Oklahoma City (this Wednesday) to conduct about 70 kids in a city-wide guitar festival!

And before all of that, I’m going to have a cup of tea, and then go present Johannes Moller in concert on our International Concert Series.  What fun!

Oh, the answer to the trivia question is: “B, Vegetarianism”!