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September 9, 2012

East Side County Fair

The HOPE Farmers Market presents the 2nd Annual East Side County Fair on September 9, 2012. The Market hosts this annual event to celebrate the end of summer and beginning of the Fall Harvest season. Family-friendly games and activities help kick off back-to-school and all proceeds from the festivities go to support the upcoming launch of HOPE Farmer’s Market’s Food Stamp Acceptance Program currently scheduled for October. 

The East Side County Fair will serve up some amazing local food along with some good old-fashioned fun including live music, local breweries and family-friendly activities.

Recently featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Final Tour of Austin, Whiskey Shivers kicks off the live entertainment at noon “with upright bass, fiddle, washboard, banjo, guitar, and (…) a fine layer of grit on top of the hard-driving rhythms of traditional bluegrass.”

Check out local breweries on tap, courtesy of Adelbert’s Brewery and Rogness Brewing Company. Bring your own mason jar!

Farmers Market's East Side County Fair 2011, Photo by Whitney Arostegui

Some of the family-friendly activities include the Tiny Tails Petting Zoo, HOPE FM Vendor Bingo, Moonbounce, Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest, Bobbing for Veggies, Hot Dog Eating Contest, Pie Your Friend, Face Painting and Photo Booth. 

In addition to these special activities, the market’s 40+ weekly vendors will feature local produce, farm-fresh prepared food, drinks and hand crafted art & jewelry. Other weekly programming includes free yoga at 11 am provided by Soma Vida, the HOPE Play art station, the Local Artist Poster Series on display in the HOPE Gallery, and of course the Sample Station where you can try it before you buy it.

You can stay up to date with event updates on the East Side County Fair Facebook page.

Photo by Jessica Warren,

HOPE Farmers Market develops healthy relationships between farmers, small businesses, local organizations and urban consumers by cultivating a space for the exchange of food, culture and knowledge.

A unique weekly gathering space in East Austin, HOPEFM serves as a platform to introduce urban consumers to local farmers, food artisans, musicians, artists and non-profits. At the HOPEFM, everyone brings something to the table by contributing to the local food economy, participating in wellness workshops and volunteer opportunities, and sharing knowledge and talent. The HOPEFM is a dynamic space that allows for experimentation and innovation of food, music, art and design.

HOPE Farmers Market is a project of HOPE Events, Inc, an eco-conscious 501(c)3 non-profit that helps artists & musicians support education projects around the world.

Start:September 9, 2012
End:September 9, 2012
Venue:HOPE Farmer's Market
414 Waller Street, Austin, TX, United States, 78702

September 6, 2012

Suzanne Pratt Art Opening and Tameca Jones at Continental Club Gallery

Stephanie Pratt; travelling circles, 2006

Continental Club Gallery opens their doors at 7 pm for a gallery exhibit by Stephanie Pratt. Tameca Jones closes the show with a live performance at 10:30 pm. 

“I strive for a heavy aesthetic with an emphasis on color and transparency—pulling from the sublime in nature; bringing an elemental and ethereal, but playful energy into my work,” says Pratt on her work.

Stephanie Pratt; running color no. 2 (detail), 2007

Incredibly organic, you can relax into the dreamy hues of Pratt’s work. Clearly biologically inspired, her shapes seem oceanic and cellular all at once. Pratt has had solo exhibits in Austin, California and New York. Her work is currently being shown at galleries in Georgia and California.

Suzanne Pratt

All of this before an enlivening performance by sultry Tameca Jones.

Tameca Jones

Influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Beck, Prince, The Roots, The Beatles, Neil Young and Nirvana, Tameca Jones skates between rock, pop, r&b and soul without the blink of an eye. Ex-singer of band 8 Million Stories, Jones formed her newest project, The Tameca Jones Quartet, upon returning home from an enlightening stay in San Francisco.

The soulful jazz renderings of Dinah Washington and the nimble, vocal dexterity of Ella Fitzgerald opened her ears to a new form of music. Her quartet presents old standards in a modern, soulful way. While Tameca gigs with her quartet, she continues to write new material.

Don’t miss your chance to see some amazing art and get your hips moving to some great music!

Start:September 6, 2012
End:September 6, 2012
Venue:The Continental Club
1315 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX, United States, 78704

August 29, 2012

Cooking Planit Hosts Launch at Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Berry Sangria: Cooking Planit's answer to the heat

Austin-based startup, Cooking Planit, invites you for an evening of food, drink and festivities. Cooking Planit is launching a revolutionary new way to make great meals!

Cooking Planit’s founders will kick off the evening with an introduction of the new website and mobile app, followed by a panel of distinguished food experts who will discuss the future of cooking. Guests will enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and an open cocktail bar.

Along with door prizes, attendees will have three chances to win a $50 gift card to Whole Foods, and all guests will be automatically entered into the grand prize drawing of a $250 gift card to Ritz Camera.

You can RSVP at the following link

Become a master chef all with one app. Consider stressful grocery store expeditions as simple as the click of a button with Cooking Planit. The application provides a fully functional grocery list that automatically organizes itself by the sections found in a typical grocery store layout. It even categorizes all of your ingredients together for multiple recipes.

Whether you’re a professional chef, working mother or single young professional, Cooking Planit brings a fool-proof approach to cooking great meals on a budget. You can adjust  the app to include personal preferences and dietary restrictions to perfectly customize your meals. From mapping out a menu, to grocery shopping to juggling several dishes in the kitchen, you are sure to impress your dining companions with your newfound culinary finesse.

Cooking Planit was founded in 2011 by partners Jonathan Vlock and Tripp Wiggins. They met at a dinner party, where they bonded over their shared frustration of boring, monotonous meals. Brainstorming sessions followed and Cooking Planit was launched to create a way to get out of the comfort zone and spice things up in the kitchen.

Under the tutelage of Executive Culinary Director and Resident Chef Emily Wilson, Cooking Planit delivers amazing, memorable meals.

Cooking Planit's Executive Culinary Director and Resident Chef Emily Wilson

Chef Wilson believes that food is love, nourishment and happiness all rolled into one. Of course, she takes infinite pleasure in passing along these wonderful traits to people just like you. Nothing satisfies her more than inspiring folks to execute memorable meals.

Wilson”s goal for Cooking Planit bring forth that taste good recipes that taste delicious. Some recipes will be healthy, and some may even call for butter, cheese and bacon! Some will be quick and easy, while others will pose new, exciting challenges like unfamiliar ingredients or cooking methods. At the end of the day, what excites her most is helping you step out of your kitchen comfort zone-with Cooking Planit by your side, of course.

The chef’s ascent into the gastronomic arts began with an internship at Sea Grill restaurant at Rockefeller Center in New York City. This connected Wilson to Catering by Restaurant Associates, where for seven years she led catering departments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and later The American Museum of Natural History.

Amidst the non-stop, fast-paced event world, Wilson had always found creative comfort in her kitchen, where she still regularly hosts elaborate dinner parties for friends and reinvents holiday dinners with family.

Come out to Cooking Planit’s Launch Party at Moonshine and take the next step to becoming a master chef!

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

Start:August 29, 2012 5:00 pm
End:August 29, 2012 7:00 pm
Venue:Moonshine Bar & Grill
303 Red River Street, Austin, TX, United States, 78701

Kenichi’s 3rd Annual Beer Festival

Kenichi will be hosting its 3rd Annual Beer Festival from 5:00 to 7:30 pm this Wednesday, August 29. This event is always a blast and is a great deal at only $30.

Kenichi will have over 15 microbrews available for sampling, as well as a special station devoted just to Japanese beers. Chef Shane will serve up some great sushi and small bites from Kenichi’s kitchen as well.

If you love beer and sushi, you won’t want to miss this event!

Click here to purchase your tickets now, or you can call Kenichi at 512.320.8883 or email General Manager Danielle McGarrh, at to grab one of the last remaining tickets.

Executive Sushi Chef Richard Lee

Also, look out for Kenichi’s newest Executive Sushi Chef, Richard Lee. If you’ve visited Kenichi in the last week or two, you’ve probably already tried some of his cuisine! This young man has some amazing culinary tricks up his sleeve, so stop on in and feel free to introduce yourself.

Come in to Kenichi to enjoy great seafood, steaks and sushi as well as unique and original drinks in a sleek and trendy atmosphere right in the heart of the Warehouse District in downtown Austin. 

The food tastes even better than it looks!

Start:August 29, 2012 5:00 pm
End:August 29, 2012 7:30 pm
419 Colorado Street, Austin, TX, United States, 78701

August 22, 2012

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Present Fully Charged

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®will bring a surge of circus excitement and megawatts of thrills to the Frank Erwin Center on August 22-26 with their all new show -Fully ChargedSM! The most electrifying edition ever of Ringling Bros. celebrates all kinds of power, including performance power, horsepower, manpower, the power of beauty and grace and sheer amazing athletic power. Circus-goers will experience mind-blowing daredevilry, spectacular superhuman stunts and never-before-seen performances that are sure to energize children of all ages. Led by newcomer ringmaster Brian Crawford Scott, some of the remarkable acts include dynamic animal trainer Tabayara, the fearless Fernandez Brothers, the Human Fuse and of course, Ringling Bros. Clown Alley!

One of the world’s greatest animal trainers, Tabayara “Taba” Maluenda, had a chance to give us an exclusive look into the performance.

Tabayara "Taba" Maluenda

Q: What first interested you in the circus?

A: I am the sixth generation in my family to perform in the circus. I first started out as a teenager doing all kinds of jobs; my act on the flying trapeze was quite popular. My mother and brothers still do acrobatics and high-wire in Chile today.

Q: How long have you been touring with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey?

A: This is my eighth year presenting the tiger.

Q: How did you know you wanted to work with animals?

A: My grandfather was an animal trainer too. I grew up watching these amazing videos of legendary trainer, Gunther Gebel-Williams. I first had a chance at age 15 to work with the tigers and I never looked back. After touring with the Gasca organization in South and Central America, I was delighted when I got the call from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. To be the successor of Gunther Gebel-Williams was such an honor.

Q: What types of animals are you currently working with?

A: Elephants, tigers and horses.

Q: What is a typical day of training like?

A: My day starts early at 7:30. Feeding and caring for the animals takes some time. I usually run the horses for at least one or two hours. I walk the elephants around and let them exercise anywhere from a half an hour to two hours. With the tigers, I try not to overwork them, especially on the day of a show.

Q: What can audiences expect to see?

A: The show is amazing and includes performances from all over the world. The circus is all about enjoying yourself and being happy. You will see some of the most interesting acts, people and animals from exotic places like China, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Mongolia and Afghanistan. It’s clean fun for the whole family and people leave the show happy.

Q: Do you have any signature moves?

A: My signature move is a tiger jumping through an open-legged handstand. I try to make the performance extremely fast and exciting with tumbling and acrobatic feats as well. I am also known for saying “Asugar” whenever my animals do a trick.

We look forward to seeing Tabayara and all of the other amazing acts perform at this year’s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s newest show, Fully Charged. Get your ticket to the high-voltage fun today! 


Start:August 22, 2012
End:August 26, 2012
Venue:Frank Erwin Center
1701 Red River, Austin, TX, United States, 78701

August 1, 2012

Dogwood Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary

West Sixth Street’s Dogwood celebrates its two-year anniversary in proper style with a huge party, festive food, and free gifts for the first 100 attendees. Delight in Deep Eddy snow cones, cotton candy, cake, and champagne besides plenty of other surprises throughout the night.

Dirty River Boys

Enjoy live music by The Dirty River Boys and a surprise special guest. Doors open at 4 pm.

Renowned for their rousing live performances, The Dirty River Boys give acoustic sounds a whole new edge. Think explosive percussion and amazing guitar-licks intertwined with more traditional folk instruments like harmonica, banjo, and fiddle. From their home in the far west-Texas desert, these boys have truly come up with a sound that’s all their own.

“The Dirty River Boys have done what seems impossible: they have combined timeless roots-music and country sensibilities into a mesh of haunting melody, searing performance energy and DIY attitude. For those who enjoy a little danger in their entertainment choices, the Dirty River Boys fit the ticket nicely,” says Chris Mosser of 98.1 KVET Austin.

Don’t miss out on a chance to see The Dirty River Boys and party down on the patio– all courtesy of Red Bull, local Deep Eddy Vodka, and Corona Light.

Photo by Jason C.

Start:August 1, 2012 4:00 am
End:August 2, 2012 10:00 pm
Venue:The Dogwood
715 West Sixth Street, Austin, TX, United States, 78701

July 21, 2012

Music for the Heart: Concert Benefiting 6th Annual Global Youth Peace Summit with Music by Ustad Nizami

This weekend, enjoy the music of Ustad Nizami at Music From the Heart, a benefit concert for the 6th Annual Global Youth Peace Summit.

With a $20 suggested donation, all proceeds for the evening will go to fund Naveed Ali, a Pakistani youth, who hopes to travel to the United States for the first time to participate in this year’s Global Youth Peace Summit.

Ustad Nizami is a 17th-generation musician and one of the foremost musicians from Pakistan. His performances include Classical Indian, Ghazal, Geet, Qawwali, Bhajan, Pakistani Folk & Sufi music. Nizami’s son, an 18th-generation musician, will be performing with him. Learn more at

All evening, Nectar Thrift Boutique will be offering big discounts on clothing, jewelry & more! 100% of Nectar’s proceeds for the evening will benefit the fund for Naveed Ali.

The event will take place at the Amala Foundation Sanctuary on Saturday, July 21 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information on the Global Youth Peace Summit and the Amala Foundation, please visit

Ustad Nizami playing citar atop Austin's Mount Bonnell

About Ustad Nizami

Ustad (Professor) Ghulam Farid Nizami is of the Senia Gharana tradition and is a descendant of Mian Tan Sen, a court musician of 16th century Moghal Emperor Akbar the Great. He apprenticed with his father, Ustad Ishaq Nizami, beginning at the age of 4. After his father’s death, he continued his studies with his elder brother, Ustad Mohammad Akhtar Nizami, as well as other esteemed Pakistani music maestros, in sitar, vocals, tabla, and harmonium. He received instruction in the tradition of Sufism from Khawaja Mohammad Moeen Khan Nizami and Haji Faiz Ahmed.

Ustad Nizami created and hosted several educational television shows on Pakistan TV that featured the traditional music of North Pakistan, and has made innumerable radio and television appearances. He has worked extensively with the Folklore Museum at Lok Virsa in Islamabad and performed widely for the Pakistani National Council for the Arts for over 25 years. He has performed for all Pakistani heads of State as well as for a long list of foreign dignitaries, including 3 US presidents, Saudi King Abdullah, Jordani King Hussein, Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.In over 30 years of teaching at Pakistani educational and performing arts institutions, including 14 years at the Beacon House School, Nizami has helped to create a new generation of musicians. Among his students are the first professional female tabla and sitar players in Pakistan. In 2008 he came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and taught at The University of Texas in Austin from ‘08- ‘09.

Currently, Nizami is performing in concerts in Texas and the United States and is a member of the Texas Commission of the Arts Touring Artist Roster. TCA provides grants to arts presenters, schools, libraries, theaters and other non-profits throughout Texas to help with the cost of bringing in artists from the Roster.

Start:July 21, 2012
End:July 21, 2012
Venue:Amala Foundation
United States

July 20, 2012

RED HOT Party Returns July 20th to Benefit Project Transitions

RED HOT returns hotter than ever in its 21st year to benefit Project Transitions, an organization dedicated to serving people with HIV and AIDS. The Warehouse District’s Oil Can Harry’s will host this dazzling event on July 20th from 6 to 10 pm.

As the summer party, last year Oil Can Harry’s raised an amazing $17,000 for Project Transitions, all of which went directly into programs to provide compassionate hospice and supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS.

RED HOT features sumptuous food from from Austin restaurants and caterers, signature cocktails, and an elegant champagne bar. You can expect a plethora of live entertainment, an enormous silent auction filled with amazing trips, unique dining experiences, and incredible treasures along with a live auction of one-of-a-kind experiences.

Each year, more than 600 Central Texans attend the RED HOT Party to experience four hours of live entertainment, great food from downtown restaurants and caterers, specialty cocktails and a huge silent auction. Guests will enjoy cuisine from Sushi Zushi, Mansion at Judge’s Hill, Catering by Rose and Aesops Tables Catering, among others.The huge silent auction includes autographed Broadway posters, weekend get-aways, dinner and performing arts ticket combos, a Public D8 city touring bicycle from Mellow Johnny’s and much, much more.

This year, guests will be entertained by the cast of Cabaret from City Theatre, along with performances by the Austin Babtist Women, Austin City Showgirls, Julie Nelson and her band, and Grrlz Will Be Bois, along with surprise special guests. For the first time this year, the event will include the “RED HOT Fashion Show,” presented by Joie De Vie Salon & Spa, Bumble and Bumble, SHi Productions, You Do You Photography, and Package Menswear.

Admission is a suggested $5 donation at the door. Oil Can Harry’s is located at 214 West 4th Street in the downtown Warehouse District.

For the past 21 years, Oil Can Harry’s has hosted the annual RED HOT Party each July. Steve Higginbotham, a longtime supporter, created Red Hot for the first time in 1992. For the past 19 years, RED HOT has been an important source of funding, generating more than $220,000 for Project Transitions’ programs and services. This great event is not only a critical element in maintaining services, it also happens to be “THE summer party” of Austin!

Start:July 20, 2012
End:July 20, 2012
Venue:Oil Can Harry's
United States

July 12, 2012

12th Annual Lobster Fest

Hyde Park’s Asti Trattoria celebrates their 12th Annual Lobsterfest with lobsters flown in from Maine from this Thursday, July 12 to Saturday, July 14. Only 350 total are shipped, so make your reservations now!

Enjoy a family style, three-course dinner for two featuring a caprese salad, spaghetti fra diavolo with lobster or a summer corn risotto with lobster. A watermelon granita is served for dessert, what a summer treat!

This three-course meal runs at $95 for two. The menu is offered à la carte as well.

Asti Trattoria is located on 408 C East 43rd Street.

Start:July 12, 2012
End:July 14, 2012
Venue:Asti Trattoria
408 C East 43rd Street, Austin, TX, United States, 78751

June 15, 2012

Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL Tour Comes to Austin for One Night Only

Photo by OSA Images Costumes: Zaldy Goco©2011 Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC

For one night only, Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson – the IMMORTAL tour will be gracing the stage at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center. With over 30 songs from the Jackson 5 and Michael, twelve musicians including Michael Jackson’s former drummer and saxophonist, half a dozen back-up singers plus ten choreographers cement this show as truly Immortal. Most notably, the show features choreographer Travis Payne from the famed This Is It tour. This is also the first tour to be officially approved by the Jackson Family Estate.

Michael Jackson’s relationship with Cirque du Soleil started long before they decided to Immortalize Michael. Jackson saw his first Cirque du Soleil Big Top show back in 1987, and has been a fan ever since. He last visited Cirque’s headquarters in Montreal in 2004. Expect to hear Michael’s own words and some of his favorite sayings along with sounds of his actual snaps and foot taps in the show’s musical score. IMMORTAL clearly captures the essence of the King of Pop while painting a portrait of his inner world of imagination, music, and magic. The astonishing performances will leave you breathless.

To more accurately describe the show, I had a chance to talk with IMMORTAL’s publicist, Laura Silverman.

Q: How important do you think a show like IMMORTAL is to all of Michael’s fans after his untimely death?

A: I think it’s extremely important. The focus is to celebrate his legacy and what he left behind. This is really the concert he never had. The creative team included colleagues and friends who knew him very well, including his drummer of 35 years. All of this lends an air of authenticity to the show. For Michael Jackson’s fans, this is an incredible showcase of how phenomenal his passion was. For non-fans, it’s great way for them to see just why he is known as the King of Pop.

Q: I heard the show’s producers met at Neverland Ranch for the first creative meeting for IMMORTAL. How do you think this helped influence the show?

A: The creative team got to explore the ranch and see how he lived and who he was beyond who we see him as an aritst.  Neverland lent a lot of inspiration to the show, as seen in the props. Based on the actual gates of Neverland, a replica of the gates welcomes the audience into Michael’s world at the beginning of IMMORTAL. An aerial act in the performance was actually inspired by actual black and white swans seen at Neverland. This really clicked with the directors and, again, lends that feeling of authenticity to the show.

Q: From that first meeting, how long did it take for the show to be taken from concept to the full length show audiences can see today?

A: From that first meeting to the premiere, about a year and a half. A lot shorter than normal; we moved fast on this one. The artists all came on board quickly.

Q: Michael’s moves are so one of a kind. Was it difficult to find dancers to accurately embody Michael’s spirit?

A: There is not one impersonator in the show. The dancers are incredible. We held invitation-only auditions in New York City and Paris. Thousands auditioned, and we came up with a team of incredibly talented dancers. They have worked with the best top artists including Britney Spears, Pink, Madonna, Ricky Martin, and Rihanna. From a technical standpoint, they are all super talented.  As for spirit, growing up being an artsist or a dancer gives a certain passion apparent in all of the dancers and artists, even acrobats. It is an incredible opportunity and they do a great job.

Q: I’ve also heard one of the dancers, a one-legged hip-hop dancer, made quite a splash on Ellen. How is he incorporated into IMMORTAL?

A: He actually has many solos. He is an incredible dancer. There’s really not much more to say. He goes out hoping to show people that anything’s possible. He keeps up with everyone else in the show dancing with both legs. He’s featured in solos as well as all of the ensemble performances.

Q: How many cities has IMMORTAL’s toured?

A:  Austin is our 58th stop.

Q: Can Austin’s Michael fans expect to see IMMORTAL come back through town another time if they miss the June 15th performance?

A: We do have plans to come back after the North American tour at the end of August. If Austin fans miss the show we are also playing in San Antonio on June 23 and Dallas on June 26.

Perhaps little known, Michael Jackson shares a quirky connection with Austin. Jackson’s adored monkey, Bubbles, was actually born in an Austin medical research facility. Austinites love Michael. In June 2011, Austin commodities trader and philanthropist Milton Verret bought Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller jacket for $1.8 million to raise money for wildlife charities. Austin’s own blues rock star, Gary Clark Jr., sited Michael as one of his career’s most important influences during an interview with Carson Daly. After Michael’s tragic death, several clubs, restaurants, and deejays held a celebration of Michael’s music and life. Alamo Drafthouse even held a candlelight screening of videos and a singalong. Breaking a world record in October 2008, a flash mob of 800 people danced to Thriller decked out in full regalia at the Long Center.

Jackson was lasted spotted in Austin in 2009 shopping at the Recycled Records on Congress Avenue for The Cowsills album. His legacy continues to live on in Austin to this day. His nephew, Austin Brown, performed for the first time this year at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin and aired on CNN.

This unforgettable show will captivate audiences of all generations with its astounding juxtaposition of music, dance and magic. This is one you don’t want to miss.

Click here to see a preview of the IMMORTAL tour. Click here to buy tickets for the one-night-only performance in Austin.

Photo by OSA Images Costumes: Zaldy Goco©2011 Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC

Start:June 15, 2012
End:June 15, 2012
Venue:Frank Erwin Center
1701 Red River Street, Austin, TX, United States, 78701