Black Artisan's Market
August Artists' SwarmGo downtown in a couple of weeks and you won't be able to swing a dead cat without hitting an artist. In the space of five days, August 6-10, the heart of the city will host an arts night, two state arts conferences, and a national theatre conf... well, conference may not be the best word, but a slew of alternative theatre types from Washington state to Washington, D.C. will be here drumming up new ways to shake up the nation's stages.
The Week of 1,000 Artists begins with a local focus as artists and arts organizations join restaurateurs and retailers for the second First Tuesday Downtown, hosted by the Downtown Austin Alliance. The monthly event is designed to spotlight the city's lively cultural and commercial scene downtown through a special evening of special activities and creative attractions such as sidewalk displays and street performances. For more info, contact Anne Gilliam at 469-1786.
On Wednesday, choreographers, dancers, educators, and writers from across the state assemble at the Omni, 700 San Jacinto, for the Second Texas Dance Conference, one-and-a-half days of reports and dialogue on the state of the art in the state. "Building an Industry" and "Arts and Education" are two areas under examination. Register by next Wednesday and pay $40; it's $50 after. Call Dance Umbrella, 322-0227, for info.
On Thursday, also at the Omni, artists and presenters of the arts convene for the Texas Commission on the Arts' Third Cultural Connections Conference. The three-day meeting allows the two groups to exchange ideas and enhance their understanding of each other's issues, and to be addressed by choreographer Liz Lerman and organizational strategist Sherry Schiller. Cost: $100 before July 17, $115 after. For more info, call Betty Switzer, 463-5535, x42322.
Thursday is also the day the theatre types start arriving for the RAT Rave, three days of performances and workshops by and for folks in the regional alternative (or raggedy-ass) theatre movement. Salvage Vanguard Theater czar Jason Neulander says that more than a dozen companies are attending, including such far-flung groups as Woolly Mammoth (Washington, D.C.), Bottom's Dream (Los Angeles), Bloomsberg Theatre Ensemble (Pennsylvania), and Annex Theatre (Seattle). Volunteers are needed to provide housing and transportation. To help, contact Neulander at 912-0331.
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