Avenue Activity

If you're in the vicinity of Eighth & Congress and hear the sound of champagne bottles popping their corks, it might be because the folks on that corner have a lot to celebrate. Live Oak Theatre, which produces out of the State Theatre at 719 Congress, has precisely 1.9 million reasons to celebrate; that's the number of dollars the city council finally awarded the company last week as part of a 13-year effort to renovate the State. (The cash comes from a 1985 bond election and... well, for a succinct recap of that story, as well as a review of the issues facing the city and Live Oak as a result, see "Council Watch," September 19, 1997). Live Oak won't be able to finance all the repairs to its theatre with the city funds, but it will be able to make some substantial improvements, and the vote of confidence from the city should aid the company in securing additional revenue from other sources. For info, call 472-7134.

Meanwhile, a step closer to Eighth, in the old Reynolds-Penland Building 721 Congress, Wild About Music is kicking up its heels over its new location. The gallery, which features a mammoth assortment of music-themed art, chose to leave its original home on West Sixth Street after 15 months when crucial pedestrian traffic failed to materialize. WAM was able to work out a four-year lease on the Reynolds-Penland space with Live Oak and opened on the Avenue last week. For info, call 708-1700.

Festival Time!

Now, if the previous item has you yearning to do some celebrating of your own, just head on over to Fiesta Gardens this weekend. That's where you'll find the First Annual Tejano Music and Arts Festival, sponsored by the Latino Arts Consortium of Austin. As the name indicates, this two-day party puts music first -- the lineup includes rising stars Shelly Lares and Stefani along with living musical legends Eddie Lalo Torres and Manuel "Cowboy" Donley -- but the other arts will be well represented. Saturday features performances by the Aztlan Folk Dance Company, the Austin Bolivian Society, Teatro Humanidad Cansada, and the Cultural Warriors. Plus, Mexic-Arte Museum will provides games and activities for children. At just $5, it's a steal. Times are 5pm-midnight on Friday, 2pm-midnight on Saturday. Call 477-6007.

Off the Desk

DiverseArts Production Group hosts another of its Second Sunday Salons this week. The monthly event features live music, new work by local visual artists, and refreshments on the front porch of Heritage House, 810 E. 13th. This month will include a reception for Regina Thomas, the proprietor of Graphic Glass whose etched glass works have been on display in the Little Gallery at Heritage House. Performing this Sunday will be the musical group Obatallah. The salon lasts from 3-6pm. Call 477-9438 for info.

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