You may have thought that the bracing blast you felt last weekend was just cooler air giving Austin its first taste of autumn weather. We're convinced that it was also a blast of theatrical energy as MoMFest 2000 kicked into gear. This annual performance buffet of short stage works, solo shows, poetry readings, dance, and comedy sketches is in its third year, and founders/executive producers Daniel Lam, Jason Lehmberg, and Wade Williams have continued to build this into a showcase of contemporary performance with a character and vibe all its own, as well as a distinctive value to the local arts scene. This year, they've taken the Mind Over Money Festival to the regional level, including groups from Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and New Orleans. Our current issue lands smack in the middle of the two-week fest -- it opened September 23 and continues through October 7 -- so we're straddling what's happened with what's coming up in our coverage. Below you'll find introductions to just a few of the artists and works that are worth your attention in this fall's MoMFest. With more than 50 companies and artists taking part this year, we're only scratching the surface, but maybe what you read will intrigue you enough to seek out some of MoM's other kids on your own. For a calendar of events through next Thursday, October 5, see the Arts listings. For more info, see the MoMFest Web site, www.momfest.com
, or call 707-8464.