Don't Smash the Melting Pot

It's been a helluva year for immigration law. So it's no wonder that our local Political Asylum Project of Austin (PAPA), the only pro bono legal project in Central Texas serving asylum-seeking refugees and immigrants, is being stretched to its limits. Their clients range from those fleeing political and religious persecution to battered women and children dependent on abusive resident spouses or parents. For many clients, PAPA's services mean the difference between a life of fear and a life of hope -- and sometimes between life and death. PAPA is throwing their Fundraising Happy Hour, Thu, Nov 20, 5:30-9pm, at Miguel's la Bodega, 415 Colorado. Ta Mère and Sambaxé will be laying down the Salsa and Latin jazz beats for the loosening of your booty (and wallet). Or skip the boogie and send a check: PAPA, 1715 E. Sixth, 78702. 478-0546.

It's Never Too Late discover your inner Moon Ballooner. Do it at this weekend's Discovery Fair, Sat, Nov 15, 10am-6pm at the Children's Discovery Center, 4112 Duval. Actually the moon balloon is probably for the little kids. But there will be plenty for you large ones, like: arts & crafts for sale; food by Ruby's, Gumby's, and Guiltless Gourmet; live music by Jon Emery and Mandy Woods; and a silent auction. And y'know, maybe if you take off your shoes and act realll, realllll small, they might let you in the moon balloon. 458-1891.

Street Smarts

To most of us, they have no name, no face. They're just outstretched hands, blights on the urban landscape. Whether their condition is a result of choice or circumstance matters not. The situation impacts us all -- not just economically -- but personally, spiritually, psychically.

Homelessness hits all of us. The status of our most underprivileged says something about all of us. Turn your head all you want. Walk by and ignore your humanity. Post all the bans and prohibitions you want. Piss and moan about personal responsibility until you are blue in the face and then stop and really think about what that means when you live so well in a society whose inherent tenets mandate screwing over the less-fortunate. Homelessness and homeless people are the products of a bad attitude, a society that piggishly insists, "My storefront is more important than your well-being." "My personal security is threatened by your lack of security." "My earnings and status are in jeopardy if you advance in this life."

Thank the deities that there are selfless angels in this town who feel differently than we do. So here comes National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week. What are you going to do? How about participate in some area events?

* Check out the Homeless Artists' Guild Art Show at Alternate Current Artspace, 2209 S. First, Fri, Nov 14, 6-10pm. 472-7627.

* Purchase something from Art From the Streets which will be held this weekend at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, Sat-Sun, Nov 15-16. 476-4357.

* Give non-perishables to the Food Drive coordinated by Austin Metropolitan Ministries and Americorps. Call for drop off points. The drive lasts until Sat, Nov 22. 472-7627.

* See the Voices & Faces of Austin's Homeless photo-documentary. The opening is Sun, Nov 16, 5-7pm at Ruta Maya Coffee House. 707-3202.

* Catch the Homeless Home Movie at the Dobie Theatre, chronicling a year in the life of seven homeless folks, Wed, Nov 19, 7pm. 707-3202.

Nastier Pricks

Don't forget! Tonight, Thu, Nov 13, 6-10pm, the Austin Harm Reduction Coalition presents Get the Point to help fund their efforts to fix the problems of HIV and AIDS transmission among injection drug users. 81/2 Souvenirs' Glover Gill, the Damnations, and Miss Xanna Don't & the Wanted play at Club de Ville. 374-4470.

Anti-Bad Taste

Which is what we guess you are if you are a member of the ProArts Collective, who happen to be hosting their second annual gumbo fest fundraiser, lusciously entitled Gumbo, Cornbread, Red Beans & Rice Sun, Nov 16, 7-10pm at 1804 Eastside Drive. The event will raise dough and beans for those wild ProArts types. Special rates will be given to those attending the matinee of the collective's current production To Be Young, Gifted and Black at the John Henry Faulk Living Theatre, 204 E. Fourth. 454-TIXS.

Hello? Free Plugs!

The Extended Deadline for Holiday Wish List is Mon, Nov 24. Please send your group's list along with your group's address (where you want checks mailed or items dropped) and phone, plus a contact name and phone number (for us to verify). 454-5766

email : Mail to: "Public Notice," The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765. Deadline: Wednesday, 6pm, eight days prior to publication. Phone calls have a .001% chance of being returned.

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Kate X Messer, Aug. 31, 2001

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Kate X Messer, Aug. 24, 2001

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