We Have an Issue: Up Close With Our East Austin Neighbors

Pick up this week’s issue to see the “Where Is Here” portrait series of East Austinites aged 100 to newborn


David Ramirez (Cover photo by David Brendan Hall)

Typically I use this space to hype a story in the issue – an investigative piece, a standout interview, an artist profile. But this week I want to draw your attention to what is technically an ad. You'll find it right smack in the middle of the issue – a two-page spread featuring the photograph portrait series "Where Is Here."

Organized by Keyheira Keys and Phillip Niemeyer, "Where Is Here" documents the people of East Austin at every stage of life, newborn to age 100. Photographers Hector Hernandez, Arius Holifield, Ryan Junell, Montinique Monroe, Bertie Pearson, and Tyeschea West spent a year shooting 100-plus portraits, from February 2019 to February 2020. The exhibit opened at Niemeyer's East 12th gallery Northern-Southern on Feb. 29; a week later, it closed – like so much else – due to COVID-19.

Happily, the project continues to draw notice, even if you won't be able to see these photographs hanging on the gallery's walls anytime soon. Local outlets like KUT and Sightlines have run recent profiles. For Juneteenth, the series ran in full in The Villager. I'm pleased The Austin Chronicle has the opportunity to do the same. The portraits are individually fascinating and cumulatively quite poignant. You'll find them on p.28 of this week's paper and online at www.northern-southern.com.


For our upcoming Back to School issue, we'd love to hear from readers – parents, students, teachers, school staff – how they feel about the return to schooling, which as of Tuesday will be virtual for at least the first three weeks. Tell us if you're anxious, relieved, proud of the home classroom you designed on a budget, wishing you could be better supported in a certain way – whatever's on your mind. Email your thoughts to backtoschool@austinchronicle.com and we might feature them in our Aug. 8 issue.

We're also mulling how to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, which sadly will not be happening in-person this year. Do you have any favorite memories from the fest? (We've heard more than once of meet-cutes that ended up in marriage.) Send us your stories and photos to food@austinchronicle.com, subject line: "Hot Sauce memories."


Online This Week


Like Pictionary, But With Clay – and Schadenfreude! Wayne Alan Brenner previews Clay Crusher, a board game prototype designed by musician (and former Chronicler) Derek Van Wagner.


Vortex Does Vintage TV: Robert Faires looks at the Vortex Theatre's ongoing Throwback Virtual Reading series performing classics from the TV vault. Next up? The Mary Tyler Moore Show gets the cover treatment on Thursday, July 16.

Justice for Vanessa: Hundreds gathered Sunday in East Austin to march in memory of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, the Fort Hood soldier whose killing at the hands of another soldier who was stalking her sparked international outcry and a demand for a congressional investigation into the U.S. Army's handling of the case. Find a photo gallery from the march online.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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