DAWA Announces a Historic Week of BIPOC-Led SXSW Programming

All-free Vision:8291 events kick off Tuesday at Stubb’s

In partnership with South by Southwest, Austin organization DAWA (Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action) presents a comprehensive and historic week of events entitled Vision:8291.

DAWA founder/director Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone intends to create an annual tradition of star-studded art, music, and cultural programming. He says Vision:8291 will be a space "where the innovative visions of BIPOC designers, ecologists, thinkers, creatives, inventors, and humanitarians can have their work elevated, celebrated, and empowered." The events, running March 14 through 18, are all free and open to the public. RSVP at dawaheals.org/vision8291.

"Every year, millions of dollars flood the city of Austin for this festival, and most of it flows around the BIPOC organizations that make this city worth living in,” says Mahone.

Vision:8291 will feature a themed music and speaking series throughout the week. Following up last year’s well-attended edition at Stubb’s outdoor stage, DAWA’s "Unity" concert will be held on Tuesday, March 14. The lineup includes Austin rapper CP Loony, riding melodic 2022 record godspeed., and local sister trio the Tiarras, celebrating latest pop single “Cumbia en el Cielo.” The Chronicle recently declared Urban Heat’s Wellness EP a “darkwave road map for uncertain times.” Eimaral Sol, Caramelo Haze, and J Soulja round out the powerhouse evening of homegrown talent.

Continuing music programming, Highland Lounge hosts a “Family” concert on Thursday, March 16. The lineup includes DJ Shani, recently profiled in the Chronicle around long-running radio curation as The Groove Temple, alongside Prince Euro, Lady Shacklin, Bambi, and Black Tourmaline. "Galaxy" will take place at Speakeasy on Saturday, March 18, with Nook Turner, Stasseny, Mojoe, XBValentine, Latasha Lee, Riders Against the Storm, Balimaya Project, JessB, and a soon-to-be-announced special guest.

Beyond music, DAWA’s "Connectivity” portion blocks out a whole day of panel discussions on Thursday, March 16 at the Convention Center from 10am-4pm. First up, Marvis Dixon moderates "Elevating Community Voices" with Sileasha Brewster, James Trey Cain, and Ashleigh Hamilton. Hermajestie the Hung will moderate "Vanguard: Drag Revolution," with panelists Amber Nicole Davenport, Amy Graves, and Sha'Nyia Ellis Narcisse. Mahone himself will lead “Black To The Land," with Lisa Boyd, herbalist Abril Giles, and ethnobotanist Justin Robinson.

The highlight of the week will be final speaker Moses West, founder of AWG Contracting and Water Rescue, who has designed machines that pull water from the air to provide clean water to in-need communities around the globe. West got his start in Austin, first building the industrial water-producing machines at Camp Mabry. He was recognized for his humanitarian efforts with a City of Austin-officiated day in 2018.

Read about SXSW’s free community programming at Auditorium Shores here, and find more free stuff to do at the fest here.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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.

Support the Chronicle  

South by Southwest Film Wrapping Up With <i>The Idea of You</i>
South by Southwest Film Wrapping Up With The Idea of You
Michael Showalter’s new romance stars Anne Hathaway

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 30, 2024

South by Southwest Announces Black Keys Keynote and More Featured Speakers
South by Southwest Announces Black Keys Keynote and More Featured Speakers
Jane Fonda, Dwyane Wade, Elijah Wood top latest announcement

Carys Anderson, Jan. 16, 2024

More by Kahron Spearman
Austin's Hip-Hop Pioneers, in Their Own Words
Austin's Hip-Hop Pioneers, in Their Own Words
The Austin History Center-archived rappers and industry innovators share stories

Sept. 15, 2023

The Prodigal Producer: Austin’s Malik Baptiste Comes Home
The Prodigal Producer: Austin’s Malik Baptiste Comes Home
Alchemical rapper returns from L.A. with 24-karat solo tracks

Sept. 8, 2023


SXSW Music 2023, DAWA, Chaka Mahone, SXSW, South by Southwest, SXSW 2023, CP Looney, Moses West

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle