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Tribeza Talk February 2017

An Insider's Guide to Austin's Hidden Gems

A Heaping Helping

14. 21. 38 million. Each day 14 semis and trucks deliver food throughout the 21 counties that the Central Texas Food Bank serves with 38 million pounds of food distributed last year. In June 2016 they opened their brand-new, 135,000-square-foot facility, equipped with a commercial kitchen. Last October they launched a meal prep program, saving fresh produce from the landfill by turning it into frozen meals. Volunteers can sign up to help chef Kim Granato cook meals in their state-of-the-art facility.

Give Me The Night

Need a place to stay for the night? Have last-minute, out-of-town guests dropping in? Book a sweet stay deal with a click using Standard International’s One:Night app. The app gives users the best rates on same-day hotel stays. Book a spontaneous night with some of Austin’s most desirable pillows: Hotel Ella, South Congress Hotel, Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel San Jose and more.

Curating Community

An exclusive dinner from a celebrated local chef. An intimate concert in a private living room. A wine tasting focused on mindfulness. These are the kinds of events that Foster ATX trades in. Launched in May 2016, Foster ATX is the brainchild of Sara Barge, Shelby Goodwin and Stephanie Gutierrez – three college friends who wanted to focus on creating intentional experiences. After graduating from the University of Georgia, the trio took a trip to Europe. “What excited us most was the passion and the culture around food and music and the way that people came together in an authentic way,” Gutierrez shared. The three moved to Austin in February 2016 and started curating events with musicians and chefs. Tickets to their music events are $12-$20, and food gatherings are $35-$80. “What makes Austin so special is that everyone here is really trying to help each other out,” noted Gutierrez. “When we all succeed it creates a thriving community, so it’s cool to see.”

Lit Lovers Unite

What do you do when the political climate leaves you at a loss for words? If you’re writer Michael Noll, you organize fellow literature lovers. In January, Noll launched Books are Not a Luxury, a site promoting great books from a variety of writers. “My fear was that the book market was going to become more challenging for certain kinds of writers, writers of color, LGBTQIA writers, writers with disabilities,” Noll explains. The big goal: to encourage readers to use their buying power during a certain time period to get books noticed and to tell publishers “if you publish them, we’ll buy them.” This month the site features Austin author Antonio Ruiz Camacho’s award winning story collection that chronicles a wealthy family’s exile from Mexico, “Barefoot Dogs.”

Unspoken Words

If you’ve been to Mortified, BedPost Confessions, or Backyard Story Night, chances are you’ve seen SOULumination interpreters at work. While the group formally came together about a year ago, its members have been providing live American Sign Language interpreting at local events for years. “The deaf community here is huge,” Mandi Wolfe, one of the group’s founders, explains, citing programs at Austin Community College and the Texas School for the Deaf. “Our community has grown so much, we went from having one or two deaf people to having 10 to 14 deaf audience members at every show.” For Wolfe, who studied interpreting in college, these events offer the opportunity to share and portray people’s stories. “It’s a way that we can give back to our community that also fulfills us and does something bigger than just us, so it’s nice,” Wolfe shared. Catch SOULumination at Mortified February 10 and 11.

Amplify Austin + Great Ideas

If there’s a cause you’re passionate about—education, animals, the arts — there’s likely a local nonprofit, or two, to match it. On March 2, you can Amplify Austin, finding your favorite cause from more than 600 participating nonprofits, and click to give on the website. Invest in your favorite charities and help Austin meet it’s goal of $9 million-plus in 24 hours. Want to go further? Mark your calendar for May 15 to witness Philanthropitch, the nonprofit pitch contest that gives funds to innovative organizations with big missions. Pitch applications open this month.

Read more from the Community Issue | February 2017