Tribeza Talk December 2016
An Insider’s Guide to Austin’s Hidden Gems
by Nicole Beckley
“I’m a pretty shy person, but I think the writing route was the route for me,” explains playwright Adrienne Dawes. After snagging a B. Iden Payne award in 2015 for the drama “Am I White,” Dawes turned to directing and producing comedy in 2016, earning awards for the musical revue “Love Me Tinder” and ’90s sketch comedy tribute “Doper Than Dope.” “I want to try out some of the comedic stuff, too, because that is really fun and really a joy,” Dawes says. “Especially with how crazy the world is right now, you can give people one hour to just shut off all of the craziness that is the world.”
After studying theater at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and comedy at Second City in Chicago, Dawes returned home to Austin, becoming a prolific theater creator. Get some laughs when “Doper Than Dope” (think “In Living Color”) returns December 8 and 16 at Spider House Ballroom.
Photograph by Manal Abu-Shaheen
After getting caught in the rain with no way to open the doors to his high school, wheelchair-bound Archer Hadley created an opportunity from the challenge. In 2014 he launched Archer’s Challenge, a call for his peers, teachers and others to spend a day using a wheelchair to understand the daily logistics.
“The mission of Archer’s Challenge is to create a way to empower people to bring a new perspective to their lives and the way they see the world,” Hadley says. Now a sophomore at UT Austin, Hadley has turned the challenge into a formal foundation, raising funds to improve wheelchair access.
Photograph courtesy of Archer’s Challenge
Gifts of Good (Local) Cheer
Make the most wonderful time of the year even more special by supporting local artisans and craftspeople. Now in its sixteenth year, Blue Genie Art Bazaar showcases more than 220 artists, running through December 24. Starting December 14, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar takes over the Palmer Events Center for 11 days, showcasing one-of-a-kind pieces, artwork and home furnishings amid music and drinks. Head to the Browning Hangar at Mueller for unique jewelry and clayworks at the inaugural Origin Designer Holiday Market on December 17. And reserve December 10–11 for live music and kids crafts at the Cherrywood Art Fair at Maplewood Elementary.
Some Salon Time
If a painting is worth a thousand words, Hotel Ella has figured out what those thousand words should be with their monthly Salon Series. Launched in October, the series invites fine art lovers in for deep conversations about works on display at the hotel. The permanent collection includes pieces from Texas modernist superstars like Charles Umlauf and Ralph White. Join hotel owner Carl McQueary inside Goodall’s Kitchen for enlightening evenings.
A Kinder Curriculum
A kind word can go a long way, and Andra Liemandt believes that kindness has to start with yourself. A founding member of the band The Mrs., Liemandt was motivated to create what would become The Kindness Campaign after a friend’s daughter committed suicide. “I realized that this little girl had been bullied at school,” Liemandt says, “I was heartbroken for her … over time I really started thinking about what I could do.” Working with leaders from Austin ISD, Liemandt built a program utilizing reading and journaling, which launched in 50 area schools this year. “Working on The Kindness Campaign has been the biggest joy of my life,” Liemandt says. She wants to encourage kids to compliment themselves when they look in the mirror and “help them create this positive self-talk early on [so] then we can actually change the way kids see themselves.”
Photograph by Kim Whiteside
One To Watch
“I love making movies,” says Quinn Holmes. A senior at Austin High School, Holmes got his start making stop-motion shorts as a kid growing up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Earlier this year his short documentary “The World I Want to Live In” was an official selection for the White House Student Film Festival. Filmed in New York City and captured in black and white, the film features an up-close interview with one subject and his message for peace, intercut with footage of protesters and children playing. “I was by myself and I would go up to complete strangers and ask them very personal questions about racism,” Holmes says. “This was my first documentary; I’d never done anything like that before.”
Photograph courtesy of Quinn Holmes
Read more from the People Issue | December 2016