ACA Honors 2017

Celebrate with us as we Honor sustained and substantial contributions to arts, culture, and creativity in Austin.
Featuring performances by
Ballet Afrique, The Back Pack, Jason Phelps, and Mother Falcon Music Lab...with house band, Fragile Rock, and your host John Riedie.

OPEN BAR | Free Food | FREE to ACA Members

2017 Honorees

Christopher Michael, has served the Texas poetry community since 1999. In 2005 he co-founded Killeen Poetry Slam, is the Director Austin NeoSoul, on the board of Austin Poetry Slam, was Executive Director of They Speak Austin (2011 to 2015), and President of Poetry Slam Inc, a national non-profit arts organization since 2014. He all organizations promote poetry, freedom of speech while assisting local poetry artists to travel and market themselves. He has been instrumental in representing Texas to the nation leading over 15 youth and adult poetry teams to competitions all over the country. He is the 2005, 2006 Austin Poetry Champion, 2006 Austin International Poetry Festival Champion, 2008 Killeen and 2011 Arkansas Grand Slam Champion. In 2015 2016 he ranked top ten in the Individual World Poetry Slam. His various CDs and books, "Persona Non Grata," and "Nuclear Orange," published by 310 Brown Street a company he established in 2016 to help performance poets transition into the literary art. Both books have received rave reviews. He is frequently sought out to write original poems for organizations and individuals. In recognition of Christopher Michael's accomplishments and contributions to the community Mayor Steve Adler, declared June 23rd, 2016 "Christopher Michael Day”.

Born in Dallas during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II, Chale Nafus attended public schools, spent summers on his sister’s ranch in Comanche County in the 1950s, learned Spanish from schoolmates, and dreamed of getting out of Dallas. After spending freshman year at SMU, he worked at Texas Instruments before realizing he really needed a college education. After attending the University of Texas at Arlington (B.A., English), La Universidad Autónoma de México, and UT Austin (M.A., English/RTF), he began a long college teaching career at Texas Southmost College (Brownsville), La Universidad de Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn), and finally Austin Community College (1973-1998). At the latter, he founded the Department of Radio-TV-Film, taught classes in film studies, and for seven years served as Chair of Humanities (Northridge Campus). Retiring in 1998, Chale spent 4 years traveling and writing before joining the staff of Austin Film Society as Director of Programming (2002-2015). He is now totally retired and happy to work with Austin’s Museums and Cultural Programs Division in presenting Planet Cinema: Japanese Animation each year as well as curating an annual series of Middle Eastern films for AFS.

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is an award-winning arts journalist with more than two decades of experience.

For 17 years she was the staff arts critic and reporter for the Austin American-Statesman for which she covered visual art, performance, theater, dance, music, public art, architecture and just about any combination thereof.

She has written for the New York Times, Hyperallergic, Architecture magazine, Dwell magazine, Art Papers, the Review of Contemporary Fiction and American Craft magazine, among other publications.

Her criticism and commentary received first place awards from the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.

Through its 25 year history, Art From the Streets has helped hundreds of homeless individuals improve their circumstances - literally and figuratively - by providing them the means to make art. We believe that anyone can make art, and that making art is good for everyone. Art From the Streets' volunteers hold three times a week open studio sessions where people who are homeless or formerly homeless can come to paint and draw. Then we help them sell what they've made - primarily by producing an annual show and sale of the resulting work, with proceeds of sales going to the artists.

Participants gain access to their creativity, and for some - the determination and discipline necessary to explore it. The personal relationships formed in the weekly studio sessions are invaluable additions to their lives. In many cases the time spent with the volunteers and other artists in the open studio sessions are their only positive human interactions of the day. There is the sense of purpose that brings them to the open studio week after week, and the satisfaction from working hard at something and ending up with tangible evidence of that effort.

ACA is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

81 San Marcos St, Suite C1 Austin, Texas 78702
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