Monday, February 1, 2010

save the cactus cafe

the first section of this entry will have updates, the original post follows walter cronkite


current number of facebook users who have joined the "save the cactus cafe" group:
22,372 (02.08.10 11:34am PST)
20,000 (02.04.10 10:14pm PST)
19,028 (02.04.10 9am PST)

kxan news covering the movement to save the cactus

austin american statesman article covering the save the cactus supporters

austin's UT run public radio station KUT reports on the town hall meeting here.

what you can do (from the save the cactus cafe group)

1) JOIN so we can reach you:
2) JOIN the fan page:
3) EMAIL the Board of Regents:
4) COMMENT to Pres Powers:


i received a great education from the university of texas at austin. bachelor of architecture.

an enormous amount of my music education came from the cactus cafe, where i worked for several years.

i worked inside the room behind the bar, seeing everything from students on open mic night to many of the revered artists from austin and around the world. i saw many students from open mic grow into musicians worthy enough to open for these touring masters. i drew many posters for the cactus that document just a sliver of its fertile history. and i am proud and grateful for having that opportunity. it fostered and nurtured a love of music that i hope is apparent in this blog.

i recently received news this weekend that the board of directors of the student union at the university of texas has decided to close the cactus cafe.

as i write this, i can't help noting that steve earle just won a grammy for best contemporary folk album for his album, "townes". an album filled with songs written by townes van zandt.

i will post more and more of my thoughts on this later in this post, but for now, i will simply list links and videos that relate to the current state of the cactus.

so on to some info.

first and foremost, go to the town hall meeting if you are in austin. it is feb 2nd and the info for that is here.

if you cannot attend, the proceedings will be streaming on video here.

jimmy lafave on the cactus cafe

i have seen live music in some of the top venues on the planet. there is simply no experience similar to the listening room environment of the cactus cafe. it is an invaluable amenity for the university and for the city of austin. i would actually argue it is invaluable for the planet, for austin's claim of being the "live music capital of the world."

when filled to fire hazard capacity, the venue can hold 150 people. logistically making a place that small work financially is hard. ask any music venue. that said, i do not believe the claim from the university union board that the cactus is requiring subsidy. we will not know unless they open the books.

the idea that the cafe is an amenity that is not focused or geared toward students is absurd. i had countless invaluable discussions with professors and fellow students there during the day over their fine colombian coffee. at night... lessons that have lived with me as long, if not longer, than many of my classes.

next... whom to write. I would start not with andy smith or juan gonzalez. i believe they have already made up their minds. i would write to the texas union board:

texas union board
P.O. Box 7338
Austin TX 78713-7338

and their members individually

Mr. Basil Awad - Chair
School of Business, Senior
281 701 0759

Mr. Nathan Bunch
Sociology, Senior

Ms. Nicole Falkenberg
Communications, Senior
512 657 0662

Ms. Alyssa Flores
Government, Junior
512 246 2289

Mr. Andrew Nash
Student Assistant
Division of Housing & Food Services (

Mr. Liam O'Rourke
History, Senior
281 485 0374

Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly
Senior Associate Vice President and Dean of Students
471-5017 (Office of Dean of Students)

Dr. Jerome Williams
College of Communication, Dept. of Advertising (
512 471 7302

Dr. Thomas Garza
Associate Professor
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, College of Liberal Arts
512 471 3607

No comments:

Post a Comment