Counting down the top 10 art opportunities

Published 7:01 am Sunday, May 28, 2017

Are you making memories with your friends and family this summer? Check out the top ten arts memory-making opportunities at the Austin Area Commission for the Arts.

10. Start off your one-week countdown to Austin ArtWorks Festival by attending the Matchbox Children’s Theatre production of “No One Will Marry a Princess with a Tree Growing Out of Her Head” on Aug. 18, 19 and 20 at the Paramount Theatre.

Like all Matchbox productions, this show will be a one-hour romp appropriate for all ages. You might even discover Austin’s next great talent as some of the cast will be recent graduates of the Matchbox summer drama camp. Don’t forget the popcorn!

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9. Practice your quiet, soothing, happy inner voice at Bob Ross Painting Class on Saturday, July 29 at the ArtWorks Center with certified Bob Ross instructor Julie Fjetland.

8. Enjoy a metropolitan date night at the gallery opening reception for Craig Groe on Friday, July 14. Groe is an Austin native living and working in Mankato. His paintings are Picasso-esque with elements of cubism and primary color pallette. Refreshments are provided and the event is free and open to the public.

7. Insert creativity into your kid’s summer with two themed art camps: Kids Studio Everything Nature Art Camp on June 27-30 and Kids Studio: Around the World Art Camp on Aug. 1-4. Each day camp runs Tuesday-Friday from 10:30  a.m. to noon at the ArtWorks Center.

6. Expand your musical horizons by exploring three diverse musical genres at World Music Series concerts at the Paramount Theatre. The free concert series kicks off with the three Argentinian women of Femina performing world folk-rap fusion on July 12. Blues trio Delgres brings tunes from Caribbean, New Orleans and the Delta on July 19. The final show is Connla, a five-piece celtic band from Ireland on July 26. All shows are typically a $25 ticket and presented free through grant funding from Southeast Minnesota Arts Council and the city of Rochester Riverside Concerts.

5. Make a family memory and a work of art at Family Art Studio, offered 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 10; Saturday, July 8; and Saturday, Aug. 12. Drop in to the ArtWorks Center as a family and get creative with materials provided. Free, all ages encouraged to attend and create together. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Funded by a grant from the Austin Area Foundation.

4. Find your inner clay sculptor at Beads, Buttons, and Tiles with instructor Layl McDill at the ArtWorks Center on Friday, July 7. This polymer clay class for ages 8 and up will take beginners and intermediate artists through magical polymer clay techniques including millefiore, fluffiness twist, water color technique and even incorporate glitter.

3. “Come Together” to ‘Twist and Shout’ at McCartney Tribute by Nashville-based Let ‘Em In at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, June 22. Hear all the McCartney favorites including the Beatles and Wings. “Maybe I’m Amazed” that lead singer Mike Vargo has shared the stage with such artists as Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, members of the Byrds, Cheap Trick, The Ramones and The E Street Band.

2. Celebrate the arts at the sixth annual Austin ArtWorks Festival on Aug. 26 and 27 in the heart of downtown Austin. The two-day free event is bringing authors, musicians, artists and art-lovers together on the green space south of the Paramount Theatre. Find inspirational sights and sounds around every corner at exhibiting artists booths, live music stages, authors’ stage, family activities and demonstrations including glass blowing and pottery.

Finally, the number one memory-making opportunity of the summer — watch the paint sing at Artrageous, the Dick Schindler Celebration concert, presented by the Mayo Clinic Health System Austin on Saturday, August 26 at the Paramount Theatre. Artrageous is a live, interacting music and art experience where artists paint large-scale paintings in real time while musicians sing and dance to your favorite tunes. Go to for a video. Artrageous is part of the Austin ArtWorks Festival.

Much more information about all of these memory-making experiences can be found at our website

Paramount Theatre

Paul McCartney Tribute by Let Em In with D.C. Drifters, June 22  at 7 p.m.

ArtWorks Center

Cartoons Unlimited with David Lenz, four-week season, June 9 at 2 p.m.

Family Art Studio, June 10 1 to 3 p.m.

Kids Studio: Everything Nature Art Camp, June 27-30 at 10:30 a.m.