Charlie Parr to headline music at 7th annual ArtWorks Festival

Published 1:01 pm Saturday, April 28, 2018

Although still months away, the seventh annual Austin ArtWorks Festival, Aug. 25 and 26, is already promising some great music, according to Laura Helle, executive director for the Austin Area Commission for the Arts, which oversees the festival.

Charlie Parr is scheduled for the festival’s Outdoor Stage line-up. Parr, an Austin native, will bring his emotionally-charged, country blues style to the festival. His new album, “Dog,” has been heralded by City Pages for its “raw, unguarded emotions” and “a heartfelt wander-through-an-alley of an album … (with) lyrics that puncture the soul,” according to NPR.

Gaelynn Lea, a Duluth violinist and folk singer, will be another Outdoor Stage headliner. Her talents led to her winning NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. Her style has been described as rooted in classical, Celtic and traditional folk music.

Gaelynn Lea, a Duluth violinist and folk singer, will be featured on the Outdoor Stage during the festival. Photo provided

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Funktion Junction will bring “Big Mike” Mothershed back to the festival stage, this time with lead singer Viola Jordan-Kill, who will energize the audience with Motown, disco, funk and R&B classics.

Finally, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, now in its 62nd year and coming off its 2017-2018 stellar season under the direction of Stephen Ramsey, will provide summer fare.

The Outdoor Stage, located off Second Avenue Northeast and First Street Northeast, is one of three musical venues during the festival. The others include an acoustic stage in the Paramount Theatre Annex and an acoustic stage at the ArtWorks Center, adjacent to the featured artist exhibition. All three will be free to attend.

Already announced has been featured artist Michael Sweere, whose unique mosaic creations will be housed in an exhibit at the Paramount annex.

Funktion Junction returns to the festival with “Big Mike” Mothershed and lead singer Viola Jordan-Kill, who will energize the audience with Motown, disco, fun and R & B classics. Photo provided

Helle said the committee has already received over 40 applications from artists — a good place to be this early in the process, said Helle. The final line-up — which also includes authors — will be announced in coming weeks.

The festival moved to the outdoors last year, after spending some seasons in the now-demolished former utilities plant.

It was a great move, she said.

“We were real happy with how it turned out last year,” Helle said. “Our downtown merchants definitely saw increased traffic.”

The festival again centers in the downtown area, including the Paramount where the Dick Schindler Celebration event will be held on Aug. 25. Details of the show will be released sometime in May, she said.