Celebrate Arts with ACC’s Carnival ah! April 10-12

The Austin Community College District’s Arts and Humanities Division will kick off its fourth annual Carnival ah! celebration Tuesday, April 10, with a screening of short films that explore issues of identity and community.

The film festival – entitled “Where We Are Coming From – Visions of Identity and Community” – will run 7-9 p.m. in the Mainstage Theater at Rio Grande Campus in downtown Austin. The program will end with a Q&A discussion with participating filmmakers, moderated by multicultural expert and documentarian Donna DeBerry.

Films include “Cantadoras de Vida,” by Maria Clara Garcia and Patricia Ruiz; “Glitta Who?” by Gadi Gaster; “Alley of Hidden Dangers!” by Tim Tsai; “34 South” by Maganthrie Pillay and Dingi Ntuli; “Wet Books” by Tony Diaz; and “Drama” by Timeca M. Seretti and Raymond J. Schlogel.

“This is a great way to start Carnival ah!,” says Carla Jackson, associate director of ACC’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies and coordinator of the film festival. “This year’s Carnival ah! events examine our cultural heritage, and these films reflect on who we are, both individually and collectively.”

Tuesday’s program also will include interviews with students, faculty, and staff that answer the question, “How did you get here?” – the 2012 Carnival ah! theme.

“Carnival ah! will give participants a better appreciation of ourselves, our history, and how the arts and humanities express and define personal as well as community identity,” says Lyman Grant, dean of arts and humanities.

Carnival ah! continues April 11-12 at Rio Grande Campus with live performances, art installations, dances classes, international music and food, readings of personal stories, and more. Events run 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day; they are free and open to the public. Highlights include:

  • Migration map project (April 11 & 12, 10 a.m. – noon): Librarians will help attendees trace their family migration paths using Google Maps.
  • Student-produced documentary film on the 2011 Bastrop wildfire (April 11, 7-8 p.m.): Four ACC students and members of Phi Theta Kappa honor society created a documentary short entitled “2½ Hours That Changed Bastrop.” A Q&A session with the filmmakers follows the screening.
  • Night of Stories (April 11, 7:30-9 p.m.): This event showcases a reading by Nick Flynn, an award-winning author whose first book is now a film starring Robert De Niro (“Being Flynn”). Students in the Free Minds Project will present their work earlier in the evening.
  • Billy Eli Band (April 12, 4:45-5:45 p.m.): Enjoy melodic songs with a honky-tonk twang from Billy Eli, an Austin-based singer-songwriter in the roots-rock tradition.
  • ACC Jazz Band (April 12, 7-8:30): The college’s renowned jazz band takes the stage.
  • International showcase (April 12, 7-10 p.m.): The outdoor showcase features music, dance, theater, and food from around the world.
  • Interactive map (continuous display): This world map includes QR codes for smartphone users to view videotaped interviews with international students, faculty, and staff.

Other Carnival ah! participants include the Theater Action Project, the Austin Asian American Arts Collective, the Asian American Cultural Center, ACC’s Men of Distinction, the George Washington Carver Museum, Host Publications, the Silver Star Children’s Literacy Project, and the McCallum High School Classical Guitar Ensemble.

For the complete Carnival ah! schedule and more information, visit austincc.edu/carnival.

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