May 25, 2011 - Food Writer Hank Shaw at
                       FINO on June 5th

     On Sunday, June 5th, James Beard Award-nominated food writer Hank Shaw stops in at  FINO Restaurant Patio & Bar for a book signing of his new tome, Hunt, Gather, Cook.  To celebrate, chef Jason Donoho will create a menu inspired by Shaw's book - focusing on fresh, local, and wild ingredients from all across Texas.
   Cocktail hour and the book signing begin 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m.  Tickets are $50 per person - or $80 with wine - and books will be available to purchase for $20.  Find FINO at 2905 San Gabriel Street.  For reservations, call FINO at (512) 474-2905 or visit
May 4, 2011 - German-Texan Heritage Society Maifest on May 7th

     Students in the Bowie High School German Club will be the featured performers at the German-Texan Heritage Society’s 16th annual Maifest celebration on Saturday, May 7th.  Led by Bowie’s German teacher, Dr. Ewa Siwak, the students get to immerse themselves in German culture by performing at this festival and interacting with local German-Texans and
German natives.  But due to budget cuts at AISD, this may be the last performance by Bowie students - the program is on the chopping block.
   Maifest runs from noon to 6 pm at the historic German Free School building in downtown Austin.  Visitors can enjoy delicious German food and beer while listening to traditional music performed by Austin polka band Alpengück, as well as German bluegrass by the Siekers.
     The wrapping of the Maypole takes place at 1 p.m. Other activities include Don Harms' marionette show, Harlan the Magician, used German book sale, and lots of games and special activities for children.
     The German-Texan Heritage Society is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the unique culture that evolved as German immigrants settled and thrived in Texas from the mid-1800s to present day.  Founded in 1978, the Society has a long-standing record of community enrichment, achieved through cultural events, educational activities and social gatherings.
   Admission to the event is $5 adults with children 12 and under free.  The German Free School is located in downtown Austin at 507 E. 10th Street, just off Red River. Call (512) 482-0927 for more information or visit for a discount coupon for entry.
April 19, 2011 - Umlauf Garden Party on April 28th

    The 20th Annual Umlauf Garden Party - two-time winner of the Austin Chronicle's Best of Austin Awards for "Best Outdoor Fundraiser" and one of Austin's most anticipated outdoor fundraising events - celebrates the work of 20th century American sculptor and Austin
resident Charles Umlauf on Thursday, April 28th. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Garden Party and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Charles Umlauf.
    Event highlights include the "Celebrity Seeds" silent auction, featuring terra cotta pots decorated by a Who's Who list of Austinites, plus wine and savories by more than 20 of Austin's top restaurants - including Eddie V's, Paggi House, Roaring Fork, Truluck's and Green Pastures.  The Nash Hernandez Orchestra provides the music, with the lush Umlauf Garden as the backdrop.
    Proceeds raised directly benefit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum and its programs, including the museum's award-winning education programs for children.
     Tickets are $100 in advance and $115 at the door. For more information, visit
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Working the Room
Blogging Austin’s arts events with Rob Faubion