African American Youth Harvest Lunch, Waller Creek Conservancy Dinner, Opening of PGi Offices at La Zona Rosa and more

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Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell and Pam Parker at the Changing the Story Lunch for African American Youth Harvest Foundation.
Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell and Pam Parker at the Changing the Story Lunch for African American Youth Harvest Foundation.

Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell and Pam Parker at the Changing the Story Lunch for African American Youth Harvest Foundation.

SCHOOL: It takes many mentors. That’s one message that stuck from University of Texas professor Richard Reddick at the Changing the Story Lunch for African American Youth Harvest Foundation, which combats crime, delinquency, and anti-social behavior among youths of color. The dignified event took place at the AT&T Center and brought together an impressive array of civic leaders for the program founded by Michael Loftin. Reddick served on a brief panel that included Longhorns legend Vince Young, UT vice president Gregory Vincent and a young graduate of the program. Civil rights advocate Ada Collins Anderson, UT president Bill Powers,Deputy City Manager Michael McDonald, and retiring Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe were honored for their service and character.

Rowena and Rey Arellano at Waller Creek Conservancy Dinner and Concert at Stubb's.

Rowena and Rey Arellano at Waller Creek Conservancy Dinner and Concert at Stubb’s.

PARKS: A maturing program. Assistant City Manager Sue Edwards, who oversees economic development, is impressed with the Waller Creek Conservancy. The public-private partnership that aims to transform the shores of Waller Creek has matured, Edwards says, and its phase-by-phase approach makes this multi-decade project more manageable. Edwards shared this with me during the group’s annual dinner and concert at Stubb’s. In my experience, Edwards doesn’t monkey around with projects that don’t make economic sense. This one will require tens of millions of private dollars to fly, but, while looking for a permanent CEO, the Conservancy still maintains the loyalty of various movers and shakers in attendance this night.

Monique Sandhu and Weston Woodward at PGi Office Launch at the former La Zona Rosa.

Monique Sandhu and Weston Woodward at PGi Office Launch at the former La Zona Rosa.

TECH: PGi once occupied the top floor of the Frost Tower. The owner of La Zona Rosa coveted those offices and so a swap was arranged. So says Erik Petrik, chief creative officer for the Atlanta-based firm that creates web conference software. His staff designed the redo of the venerable music venue that is open, clean and includes a club-like performance space against the north wall that echoes the tall room’s former role. A launch party proved it’s got a ton of character. Of course we will miss aspects of the homey club that saw so many local and touring acts as well as charity events. But not the evenings of extreme heat or cold, nor the sometimes grimy circumstances. “It took a long, long time to get the smell out,” Petrik says without complaining. “But now it’s great!”

MOVIES: The “Princess Bride” obsession. Taken from Kristin Finan‘s story in the Statesman: “There are parents who have named all of their children after characters from “The Princess Bride.” Sound inconceivable? Just ask Cary Elwes, who famously played Westley — aka the Man in Black — in the 1987 film. He’s met them. “They’re like, ‘This is Fezzik, this is Inigo, this is Vizzini,’” Elwes said by phone from Los Angeles. “And the weddings — my gosh the weddings. There are now people who provide a service of putting these weddings on for fans. It’s a cultural phenomenon now.”  http://shar.es/1mpM8d


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