Monday, February 28, 2011

Molly Ivins, World Creativity, and Austin

 By (c) Russ Barnes

AUSTIN, Texas.   It seems anyone who loves to travel also loves other creative solutions -- whether it be a simple puzzle, a recipe, or an international perplexity.  There is a common thread to all.

I’ll make this personal.  I love to travel.  Travel forces me to bring together things in my brain I would never have associated otherwise.  Bringing disparate things together in a disciplined way is both pleasant and -- guess what? -- it helps not only with survival, but prosperity.  Interested?

Iconoclast and creative, Molly Ivins
About creativity (of which travel can be a subset if rightly pursued). In the past I served on the board of directors for the American Creativity Association.  I since went on to other committed responsibilities having to do with advocating creative discipline and fulfillment.  During that time, I stayed in touch with my old ACA colleagues, Bud Wurtz and Marilyn Schoeman, both past presidents of ACA.  When the two of them approached me recently about expanding the reach of the Austin, Texas chapter of ACA to a national and global dimension, I was hooked.

Why?  Because I love the peculiar (what Austinites call “wierd”) creativity of Austin.  Somehow that wierd sort of creativity seems to fit the modern world: from Bangor to Tallahassee, from Philly to ‘Frisco, from Minneapolis to Sante Fe, from Kansas City to San Diego.  Ever further, from London to Shanghai, from Moscow to Cairo, from Nairobi to Capetown, from Sydney to Buenos Aires.

You get the idea.  Austin’s unusual, funky, democratic creative spirit, pluck, and industry has something singular in store for all these places, and, of course, more.  That may be one of the reasons The Atlantic Monthly magazine published a ranking of the thirty most dynamic cities in the world.  Austin was one of them and the only one so ranked in the United States.

ACA Austin wants, I think, to be the global conduit for practical and personally fulfilling creativity.

You gotta start somewhere.  Hey, what about Austin?

And ACA Austin begins this weekend here with a kick-off “social” centered around Zach Theatre.  Just to demonstrate our style, our panache.  Old Austin creative advocates and practitioners will be there.  And so will new devotees from other parts.  A band of creative brothers and sisters will assemble at 1:00 p.m., March 6 for a “social” at Cafe de Luz and then to witness across the street the stage production (at 2:30 p.m.) of “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.”  Molly is an Austin icon, (or should I say, “iconoclast”) and, as heroine in the popular stage play, she will set the tone and the stage for many surprising materials and events upcoming from ACA  Austin.

ACA Austin is scheduled to interview the actress who performs the one-woman stage play, the artistic director of the theater, and the two (twin) playwrights of the play.  Let us know if you are interested in witnessing these vibrant interviews drilling down on the essence of creativity and its special relationship to Austin and the world. Inform us if you would like to know how to get affiliated with future ACA Austin events and materials.

We would like to have you around.  We advocate many benefits generated by creativity.  But one of the effective qualities we like about creative discipline and personal creative fulfillment is “heart.”   We like each other, and we like to reach others through “heart.”  We know that “heart,” love of our own materials, our game, our passion, our creativity, our art is universal and that is what the world needs encouragement from us now.

Look for the next ACA Austin’s events.  They may pleasantly surprise you and challenge you.  Drop us a line at ACA Austin (  We’ll set you up with the communications we have at hand for your preferences and desires.

One thing Molly said, and I listened, “If you’re in a hole, stop digging.”  Creativity helps you to stop diggin’.  P. S.  If you are going to the play another time, or just can’t get to it right now, come to the “social” at Casa de Luz.  Just mosey right in.  You will be welcomed by creatives.
Some links you might want to consider looking at are:
ACA Austin newsletter --
Connie Harryman, President, audio address --
Press Release for journalists and newsletter editors --
For a review of “Red Hot Patriot” --
For more information on Zach Theatre --
Questions? --