Friday, October 5, 2012

ATTN: Huntsville Residents - A Crazy(wood) Proposition

I had the chance to sit down for lunch with John Smither and Liz Ganz several days ago. Most of you know Smither - or at least know of him because you know of Smither Company Real Estate. Liz Ganz moved here this past summer as a dance artist in residence and dance teacher. John and Liz showed me a great deal of hospitality by cooking and serving lunch, and I would like to formally thank them for that. I would also like to formally apologize for not eating much; I was having a hell of a time getting my fork to stab through the salad. I guess I now know that I should have gone with the chopsticks!

Throughout lunch, we discussed a lot of things, but most importantly, we discussed the mutual desire to get people involved in things in our community. Huntsville has always been home to artists, writers, builders, eccentrics of all kinds, people that are curious or seeking culture, and people that are just plain weird. However, there has also always been a lack of a way for all of these different people and groups to connect. When I say connect, I don't mean via Facebook. The internet has been a huge help to us in so many ways, but it also assists in creating a barrier that makes it ridiculously easy for us to become homebodies. In some ways, "social networking" actually makes us socially stagnant. Where are we supposed to go to make real, human connections? Huntsville has its share of bars, and at some of them, a good time can be had, but aside from those bars, where do you go to meet people and engage in meaningful conversation or activities?

This is a problem that we at Hey, Huntsville! and they at Crazywood would like to join together to help solve. You may be familiar with Crazywood; it is located right next to the real estate office on Sam Houston Avenue. When I asked for a meeting with John and Liz, one of the topics I wanted to discuss was Crazywood and what in the world was going on with it at this time. In the past, I had visited Crazywood Gallery for a few art exhibits and sales, a slam poetry competition, and even a noise show. I hadn't heard about anything happening there in a long while.

It turns out, Crazywood still has exhibits in the gallery (currently: the works of Bill Haveron), but they have turned their focus on dance. The name does a good job at describing the essence: Crazywood Art and Movement Center. Several dance classes will be offered starting this month - a weekly Nia class, a class called beingLoved, etc. The center also plays host to dance retreats.

One of the most interesting events happening in the Crazywood world goes down on October 11. This will be the first in the new weekly event: Dance Night.

I am glad to have had the chance to have a conversation with people who are passionate about something. While John and Liz may be more passionate about dance and I may be more passionate about art, we all have one passion in common: making real connections with people through real experiences with them. As I told them, I couldn't tell you the last time I had a conversation with a friend via phone. Texting and Facebook have eliminated the need for verbal communication. Why would I feel the need to call you when I just read a detailed description of what you cooked or had at a restaurant (with bonus photo attached!)? Why would I travel to your house for a visit when I can sit here by myself on my laptop and Skype you or get in on your Google hangout? We know more than ever about each other (congrats on that bacon wrapped in bacon recipe you perfected and the jalapeno dip that went right through you, btw), yet we don't know each other at all any more. When's the last time you gave a friend a hug or a real shoulder to cry on? "OMG SORRY" via text or IM doesn't cut it, guys. I've been saying this for a while, but maybe I haven't been saying it loud enough: Let's go out and do something!

There are a lot of events that go on around town that no one seems to care about, but I am going to be an optimist and say that no one knows about them. Sometimes they're not advertised well, and sometimes they're not advertised at all. That's where we want to come in. Please go to our Facebook page (I know, I know!), like it, and keep up with our posts. Alternatively, bookmark our calendar of events and check it every once in a while. We recently teamed up with ITZ Magazine as well, so you can grab one of those (for free) and tear the calendar out. Sometimes we hear about events after our deadline to ITZ, so the best thing to do is check out the calendar online.

If you skimmed this article, here's a summary: Huntsville has all kinds of awesome people inhabiting it. Let's all get together and do things! Let's create art together, view other people's art, dance together, watch films and theatre performances together, attend live music performances together, encourage each other in everything we do, and most of all, become more connected with each other. I don't just want to tell you about events with boring status updates every day. I want to attend these events with you, get to know you, and build a better community with you.

I'll make the first move: I'll be at Dance Night on October 11, even though I am not someone who dances. I dare you to join me. Say hello. Tell me what you're passionate about. Make a connection with me and with other people in our awesome little town. See you there!

Dance Night @ Crazywood (Thursdays)

This isn't your everyday dance event, which is why we are excited to tell you about it. At 8p on Thursday nights, Crazywood will open its doors to the community for a very different dance experience, where the focus is not on showing off, but on self expression, connection, and, of course, fun! Guests are invited to come in and get comfortable (breaking the "no shoes" rule is highly encouraged), meet new people, make new connections, and dance a crazy variety of styles: blues, ballroom, salsa, swing, tango, disco, freestyle, hip hop, and more. You get the gist: the dancers at Crazywood are inspired by all kinds of dance, and everyone is welcome.

This event is for dancers of all experience levels - even people whose experience only includes dancing alone in the privacy of their homes. If you want to dance solo at this even, you can dance solo. If you want to bring a friend, you can bring a friend. If you want to dance with someone new, just grab a partner at the event and dance. Shy? Sit on one of the comfy couches on the edges of the dance floor and scope things out for a bit.

The cost for this event is $5 for one person or $8 for a couple of people. Seeya there!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Center City Brass Quintet (Weds., Oct. 3)

SHSU's School of Music will host guest artists Center City Brass Quintet on Weds., Oct. 3 at 7:30p in the Performing Arts Center - Payne Concert Hall.

Center City Brass Quintet consists of five American brass players. They are known for their performances of classical pieces, but they also play original arrangements of popular pieces by Gershwin, Ellington, Bernstein, etc.

Tickets to the event are $5 for students, $12 for seniors, and $15 for the general public.

To purchase tickets, you can call the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339.


Broadway & BBQ (Oct. 8-9)

Who: Huntsville High School Choir
What: Broadway & BBQ
When: Oct. 8 & 9 at 6p & 8p each night
Where: HHS
Why: For fun! - And to help fund the purchase of new uniforms.

Join HHS Choir for an evening of bbq and Broadway hits. To reserve tickets or for more information, you can call the choir room at the high school at 936.435.6100 ext 1211.

Tickets to the event are $10.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Foreign Film Festival (SHSU; Tuesdays)

Hey, film lovers! It's time for the Fall 2012 Foreign Film Festival at SHSU! Each Tuesday, a different movie will be shown - at two times during the day: 3:45 and 7p. The films will be shown in the Evans Building, Room 105.

Educating Rita - the first film to be shown

For a complete list of the films being shown, click here!

Admission is free for SHSU students, faculty, staff, and their guests.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oleanna (Sept. 26-29)

Oleanna is a two-person play written by David Mamet that tackles the tough subject of sexual exploitation accusations by a female student against a male professor. 

The performance will take place in the Showcase Theatre on the SHSU campus from Sept. 26 through Sept. 29. Show time is 8p each night. On Saturday, there will also be a matinee performance at 2p. 

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 936.294.1329. 

The Boys Next Door (Hville Community Theatre)

The Boys Next Door is a play about four mentally disabled men who live under the supervision of a young social worker. You'll laugh, you'll get all sentimental, and you'll leave the performance with a reminder that no matter our condition or lack thereof, we're not so different from one another.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and children, and $8 for senior citizens and military personnel.

Sept. 21, 22, 28, 29 @ 7:30p
Sept. 23, 30 @ 2p

The performances will be held at Old Town Theatre (1023 12th St.).

For more information or to reserve a ticket, you can contact these fine folks:

Huntsville Community Theatre

To reserve tickets online: Click here!

Legends of Hollywood Film Fest (Sat., Sept. 15)

The 4th Annual Legends of Hollywood Film Festival will take place on Sat., Sept. 15 at the Walker Education Center.

This year's featured guest will be Dana Andrews, a former resident of Huntsville and Bearkat alum. Family members will be on hand to discuss his life and career. Carl Rollyson, author of the book Hollywood Enigma: Dana Andrews will also give a presentation. A limited supply of books will be available for purchase.

The event costs $20, which includes a reception, a film, and dinner. Tickets must be purchased in advance through Mike Yawn. Contact Mike by email at or by phone at 936.294.1456.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Huntsville Arts Commission Meeting (Thurs., Sept. 13)

The September Huntsville Arts Commission meeting will be held on Thurs., Sept. 13 from 5:45-6:46p at the Wynne Home (1428 11th St.). This is a public meeting, so feel free to attend.

To learn more about the Arts Commission, click here... and then attend the meeting!

For more info, you can contact Linda Pease at 936.291.5422. Her email address is

Faculty Lecture Recital (Fri., Sept. 7)

On Fri., Sept. 7 at 7:30p, the SHSU School of Music will host a faculty lecture recital - Poulenc's Four-Hand Piano Music. The event will take place in the Performance Arts Center (PAC) Recital Hall. Admission to this event is free.

Francis Poulenc

For more info, you can call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Faculty Gala (Thurs., Sept. 20)

SHSU's School of Music will host the Music Faculty Gala on Thurs., Sept. 20 at 7:30p in the Performance Arts Center Recital Hall.

Admission to this event is free.

For more info, you can call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beneath the Surface Exhibit (through 9/20)

Beneath the Surface is an art exhibit featuring works by three Houston-based artists: Kristy Peet, Britt Raggsdale, and Emily Peacock. It focuses on looking beyond the external. The works will be on display in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

A reception will be held on Thurs., Sept. 6 from 6-7p.

There will also be artist talks by Kristy Peet and Emily Peacock on Sept. 6 at 5p and by Britt Raggsdale on Sept. 12 at 5p.

For more info, you can contact Becky Finley at 936.294.3418.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Matters of the Heart Exhibit

Matters of the Heart, featuring art major Laurie Grawl and graphic design major Frank Graham, opened yesterday and runs through August 30. The exhibit is at the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery on campus.

The reception for this exhibit will take place from 3-5pm on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spectrum Dance Concert (April 18-21)

SHSU Dance Dept.'s semi-annual Spectrum Dance concert will take place at 8p each night from Wednesday, April 18 through Saturday, April 21. There will also be a show at 2p on Saturday. The concert takes place at the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center (PAC) Dance Theater (1900 Avenue I).

Official Flier - from
The program features works from SHSU students and faculty. We heard there will be aerial dancing involved, so this may be something to check out. Admission prices are listed on the image above.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Raw Art Tour (Sat., March 24)

This Saturday, the Raw Art Tour will be at Eastham-Thomason Park (10th & Ave. O). The event features a talk by Eric Farris, art and illustration by Jessica Grundy, a movement study by Sarah Haas, and music by The Gypsy Davies.

I bought one of these recently. Rad! (By Jessica Grundy)

We hear that the people from Far Out Farm will also be on hand to talk about organic farming, and the rad folks of Sugar Skull Sweets may be there with some of their delicious treats.

Click on any of the links in this article to learn more.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March Schedule: Saturdays at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum has a different event every Saturday. The following is the March Schedule:

March 3: Spinning and Weaving- 10:00am -2:00pm (Woodland Home Front Porch) 

March 10: Cherokee Indian Culture and Crafts- 10:00am -2:00pm (Exhibit Hall)

March 17: Kick Wheel Pottery Making-10:00am -2:00pm (Raven's Pottery)

March 24: Blacksmithing and Woodworking-10:00am-2:00pm (Joshua's Forge/Guerrant Cabin Porch)

March 31: Saturday at Sam Event

For more information, call Megan Buro at (936) 294-3839.

Palisin and Dehoyos "Survival Tools" Exhibit

Event: Palisin and Dehoyos "Survival Tools" Exhibit
Dates: March 5, 2012 - March 16, 2012 (Reception on March 8th at 7:00pm)
Location: Lowman Student Center Gallery

A new exhibit is currently being featured in the Lowman Student Center Gallery. Titled "Survival Tools," this exhibit features the photographs of art students, Bobby Palisin and Ashley Dehoyos.

A reception will be held tonight, March 8th, starting at 7:00pm.

For more information about the reception or the exhibit, contact the following:

Rebecca Finley: (936) 294-3418

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"You Can't Take It With You" (SHSU Performance)

Event: "You Can't Take It With You" (SHSU Performance)
Dates: February 29th -March 3rd
Location: Erica Starr Theatre
Price: $14.00 for general admission/$12.00 for senior citizens and SHSU students

Starting on February 29th, the SHSU theatre department will begin its performance of the three act comedy "You Can't Take It With You." The play will begin each night at 8:00pm with a 2:00pm matinee on March 3rd.

For more information, call the theatre department at (936) 294-1329.

"Perfect Citizen" Art Exhibit (Feb. 27th -March 29th)

Event: "Perfect Citizen" Art Exhibit
Dates: February 27-March 29/ Artist Talk on March 1, 2012
Location: Gaddis Geeslin Gallery (Art Building F)

A new art exhibit, titled "Perfect Citizen," will be showcased starting February 27th in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery. An artist talk, featuring Debbie Reichard, will take place on March 1st starting at 5:00pm followed by a reception starting at 6:00pm.

For more information about this art exhibit, contact Debbie Harper at (936) 294-1317.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blacksmithing & Woodworking Demo (Sat., Feb. 25)

On Sat., Feb. 25, Sam Houston Memorial Museum is hosting blacksmithing and woodworking demos at Joshua's Forge and the Guerrant Cabin porch on the museum grounds.

Blacksmith Shop

For more info, you can contact Sam Houston Memorial Museum at 936.294.3839.

Kick Wheel Pottery Making Demo (Sat., Feb. 18)

On Sat., Feb. 18, Sam Houston Memorial Museum will host a kick wheel pottery demo at Raven's Pottery on the museum grounds. The event lasts from 10a - 2p.

For more info, you can contact the museum at 936.294.3839. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cherokee Indian Culture & Crafts (Sat., Feb. 11)

On Sat., Feb. 11, head over to Sam Houston Memorial Museum to learn about Cherokee Indian culture and get your craft on. The event takes place from 11a - 3p at Wigwam Neosho Museum Store on the museum grounds.

For more info, you can contact Megan Buro at 936.294.3839.

MFA Thesis Concert: The Monologues of my Nappy Hair (LaNita Joseph)

On Thursday and Friday, Feb. 9-10, SHSU's Dance Dept. presents The Monologues of my Nappy Hair - a concert by LaNita Joseph. The concert will take place in the PAC Dance Theatre at 8p both nights. Admission is FREE.
LaNita Joseph

For more info on the thesis concert, you can call 936.294.2339.

LaNita is the founder (and a teacher/choreographer) of Anita Davis Dance Theater. She is also a filmmaker.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Illuminate" MFA Thesis Concert (Crystal Lewis)

Event: "Illuminate" MFA Thesis Concert (Crystal Lewis)
Dates: February 2nd and February 3rd at 8:00pm
Location: SHSU Performing Arts Center Dance Theater
Cost: FREE
Using household lights such as flash lights and light bulbs, ten dancers will "illuminate" the stage as a part of Crystal Lewis' MFA Thesis Concert. Instead of a traditional style of ballet, this program will feature a more modern style. Admission is free. The length of the concert is approximately thirty-minutes long.

For more information, contact the Dance Department at (936) 294-1875.

52nd Annual SHSU Art Faculty Exhibit

Event: 52nd Annual SHSU Art Faculty Exhibit
Dates: February 1, 2012 -February 16, 2012
Location: Gaddis Geeslin Gallery (Art Building F)

The artwork of the SHSU art faculty members is currently on display in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery. There will be two artist talks featured during this exhibit. An artist talk with Edward Morin is going to be held this evening, February 2nd,  from 5:00pm -6:00pm. The reception will begin at 6:00pm.

Another artist talk, featuring Valerie Powell, will be held on February 9th from 5:00pm -6:00pm with the reception beginning at  6:00pm.

For more information, contact Debbie Harper at (936) 294-1317 or email

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Aftermath: Phoenix Commotion Tour

This past weekend, we had the chance to tag along on the monthly Phoenix Commotion house tour. The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative headed by Dan Phillips. If you've seen "The Bone House" or "The Budweiser House," you've seen a Phoenix Commotion house. [Side note: Phoenix Commotion also built the offices of T.J. Burdett & Sons. You can see the building from I-45 if you're coming into town from the north.]

The tour starts off at The Bone House (2017 Avenue N). The group is allowed to view the entire house, inside and out. Dan then gives a brief (or not so brief, depending on the crowd) lecture and answers questions. 

Dan Phillips

After everyone's questions have been answered, the group caravans to the other locations on the tour. A colorful, hand-drawn map of these locations can be found here

The second stop of the tour is "The Tree House." This is currently the home of Huntsville's favorite new bakery - Sugar Skull Sweets. If you're lucky, they'll be open during the tour and you can purchase a cupcake, cookie, or scone. (They're good - promise!)

The Tree House
A few of the houses are just passed by without stopping, but you can go back on your own with your map and take photos if you want. The tour makes a brief stop at Charleston House and Story Book House:

Charleston House

Story Book House

The tour ends at the building site of more Phoenix Commotion homes, and Dan is available to answer any additional questions. 

We would like to thank Dan, Edie, and Bob for having us on the tour. Dan has a wealth of knowledge and a great sense of humor and we can all learn a thing or two from him. Edie and Bob currently live in The Bone House and allow strangers into their home for these tours. Be sure to be respectful of their home. 

The tour costs $10 per person and can be paid for online. For more information and to really get a feel or what the Commotion is all about (Sorry; Couldn't help it!), check out the Phoenix Commotion website here: The next public tour is scheduled for February 25 at 2:30p. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dixie Swim Club (Community Theatre Production)

The Huntsville Community Theatre Presents: Dixie Swim Club
Location: Old Town Theatre (1023 12th St.)

The Huntsville Community Theatre is working hard to prepare for their first production in 2012. The first play of the season is Dixie Swim Club. Dixie Swim Club is a play about five southern women who became friends through their college swim team. These five women vacation together every August as a way to break free from their everyday lives and revitalize their friendships. The play spans over thirty years in the lives of these women.  Sam Weeks is directing this play. This is his second time directing for the Huntsville Community Theatre.

Production Schedule:

February 10, 2012: 7:30pm
February 11, 2012: 7:30pm
February 12, 2012: 2:00pm
February 17, 2012: 7:30pm
February 18, 2012: 7:30pm
February 19, 2012: 2:00pm

Reserve your tickets by clicking HERE.

Can't Help Lovin': The Music of Jerome Kern (SHSU Production)

Event: Can't Help Lovin': The Music of Jerome Kern
Location: SHSU Showcase Theatre
Dates: February 15-17, 2012 at 8:00pm, February 18, 2012 at 2:00pm
Price: $12.00 for General Admission/ $10.00 for Senior Citizens and Students

From February 15th through February 18th, the Theatre Department will be performing Can't Help Lovin': A Music Review, which features the music of Jerome Kern. Kern is one of the most important American composers of the 20th century and wrote a vast number of songs that have been used in over a hundred stage productions. The most famous musical that features Kern's work is Showboat, but his songs are also featured in several other musicals that were hits during their time. Some of the more popular songs he composed include the following: "The Way You Look Tonight," "Long Ago (and Far Away)," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," "Ol' Man River," and "A fine Romance."

Can't Help Lovin': A Music Review is directed by Laura Avery. This sounds like a perfectly romantic show to go to during the week of Valentine's Day!

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the box office at 936-294-1339.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Art Mural Contest (Deadline: Fri., Feb. 10)

Hey, Huntsville artists! The City of Huntsville is holding a contest that will determine who paints the mural at the new basketball court at Kate Barr Ross Park. Three winners will be chosen to receive a cash prize. The prize for 3rd place is $150; 2nd place is $250. The grand prize winner will win $500 + paint supplies and will paint their submission at center court.

All submissions must be related to basketball. The deadline for submissions is 5p on Fri., Feb. 10. The grand prize winner must be able to start painting their mural no later than Feb. 20 and be finished no later than March 10. 

If you are interested in participating in the contest, you must hand deliver your entry to The Office of Community Development (1212 Avenue M). Your submission can be no larger than 20" x 36" and must be accompanied by a submission form. You can pick one of those up at The Office of Community Development (City Hall), The Wynne Home, or online at the City's website. 

The contest is open to all residents of Walker County. 

Good luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Phoenix Commotion Tour (Sat., Jan. 28)

If you have lived in Huntsville for a while, you have probably heard of Dan Phillips or Phoenix Commotion.  Dan and his team build homes from recycled materials. Because most materials used are found or donated, no two homes are alike. If you have never seen one of these in person, perhaps you should. They are works of art that are both fun and functional. 

The January tour of the Phoenix Commotion houses will start at 2:30p on Saturday, January 28. The cost is $10 per person. You can view the 2012 schedule and sign up for the tour by clicking here. The tour starts at The Bone House and participants caravan to the other locations. 

The Bone House - Photo courtesy of

If you can't make it to a tour, you can view the homes online by going to and hovering over the "Projects" link at the top of the page.