Imagine Your Gallery Here

The Menil Collection Announces Community Arts and Houston Indie Book Festival

The 5th Annual Menil Community Arts and Houston Indie Book Festival takes place Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The free event is designed to highlight the diversity of the Menil Collection neighborhood arts community through an afternoon of music, spoken word, yoga, literature, and visual art.

Participating organizations include

  • Da Camera of Houston
  • Inprint
  • Houston Center for Photography
  • Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP)
  • The Rothko Chapel
  • Writers in the Schools
  • The Menil Collection

Gulf Coast Journal, while not located on the Menil campus, joins forces with the other organizations to present the Houston Indie Book Festival.

Taking place on the Menil campus, guests are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy live music in the morning and afternoon, readings throughout the day, two film screenings in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, a print sale at the Houston Center for Photography, a pop-up outdoor bookstore featuring local and regional independent authors and publishers, and the permanent and special exhibits inside the Menil Collection. Additionally, food trucks will be serving up a variety of gourmet delicacies in the Menil parking lot on W. Alabama.

The Menil Community Arts and Houston Indie Book Festival is generously sponsored by the Texas Commission on the Arts, New Leaf Real Estate, Sicardi Gallery, and Texas Tea.

Schedule of Events


Two musical performances will take place throughout the day, in front of the Menil Collection just east of the main entrance.

11 a.m. – Thomas Hulten Hot Viking Dixieland Band

Presented by Da Camera of Houston, Thomas Hulten is principal trombone with the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet, and affiliate artist at Moores School of Music and the University of Houston. Hulten has performed with some of music’s most influential modern artists including Ray Charles, The Temptations, Natalie Cole and Barry Manilow.

4:30 p.m. – line upon line percussion performs Hughes Dufourt’s Erewhon

Presented by The Menil Collection, line upon line is committed to seeking new ways for percussion instruments to advance contemporary music. Based out of Austin, they have been called “the premier new music percussion ensemble in Texas and the South” by Austinist and  have been featured at SXSW, Fast Forward Austin and the International Festival-Institute at Round Rock. Adam Bedell, Tim Briones, Cullen Faulk, Andrew Fuhrman, Eric Peterson, Matthew Teodori will be performing Hughes Dufourt’s massive percussion sextet Erewhon.


Each hour, starting at 12pm, Inprint, Writers in the Schools, and the Houston Indie Book Festival will present readings from various students, authors and poets on the Menil Bookstore Deck.

12 p.m. – Blooms, part of Houston Young Writers Reading Series

Presented by Writers in the Schools, participants in their Houston Young Writers Reading Series will read original poems, stories and essays inspired by nature, community, family, history and art.

1 p.m. – Indie Editors Take the Mic

Founding editor of “Owl Eye Review”, Austin Tremblay joins independent author and poetry editor of “Gigantic Sequins” Sophie Klahr and co-editor of “The Cupboard” Adam Peterson as they read their original works.

2 p.m. – Mat Johnson, presented by Inprint

Author of Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem as well as the comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain, Mat Johnson is a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. In addition, he teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.

3 p.m. – Derrick Brown and Jason Bayani, presented by Write Bloody Books

Derrick Brown is a noted slam poet and original member of the group The Poetry Revival, and Jason Bayani is author of the poetry collection “Amulet” and is a member of the Asian-American slam poetry trio, The Proletariat Bronze.

4 p.m. – Bootown Theater

The non-profit theater company Bootown, creator of the popular series Grown-Up Storytime, will be performing a family friendly show that’s sure to get the audience laughing.

Additionally, children’s activities, readings, and panel discussions will take place within the Houston Indie Book Festival, on the east end of The Menil Collection:

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. –  Steps to Bring Your Book into a Publisher’s Hands

Luci Smoker, author of Distortion and Retribution will teach writers the perfect strategy for getting their work noticed.

12:15 p.m. – Children’s Storytime: The Deep Blue Forest

Geraldo Olivo, author of The Deep Blue Forest and The Adventures of Papa Roo and Little Roo will perform a puppet show and an interactive dance session.

1:30 p.m. – Small Press, Big Rewards: Publishing Beyond the Mainstream

A panel session featuring independent publishing houses will discuss the advantages of working with an independent vs. mainstream publishing house.

3:00 p.m. – Glass Mountain presents: A Reading with Aaron Reynolds

University of Houston creative writing professor Aaron Reynolds will give a reading along with his editors from the nationally-distributed undergraduate journal “Glass Mountain.”

3:30 p.m. – Bat City Review presents: Claire Sylvester Smith and Jeff Bruemmer

Poet Claire Sylvester Smith and fiction writer Jeff Bruemmer will showcase the work of Bat City Review’s talented editorial staff.

4:30 p.m. – Publishing in Literary Magazines: From Slush Pile to Superstar

A panel session featuring current and former “Gulf Coast Journal” editorial staff members, will discuss publishing in literary magazines.


Two free, diverse workshops will take place at the Rothko Chapel and at the Menil Collection, perfect for families interested in learning something different!

Yoga at the Rothko Chapel

11 a.m. – Hatha yoga with Mary Oppermann

1 p.m. – Kids yoga with Laura Calcaterro

2:30 p.m. – Acro Jam yoga and partner-based acrobatic yoga with Jeff Newton

Writing Tours of the Menil with Writers in the Schools

1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Writers in the Schools will host 30-minute creative writing tours at the Menil Collection designed for the whole family. WITS writers will lead participants on a tour of Menil galleries and use specific works of art as inspiration for fun creative writing exercises.


SWAMP will be screening selections from the 35th season of THE TERRITORY, their short film showcase series broadcast on Houston PBS, Channel 8, in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel (4011 Yupon St) at 1:30PM and 3:30PM. THE TERRITORY is the longest running public television showcase of independent film/video in the country. The half-hour 13-part Texas PBS series showcases new directions in film, video, and digital media.

All Day

Houston Center for Photography

19 students from 13 Houston-area schools are represented in the annual exhibition, Collaborations X Print Sale, the final project of a semester-long “Collaborations” course taught by HCP instructors. Each student’s prints are for sale, with nothing over $100.

Menil Bookstore and Information Booth

Start your day here to pick up a map and a schedule, as well as a beverage courtesy of Texas Tea. Then wander through the Menil Bookstore and browse their tremendous selection of books and gifts.

Menil Collection

Enjoy the contemplative and tranquil art museum that is at the heart of the festival. Featuring exhibitions Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible, and Untitled (Structures): Leslie Hewitt in Collaboration with Bradford Young, as well as the permanent collection. In addition to the exhibits, the Menil will present, Voices of the Menil, a cellphone audio-walk that will provide listeners a chance to tour the campus and hear stories from John and Dominique de Menil, among others, who were instrumental in the creation and development of the museum neighborhood.

Rothko Chapel

Founded by John and Dominique de Menil, the Rothko Chapel is a modern meditative environment inspired by the mural canvases of American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko.

For more information about the Menil Community Arts and Houston Indie Book Festival, visit

About Press Release

A press release on Dallas Art News is a post provided by a museum, gallery, venue, event or artist. The content of the press release does not usually change, but it is styled and formatted to fit our site.

Comments are closed.