Miss A Columnist

Amanda Ivarra is a graduate of Texas A&M University. After graduating with a degree in Health, she moved to Austin and started working for a national non-profit organization. She spent 5 years coordinating community events and programs. After leaving the organization, she started to focus on her creative pursuits. Currently, she is working on developing her own jewelry line. Writing has always been a hobby for Amanda. For most of her life, she’s kept journals. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to take her writing public and began blogging and guest blogging. The one thing this girl can’t live without is music. Not really one to sing or play an instrument, she just loves music. Perhaps, it’s the songwriting that she admires so much or a good beat that she can dance to. Whether she’s attending a concert with friends, hanging out with the guys watching sports, volunteering in the community, hiking or visiting the newest places in town, Amanda lives to enjoy life. But, nothing brings more joy to her than being able to make someone smile or laugh!

Recap: Theatre Action Project In Austin Presents Big Hair Country Fair

Kim Mullins (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

There are moments in my life when I love to see the Austin skyline in my rear view mirror, when it’s goodbye city limits and hello country setting.  A good country drive is one of the things I take pleasure in, especially when it involves honking and waving at folks sitting on their front porch as I drive by.  So, a drive to the Salt Lick Pavilion in nearby Driftwood for a charity event was far from a hassle for me.  In fact, it set the mood for what was to come.

The Salt Lick Pavilion was the perfect place to hold the Theatre Action Project’s spring fundraiser, Big Hair Country Fair.  With their creative minds and hospitable attitudes, Theatre Action Project (TAP) produced one of the best country fairs I’ve ever been to.  So, it wasn’t a real one but it felt so real.  It was truly a testament to their imagination and gratitude.

Ozzie Waldron and Becky Brown (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

They seemed to have it all!  Everything a real fair would have including delicious Salt Lick BBQ, carnival entertainment and games like the cake walk, live animals and country dancing.  And, in Texas, we like to say, “the higher the hair, the closer to heaven you are.”  So, Birds Barbershop stylists were on site to provide hairdos for guests.

Leslie Hill and Nitra Gutierrez (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

Big Hair Country Fair may have been TAP’s fundraising event, but it genuinely felt like a donor appreciation event.  By hosting this event, they were sending out the “thank you” message loud and clear.  They didn’t have to say it.  You could see it and you could feel it when the staff and students talked about the organization and the programs.

TAP uses the creative arts to activate the academic, social and emotional development of young people.  Their mission is to help young people become Creative Artists, Critical Thinkers, Courageous Allies and Confident Leaders.  They do this by visiting hundreds of classrooms with interactive plays that explore bullying, prejudice and conflict; placing teaching artists at 65 sites for free after school programs every day; teaching hundreds of incarcerated youth to write plays as a means to help them imagine a future for themselves; and engaging dozens of teens to create and perform original plays in the community about bullying, rumors and other pressing teen issues.  They’re doing more than using creativity and the arts to help kids; they’re improving the lives of young people and teaching them to make this world a better one.

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