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.
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.
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.