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The Art and Culture of Austin


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When you first think of Austin, you may not equate it with cultural centers such as New York, London and Paris. In truth, Austin, Texas, offers citizens and visitors alike a plethora of options. From film festivals to Native American powwows, there is always something to do in Austin.

The Austin Art Scene

Austin is home to a growing art scene, including the Art Austin City festival that takes place each spring. Artists from around the world gather to display their work, and festival organizers strive to maintain a block-party feeling for the event. This fun, casual weekend is filled with progressive art, food and live music. The event is ideal for art lovers, but it's also family-friendly.

If you are more interested in the traditional museum experience, Austin offers a number of choices, including the following:

Playhouse and Music in One

If theater is more your ken, choices abound. From experimental productions to opera, Austin has a thriving theater scene.

ACL - Austin City Live is a venue that offers a little bit of everything. Live productions include appearances by The Wiggles, Zoe Deschanel's latest play, and a comedy production featuring Cheech and Chong.

The Long Center - With performances by Austin's aerial theater company and ballet company, the Long House features some of today's most popular artists as well as the Austin Symphony.

Salvage Vanguard Theater - Home to experimental theater, the Salvage Vanguard strives to encourage communication and exploration through theater.

History and Culture

Austin has a long and storied history. The greater Texas area was home to a number of Native American tribes whose footsteps can still be felt today. These include the Caddos, Karankawas, Coahuiltecan, Lipan and several Comanche tribes. The Tonkawa tribe lived in central Texas, but they were very mobile, like the Comanche. Explore this rich history at places like the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center and the Treaty Oak, the last surviving tree from the Council of Oaks, a sacred meeting place for the Tonkawa and Comanche tribes. It was here that the first treaty was signed by the Native Americans and Stephen F. Austin. "We estimate that the tree is over 600 years old," says the Austin Chamber of Commerce. So, grab your hiking gear out of storage and hike through the landscape and the history.

Austin is also home to many museums and monuments, celebrating its growth from an outpost called Waterloo to the capital of Texas. Take a tour of the Texas governor's mansion, stroll by Stevie Ray Vaughn's statue or visit the old state capitol ruins.

Keeping Austin Weird

If you are looking for something a little bit off the beaten path, Austin has plenty to offer. According to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau webpage, the city is "home to Texas' last true dance hall, the Broken Spoke, and Threadgills, the gas station turned diner where Janis Joplin once sang." The capital of Texas is both beautiful and rebellious and is best seen up close. Take your bikes out of storage for a tour of the city.

Angelina Eberly Cannon Sculpture - A seven-foot tall, 2,200 pound statue of a woman firing a canon harkens back to Austin's early history and is something you just don't see anywhere else.

Hyde Park Gym Arm - Yes, that is a giant arm sticking out of a building. The Hyde Park Gym, also known simply as The Arm, sports a one-of-a-kind sign: a weight-lifting arm. This arm is so famous, it has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Congress Bridge - The battiest bridge in America is Congress Bridge in Austin. Go ahead and stop by at dusk during the summer to witness the flight of up to 1.5 million bats! Bat Conservation International explains, "When engineers reconstructed downtown Austin's Congress Avenue Bridge in 1980, they had no idea that new crevices beneath the bridge would make an ideal bat roost. Although bats had lived there for years, it was headline news when they suddenly began moving in by the thousands."

From opera and bat roosts to experimental theater and off-the-wall sculpture, Austin has a little bit of everything. There is always something new and convenient to explore in Austin. It is just as easy to find a convenient storage location for your belongings as well!

Whether you are looking to store your theatre props, music equipment or other gear, you can find a self storage unit to suite your needs by searching online.

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