ARTS: There isn’t much for me to add. Five by Seven already ranks among the most frisky and clever Austin parties of the season. This year, the Contemporary Austin benefit moved to the roomier, more pliant Brazos Hall. (Bonus: They didn’t need to dismantle an exhibit.) Even with the extra space, it was sometimes hard to get close to the hundreds of miniatures — all 5 by 7 inches — executed in scores of styles. The art, in general, appeared darker this time around, more political, perhaps because of the national mood. Landed on a swell idea: Why not choose 10 winning images, photograph them, and reproduce them as boxed greeting cards? Small royalties could go to the artists. (After all, the images are the right size.)

SCHOOL: The data is so depressing. Eighty-seven percent of Austin children start their school years unready to learn. Many of them suffer from a "word gap" numbered in the millions. Not enough parents talk to their kids, read to their kids or turn of their screens. Well, you gotta let the guests at the BookSpring luncheon know where early literacy stands in our town. Silky emcee Evan Smith and various experts filled us in during the Cat-in-the-Hat-themed meal at St. David’s Episcopal Church. At least the room was filled with people who can help, including leaders from the corporate community and a few lawmakers. (Why does it seem that every step forward comes with a step back?)

STYLE: Celebrated Fehr home part of mid-century tour. From Luke Quinton’s story in the Statesman: "Jan and Keli Sotelo lived in their mid-century home for three years before deciding what changes they wanted to make. "We waited till it spoke to us," Jan says. A good idea, it turns out, because the house in question is no ordinary house. It’s a landmark, a mid-century jewel-box not just designed by Arthur Fehr of the celebrated Austin firm Fehr & Granger but actually the home Fehr built for himself and his family. The house is one of five residences featured Saturday as part of "Austin 1964," Preservation Austin’s annual homes tour, which this year celebrates mid-century modern architecture. Like any exemplary architect, Fehr, whose firm also designed the terminal at Austin’s Mueller Airport, built his home to push boundaries — to show what could be done when a designer has full rein." http://shar.es/Bi3Le(Can’t wait to see it.)

TEXAS: Are we Texans first, Americans second? From Joshua Blank and Bethany Albertson’s story in the Texas Tribune: "In lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick’s self portrait, he is a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third. The one notable descriptive omission is the geographic boundary that binds the Texas electorate: "Texan." Despite what often feels like a statewide embrace of "Texas exceptionalism," many here appear to eschew what others practically deem a birthright: the ability to call oneself a Texan. If polling data is any indication, the proportion of Texas voters who view themselves as Texans is smaller than one might think, but is likely to grow in the coming decades. In the February 2014 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, we asked respondents whether they considered themselves Texans first and Americans second, or Americans first and Texans second. Overall, just over a quarter of registered voters — 27 percent — considered themselves to be Texans first. Democrats and liberals overwhelmingly identify as Americans before they identify as Texans (84 percent and 92 percent respectively), and while majorities of Republicans and conservatives identify as Americans first, significant proportions (35 percent and 36 percent respectively) identify first as Texans. This difference is a probable reflection of the current Republican statewide dominance and, in turn, each voter’s willingness to identify with the state." http://trib.it/1gPJA74(Telling.)