We could all use a little ánimo right now – that dose of encouragement or cheering up that allows us to keep forging ahead.
Whenever you’re in need of a boost, drive by the city’s latest large-scale mural, Ánimo Austin, which is part of Mexic-Arte’s El Mero Muro project located on the museum’s outer Fifth Street and Congress Avenue wall. The project launched in 2016 as a way to visually boost the presence of Latino culture downtown and help foster a welcoming, community atmosphere.
Artist Ulysses Cueto, originally from El Paso, brings his tender interpretation of life and love during the coronavirus pandemic to downtown Austin. Cueto depicts a man and a woman sitting across from each other, lovingly handwashing their bandanna face coverings.
Through his art, Cueto reminds us that having ánimo can be cleansing for the spirit. More than just representing our current state, the mural also highlights triumph and perseverance, the museum says.
Mexic-Arte funded the Ánimo mural through the Stand with Austin Fund, which was created to support nonprofits assisting individuals, artists and small businesses affected by the cancellation of South by Southwest and least able to recover on their own.
Mexic-Arte plans to reopen the museum by June with social distancing practices in place. Visit mexic-artemuseum.org for the latest reopening updates.
Tish Hinojosa virtual concerts
Step into the kitchen of singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa every Friday afternoon. As more local Latino artists produce virtual concerts from their homes, it’s fun to share the new ones that I’m enjoying each month.
Hinojosa’s "Kitchen Concerts" sometimes feature her longtime bandmates, who all play six feet apart from her. Other times, she’s performing classics from her re-released album "My Homeland" solo. Not only does she welcome us into her Austin kitchen, but her latest livestream treated us to a glimpse of the outdoor kitchen in her Arizona home.
Kitchens often serve as the heart of many homes, so I enjoy the warmness each concert brings as Hinojosa shares her stories, as well as tells us what’s for dinner that night. Carne guisada, anyone?
Catch the weekly livestreams at 5 p.m. Friday on her @mundotish Facebook page or mundotish.com. Virtual tips are accepted via Venmo @Tish-Hinojosa or paypal.me/tishhinojosa.
New video podcast from Red Salmon Arts
Red Salmon Arts, the local nonprofit behind Resistencia Books, brings us some nourishing content during these uncertain times.
The longtime champion of Chicanx, Latinx and Native American communities has partnered with VoxFem, a small team of women who are putting a spotlight on female singer-songwriters, changemakers and artists from around the world via video and audio podcasts. The premiere episode of VoxFem Xicanindia features hosts Lilia Rosas, who leads Red Salmon Arts, and filmmaker Laura Varela.
Together, they take us on a deep dive into the creative worlds of Veronica Castillo Salas, a ceramicist and clay sculptor of Puebla, Mexico, and San Antonio, as well as the music history and inspiration behind the works of singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa. The half-hour show broadcasts on Facebook (@RadioVoxFem) and on VoxFem’s YouTube channel.
I’m looking forward to more episodes that feature inspiring, trailblazing women whose uplifting work also helps elevate those around them. Donations to keep Red Salmon Arts’ wide-ranging programs going through this pandemic can be contributed online at resistenciabooks.com/donate.