Chicago Children’s Choir kicks off Austin’s summer of music, arts and outdoor dining

AUSTIN – A children’s choir performed outside an Austin restaurant this weekend to give the neighborhood a taste of the alfresco dining, music and the arts that will be a mainstay of the summer.

The Chicago Children’s Choir show was the first of many musical events planned to take place on Chicago Avenue and Madison Street in Austin to make the neighborhood more welcoming to residents and tourists as part of the Chicago Alfresco program.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce is using its $ 120,000 program grant to boost neighborhood tourism with the help of local artists and musicians, including young people featured in the Chicago Children’s Choir.

“We really want to generate the buzz to prepare people,” said Tina Augustus, executive director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. “I’m very excited. It will really improve the curb appeal.

The Austin-based choir group performed at MacArthur’s restaurant at 5412 W. Madison Street on Saturday, a favorite neighborhood for soul food along one of Austin’s busiest shopping corridors. Madison Street is home to many neighborhood businesses and restaurants, and the performances aim to attract foot traffic that will benefit the area.

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The performances organized for the initiative are also a great opportunity to showcase local talent, said Mark Myer, associate artistic director of the Chicago Children’s Choir.

“The singers of the Austin Neighborhood Choir are delighted to share their first public performance in over a year,” said Myer.

The restaurant’s outdoor space will continue to host musical performances and other events, including spoken poetry, dance groups and jazz concerts, said manager Sharon McKinney.

“It will showcase the talent of our young people, which will help our customers to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere this will bring to the restaurant,” McKinney said.

Similar performances and artistic events are also planned for Soul City Corridor, a stretch of Chicago Avenue in Austin. Four restaurants along the Soul City corridor will anchor the program in this part of the neighborhood, Augustus said.

Participating Chicago Avenue restaurants will be L&E Vienna, Bitoy’s Bistro, Batter & Berries and Coleman’s BBQ2.

The city’s program will also help beautify Madison Street and Chicago Avenue with dozens of 5-foot-long planters. Austin artist Antonia Ruppert designs and paints the planters so the neighborhood has more greenery and public art that reflects the lives of residents.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce is recruiting volunteers to set up planters and set up outdoor meals in restaurants. Those interested in volunteering can contact Augustus at [email protected]

“We’re going to need volunteers to help us plant the flowers. We’re going to need some muscle, to move the soil, to move the planters, to help us put the partitions in the restaurant, ”Augustus said.

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Alice P. Darby