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Category Archives: Zilker Kite Festival

Ferdinand the Bull Visits the Kite Festival

by Alyssa Ely, University of Texas Tower PR

Hello from underneath the trees at the beautiful Kite Festival.

Thousands of Austinites flocked to Zilker Park this year, and among the crowd were families with small children who couldn’t resist the activities the Theatre Action Project tent had to offer. Face paintings and puppet shows were a huge hit, which you could tell from all the joyful smiles. The set inside of the puppet show tent was decorated to resemble the Spanish town of Madrid, where the legendary story of Ferdinand the Bull was being told.

At the beginning of the show, the main puppeteer had the children in the audience sing along with him a song that sets the moral of Ferdinand’s story. This incredible tale promotes nonviolence and tranquility, and this can be seen in Ferdinand’s gentle personality where he would rather sit amongst the flowers than buck and jump around like the other bulls.

The TAP volunteers did an exceptional job of playing the gentle bulls and the children were eager for their queue to yell “Oley!” The story became even more exciting when it took an unexpected turn. One day, Ferdinand was enjoying himself in the flowers as he always did until he sat on a bee and “Owww” screamed the bull as he kicked and snorted and tried to ease the pain. Meanwhile, there was an eager onlooker searching for the angriest bull for a fight and there he saw Ferdinand.

The children in the audience were eager to find out what the gentle bull was going to do in the fight. But Ferdinand’s true colors showed through. He remained calm and couldn’t help but smell the aurora of flowers all around him. The children and parents in the audience gasped with relief and cheered almost as if they were there amongst the stands on that very day.

The puppet show was a great success thanks to TAP’s talented volunteers who really know how to tell a beautiful story with a memorable message. We hope to see more bright and shining faces next year or even at our upcoming Spring Break or Summer Camps.

P.S. My favorite hairstyle is the classic Audrey Hepburn up-do from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. See you at TAP’s Big Hair Country Fair on March 24th at the Salt Lick Pavillion! To buy tickets visit: TAP Big Hair. Proceeds benefit Theatre Action Project.

See You at the Zilker Kite Festival

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

Ready for the Zilker Kite Festival? How about a puppet show and colorful face painting? Join us at the Theatre Action Project tent and enjoy the stories of The Red Balloon and Ferdinand the Bull and stay for some colorful face painting. It wouldn’t be the Zilker Kite Fest without YOU and kids of all ages.

We have over 100 volunteers helping as puppeteers, face painters, and even barkers who will walk around Zilker announcing our shows. Among the many volunteers are groups and organizations including:

  • UT Service Scholars
  • College Forward
  • Kipp Austin Public Schools
  • Westwood High School Outreach
  • UT Connects
  • Delta Kappa Delta
  • Omega Phi Alpha
  • Whitis Love

For more information about the day’s activities at the Zilker Kite Festival, parking and directions visit: Zilker Kite Festival.

Recruiting Volunteers – The Creative Process

by Katie Grills, Community Relations VISTA

Don’t you just love Google Doodles? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this one from Valentine’s Day. While charming and a great way to celebrate Love on Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t help but look at this cute, creative device as a metaphor for recruiting volunteers.

In the world of non-profit organizations, recruiting volunteers is much like finding and wooing your perfect sweetheart. Plan one might seem absolutely brilliant. Surely it will bring in droves of committed, talented volunteers who are in love with the work you do. That witty posting that you put on every volunteer posting site imaginable will break servers because the whole city will flock to it at once! The emails you have sent out to prospective volunteers will be responded, and your inbox will overwhelm you! And don’t even think about being able to answer all of those phone calls. Read the rest of this entry

A Semester Full of Activity

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

I agree with Katie Grills, Punxsutawney Phil the ground hog’s prediction of six more weeks of winter won’t keep us at Theatre Action Project (TAP) from planning for a power-packed spring semester of programming and events. A few highlights you may want to plan on:

  • Theatre Action Project at the Zilker Kite Festival, Sunday March 4. Visit our booth for a fun puppet show and walk away with some creative face painting. For all ages! And, we need volunteers too. If you’re interested in volunteering please contact, Katie Grills at
  • Spring Break Activity Camp for Ages 5-12, March 12 – 16, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Trinity United Methodist Church, 4001 Speedway, Austin, TX 78751
    Over spring break, youth will produce their own television network: TAP TV! TAP TV! is a different kind of network – one that is socially responsible and empowers the youth of today. Our campers will work together on creative projects including: music videos, short films, public service announcements and news segments that inspire youth to make the world a better place. We invite friends and family to the network launch on Friday afternoon. Extended care available from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at an additional cost. To register, click here.
  • Big Hair Country Fair, March 24 at the Salt Lick Pavilion, 7 – 11 p.m.
    The event features hairdos for attendees provided on site by Birds Barbershop stylists. Guests will also enjoy all the Salt Lick BBQ they can eat, refreshments, armadillo races, carnival games and a vintage photo booth complete with costumes. Musical entertainment is provided by Western Swing band Hot Club of Cowtown and Oliver Rajamani. Proceeds benefit Theatre Action Project in Austin. TAP artists and educators work in partnership with Austin area schools and communities to lead unique and engaging arts programs allowing young people to learn critical life skills, gain tools for creative expression and have successful experiences that build self-esteem and confidence. Price: $75, tickets are now on sale on our website. For information about purchasing a table, call: 512- 442-8773.
  • Youth Arts Festival, May 12
    Our semester celebration of all the creative and thoughtful work our middle school and high school students have been working on this spring. The students themselves will drive the production of the festival highlighting dance, film and video, art work and creativity. For the entire family!

Mark your calendars. Check out our event calendar for further updates.

It’s almost Kite Festival Time – Volunteer with TAP

by Katie Grills, Community Relations VISTA

Look at the calendar. If you’re generally living in the southeastern United States, particularly in Austin, stepping outside might make you question the accuracy of your ability to recall the proper date.

So much for the prediction of Punxsutawney Phil for Austinites, Spring, it seems, has sprung.

Get into the Spring spirit and sign up to volunteer with Theatre Action Project at the Zilker Park Kite Festival today! We need around 60 more volunteers right now to make our tent the best attraction in the park on March 4.

Shifts are from 9am-1pm, 12:30pm-3:30pm, and 3:00pm-5pm. We are in need of people who are excited to paint faces, “bark” at the crowd to bring them our way, help keep the operations of our shows in the tent running smoothly, and more.

If you’d like to go ahead and register as a volunteer, please fill out our registration form. You will be contacted shortly about your assigned shift time and more.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

We absolutely can’t wait to see you there!

New TAP Banner

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

Look for a fun TAP new banner to welcome you at TAP events, at school, and more.The banner project is one of many arts projects that volunteer Lauren Luscombe has created for Theatre Action Project. Her hours of work this year have supported our TAP in the Classroom programs and now at events and beyond with a shiny new banner.

If you’re interested in joining the TAP team and volunteering on fun sewing projects, support us at community events, or in the TAP office, please contact Katie Grills, Community Relations Assistant VISTA at Theatre Action Project has a slew exciting programs and events scheduled for Spring 2012 including the Zilker Kite Festival and TAP’s Big Hair Country Fair and YOU could be part of the fun!

A Monumental Year

by Emily Watkins, University of Texas Tower PR

The Account Executives from Texas Tower PR

December is always thought of as a time for remembrance and wishful thinking for the New Year. As I remember back over the last year, so many Theatre Action Project memories come to mind. I have only worked with TAP for 18 months but I do believe this past year was monumental. Read the rest of this entry