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Art for Charity Photos

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

Congratulations to  Creative Action teaching artist Lindsay Palmer and her second grade class from Del Valle Elementary for their Art for Charity showing last night at Tiny Park Gallery. The students featured original artwork by with all sales benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Save the Children. Special thanks to Tiny Park Gallery for helping us with this event!

Here are few photos from the showing. To see more photos from the event go to our Flickr album.


Abstract artwork by Del Valle Elementary 2nd graders displayed at Tiny Park Gallery.


Left: A series of hero comics Right: Collaborative wood artwork.
Created by Lindsay Palmer’s Del Valle Elementary 2nd grade class.

Fall: The Season of Change

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

My year of service as Marketing Associate VISTA has been an exciting one. I’ve learned a lot and have been involved with some of the biggest changes at Creative Action. The biggest change recently has been the transition from Theatre Action Project to Creative Action. Although we have changed our name, we are still fighting for the same cause (read about the name change here).

As we transition into fall, we are featuring our first event under our new name, Creative Action. This October we are proud to present the family fun and pie contest, I Spy Pie! at Central Market North. It’s going to be fun for all with arts and crafts, live music from The Biscuit Brothers, and pie tastings from the following competing bakeries:

  • Central Market Bakery
  • Central Market Cooking School
  • Jeffrey’s
  • Texas Pie Kitchen
  • Tiny Pies

Hope to see you there!

P.S. My favorite pie flavor is razzle dazzle berry pie.

Join us at I Spy Pie! on Saturday, October 20th at Central Market North. 12 – 3 p.m.
Family fun, arts and crafts and pie for families of all ages!

Want to volunteer? Sign up here for 1 or 2 (or both) shifts:  I Spy Pie! Volunteer Sign Up.

Teaming Up for the New School Year

by Sharon Chin, Texas Tower PR

Hi there! It has been a while since a Tower member wrote a post for Creative Action. In case you forgot, I am Sharon from Texas Tower PR, a student-run PR agency at The University of Texas. Creative Action is actually the oldest client that Tower has! Along with Linda, we are the account executives for this account and we help with all media related projects. It’s great to be back!

As we welcome the change in weather, we are finally getting into the momentum of things as the fall semester begins. After a meeting with Mary Alice Carnes and Erik Weasenforth from Creative Action’s marketing team last week, we can’t wait to get started with the exciting line up of their events. I wanted to fill everyone in on a couple of projects we have in mind. (At Tower, we are still getting used to the name change, but we absolutely love it!)

Before I start talking about our involvement with Creative Action, I would like to introduce our new recruit into the account, Aly Kasberg. You may also like to read more about Tower and our new members here.

To start off, one of our bigger projects this semester will be setting up a press page for the new website. We are currently doing some research and putting together a few options for the page. We are always looking for media attention, so why not make the organization accessible and appealing by laying out the right information? We strive to do just that and we want the media to love us!

Another event that we look forward to is the fall fundraiser, I Spy Pie! Who doesn’t look forward to pie? It’s the perfect fall treat. We aim to secure multiple press coverage for the event as well as record a PSA to be aired on local radio stations. I had lots of fun at audio editing last year and would love to give it another try.

Lastly, everyone in the Creative Action account is excited to be attending the Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble next month. Getting first hand experience at such programs is vital to us. It is important to learn more about the organization from within, and it will be a great introduction to the newer members.

It will be a busy semester with Tower, but we look forward to it! We will also be attending the open house on October 4, and we hope to see everyone there.

UPDATE: Theatre Action Project is now Creative Action. Read more about our name change.

What I Learned About Taking Photos at TAP Camp

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

This summer, I developed my photography skills over eight weeks of Theatre Action Project (TAP) Summer Camp. As an amateur photographer, these simple tips can help a lot for someone new to photography and can be used for a wide variety of events.

1) Be prepared. Not only is it important to have a camera, memory card, and fully charged battery before the event, but you should visualize shots before they happen. I would often be able to pre-visualize shots based on previous camper practices where I watched their sequence of performances. At final share day I arrived early to pick spots I knew would be good for different shots (group shots, action shots, close-ups, etc.)

2) Work with what you have. I don’t have the most advanced camera, but I found ways to get great photos by getting close to the action, framing the composition strategically, shooting different perspectives, taking more than enough photos to have a large selection to choose the best from. These are things you can do with any camera.

3) Shoot from the hip. This is similar to shooting different perspectives, but in a different meaning. A lot of times early on, campers would get nervous in front of the camera because they either didn’t know me, were camera-shy, or any number of things. Sometimes I would switch from using the camera pin hole to the camera’s screen and hold my camera lower as if I was viewing previous shots. Then when a camper would get up and do something spontaneous and thought no one had a camera on them, I would get some of the funniest, most expressive photos of campers.

4) Be social. When someone doesn’t know who you are, even with the identification of your organization’s T-shirt, they are more reluctant to want their picture taken by you. But if you introduce yourself and chat with them, they will open up to you. At final share day I would talk to parents a bit to get to know them and their camper, what they enjoyed about camp. This was not only a great way to be social but helped me get great family photos.

To see photos from every week of  TAP Summer Camp, plus more TAP events go to our Flickr.

P.S. My first day of school memory happened in Kindergarten when I met one of my best friends by playing with Hot Wheels cars.

Playmakers Teaches Campers All Aspects of Production

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

This week’s theme for Theatre Action Project (TAP) Summer Camp is Playmakers at both our Trinity United Methodist Church and Lakeway locations. During Playmakers, campers work together to put on a short, original play. Campers will learn about teamwork by experiencing all aspects of the production, from the set to the costumes to the performance. The magic of the theatre comes alive in Friday afternoon’s performance!

From the set to the costumes to the performance, campers learn all aspects of production at Playmakers.
Photo on far right by Carol Acurso

AmeriCorps Works Video Contest

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

This past month, I worked on a video project to submit to the 2012 AmeriCorps Video Contest. The theme for the contest is “AmeriCorps Works” so I tried to communicate:

  • The diversity of people who work for AmeriCorps and their effect on  their communities
  • Who we serve
  • The variety of locations served in communities across America (including different cities and variety of organizations being helped)

I ended up having Mary Alice Carnes, my AmeriCorps VISTA supervisor and fellow Theatre Action Project (TAP) coworker, give a great quick speech in my video on how the AmeriCorps VISTA program helps us out at TAP.

Public voting is currently open from now until September 1st, and I’d appreciate any votes to help me win this competition.

To vote, follow this link: Click vote, fill out the form and it will send you an email to confirm your vote. Make sure to confirm your vote or it won’t become official!

Here’s the video:

I’d like to thank everyone who was in my video as well as a special thanks to Lance McNeil, a VISTA at Foundation Communities, for helping me with great ideas and for creating the music for the video.

World Tales and Tunes: An Exciting Education at Stepping Stone Schools

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

Top to Bottom:
1) Freddy narrates Hamlet
2) Students laugh at Freddy’s comedic ways
3) “To be, or not to be. That is the question.”

Today I got the opportunity to visit Stepping Stone 1 in north Austin to see Theatre Action Project’s own, Freddy Carnes, put on a Shakespearean show as part of his World Tales and Tunes. He started off with warm-ups, telling the students to repeat dialogue from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet,while doing actions and striking poses. Then he played his guitar and sang songs. Everything he did, the kids repeated with excitement, laughter, and enthusiasm.

Following the warm-ups, Freddy chose some of the students for roles in performing Hamlet, complete with costumes. Freddy narrated for them so they knew what lines to say. It was very entertaining to watch them having so much fun while learning.

Following their performance of Hamlet, Freddy engaged the students in a conversation about a few of the themes from Hamlet, including marriage. He asked them “Why do people get married?” and explained to them the right reason: Love. This led them to the story of true love, Romeo and Juliet, which they got to perform.