Five stories that have North Texas talking: The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra cancels another month of shows; an Austin dog owner gave her terminally ill pup a snow party; San Marcos is the “best hippie town” in Texas; and more.
More than 100 years after it was originally proposed, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture was dedicated on Saturday in Washington, D.C. The museum documents the life, history and culture of African Americans with more than 37,000 objects. One of those objects includes Lauren Anderson’s pointe shoes. The Houston native was made the first African American principal ballerina in a major ballet company in 1990, according to Houston Public Media. Other objects in the museum include University of Houston alum Carl Lewis’ Olympic medals, uniforms and track shoes, NBC DFW reports. The museum also has exhibitions on Charley Pride, a legendary African-American country singer, who now lives in Dallas as well as Mae Carol Jemison, the first female African-American astronaut to travel into space. Explore more Texas connections to the museum. [NMAAHC, NPR, NBC DFW, KUHF]
- The Fort Worth Symphony has canceled shows through November. Musicians went on strike in early September following months of contentious contract negotiations with orchestra management. The symphony is trying to close a deficit of $700,000, but the musicians union says pay cuts proposed by management are too deep. Art&Seek reports the musicians’ union is working out temporary arrangements with the Texas Ballet Theater, which will be bringing its production of “Carmen and Danse A Grand Vitesse” to Bass Hall Oct. 7-9. [Art&Seek]
- An Austin dog owner promised her terminally ill pet he’d see snow one last time. Ashley Niels and her dog, Spunky, lived in Wisconsin for years before moving to Austin. Recently, Spunky was diagnosed with cancer, and Niels wanted to make it snow for Spunky before it was too late, no easy feat during the Texas summer, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Niels and her friends rented a backyard snow machine, and so much snow was produced, dogs at the local Austin Animal Shelter were invited to take part in the fun, too. [Austin American-Statesman]
- UNT professor Ruth West uses data to create art. West heads up the xRez Art & Science Lab at the University of North Texas, which means she’s a professor of visual arts, engineering, information and biology. West calls herself an artist but also a researcher. In fact, her original career was in biomedicine because her parents didn’t want her to pursue the painting she’d loved ever since she picked up a brush at the age of three, Art&Seek reports. To understand West’s artistic and mathematical process, explore her Artist Spotlight profile. [Art&Seek]
- On a list of “Best Hippie Towns” in every state, you’d expect Austin to be chosen for Texas. But, Thrillist says the real hippie vibe can be found farther south in San Marcos. “This town of just over 54,000 was Texas' hippie enclave back in the '60s and '70s, and many of those who moved there decades ago have chosen to stay. It was at the forefront of the marijuana-legalization movement, and it's home to Texas State University, giving the city the hippie-academia confluence of Austin, albeit on a smaller scale.” [Thrillist]