Musings from the Porch

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TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE
The art collective that painted the Victory Grill’s mural

In late September and through October, The Front Porch started acting like a front porch. We found some new friends and a great “living room” at the historic Victory Grill. Then we began to invite friends over.

On Sunday evenings from now till January 12, we’ll be on the porch at the Victory Grill, talking about things that matter at our Sunday Salon. Then we enjoy some of the Grill’s great food and drink until musicians start arriving for the Sunday Stage at 8pm. We’ve heard musicians with something new to offer or a passion for creating solutions to the problems in the music industry in Austin. John Pointer has partnered with us to come and tell about his solutions and work the miracles he works on the guitar.

We’ve talked about HAAM, The Live Music Capital Foundation and Patronism.com with John and Harold McMillan. We’ve listened to a group who trekked to the Cutting Edge Music Festival in New Orleans and came back to sing their story–Erin Ivey, Darius Jackson, Serafia Jane, and Drastik IV. We’re excited that in November some of these will return to our stage for a better look in a solo performance. Our time with Michael Fontenot introduced us to the “Un-Wrap”  a genre that uncovers the natural tone and rhythm of the human voice. Michael also unveiled an unwrap of the Front Porch itself!

This last October Sunday Stage promises a real treat. On October 28, at 8pm, come and be amazed. Darius Jackson will lead off with the blues. John Pointer brings the cello to the Stage where we may hear classical to Cirque du Soleil. And Ulrich Ellison offers up his bluesy rock with it’s psychedelic and Celtic edge. Patronism.com is center stage for our conversation with the artists.

These evenings have confirmed our belief that we human beings are wired for connection and hungry for good conversation.  There’s a real need for a good venue—for art or music or theater or conversation. We’ve loved hanging out at the Victory Grill with its deep, enriching vibe.

 

The Sunday Salon: Breaking Down the Dividing Walls

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Many tend to think of community in terms of commonality. But we wonder about that. Could it be that authentic community is born not of sameness but of difference? Could it be that diversity and variety, far from keeping us apart, are precisely what bind us together? Could it be that we are united not by common answers to the same old questions but by common questions to the same old answers? If this sounds like a strange but nonetheless intriguing possibility… welcome to The Front Porch!

At our weekly Sunday Salon we gather to explore the ways in which our differences can actually serve to enrich rather than threaten. As our resident chanteuse Julia Ward observed this past Sunday, there are indeed two opposing forces in the world, but they are not those we typically imagine. They are not good and evil, but love and fear. Fear leads to division, love leads to dialogue; fear inspires rivalry, love inspires reverence; fear builds walls, love breaks them down.

Join us for conversation and song at our weekly Salon: Sundays, 6 p.m. at The Historic Victory Grill.

 

The Sunday Salon – Going with the Givens!

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Those of us on the Porch felt proud of all the folks who dared to show up for our very first Salon last Sunday. They are forever founders and charter members just for getting into their cars on a Sunday evening and being curious and adventurous enough to check it out. And we felt proud of Clifford Gillard and the Victory Grill for being there—for taking a risk and teaming up with us to do this thing.

We gathered together. We shared bread and wine. We sang. And we talked. In the midst of our conversation, folks raised a variety of questions about the Salon and its purpose.  “Why are we here? Is this a Christian thing? Will we read scripture? If I’m from some other tradition, sacred or secular, will my voice be welcomed?”

These and similar questions fuel the Salon. So let’s talk about this. It’s important…