The East 12th Street Merchants Association (ETSMA) and Souly Austin, a City of Austin Economic Development Department program, are hosting the premiere documentary screening of the archival film Reflections on a Legacy: East 12th Street at 11:30 a.m. on October 6, 2018 at Mission: Possible Austin, 1190 Chicon St..
Reflections on a Legacy: East 12th Street captures the powerful stories of three long-time East Austin residents as they reflect on their experience of East 12th Street as a center of commerce and culture for the African American community. Their recollections impart how this historic business district profoundly influenced their lives growing up in East Austin and provides the context of the current conditions of the corridor for the community. They share the profound impact those experiences had on their life, current day East 12th Street and how East 12th Street has contributed to enriching the East Austin narrative.
Reflections on a Legacy: East 12th Street was commissioned by the East Twelfth Street Merchant Association (ETSMA) and curated and produced through the efforts of three Austinites, Stephanie L. Lang, Rachel E. Winston and Funmi Ogunro. The film features native East Austinites Volma Overton, Jr., Diane Gilmore Lang and Margaret Wright.
“Through personal accounts, archival images, cinematography, Reflections on a Legacy paints a moving and provoking account of East 12th street and the important role it played in the larger East Austin narrative,” said Rachel Winston
The short film screening is a special feature of the 3rd Annual East 12th Street Return and Discover event. The short film screening launches the East 12th Street Living Archive initiative and serves as its initial installation. The Living Archive will document the cultural history and heritage of the East 12th Street Business District. The community’s archive will be housed at Huston-Tillotson University.
Council Member Ora Houston, representatives from Huston-Tillotson University, and ETSMA leadership will kick off the screening which will be followed by a talk that includes the curators, artists, and representatives of the East 12th St. Merchants Association. Bringing the documentary off the screen and into the district, old school chili burgers, a notable East Austin moviegoer favorite served at the Harlem Theater, will be provided by Sam’s BBQ for the first 50 guests. The Sounds of E. 12th Street, curated by Michael Corcoran and friends, will also play throughout the district. “Through the formation of ESTMA, with the assistance of the City’s Souly Austin Program, merchants stressed the importance and need to showcase the history and heritage that make E. 12th Street an iconic place for commerce, culture and community,” shared Nicole Klepadlo, City of Austin.
ESTMA and its businesses invite residents and attendees to rediscover East 12th St along with other featured activities including an Acton Children’s Business Fair, Altatudes Fashion Showcase, performances by local artists, food and drink specials, or take in the football game at one of the participating businesses.
Reflections on a Legacy: East 12th Street is the result of a community collaboration including: Austin History Center, Austin Revitalization Authority, City of Austin Economic Development Department - Souly Austin, Public City, East 12th Street Merchants Association, Huston-Tillotson University, Soulciti, Eastside Kings Festival, Alta Alexander, Sam’s BBQ and countless hardworking and diligent participating district merchants.