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By Debbie AndersonOctober 27, 2020November 24th, 2020No Comments

Onward and Online

Virtual and streaming are the reality of stage, theater, music and practically all previously live performances. Two big festivals also go online this month. After checking out the lineups, we’re primed and ready to watch some movies and read a lot of books.


John Rocco became a children’s author and illustrator after a career at Walt Disney’s Imagineering.

Read All About It

Texas Book Festival Oct. 31-Nov. 15

Though we’ll miss the crush of a crowd crazy about reading, we’re delighted to know Austin’s Texas Book Festival has created a virtual celebration for its 25th anniversary. Visit the website to scroll through the full lineup of daily virtual events filled with insights and discussions about books for adults, teens and children — reserve a spot for the ones of interest. Live events will be accessible via Crowdcast, a video broadcasting platform, while prerecorded programming can be found on the festival’s website (check the Updates page for cancellations and program changes). Conversations with headlining authors include a chat between Wayétu Moore (her memoir is The Dragons, The Giant, The Women) and first-time author Fowzia Karimi, debuting with her novel, Above Us the Milky Way: An Illuminated Alphabet.

Check out the lineup, including kids programs, at texasbookfestival.org.

Austin Lit Crawl  Nov. 7-15

For an equally literary but definitely irreverent side to the festival, check out the 10th annual Austin Lit Crawl for virtual events, including two Sunday brunches and sessions from Chicon Street Poets, Texas Observer’s Short Story Contest, Typewriter Tarot and more. Reserve your spot online for the Crowdcast broadcasts. All programming is free thanks to annual donations of Festival Friends. To become a Friend and get guaranteed access to limited-number ticketed author sessions, visit the website. Friends receive two all-access passes, a 15 percent discount on one book purchase during the festival (through BookPeople’s online festival bookstore) and a year’s subscription to Texas Monthly magazine.


The Austin Lit Crawl’s official logo is a microphone-wielding armadillo (of course). A $25 donation gets you an enamel pin. Photo courtesy of Austin Lit Crawl

The Cowboy Hat Movie tells the tale of a man’s search for perfection.
Photos courtesy of Lone Star Film Festival

Pass the Popcorn

Lone Star Film Festival Nov. 4-8

Dim the lights and settle in for five days of screenings via your television, laptop or mobile device as this year’s LSFF goes virtual. For 50 bucks, you get an all-access pass and the chance to watch 130-plus screenings. (An extra $25 helps support the LSFF and Fort Worth Film Commission, plus you get some swag.) We say go for it. The lineup this year includes international films and world premieres. You can catch several Texas premieres, including Dying Breed, which explores the destruction of the family farm; and Exactly As They Are, the story of a bike messenger hired for a bizarre delivery. Documentaries include Snake Man: The Charmed Life & Hard Times of Jackie Bibby, a Texan who handles rattlesnakes for a living, and The Cowboy Hat Movie, one man’s quest to find the ultimate chapeau. For some local flavor, check out Warren Cook’s The Twilite Hour, set inside a real Fort Worth bar where imbibing patrons self-reflect with a background of live music. Twilite won Best Drama in August at the Los Angeles Film Awards. Pour a stiff drink and turn down the lights for this one.

Short films 110 shorts including documentaries and student films $25

Features 20-plus full-length films $40

All access Everything the festival offers $50 You can watch anytime during the week of the festival

Single tickets Short film $5 Feature film $10 Once you buy your ticket, you have 24 hours to watch the film

Film talks Panel discussions range from operating local studio spaces to preserving film history. Also in the lineup is a conversation hosted by Ethan Hawke with guest Paul Schrader, screenwriter for Raging Bull and Taxi Driver — and winner of the LSFF Bill Paxton Achievement in Film award. Free

Check out the lineup and purchase passes, festival.lonestarfilmfestival.com


Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth: Art, lights and artful lights

We’ve watched the lighting crew carefully wrap the trees in and around the museum since around Halloween. And, occasionally, we’ve been able to catch a test — always a treat when we’re in the Cultural District. The museum flips the switch on one of our favorite light shows Nov. 27, and it’s always a festive (and free) kickoff to the holidays. During the museum’s hours, check out the equally vibrant Marina Adams FOCUS exhibit, which runs Nov. 6-Jan. 10. Seven abstract paintings — she works in acrylics on linen — highlight the show, which looks at the balance of color and shape.

3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, 817-738-9215, themodern.org

Photo by Meda Kessler

Photos courtesy of Panther Island Ice

Panther Island Ice: Outdoor skating returns to Fort Worth

You can still get your skate on this winter, as Panther Island Ice returns to Fort Worth’s Coyote Drive-In with lots of health and safety measures in place. The outdoor rink — protected partly by a large pavilion — is open to the public seven days a week including holidays and is popular with locals and out-of-town visitors. This season, advance online reservations are required to help follow the new protocols. There’s plenty of free parking and restrooms, and a full menu at the concession stands includes wine and beer. Expect socially distanced seating, too. Gas heaters are fired up on chilly days, and Panther Island Ice operates even in light rain or drizzle. A Q&A on the website addresses queries on access for children, skate rental and more. Nov. 20-Jan. 18,