Austin Centric Creative Studio Arts+Labor And Happy Heat Announce Upcoming Projects And Spring Programming

Arts+Labor unveils a glimpse into the rich history of SXSW and their plans to host Soul Sunday on March 10 featuring The Jones Family Singers

By: Feb. 16, 2024
Austin Centric Creative Studio Arts+Labor And Happy Heat Announce Upcoming Projects And Spring Programming
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Inspired by the diverse influences of Austin, Texas and a genuine desire to showcase its weird and wild subculture, Arts+Labor, alongside its counterpart Happy Heat, announces its upcoming event programming and a weekly rollout of snapshots highlighting the story of SXSW's history ahead of the 2024 festival season.

Happy Heat is a thoughtfully curated pop-up zine that Arts+Labor and their nonprofit, The Society for the Preservation of Texas Music (SPTM), conceptualized last year that blends cutting-edge performance, photography, film, video, music and interviews cooked up by creatives who have been keeping it weird in Austin for five decades. Readers can follow along and subscribe to Happy Heat's newsletter here.

Arts+Labor will also be a sponsor of Austin City Limits' 50th Anniversary season, which kicks off with Austin's own GRAMMY-nominated rockstars, The Black Pumas, on Feb. 20, 2024. Additionally, Arts+Labor will host a Soul Sunday event on March 10, 2024, featuring The Jones Family Singers at Full Moon Dance Barn (3600 S 2nd St, Austin, TX 78704). Doors open at 3 p.m. and the event continues until 6 p.m. Tickets are available for a suggested donation of $20 each and can be purchased here. Media who wish to cover and attend the event can submit a request here. For more information about Arts+Labor, see here and here.

Soul Food Sunday guests will get to experience the electrifying sounds of The Jones Family Singers, a three-generation gospel collective that transcends musical boundaries. Hailing from Bay City, their high-energy performances embody the deep connection between the black church and its rock-and-soul offspring. The New York Times raves about their "joyful praise, brilliantly timed with one crescendo after another," suggesting that they might have torn off the roof if they weren't playing in Webster Hall's basement. 

Having released two issues of the zine so far, the mission of Happy Heat is to meet people where they are. Through its online portal, the platform engages the public in a variety of ways, such as a quarterly collectible, digital shorts (TikTok, Instagram), documentary shorts (Austin Chronicle, Texas Monthly), photo essays, quarterly events, merch and Substack. Examples of Happy Heat's content include a feature with Gothess Jasmine and a centerpiece article on the evolution of SXSW featuring Jackie Venson. More information about Happy Heat can be found here

"Happy Heat is my favorite read of the week,” said Hugh Forrest, SXSW Co-President and Chief Programming Officer. “I love how Alan ties together Austin's past, present, and future. The mix of poignant memories and new stories that I haven't yet heard, plus deep-from-the-vault videos, always makes me thirsty for more."

“As native and long-time Texans and Austinites, Arts+Labor was motivated to create Happy Heat due to the strong desire to help people learn about Austin's culture, Texas's progressive populist tradition and to use artistic expression as a gateway to a deeper understanding of the challenging issues we all face,” said Arts+Labor co-founder Alan Berg. “We're building bridges, we're celebrating the human spirit, and we're claiming our ground.” 

Arts+Labor has a proven track record of creating groundbreaking content for clients and partners who are the pillars of Austin culture, including The University of Texas, Austin City Limits (both the show and the festival), Texas Monthly, SXSW, The Austin Chronicle, Visit Austin, and Auspop. Recognition of their expertise has brought them opportunities to work on important films about Austin, which include being commissioned by SXSW to direct the official documentary on the festival's 25th anniversary and being the production company for critically acclaimed documentaries “Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny” and “Sir Doug and The Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove.” 

Arts+Labor has further made a mark with noteworthy projects, such as crafting the titles for Netflix's series "Twentysomethings: Austin," producing additional content for Richard Linklater's "Apollo 10 1/2," conducting field production in Austin with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne for the promotion of John Mulaney's groundbreaking comedy special "Baby J" and handling opening titles, credits, and special effects for Richard Linklater's film “Hit Man," starring Glen Powell. A link to Arts+Labor's titles and motion graphics reel can be found here and a link to their production reel can be found here.

Currently, Arts+Labor is actively engaged in multiple projects with esteemed partners such as Texas Monthly, Austin City Limits (an official sponsor of the 50th season), Visit Austin (whose tourism spot, created by A+L, secured the Best of Show at the 2023 Addy Awards), and The Austin Film Society. Ongoing collaboration with The University of Texas involves updating the anthem spot, a timely effort coinciding with their entrance into the SEC.

Happy Heat's supported in part by The Society for the Preservation of Texas Music. SPTM was co-founded by Arts+Labor in 2013 and celebrates Lone Star maverick visionaries in music and film. By curating, producing and screening various digital media projects, including documentary films, music videos and concert films, SPTM highlights a rich and uniquely Texan cinematic and musical history for all. It also allows Arts+Labor to support and create works that wouldn't be financially feasible otherwise. For more information about SPTM, see here

The SPTM has recently added new members to its board, including Ross Ramsey, a co-founder of The Texas Tribune in 2009 who served as its executive editor until his retirement in 2022; Tracy LaQuey Parker, the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Parker Solutions Group; Abby Rapoport, the publisher and co-founder of Stranger's Guide; Jason Mellard, the Director of the Center for Texas Music History and Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Texas State University; and Vicky Andres, the Editor of Happy Heat and senior art director at Arts+Labor.

“We're inviting everyone to join the tribe,” said Berg. “We illustrate relationships in articles and with graphic design and through commissioned maps from legacy artists. We telegraph connection through curated photo essays from our events, portraying people from widely different backgrounds in communion together. We look forward to presenting Happy Heat this festival season to a variety of locals and visitors alike.”


Arts+Labor was founded in 2005 and is based in Austin, Texas. Over the past decade, the company has produced four feature films and four short films that have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, eight feature films that have premiered at SXSW, and four feature films that have been theatrically released. Current projects include title design and special effects for Richard Linklater's upcoming Hit Man, as well as a series of Austin-centric documentary shorts released through the company's zine, Happy Heat. Arts+Labor also handles production needs for Austin institutions, including Dell, AMD, The University of Texas, Visit Austin, and Texas Monthly. Additional information about Arts+Labor can be found at