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The Wittliff Collections Announces New Date For Inaugural Festival


The gala is now postponed until Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.

The Wittliff Collections Announces New Date For Inaugural Festival

The Wittliff Collections, an internationally acclaimed collection of Southwest writing, photography, film and music, announce the new date for The Wittliff Collections Festival, a fundraising event celebrating the unbridled imagination of Texas, Mexico and the Southwest.

To ensure the safety of sponsors and guests, the gala is now postponed until Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ACL Live at the Moody Theater (310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd, Austin, Texas 78701). Single tickets to the gala are available beginning at $500. The festival's panel discussions have been moved to Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, at The Wittliff Collections, from 1 - 5 p.m.

Free public ticketing to the panel discussions will be available on a first-come, first-served, 15 minutes before the start of each panel. More info to come in the fall of 2021.

Ray Benson will perform as planned at the gala on Dec. 2, and Steve Earle will play an acoustic 90-minute after-party set. Gala guests can stay for the Earle performance. Details forthcoming. After-party tickets will not be available until September 2021.
All proceeds from the festival will be used to acquire important collections that preserve the culture of the Southwest. For more information on The Wittliff Collections Festival, see here. For ticketing info, email here. i??

"Everyone involved, from our sponsors and guests to our panelists, is very supportive of the new festival date," said Ramona Kelly, senior director of development for The Wittliff Collections. "We look forward to hosting an unforgettable event that honors Bill's legacy while raising much-needed support to continue fulfilling the vision he and his wife, Sally, brought to Texas State nearly 35 years ago."

The Wittliff Collections are a cultural treasure comprising a world-class research archive, exhibition gallery, and special collections library established at Texas State University in 1986 by acclaimed screenwriter and filmmaker Bill Wittliff and his wife, Sally. The Festival will honor Bill Wittliff, who passed away on June 9, 2019, by celebrating his vision and creative spirit. All proceeds from the festival will be used to acquire important collections that preserve the culture of the Southwest.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary year of Ray Benson and his band Asleep at the Wheel, and attendees of The Wittliff Collections Festival will be able to celebrate Ray and his legendary career. The Wittliff Collections are also honoring Ray and Asleep at the Wheel with an exhibition devoted to legacy in the brand new Texas Music gallery, which opened this fall.

Panels for the festival will include "The Writer's Voice" with moderator John Spong, featuring renowned writers Sarah Bird, Elizabeth Crook, Stephen Harrigan and Lawrence Wright; "The Photographer's Voice" with moderator David L. Coleman, featuring Kate Breakey, a visual artist known for her large-scale, hand-colored photographs; Keith Carter, an internationally respected photographer, author and educator; Michael O'Brien, a premier portrait photographer known for his candid, unapologetic style; and Kathy Vargas, an internationally praised photographer known for her composite hand-colored photographs; "The Filmmaker's Voice: Behind the Scenes with Lonesome Dove," featuring moderator, Barbara Morgan; actor Barry Tubb, who portrayed Jasper Fant in Lonesome Dove; Emmy-winning costume designer Van Broughton Ramsey, Emmy-nominated set designer Cary White; and property master Eric A. Williams, all of whom played a central role in the authenticity of the Lonesome Dove miniseries; and "The Singer/Songwriter's Voice" with moderator Joe Nick Patoski, featuring artists Max Baca, Terri Hendrix, Flaco Jimenez and Barbara Lynn.

"Response to the festival has been truly gratifying, and we're looking forward to giving our guests an experience they will always remember," said Kelly. "Single tickets are still available beginning at just $500, so we do have a variety of ways for people to get involved. Several large suites are available on the mezzanine level of ACL, ideal for companies wanting to give their clients a unique Austin experience."
"Every great culture is made great in part by the contributions of its writers and artists, but that's not enough," said panelist Lawrence Wright. "It also requires great institutions to support those creative efforts and make them available to students, scholars and the general public, and that's exactly what The Wittliff Collections do. They are part of the foundation of the creative arts of the Southwest and a repository for the future, and we're grateful for its existence."

"Bill and Sally had an amazing dream to create a place that would preserve and celebrate the 'Spirit of Place' that is unique to Texas and the Southwest," said Wittliff Collections Director Dr. David L. Coleman. "The Wittliff Collections Festival will be a special time for us to celebrate that dream and to pay tribute to Bill. For 34 years, he 'rode point' toward our next big project or acquisition, and because of his profound inspiration, we know exactly where we're headed: toward a future of growth, of promise and the fulfillment of the Wittliff's vision for a world-class research archive, exhibition gallery and library."

What began with the papers of Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie has grown into a cultural touchstone with more than 500 prized collections in Southwestern literature, Southwestern and Mexican photography and Texas music. Holdings include the papers of writers Sam Shepard, Cormac McCarthy, Sandra Cisneros, Mary Karr, Stephen Harrigan and Lawrence Wright, as well as the entire Texas Monthly magazine archive and the King of the Hill collection; the largest collection of Mexican photography outside of Mexico; a burgeoning collection of Texas music including Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Ray Benson; and the Lonesome Dove production archive. Plans are underway to add film and television to The Wittliff's vast trove of primary source material.

For information on attending the Festival and sponsorship opportunities, email here. i??

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