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Monday, September 21, 2020
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Culture What to Know: Cultures not at war; Keep Austin Weird; Let's play...

What to Know: Cultures not at war; Keep Austin Weird; Let’s play football (commercials)!

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

It’s the weekend, let’s get a little culture – and we’ve got some, officially, here in Fort Worth.

Near Southside logo courtesy

Actually, everything is culture – low and high – but we’ve got a designated spot of culture now. Official-like.

The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) on Thursday announced its approval of Fort Worth’s Near Southside as the state’s newest cultural district.


Near Southside Arts, managed by Near Southside Inc., is one of five prestigious designations announced by TCA. Also included are the Red River Cultural District in Austin, the Deep Ellum Cultural District in Dallas and two districts in Houston: the Fifth Ward Cultural District and the Historic Third Ward Arts District.
The Near Southside cultural district designation will open the door for new funding opportunities. Not only will Near Southside Arts and other nonprofits located inside the district have the opportunity to apply for TCA grants, but the nearly 1,400-acre district will be recognized by the state as a destination for arts investments, according to the announcement.

I grew up on the Southside and I can’t help but sing the praises of Near Southside and the many, many pioneers who have helped that area turn into what it has become and continues to become. So grab a drink on Magnolia Ave., or a slice of pie at Paris Coffee Shop, or catch a show at Stage West, Amphibian Stage or Arts Fifth Ave. – virtually, if need be – and celebrate some culture. It didn’t happen by chance. That culture took blood, sweat, toil, tears, late-night arguments at house parties and more than a little cheddar to make it happen.

Near Southside receives cultural district designation

It’s a conspiracy! Don’t tell anyone! (which means tell everyone!)

A Texas assistant attorney general has resigned for all sorts of reasons (including spreading QAnon theories (the Slender Man for adults), but hey, it gives me a chance to tell a joke, so what could be better.

A man walks into a library and asks the librarian for books about paranoia. She whispers, “They’re right behind you!”

I’ll be here all week … or will I?

Assistant Texas attorney general loses job after report surfaces of racist tweets

Football is back!

Frito-Lay’s new commercial features NFL pros and legends, including Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski – both starring in their first commercial in a Tampa Bay uniform courtesy Frito-Lay

Football is back! I’m actually not too excited about that. But football commercials? Oh man, sign me up. Frito-Lay has announced their new campaign and – as usual – it sounds great, with a theme of “The Night Before Kickoff” and appearances by Tom Brady, Gronk and Dallas Cowboys Dak and Zeke. Frito-Lay does it right 90% of the time.

Frito-Lay brings it on with NFL commercials

Don’t tell anyone this! It’s secret!

So San Diego, California, is not just a cool city, it has very low rates of COVID infections. So much so that residents can go out to movies and restaurants relatively unimpeded – masked of course.

What’s the secret, while the rest of California struggles to manage COVID outbreaks? Here’s the secret, according to the story:

Public health experts say a number of factors have helped San Diego County drop its numbers after they shot up along with the rest of the state’s in early summer. San Diego is the rare major population center in California where Republicans and Democrats share power, and they have largely cooperated on issues related to the pandemic.

Cooperation? What? That will never work! Don’t tell anyone I told you. And please don’t tell anyone a good idea came from California.

California gets something right! San Diego at least

Abbott to Austin: I’m coming for you

Gov. Abbott is considering legislation to give the state control of the Austin P.D. if Austin cuts the police department budget. Surely there will be bumper stickers saying “I’ll give up my police department when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

Abbott wants legislation to take Austin P.D.

Hey, Monday is Labor Day and What to Know will probably not labor that day, so enjoy. After all, the sprint to Election Day is coming.

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