Write what you know,' the saying goes. But in author Chris Barton's Write What You’d Love to Learn presentation, based on his experiences with both playful picture books (including bestseller Shark vs. Train) and rigorously researched nonfiction (including 2020-21 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List book What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan), he encourages young audiences to improve their own writing by giving the not-yet-known a try. Born and raised in Sulphur Springs and now a resident of Austin, Chris is the author of many other picture books, including both fiction (Fire Truck vs. Dragon, 88 Instruments, Mighty Truck) and nonfiction (The Day-Glo Brothers, Dazzle Ships, All of a Sudden and Forever, and Whoosh!). He's shared Write What You'd Love to Learn with first graders in just 30 minutes, he's delivered a full-day version to educators and librarians, and he's adapted it for many ages and lengths in between. It can include an emphasis on (and many examples of) the importance of research, revision, or collaboration. His 3 to 4 sessions per day can also include writing workshops for both fiction and nonfiction. Photo by Heather Gallagher Photography.
PO Box 66104
Austin, TX 78766
public performance/concert $750 - $3,000
school performance $1,650 - $2,250
workshop fees $1,650 - $2,250
travel/per diem/lodging $200 - $500
The son of a motorcycle racer from a small town in west Texas, Chris Beall is a singer/songwriter/guitarist whose music has been featured on numerous Americana radio stations and music venues from TX to Nashville and back again. With influential nods to Tom Petty, Charlie Robison, Paul McCartney, and the storytelling style of Bruce Springsteen, Chris’s acoustic trio, duo, and/or solo configuration is perfect for any intimate venue. But these same songs morph into a driving roots-rock, full-band show that will have city dwellers rocking their country boots off while taking their hearts back to the country! Along with his solo career, he is a member of the well-established South Austin Moonlighters whose album, Travel Light, went to #1 on the Alternative Country Roots Radio Report in 2019. Chris’s imagery-filled musical stories 'fit back together' music and family, creativity and making a living, life and religion, and whiskey and church. Chris is the quintessential independent artist, he is the poster child for the new 'alternative music industry.' Sounds like: Charlie Robison, Radney Foster, Reckless Kelly. Available for 4-piece band, duo, and solo performances. Photo by Chris Beall.
4505 Bull Creek Rd.
Austin, TX 78731
public performance/concert $600 - $5,000
school performance $600 - $2,000
workshop fees $600 - $3,000
travel/per diem/lodging $100 - $2,000
Carolina is a bilingual storyteller, performer, podcaster, and author. Her body of work reflects her knowledge and passion for Latin American cultures. In 2018, Carolina launched her bilingual podcast Tres Cuentos, www.trescuentos.com, dedicated to the traditional narratives of Latin Americans. In September 2019 Carolina published her book 'The Hungry Goddess and the Five Suns' featuring Aztecs. Carolina's performances are engaging and participatory. Children get to act out the stories with puppets and chants. Also, the artist offers sessions entirely in Spanish. Year-round, Carolina offers shows for Día de Los Niños y Niñas, Día de Los Muertos and Hispanic American Heritage Month. Additionally, Carolina continues presenting her bilingual shows: Spooky Latin America, Cuentos to Count, Children Heroes, Goofy Animals, Fairy Cuentos, and Magic comes in Tres. Carolina continues offering workshops for elementary teachers, librarians, and parents on the art of storytelling and how to make it engaging, participatory, and a successful tool for teaching math, science, and the environment. Photo by Paul Porter.
15 Timberland Circle
Richmond Hill, GA 31324
public performance/concert $400 - $1,500
school performance $400 - $1,200
workshop fees $600 - $2,000
travel/per diem/lodging $200 - $2,000
Casa Manana Theatre
Casa Manana is a professional theater located in Fort Worth. They have been operating since 1958. Over the past 10 years, they have toured throughout the US and Texas with such shows as Frog & Toad, Junie B. Jones, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and more. They currently have a tour scheduled to go out in October of 2020 entitled Grace for President. Photo by Casa Manana.
2 Klarides Village Dr #337
Seymour, CT 06483
public performance/concert $6,000 - $9,000
school performance $3,500 - $6,000
travel/per diem/lodging $750
State Artist Rosemary Catacalos
Rosemary Catacalos, 2013 Texas State Poet Laureate, was accidentally born in Florida during WWII of parents from San Antonio. She returned to San Antonio when she was three. Her poems are widely published in high school and college textbooks, among other venues. Her work has twice been collected in the annual Best American Poetry anthology and has earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Stegner Fellowship Program at Stanford University, and the Paisano Fellowship of the Texas Institute of Letters/University of Texas at Austin. One of her poems is included in Caroline Kennedy’s anthology, She Walks In Beauty, A Woman’s Journey Through Poems. Ms. Catacalos’ first full-length collection, Again for the First Time received the 1985 Texas Institute of Letters poetry prize. Again for the First Time was reissued in 2013 on its thirtieth anniversary. Also published in 2013 was a chapbook of newer poems, Begin Here, also from Wings Press.
1018 Avant Ave
San Antonio, TX 78210
public performance/concert $700 - $3,000
school performance $300 - $700
workshop fees TBD
MCP Shows/Margaret Clauder
Margaret Clauder is an internationally known award-winning storyteller/puppeteer/ventriloquist who has traveled the US and abroad performing for audiences of all ages. She is a costumed variety performing artist and performs as one of her 9 original characters. Characters include her original Mother Goose, THE Bookworm, Meteorologist Maggie, Astronomer Annie, Masai Maggie (a safari clad performer), Imma Sleuth (detective), Senorita Margarita, Mother Nature, Alphie the Elf, Mrs. Claus, and many more. Her programs align with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards and encourage children to enjoy the wonder of reading by promoting books, stories, and their imaginations. Children's imaginations burst with wonder when they see her puppets magically talk and sing with Margaret's outstanding ventriloquism, an art that she has worked on diligently for over 30 years. As a columnist for various children's performer magazines such as The Calliope and The Funny Paper, and a sought-after lecturer for performance conventions, such as the International Ventriloquist Convention, The Texas Clown Association, The International Association of Kids Show Professionals, The Tejas Storyteller Association, and the Society of American Magicians, she has mentored hundreds of variety arts performers from around the globe. She is open to travel in Texas, the United States, or abroad. Photo by David Thomasson.
916 Wayland Dr
Arlington, TX 76012
public performance/concert $300 - $1,000
school performance $300 - $895
workshop fees $500 - $2,000
travel/per diem/lodging $100 - $475
Established in 1962, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is widely considered one of the preeminent international music contests and remains committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of pianists and sharing the transformative powers of music with a wide global audience. The prizewinners of each Cliburn Competition are awarded three years of career management resulting in hundreds of engagements. They are available for solo recital, chamber, and concerto performances, master classes, outreach events, and in-school presentations. Each artist has prepared classical piano repertoire for solo recital, as well as for performance with chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras. Photo by Jeremy Enlow.
201 Main Street, Suite 100
Fort Worth, TX 76102
public performance/concert $4,000 - $7,000
school performance $500 - $1,000
travel/per diem/lodging $250 - $1,000
GRAMMY Award-winning Conspirare is a professional choir led by founding artistic director Craig Hella Johnson. Conspirare performs in Texas, nationally, and internationally. Conspirare performs broad repertoire, including works from the choral canon and contemporary compositions embracing a wide variety of styles. Conspirare's current touring programs include: (1) Conspirare Christmas, a seasonal program that mixes sacred and secular, traditional and contemporary, classical and pop in Craig Hella Johnson's signature 'collage' programming. Performed a cappella with a guest artist and instrumentalists. (2) Craig Hella Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard, performed with choir, soloists, and instrumental ensemble. Conspirare also offers additional programs that vary by season. These programs may include works spanning genres, composers, and periods and are offered in conjunction with Conspirare’s season repertoire. Photo by Scott van Osdol.
1812 Centre Creek Drive, Suite 110
Austin, TX 78754
public performance/concert $22,000 - $60,000
school performance $15,000+
workshop fees included in fee
travel/per diem/lodging $10,000
The fundamental characteristic that distinguishes the unique sound of Conteño is the harmonious balance of styles distinctive to regional Texas-Mexican music including the genres of conjunto, tejano and norteño. Conteño, hailing from the border town of Brownsville, TX, has a signature style that is an explosion of upbeat, modern rhythms rooted in traditional sounds. These unique characteristics have created a faithful fan base in the Rio Grande Valley and throughout the state of Texas. The front men of the group, Juan and Federico Longoria, are considered masters in the regional tradition of Texas-Mexican accordion and bajo sexto performance. Conteño’s music appeals to all age groups and performances can accommodate any size crowd from small, unplugged, intimate sessions to large outdoor festivals in every region of Texas. Conteño prides itself in not only performing the rhythms of conjunto, tejano and norteño music, but educating the public about the cultural traditions of regional Texas-Mexican music and its significance to Texan culture. Photo by Telegrafico Promos.
5105 Boca Chica Blvd.
Brownsville, TX 78521
public performance/concert $2,500 - $6,000
school performance $500 - $2,500
workshop fees $500 - $3,000
travel/per diem/lodging $500 - $1,500
Raised in Houston's Fifth Ward, Decee attended Prairie View University, then joined the military and served around the world. He traveled and lived among peoples of five continents experiencing their culture, learning their history, and hearing their stories. Decee began his storytelling career at a nonprofit youth facility for disadvantaged and at-risk children. He uses his stories to teach, motivate, inspire, and often just to entertain. Decee continues to bring smiles and laughter to troubled youth through the 'I Have a Dream' Foundation. Decee received numerous storytelling awards, including the prestigious John Henry Faulk Award for outstanding contributions to the art of storytelling. Decee's programs include plenty of audience participation, drumming, and music, providing fun for all. Texas, Civil War, multicultural, United States, and world histories are some of the many curriculum-related programs available. He performs ghost stories, myths, tall tales, multicultural folktales, or just fun stories for entertainment. For over 20 years, Decee has provided storytelling in schools, libraries, local and national festivals, corporate, and special events. He has been a featured storyteller at festivals where he entertained audiences big and small, from ages eight to eighty. Photo by Paul Porter.
118 Beach Mountain Cove
Georgetown, TX 78633
public performance/concert $550 - $1,500
school performance $800 - $2,000
workshop fees $500 - $1,500
travel/per diem/lodging $150 - $1,000
The plays were amazing! My students were totally engaged,' Ms. Ortiz, Ridgetop Elementary. 'It’s really cool how we talked to the characters and got to act,' 7th grader, Ojeda Middle School. Since 1997, Creative Action has delivered Interactive theater programs for preK-7th grade that offer an immersive classroom experience through role play, characters, puppets, song and movement. Through engaging, multi-day residencies performed by professional actor-teachers, students develop age-appropriate academic, social, and emotional learning skills, including conflict resolution, bullying prevention, leadership, and empathy. Annually, they visit 500+ central Texas classrooms and engage 10,000+ youth. Each grade-level specific performance unfolds over four consecutive days, with a fifth follow-up session 3-6 weeks later. Examples: The Heroes/Los Heroés (1st) is a bilingual performance in which students take a journey from Barton Springs to Costa Rica to Mt. Kilimanjaro to discover the four steps to peace; The Courage to Stand (4th) explores historical acts of courage from the Civil Rights Era and the Holocaust as students become courageous bystanders; Crossing the Line (6th-7th) addresses consent as characters navigate social media bullying and harassment. They also provide extension activities, parent workshops, professional development, and community events to deepen program impact and build inclusive school communities. Photo by Creative Action.
1023 Springdale Road, Bldg. 3, Suite A
Austin, TX 78721
phone 512-442-8773 x122
phone#2 512-442-8773 x128
school performance $300 - $600
workshop fees $60 - $720
travel/per diem/lodging $0 - $600
The Creativity Shell is on a mission to use creative trades to educate and inspire the next generation of makers. The organization teaches sewing/textile arts and other creative trades classes to students in their mobile studios, libraries, schools and shelters that rescue children from homelessness, trauma and human trafficking. Classes and events led by the Creativity Shell are designed to educate and inspire children by teaching them essential life and practical skills. The sewing/textile arts and other creative programs can last anywhere from a 2-hour workshop to a 15-week semester. To give students creative outlets to showcase their work, the Creativity Shell has launched two major annual events in Houston. The Munchkin Market is a popular event among K-12 students. Students participating in this event learn to make their own items and sell it to the public. The second event is the annual fashion show called Creativity Rocks! For students to participate in Creativity Rocks, they must design, make and model their own outfit based on the annual theme of the show. The Creativity Shell’s ability to make classes fun and exciting for children creates a positive atmosphere with children willingly enrolling in the programs. Photo by Shelancia Daniel.
1580 Kingwood Drive #A
Kingwood, TX 77339
public performance/concert $300 - $4,500
school performance $600 - $6,000
workshop fees $300 - $2,500
travel/per diem/lodging $600 - $2,500
Chris Espinosa XYZ: Improvise! Write! Perform!
Your students take center stage to create exciting and unforgettable moments using nothing but their imaginations. Chris Espinosa XYZ, arts integrated teaching artist, improv-storyteller, and author, uses improv comedy to sharpen creativity, develop critical thinking skills, and inspire students to write a narrative or expository, and perform it! Espinosa's five-day residencies and workshops motivate students to write in class and for 'The Test.' Even reluctant writers will want to write! Chris has implemented over 100 residencies (2,000+ classroom hours) and helped thousands of elementary and middle school students write their stories and essays. Many of the schools that hosted his program experienced higher test scores. His Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills-based lessons focus on ideas, voice, and word choice; he adapts his program to support the writing methods in your classrooms. Chris is an author of two books; completed improv training from an original member of the Groundlings; founded two improv comedy groups; and traveled as an improv-storyteller for a live cotton-tail bunny and a robot dog. 'Chris Espinosa provided an engaging week of writing…His exuberant personality hooked the fourth-grade students...The connections we made with him and the artistry we experienced have left a lasting impression.' Kimberly Paul, Basswood Elementary (Keller, Texas). Photo provided by artist.
2104 Old York Dr.
Keller, TX 76248
public performance/concert $550 - $1,050
school performance $550 - $1,050
workshop fees $1,850 - $3,500
travel/per diem/lodging $100 - $300