While many will be too tired from taking in the performances at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend, others will opt out to instead see those of entrepreneurs at the Shark Tank-style Startup Showcase at SXSW Eco, the annual environmental conference on Monday. Along with an abundance of panels—with titles like “A Fitbit to Save Elephants,” “Snowboarding, Climate Change and a Conscious Shift,” and “Evolution of a Corporate Idealist”—45 companies will pitch to judges in front of an audience for the chance at prestige and investor funding. (Select participants from Eco in the last two years have gone on to receive about $27 million in investor funding.) Four categories make up this year’s competition: Greentech, featuring start-ups that fulfill a market demand while reducing environmental impact; Cleanweb, with start-ups offering web, mobile, and software technology that affect sustainability; and Social Impact, which is divided into for-profits and nonprofits that address education, health, and enterprise development needs. “There are certain moments in life you know you will never forget,” said Deane Little of New Sky Energy in Boulder, Colorado, which converts common industrial waste streams like waste brines, CO2, and sour gas into valuable clean chemicals. “Finishing first at SXSW Eco was one of those moments.”
Various locations, Oct. 6-8, sxsweco.com
In an op-ed piece in Sunday’s Houston Chronicle, Josef Helfenstein, the director of the Menil Collection, revealed his inspiration for the collection’s latest exhibit, “Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence,” opening on what would have been Mohandas Gandhi’s one-hundred-and-forty-fifth birthday. In the seventies, while a teenager in Switzerland, Helfenstein came across a 1948 photograph documenting Gandhi’s only known possessions at his death—two small bowls, a book, a pair of glasses, two pairs of sandals, a pocket watch, and a spittoon—saying that the “sheer simplicity of the man who had wrestled India from the colonial grip of Great Britain without firing a shot affected me more profoundly than I fully understood at the time.” The exhibit attempts to answer the question “What does peace look like?” through more than 130 pieces of art, including a folio of a seventh century Koran, Andy Warhol’s silkscreen of dogs attacking civil rights marchers in Birmingham, and alternate canvases that Mark Rothko created for the Rothko Chapel.
The Menil Collection, Oct. 2-Feb. 1, menil.org
A State Divided
The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are having better seasons than expected. For starters, each has a stronger running game and an improved defense. What’s more, Dallas’s quarterback, Tony Romo, appears to have healed from back surgery, and Houston’s quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has become a better game manager. All of this has contributed to both the Cowboys and the Texans amassing three wins to only one loss through the first quarter of the season, at or near the top of their respective divisions. That makes the game this Sunday in Arlington—only their fourth regular season matchup ever—something to get especially heated up about, with more than just bragging rights on the line.
AT&T Stadium, Oct. 5, 12 p.m., nfl.com
Everything is supposedly bigger in Texas. But the state was actually built on small things. A perfect example is the Alamo: a common reaction upon seeing it for the first time is that it is more diminutive than imagined. Along those same lines is the famous Come and Take It Cannon, whose firing near Gonzales on October 2, 1835, signaled the start of the Texas revolution, leading to the Battle of the Alamo. The cannon’s petite stature is hardly commensurate with its grand image, which will be honored at the Come and Take It Celebration this weekend in Gonzales. In addition to seeing the cannon, reinforcing the bigger-isn’t-always-better mentality, visitors can get a refresher course in Texas history.
Downtown, Oct. 3-5, gonzalestexas.com
State of the Fair
There is much to be entertained by at the State Fair of Texas, including ostrich races, carnival rides, an auto show, six stages of live music, and the Red River Showdown Biscuit Cook-Off in advance of the Texas-Oklahoma football game. But there are two things that should be mandatory: seeing Big Tex’s new moves up close and sampling the wide array of fried foods, including, unbelievably, sweet tea as well as milk-and-cookies-on-a-stick.
Fair Park, Oct. 3-19, bigtex.com
At the second Sun City Craft Beer Fest, people can taste the best beers of today, with more than fifty local, national and international breweries serving more than two hundred varieties, as well as get a sneak peak at the best beers of tomorrow, with home brewers competing in twelve categories.
Downtown, Oct. 4, 12 p.m., suncitycraftbeerfest.com