ABOUT FRIENDS OF FISTERRA & BENEFITS
FRIENDS OF FISTERRA members commit to supporting our projects. The impact of this core group of caring polymaths is fundamental and plays a vital role in propelling our mission forward. 100% of your contribution goes to paying artists led by for and with our communities.
We promote personal & social well-being on a local, national, & global scale through the arts, aided by science and technology. We are women founded and our Board of Directors is completely BI-POC led and our projects are directed by emerging and established artists transitioning out of chronic houselessness.
We're a cultural partner utilizing art to inspire and revitalize people and communities in Austin. Each season our events range from Draw Together (our community blockparty for neighbors experiencing houselessness), to dance workshops, performances, interactive multi-media installations, and our annual festival, REST Fest. Join our family network of over 15k members worldwide and amplify Homegrown Art!
Fisterra was founded by visual artist and entrepreneur, Jennifer Chenoweth. Austin Way featured Chenoweth’s project the XYZ Atlas on the cover of their “Art of the City” issue in 2016. Using community input to map emotional experiences of residents of Austin, Chenoweth created a mixed-media installation called the “XYZ Atlas: the Hedonic Map of Austin”, which culminated in an exhibition at the high point of collective experience, Zilker Park in May of 2016. The Downtown Austin Alliance commissioned XYZ Atlas: Congress Avenue in 2017. Jennifer presented the XYZ Atlas at TEDMED 2017. In 2019, Chenoweth appointed Amy Morrow as Executive Director and represented the project at The Augmenting Cities Conference produced by Niantic and the Knight Foundation.
We are architects of the futures we want to see and the ancestors we want to become. Our collaborators include Denver Jesus Gonzalez (journalist and art activist), Jason Akira Somma (Rolex Grant Award), Zoe Scofield (Guggenheim Fellow) as well as physicists, psychologists, geologists, mathmaticians, and data wizards. Because we care, we show up with solidarity not charity. Because we believe, we practice. Because we dream, we play with the impossible.
THE POWER OF ONE GOOD DAY
Jennifer Chenoweth, once told me, “No matter how hard life hits, if we can have one good day, we might imagine another.”
October 26 was one good day for me. I remember a morning of music, art, and a warm breakfast in the streets. Ruta, a theater on wheels arrived from El Paso and opened its doors to guests experiencing homelessness to share a moment of wonder instead. A ballet troupe leaped through the streets and our guests joined in the dance. The afternoon explored storytelling with data and virtual realities across Austin, and the evening stars fell with music and dance in every crevice of the theater.
People, people made it good. Our emerging dance fellow from Mexico completed his 19 month mentorship by presenting his own choreography sharing the stage with award-winning artists from six other countries. His mother beamed with joy in the audience and then jumped onstage to dancer herself with another audience member. The next day these three new friends spontaneously hit the road to Monterrey. Obstacles became opportunities, strangers became friends, and I remember life is good.
Five years ago, we started an experiment asking “Where do you feel a sense of belonging?” Today I ask, how do you want to shape each day?
SHAPING OUR FUTURE
HELP A NEIGHBOR!
Draw Together throws community block parties and invites people experiencing houselessness to move make and meditate. Lead by Denver Jesus Gonzalez and residents at Camp Esperanza, we create Aire Libre fresh-air-art installations that create sustainable and dignified incomes for survivors.
SUPPORT AN ARTIST!
The Theorists provide scholarships and mentorships for transitory artists from Texas and Mexico to collaborate together. Over the past four years we have opened opportunities to train and tour 14 cities across three countries. During covid, we focused locally on homegrown art from the streets. Our journey of 100 days of rest culminates with REST Fest gathering dozens of artists and art lovers over a four day weekend in Austin.
JOIN THE DANCE!
Our Theorist Toolbox series provides movement classes for people of diverse ages, abilities, and backgrounds to push beyond their familiar limits.
SHARE YOUR STORY!
The XYZ Atlas is an interact public art project asking where we feel a sense of belonging mapping our collective experiences.