Get Ready for Tailgating with Hotel Ella

Photograph courtesy of Jake Holt.

Photograph courtesy of Jake Holt.

The Hotel Ella Tailgate Series returns this fall to cheer on the Longhorns with four custom-crafted tailgate events that coincide with UT’s home football games.


Those who purchase tickets to the tailgate series can enjoy a buffet by Goodall’s Kitchen, Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails, beer and wine, shuttles to & from the stadium, and pre-game & game broadcasts on flat-screens under the tent on the Hotel Ella front lawn. 

Sponsors: Horizon Bank, Deep Eddy Vodka

Dates: 9/12, 9/19, 10/24, 11/7

Time: Three hours prior to kickoff

  • 9/12 vs. Rice, Tailgate: 4-7 pm, Kickoff: 7pm

  • 9/19 vs. California, Tailgate 3:30-6:30pm, Kickoff: 6:30pm

  • 10/24 vs. Kansas State, TBD

  • 11/7 vs. Kansas, TBD

  • $50 PER PERSON

  • $175 GAME PACKAGE FOR 1 (all 4 events at a discounted rate)

  • $325 GAME PACKAGE FOR 2 (all 4 events at a discounted rate for 2)

Tickets can be purchased at

Blanton Honors Bill Powers with Festive Celebrations

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers was honored at the Blanton Museum of Art’s 2015 Gala, Off the Wall. Taking place on Saturday, February 7, this elegant black-tie event attended by 350 distinguished supporters of the museum, celebrated Powers’ distinguished legacy of leadership and commitment to the visual arts. The gala raised $850,000 for future activities provided by the Blanton.

President Bill Powers and Kim Heilbrun and University of Texas Cowboys ~ (Photo Courtesy of AzulOX Visuals)

President Bill Powers and Kim Heilbrun and University of Texas Cowboys (Photo Courtesy of AzulOX Visuals)

“This year’s gala was truly special,” remarked Blanton director Simone Wicha. “Not only were we able to honor Bill Powers, a longtime champion of the Blanton and of the arts, we were joined in this celebration by hundreds of guests from Texas and across the country. We are grateful to our many friends and supporters for helping us pay tribute to Bill in this special way, and for their generous gifts. The funds raised at this event will support our exhibitions and programs, and enable us to continue to serve campus and community in innumerable ways.”

Candice and Vince Young (Photo courtesy of AzulOx Visuals)

Candice and Vince Young (Photo Courtesy of AzulOx Visuals)

Mayor Steve Adler and Blanton director Simone Wicha (Photo Courtesy of Kelly Rucker Photography)

Mayor Steve Adler and Blanton director Simone Wicha (Photo Courtesy of Kelly Rucker Photography)

Following the gala, the celebration continued with Art on the Edge, a festive after-party. Art on the Edge brought together 600 Austin InFluentials and art-lovers for a lively evening of art, music, and dancing in the Blanton’s soaring Rapoport Atrium and art-filled galleries. This vibrant soiree featured a rocking performance by Memphis Train Revue, tunes spun by DJ Mel, complimentary cocktails and light bites. Guests were treated to a preview of the exhibition WITNESS: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, on view at the Blanton February 15 –May 10, 2015.

Hector & Kate Perez, Joshua Jake Vaughn and William Jackson (Photo Courtesy of Waterloo)

Hector & Kate Perez, Joshua Jake Vaughan and William Jackson (Photo Courtesy of Waterloo Studio)

Art on the Edge Host Committee was wonderfully chaired by Kate Perez, and included local InFluentials Alexandra Beck, Samantha and Stuart Bernstein, Rachel Charlesworth, Meghan and Stephen Elwell, Lindsey Gehrig, Shaady Ghadessy, Emily House, Laura Villagran Johnson, Yvette Ruiz, Kevin Smothers, and Ryan Steed and Taylor Terkel. It was quite obvious the Host Committee spared no detail to ensure the evening was one to remember, AND it was most certainly was. Extra special thanks to the attentive valets who worked tirelessly to minimize the wait guests experienced when requesting their vehicles.

Proceeds from the gala and after-party provide critical funding for the Blanton’s wide range of eye opening exhibitions, extensive educational programming for students, adults, and children of all ages, and collection care, and will further the development of arts and culture at UT, in Austin, and throughout the state.

Among the InFluential guests spotted at the Gala and After Party were William Jackson, Jennifer Ransom Rice and Chuck Rice, Zelina Celeste Serna, Matt and Kara Swinney, and Candice and Vince Young.

Delicious Boulder Sandwiches Find their Way to Austin

By Chloe Scheller, Communications Coordinator for InFluential Magazine

Are you in the mood for something new? If you haven’t already, check out Snarf’s Sandwiches, a sub shop that opened its doors near the University of Texas last month. Award-winning, oven-toasted subs paired with a funky atmosphere makes Snarf’s the perfect destination for fun-spirited sandwich lovers.

We know how Austin loves its food! Luckily, Snarf’s has something for everyone, offering thin-sliced meats and cheeses, gluten-free bread, fresh salads and soups, vegetarian options, kids menus, and even their own blend of giardiniera peppers.

The original Snarf’s Sandwiches opened in 1996 in Boulder, CO where it gained the friendly nickname “The Shack.” Since then, Snarf’s Sandwiches, a family owned business, has opened locations throughout Colorado as well as Chicago and St. Louis where it quickly gained a following of fans referred to as ‘Snarfers.’

“We’re excited to introduce new ‘Snarfers’ in the Austin area to our craveable food, colorful personality and atmosphere,” said Jimmy Seidel, one of Snarf’s founders. The sub shop is also owned by several long-time local Austin residents, Elizabeth and Don Baker and Dallas residents, Lisa and Tim Kriegshauser whose children are UT alumni.

Each Snarf’s location has its very own design that mirrors its local community. “Austin has a wonderfully artistic personality, and we’ve taken great care in selecting our unique décor including a custom mosaic highlighting Austin’s city scape,” Seidel said.

To see what all the fuss is about stop by their Austin location off of Dean Keeton at 2901 Medical Arts Street. Their open hours are Sunday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

To learn more visit or call 512-687-2600. Delivery, online ordering and catering options available.

Charlie Strong’s has a Strong UT Contract Loaded with Perks, Bonuses


As originally reported by Chad Swiatecki, Staff Writer for the Austin Business Journal, new University of Texas football coach Charlie Strong will make a minimum of $5 million per season with guaranteed annual $100,000 increases, according to the contract terms presented to the school’s Board of Regents on Monday.

Read all the details in Monday’s online edition of the Austin Business Journal.

UT Student Deja Bernhardt is a Student Academy Awards Competition Finalist


BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Thirty-eight students from 17 U.S. colleges and universities as well as nine students from foreign universities have been selected as finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards competition.  Winners will be brought to Los Angeles for a week of industry activities and social events that will culminate in the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The finalists are (listed alphabetically by film title):

“Beyond the Spheres,” Meghdad Asadi Lari, Rochester Institute of Technology
“Bottled Up,” Rafael Cortina, Occidental College
“Bye Hyungjik,” Hyungjik Lee, Florida State University
“The Compositor,” John Mattiuzzi, School of Visual Arts
“File Not Found,” Maria Sequeira, University of Southern California
“The Pirate of Love,” Sara Gunnarsdottir, California Institute of the Arts
“Zug,” Perry Janes, University of Michigan

“Couch & Potatoes,” Chris Lam and Eunsoo Jeong, San Jose State University
“Dia de los Muertos,” Lindsey St. Pierre and Ashley Graham, Ringling College of Art and Design
“Drifters,” Ethan Clarke, California Institute of the Arts
“Make a Wish,” Heejin Kim, School of Visual Arts
“Peck Pocketed,” Kevin Herron, Ringling College of Art and Design
“Runaway,” Emily Buchanan and Esther Parobek, Ringling College of Art and Design
“Still I Breathe,” Sang Ho Lee, School of Visual Arts
“Watercolors,” Robert Kornstein, New York University
“Will,” Eusong Lee, California Institute of the Arts

“The Battle of the Jazz Guitarist,” Mark Columbus, University of California, Los Angeles
“Every Tuesday: A Portrait of The New Yorker Cartoonists,” Rachel Loube, School of Visual Arts
“Everybody’s Business,” Laura Green, Stanford University
“Graceland Girls,” Jordan Theresa Salvatoriello, Emerson College
“A Second Chance,” David Aristizabal, University of Southern California
“Through the Fire,” Eunice Lau, New York University
“Vultures of Tibet,” Russell O. Bush, University of Texas at Austin
“Win or Lose,” Daniel Koehler, Elon University
“Wonder Workshop,” Amitabh Joshi and Erik Spink, School of Visual Arts

“Caught,” Bruce Li, New York University
“Cootie Contagion,” Joshua Smooha, Florida State University
“Footsteps,” Thomas (Hyungkyun) Kim, New York University
“Josephine and the Roach,” Jonathan Langager, University of Southern California
“Kalifornija,” Tomas Vengris, American Film Institute
“The Midwife’s Husband,” Deja Bernhardt, University of Texas at Austin
“Ol’ Daddy,” Brian Schwarz, University of Texas at Austin
“Samnang,” Asaph Polonsky, American Film Institute
“Un Mundo para Raúl (A World for Raúl),” Mauro Mueller, Columbia University

Foreign Film
“Erbgut (Liquidation),” Matthias Zuder, Hamburg Media School, Germany
“För Sverige i Tiden (King of Sweden),” Jonas Westbom, Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts, Sweden
“Kanyekanye,” Miklas Manneke, AFDA The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and
Live Performance, South Africa
“The Library of Burned Books,” Alasdair Beckett-King, London Film School, United Kingdom
“Miss Todd,” Kristina Yee, National Film and Television School, United Kingdom
“MO,” Jakub Kouril, FAMU, Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic
“Parvaneh,”Talkhon Hamzavi, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland
“To Guard a Mountain,” Izer Aliu, The Norwegian Filmschool, Norway
“Tweesprong (Crossroads),” Wouter Bouvijn, Rits School of Arts, Erasmus College Brussels, Belgium

To reach this stage, U.S. students competed in one of three regional competitions.  Each region is permitted to send to the Academy up to three finalists in each of the four categories.  The Student Academy Awards Executive Committee screened and voted on the finalists in the Foreign Film category.

The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.  Past Student Academy Award® winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar® nominations and have won or shared eight awards.  Notable alums include John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Robert Zemeckis, Trey Parker and Spike Lee.

The 40th Student Academy Awards ceremony on June 8 is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required.  Tickets are available now online at, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail.  The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  For more information, call (310) 247-3600. 

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards–in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners–Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.