Paul Normandin – Emcee

Paul is a large man with a big mouth who loves to tell stories to anyone who can’t outrun him. Paul learned to tell stories from the loving feedback of other people’s children while teaching Sunday school for 13 years. Paul is an award-winning storyteller, improvisational comedian, actor, producer, and Dean of the Austin based Merlin Works Institute for Improvisation. When not on a stage, in a classroom, or riding a bike, Paul can often be found playing tabletop games with his friends.

Harrison Eppright – Speaker

Harrison Eppright, Manager of Visitor Services and Tour Ambassador with the Austin Visitor Center, is a native Austinite who has turned his passion for history into engaging and informative tours for over 30 years. He provides walking tours downtown with Visit Austin, and also serves as Tour Docent for Six Square, Austin’s Black cultural district. He is currently President of the Austin Tour Guide Association, serves on the board of advisors for the Neal Cochran House Museum, and volunteers with both Save Austin Cemeteries and the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. You may have heard him on the radio talking about Black Austin history on KAZI 88.7, hosting the Juneteenth Jamboree on KLRU, or as the host of the documentary Voices of Evergreen and its sequel.

Robert Bednar – Speaker

Robert M. Bednar is Professor of Communication Studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, USA. He teaches courses in media studies, visual/material communication, critical/cultural studies, memory studies, and automobility, and is the Director of the Placing Memory Project, which combines archive research and site analyses to map memory and forgetting at Southwestern. His work as an analyst, photographer, and theorist focuses on the performative dimensions of everyday communicative behavior, particularly the ways that people negotiate shared public spaces and on the ways that objects, pictures, and spaces communicate beyond representation. He has published a number of scholarly and popular articles on roadside shrines, U. S. National Park snapshot photography practices, and the built environment of college campuses. His book on roadside shrines is titled Road Scars: Place, Automobility, and Road Trauma (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). He has a BA in American Studies from Southwestern University (1989), and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (1997).

Austin Saengerrunde Gemischter Chor– Performance

Austin Saengerrunde was established in 1879 by German immigrants to sing and enjoy friends. We continue the tradition today while celebrating the German culture through singing, dancing, festivals, parties, beer, wine, and food. The Saengerrunde includes our Maennerchor (Men’s choir), Damenchor (Women’s choir), Gemischter Chor (Mixed Choir), and a bowling league in our historic lanes. We host Austin’s best Oktoberfest in partnership with Scholz Beer Garden, Maifest, a New Year’s Eve Gala, and many concerts, dinners, and dances throughout the year. The Maennerchor and Damenchor rehearse Monday nights from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for those interested in joining.