After a series of sold out events in recent years, the Austin Blind Café is back by popular demand! The Austin Blind Café will take place on November 3-5, 2015 with two shows per night at 6:00pm and 8:30pm
at American Legion Travis Post 76 (404 Atlanta Street Austin, TX). The Austin Blind Café will give more people in Austin a chance to share this unique experience – a meal and music in complete darkness.
The Blind Café became an award-winning event after receiving the Addison Mini-Grant Award from the Boulder County Arts Alliance for its Boulder Blind Café and has recently expanded to Seattle and San Francisco. In every city, The Blind Café has received great press and connected with local communities.
The Austin Blind Café is a community awareness event, as well as a dinner and concert in the dark. There will be a delicious gluten-free vegetarian/vegan meal prepared to delight the senses by one of Austin’s very own chefs.
All the waiters will be blind and you will have the chance to participate in a Q & A with your blind waiters about issues related to visual impairment. Your heart and mind will be opened as you experience a Sensory Tasting Dinner, celebrate and explore spacial awareness and darkness, and indulge in unencumbered music listening without the distraction of visual conditioning, social etiquette, and your cell phones.
It’s a night you will never forget… or SEE!
Working together you will build community, make new friends and advocate for a better life for the blind and visually impaired. A percentage of the proceeds from this event will be donated to support the VEX Project, a vocational enrichment program of the Blind Cafe energized to “redefine Blind,” through the positive awareness of community resources and also supporting National Federation of the Blind Community Service Group.
Although the event raises awareness for the blind, the ultimate goal of The Blind Cafe is to improve the quality of people’s lives by influencing how people view themselves, the community, and social change through a personal experience.
“The Blind Cafe does not try to perfectly recreate blindness,” says Erin Greenhalgh, a Boulder Blind Cafe Guest. “Instead, it allows people to interact, trust each other, and experience community in an entirely new way. In the dark, there are no uncomfortable glances, no self-consciousness about what you’re wearing or what you weigh, no distinction between the sighted and blind.”
Marco Lam took his wife to the Boulder Blind Café for their date night and had this to say, “The feeling of being in the pitch dark and listening to beautiful music had an ethereal quality that was transcendent. The experience of eating food without any visual cues heightened the sensory appeal of a well cooked meal. I found the blind waiters’ quality of service excellent and the experience gave me insight into the challenges and strengths of their unique community. It was easily one of the best dates I have taken my wife on all year…”
The Blind Café offers a unique ticket purchase structure with a suggested cost of $85 or more per ticket, with a maximum cost of $195. The margin from ticket sales above $85 will go towards discounted and scholarship tickets for those who otherwise could not afford a ticket. More information on how to purchase tickets can be found at: http://www.theblindcafe.com/tickets-austin-blind-café.
For more information about this event and Rosh and The Blind Café Orchestra, please visit: http://www.theblindcafe.com/austin.
What: The Austin Blind Café
Where: American Legion Travis Post 76, 404 Atlanta Street Austin, TX
When: November 3, 4, 5 (Tuesday – Thursday), two shows per night at 6:00pm and 8:30pm
Cost: $65 – $195
The Blind Café History
Brian Rocheleau, a musician that goes by the name of Rosh, was inspired to set up a Blind Café after wandering into one in Reykjavik, Iceland. Explained Rosh, “I was on a house concert tour, traveling from home to home performing my original songs in people’s living rooms as a sort of cultural exchange. While I was walking down the street in Reykjavik, I wandered into a Blind Café. There was a woman at the entrance with laminated cards that had Icelandic words printed in braille on them. I asked her what the event was about and she told me it was a Blind Café.”
The woman went on to tell Rosh that all the waiters were blind and that the concert was in the pitch dark, meaning he would not be able to see inside. She then told him that he would need to use a laminated card to order his coffee by giving it to the waiter. Rosh was intrigued to say the least. So he purchased a card that had the word ‘Kaffi’, coffee in Icelandic on it and she gave Rosh a walking stick sending him into the dark.
Rosh stumbled around a bit and found a table. He asked, “Are there any extra seats?” The other guests at the table replied, “We don’t know!” and they all laughed. He eventually found his seat and enjoyed some conversation in the dark with people he couldn’t see. This experience had Rosh thinking about one of the main purposes of music, “Much like food, music is a glue that brings people together to relate,” said Rosh. Over the years, Rosh has thought about this experience and wondered if he could give this gift to cities back home.
Rosh, has performed both solo and with his band in the USA and around the world in such places as Iceland, Norway, Belgium, Holland & Ireland. He has done this by offering communities the opportunity to host private house concert performances in their homes. House concerts are a wonderful grassroots phenomenon where world class musicians and developing local talent alike perform in the comfortable intimacy of private homes and similar non-traditional spaces.