The University of Texas has announced the closing of the beloved Cactus Cafe, a 150-seat campus venue that for 30 years has presented vernacular music and singer-songwriters. There are usually 4 or 5 professional shows per week, and open mic nights are also common. The reasons keep shifting, from money to student needs, but the U has ignored community willingness to set up an ongoing fundraising apparatus (which exists for every other Campus arts venture). I've attended about 150 shows there in over a decade. Now, I've joined thousands in writing letters, attending meetings, and raising my voice, to no avail. Read a heartwrenching news piece Look at the photos by clicking along the left side of the article. The weeklong tumult in town has been astonishing, and the NY Times even ran a piece on this.
Here's a Facebook discussion page and you can also check out the Save the Cactus website
I've spoken to some of the administrative and student officials involved, and they've been like stone. The general belief among the aggrieved is that the place is suddenly just too much bother for administrators who like everything "neat." Many believe that, after a brief period, commercial interests will invade this prime student union real estate. There's already a Wendy's, a Starbucks, etc in the building.
heartbroken in Austin