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Fifty Fest

What better way to celebrate a fiftieth birthday than with a BIG arts festival? All are invited to Blanton Fifty Fest, a free 12-hour extravaganza from noon-midnight on Saturday, April 27. The event will take place in the Blanton’s two-building complex and outdoor plaza, and will feature live music, art-making activities, exhibition tours, and more!

Fifty Fest

Need to Know 

Location Key:
The Blanton is located at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Congress Avenue across the street from the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Michener = Michener Gallery Building
Smith = Smith Administration Building (with shop, cafe, and auditorium)
Faulkner Plaza = Outdoor plaza between Michener and Smith

Admission is FREE.

Free parking will be available in the Brazos Garage located at the corner of Brazos Street and MLK Boulevard from 11AM on Saturday until 1AM on Sunday. Additional parking options can be found on the Parking page.

Go to the Helpful Hints page for more tips on visiting the Blanton.



Family Fun

12:30 / 1 / 1:30 / 2 / 2:30 / 3PM
Character Tours: Meet people represented in the art of the Blanton by taking a tour with an actor in role. Tour sizes limited and available in English and Spanish. Tickets available in lobby of Michener on a first come, first served basis. (Michener)

12:45 / 1:15 / 2:15PM
Story Time: Enjoy stories read in Spanish with Univision’s Gustavo Monsante, Regina Rodriguez, and William Castro. (Michener, atrium)

1 / 2:30 / 3PM
Story Time: Enjoy stories read in English by Blanton docents. (Michener, atrium)

Get a Fifty Fest temporary tattoo! (Smith)

Museum Tours

1 / 2 / 3 / 4PM
Docent-guided tours of Through the Eyes of Texas: Masterworks from Alumni Collections (Michener)

5 / 6 / 7 / 8PM
Docent-guided tours based on various themes and art history. (Michener) Tour sizes limited. Tickets available in lobby of Michener on a first come, first served basis.

Please note that upstairs galleries close at 11PM and downstairs galleries close at 11:30PM.


Art Lab: Monet’s Tissue Paper Water Lilies – Drop in with the family and be inspired to create your own vision of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. (Smith, outdoor loggia)

12:30 / 1:15 / 2 / 2:45 / 3:30 / 4:15PM
Art Lab: Memory Jar – Re-create a moment from your life in a little glass jar, inspired by Keith Carter’s photo Fireflies in Through the Eyes of Texas. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Limited space available. Tickets available on a first come, first served basis. (Smith)

Screen Printing: Customize your own artist-designed T-shirt printed on site by Industry Print Shop. Located in the outdoor tent north of Michener. T-shirts $5 for general public and free for members (while supplies last).

Happy Hour Creativity: Express your creative side in our outdoor lounge while making and exchanging your own Artist Trading Cards over drinks and conversation. (Michener, outdoor loggia)

Creative Connections

Poets, musicians, and artists present artistic responses to works in the Blanton’s collection and explain their creative process.

1 PM — Open rehearsal featuring live performance and discussion by the Texas Reed Trio.
2 PM — Conversation on music and art with musicians Donald Grantham, Steve Parker, and Graham Reynolds.
3 PM — Poems inspired by art in the Blanton’s collection, performed by Texas poets.
4 PM — Nic Nicosia discusses his photographs and the process of creating conceptual art.


Experience a wide variety of music all day and night.

12–12:40 PM — The Ransom Notes (Michener, atrium)
1–2 PM — UT Mariachi Ensemble (Faulkner Plaza)
1:30–2:10 PM — The Ransom Notes (Michener, atrium)
2–3 PM — Minor Mishap Marching Band (Faulkner Plaza)
2:30 / 3 PM — UT Butler School of Music musicians (Second floor galleries)
3–5 PM — DJ Johnny (Faulkner Plaza)
3:30 PM — UT Butler School of Music musicians (Second floor galleries)
5–7 PM — DJ Tarek (Faulkner Plaza)
5–7 PM — Navasota Strings (Michener, atrium)
7–9 PM — DJ Manny (Faulkner Plaza)
7:30–9:30 PM — Brownout (Michener, atrium)
9–11 PM — DJ el john Selector (Faulkner Plaza)
10 PM–12 AM — T Bird and the Breaks (Michener, atrium)


Visitors can capture their experience in fun, free photo booths, purchase tasty treats from some of Austin’s favorite food trucks, and enter to win prizes from community partners including the Alamo Drafthouse, Austin Film Festival, Ballet Austin, Hey Gorgeous, Texas Rowing Center, W Hotel and many others.

Member Perks

Check-in at the members’ table during the day or outdoor member line in the evening to receive your wristband for access to special perks, including Curator’s Choice Tours, free screen-printed T-shirts, complimentary grab-and-go light bites, and more (while supplies last)! Plus, add your favorite memories and moments to our 50-year interactive anniversary timeline. (Michener, outdoor loggia) Not a member yet? Become a member at Fifty Fest!

Activities subject to change.

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