Folding Table Productions is a nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas with a simple vision: Art is For Everyone. We aim to create a public forum to initiate and culture inclusive discussions, via the medium of art.
Through community shows featuring submissions from local artists, lectures and educational outreach, we involve diverse populations in engaging discourse usually reserved for those in academia.
Our first exhibit, “Pythagoras (and Austinites) Discovering the Musical Intervals” premiered in Austin in September 2012. Besides featuring a variety of new and well-seasoned Austin artists, the show also included music from local DJs. We had over 100 people in attendance and fundraising from local sponsors totaled over $2,000.
After this show, we desired to continue sharing relevant but underexposed topics to the greater public. Thus, Folding Table Productions was born.
• Feature new art exhibits (at least two a year) featuring various topics, thus continuously nurturing new discourses with our audience.
• Include 12-20 original art pieces in each show, as well as lectures and group discussion to explore and elaborate further on the show’s theme.
• Accompany new exhibits with educational outreach sessions at nearby schools, in order to engage young people in the discourse as well. This could include class visits, or even an art summer camp with activities promoting art education.
Our dream for the future is to host shows in nearby cities such as Houston and Dallas, creating a deeper appreciation for art and intellectual curiosity statewide.
The idea for this organization was born out of our first art exhibit. The theme of the show was based on co-founder Andy Tang’s Master’s thesis about the narrative of Pythagoras’s musical discovery at the blacksmiths’ workshop.
Curious about the lack of substantial commentary on the story, Tang soon fell into a rabbit hole of research about the story’s history. He learned how influential the narrative had been to history, now long faded, and wanted to put together a community art show that connected all sorts of people to this tradition.
Tang partnered with Vickie Valadez, who was drawn by her natural interest in art and the project’s potential for building equality and social justice through artistic discourse. For the first exhibition she served as an event publicist but has since taken an active role in the new organization’s nonprofit development.