PowerUP - a performance by the employees and machinery of Austin Energy

PowerUP - a performance by the employees and machinery of Austin Energy

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Didn't catch the KLRU Arts in Context episode on PowerUP?  Watch the full episode online!

On September 21st & 22nd, 2013, in the shadow of Austin’s Decker Power Plant, Forklift premiered PowerUP—a performance featuring the employees and machinery of Austin Energy. Performed to an original score by Graham Reynolds and accompanied by a string orchestra led by Austin Symphony Conductor Peter Bay featuring "digital violin" soloist Todd Reynolds, PowerUP showcased 50+ linemen, electrical technicians and Austin Energy employees in a choreographed 90 minute dance with bucket trucks, cranes and field trucks, a set of 20 utility poles, and an audience of 6,000+ people! 

Artistic Director Allison Orr and her team, including Production Designer Stephen Pruitt and fellow choreographer Krissie Marty, shadowed and got to know these employees for over three years. Read more about the process of building the dance in The Austin Chronicle cover story by arts writer Robert Faires. Read about the dance's creation and performance, including post-show interviews with the performing linemen, on our blog

The performing employees, technicians and linemen, are true cowboys—people who are willing to do whatever it takes, in all kinds of weather and at great personal risk, to make sure you and I can turn the lights on every day. Our hope is that through PowerUP, Austinites have gained a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the work of these vital but often unseen men and women. 

PowerUP was made possible by the support of hundreds of generous individuals and businesses. See our list of generous kickstarter backers as well as our Bright Lights Sponsors, Leave the Lights on Supporters, and Corporate Partners below. 

Brights Lights Sponsors ($1000)

Johnna and Stephen Jones Family
Andrea and Dean McWilliams Family
Mary and Howard Yancy Family

Leave the Lights on Supporters ($1000+)

Stacy and Douglas Bain
Annette Carlozzi and Dan Bullock
Brian Hardin 
Charlotte Herzele
Janie and John Orr 
Eugene Sepulveda and Steven Tomlinson
Brenda and Tom Strama
Judy Trabulsi
Laura Smith Traverso
Celeste Sheppard 
Larkin, Kyrie, and Anne Elizabeth Wynn

Corporate Sponsors

Terawatt Presenting Sponsor: Applied Materials

Gigawatt Lead Sponsors: AFSCME Local 1624Hotel San JoséThe Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation


Megawatt Sponsor: Zócalo DesignGiant Noise, Central Market, Smart Grid Solutions



Kilowatt Sponsor: Austin Community College


Community Partner: Austin Energy

Grant Awards and Funding Agencies:

This project is funded and supported in part by grants from the National Endowment from the Arts, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Map Fund, the Texas Commission on the Arts andthe City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division, believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.