Take Me Out to Downs Field is a year-long series of tailgates and performances that celebrate the legacy and future of this historic place.
This project builds on Forklift’s 2014 production Play Ball Downs Field, a performance created at the invitation of Six Square that featured Huston-Tillotson Rams baseball players, slam poets, and local musicians. This year, the project kicked off with a short reprisal of Play Ball in February. Through tailgates, poetry slams, and story circles throughout the year we will continue to increase awareness of the field’s history throughout Austin and encourage folks to come out to games more often — as soon as it is safe to do so.
Located on East 12th St. in Central East Austin, Downs Field is currently the home field for the Huston-Tillotson University Rams. RBI and Greater East Austin Youth Sports Association little league teams play on neighboring Mabson Field. Downs Field was once home to the Negro Baseball League’s Austin Black Senators, the Austin Black Pioneers, the Austin Greyhounds, the Austin Indians, and the Austin Palominos. Baseball greats like Satchel Paige, Willie Wells, and Buck O’Neil played here. It even served as the football field for the Old Anderson High School Yellow Jackets.
SHARE A STORY OR A PHOTO
Do you remember being at Downs Field? We want to hear from you! We are especially looking for anyone who attended games there or has connections to the Austin Greyhounds, the Austin Indians or the Austin Palominos baseball teams.
Call 512-222-5287 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with us.
Artist and project collaborator Cindy Elizabeth is creating digital baseball cards for everyone to show their support of Downs Field and to honor the people who have made it the historic place that it is today. If you have a a history at Downs Field — either because you played games there, attended games there, or worked on the field in any capacity—send in a photo of yourself or a loved one and Cindy will make a digital baseball card to honor you.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3
Huston-Tillotson Baseball Game
Art Exhibit by Cindy Elizabeth
Poetry Slam hosted by Allen Small & Scot Free
Saturday, April 25
The Grand Slam: Poets and Performers Reflect on Downs Field
In partnership with KAZI 88.7 FM, Forklift presented a live poetry slam with Scot Free, Allen Small, and Edwin Maldonado Jr. Hosted by LadyJoy, the radio show in 9 innings featured stories from performance collaborators, local Austin baseball history from Harrison Eppright, and project updates from collaborating artists Cindy Elizabeth and Krissie Marty.
Saturday, February 22
Forklift Danceworks presented a short excerpt of Play Ball, featuring players from the HT Rams baseball team and slam poetry by Allen Small and Scott Free. The day also included autographs and stories with former Negro League Baseball players from San Antonio.
Photos by Hakeem Adewumi
Special Thanks to Our Partners:
This project is supported in part by: