News Archive

Our ACA Bat Cruise event is not just about having a leisurely boat ride and watching bats. We've added other events throughout the day to encourage atheists who would like to hang out with us to come down, have some fun, and chat with other like-minded people. We especially encourage out-of-towners to come down for this great set of events. The date is Saturday, September 25, 2010. Here's what we've got in store:

Matt Dillahunty Lecture, 3-5pm

From 3-5pm, our own Matt Dillahunty will give a lecture on "The Superiority of Secular Morality." The event will be at Howson Hall in the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, 4700 Grover Ave., Austin [map]. The event is free.

We have permission for people to leave their cars at the church (for carpooling to later events). If you would like to do that, park on the grassy field away from the sanctuary instead of the parking lot. The church will have a later event that evening.

Bat Cruise, 6-8pm

The Bat Cruise will be from, 6-8pm. The boat leaves promptly at 6pm, so don't be late! Consider parking at the One Texas Center Garage, 505 Barton Springs Road and walking to the launch. The garage is behind Threadgills (see below) and free. The garage is also accessible from Riverside. Cruise tickets are $25 and $10 and may be purchased from the ACA's products page. If you would like to snack or eat dinner on the boat, that's fine. No glass containers are allowed however.

Dinner, 8:15-9:15pm

For those that didn't eat on the boat, Threadgills is a convenient dinner spot that has done a great job accommodating our after-the-TV-show dinners. The restaurant is a short walk from the launch point, so there's no need to move your car. The location is 301 W. Riverside, Austin Texas [map] We will get a headcount for dinner on the cruise so everyone will get a quick seat. If you're going to the next event, you'll need to watch your time'

Comedy Show, 10pm

The final event of the evening will be a comedy show at Esther's Follies, 525 E. 6th St. [map], (512) 320-0553 at 10pm. Tickets are $22 and are likely to sell out. Get yours at at least two weeks prior to the event. If you haven't seen the show, you're in for a treat. It's a great show of comedy, singing, magic, and satire--a perfect way to end the day.

The Austin Coalition of Reason or AustinCoR has recently formed as an umbrella group for all atheist and freethought groups within the Austin area. Atheist Community of Austin is an affiliate group. Austin CoR is the Austin branch of the United Coalition of Reason, which funds the local efforts. 

On Monday, June 28th, UnitedCoR will be placing a billboard at I-35 at Grand Avenue Parkway, facing North. The billboard will invite non-believers to seek out local groups and enjoy the benefits of the larger community. As part of the launch, UnitedCoR has issued a press release, which will be going to all media in the Austin area.

It is hoped that the billboard and press release will raise awareness of the numbers of non-theists in Austin and help us gather our strength to take on church-state separation and other issues that impact us.

The ACA will be chartering a cruise boat on Town Lake on Saturday, September 25th, 2010, 6-8pm. We'll have the large, double decker boat to ourselves to chat, picnic, and watch the bats emerge from the Congress Avenue bridge. The event will be open to out-of-town visitors this year. We will publish a list of related events at a later date. 

The boat we'll be taking is the Capital Cruise's M.V. Pride and Joy. This boat has the upper deck for great bat viewing. It has a bathroom and tables for our use. We can bring food and drinks to share, but not in any glass containers. Plan on bringing some food and drink. The event should be a relaxing cruise on the lake. For those who are interested, check out the scrapbook entry from the 2008 event. 

We're going to need to collect money in advance for the event for around 50 people. Invite your friends, but space will be limited! Atheist-friendly guests are welcome. The price is $25 for each adult, $10 for each kid (ages 5-12), and kids under 5 are free. Please pay with exact change (preferably in an envelope), with a check made out to "ACA" and give your payment to an ACA board member at any ACA event. Better yet, sign up via our products page. Mark the check, envelope, or submission notes with the name(s) of the participant(s). Your seat is not reserved until you pay. 

On the day of the event, meet at 5:30pm at Capital Cruises' dock, on the river, behind the Hyatt Regency Hotel, on the South side of the river. That's between the Congress Ave. bridge and the 1st St. bridge, on the South shore. The number for Capital Cruises is (512)480-9264 if you need last minute help, or see their web site

We recommend parking at the One Texas Center garage, 505 Barton Springs Road Austin behind Threadgills. 

For more information about the bats, see Bat Conservation International and their web page about the Congress Avenue bat colony.

On May 2nd, ACA members elected the 2010-2011 ACA Board of Directors. Matt Dillahunty and Jen Peeples were both re-elected to the President and Vice President roles, respectively. Seven at-large board seats were also filled:

  • Don Baker
  • Keith Berka
  • Chuck Clark
  • John Iacoletti
  • Don Rhoades
  • Shelley Roberts
  • David Tyler

The offices of Treasurer and Secretary will be filled from the at-large board positions at the next board meeting, May 9th. 

Please congratulate the board members when you see them.

The time for the 2010 ACA Pub Crawl is fast approaching! The event will be held on Saturday March 20th. We are once again planning to have t-shirts made. This is a great event to experience the best of the Austin bar scene and to meet both local ACA folks and ACA fans and members from out of town.

We will depart at 6:30pm from the Dog and Duck Pub (406 West 17th Street) and walk to Fado (214 West 4th Street) for our first stop. After that, the proposed route is as follows.

A few tips:

  1. Bring sufficient cash. This is very important. It is difficult to get a large party out the door in a timely manner if 30 people have credit card tabs to close. We would like to stop at as many places as possible, especially so out-of-towners can experience some Austin bars. Additionally, you should be aware that some bars have 2-drink minimums for opening a tab.
  2. If you intend to walk from Dog and Duck, do not park in the Dog an Duck parking lot. There is ample parking in the vicinity around Dog and Duck, so please do not intrude on their business. (Parking is free after 5:30, but expect downtown parking to be more full than usual due to SXSW.)
  3. I understand there may be some people who would rather not walk from Dog and Duck. It is quite a hike. If you don't wish to walk to/from Dog and Duck, meet up at Fado around 7:00pm by whatever means suits you.

The price for t-shirts will be $20 including tax. Requests for shirts should be placed no later than March 12th. If you plan to purchase a t-shirt, please contact Tony VanderHeyden with the gender, size, and shirt color (black, brown, or white) you would like. We will distribute the shirts at Dog and Duck and you can make payment at that time. If you attend regular local ACA events, please get your information to one of us or the ACA Treasurer (John Iacoletti). Alternatively, you can checkout our products page.

Note: that we will not be carrying shirts downtown, so if you wish to purchase a shirt and don't want to walk to Fado, either make special arrangements or make an appearance at Dog and Duck before 6:30pm to pick up and pay for your merchandise.

For additional details or help in arranging travel plans to the event, please contact Tony VanderHeyden. I hope to see you there!

-Tony VanderHeyden 

Atheist Community of Austin

The Atheist Community of Austin is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting positive atheism and the separation of church and state. The ACA serves the local Austin community through outreach programs, providing informational resources and various volunteer activities. In addition, the ACA serves the community-at-large through free online portals including informational wikis, regular audio/video podcasts and interactive blogs.

We define atheism as the lack of belief in gods. This definition also encompasses what most people call agnosticism.

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