Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

All content by Elena Mejia

UT alum becomes full-time dancer after joining Longhorn Salsa

Elena Mejia July 16, 2016

Jordan Madrigal entered UT hoping to continue his father’s legacy in the McCombs School of Business. Instead, he found his passion on the dance floor, moving in tune with the rhythm of salsa music. In...


Capoeira helps female students, alumni find self-empowerment

Elena Mejia July 6, 2016

Raised in a conservative Christian household, Amanda Caroline was out of touch with her Afro-Brazilian roots. But after studying abroad in Salvador Bahia, Brazil, Caroline found her passion in martial...


Seeing stars: Drive-in revitalizes classic film experience

Elena Mejia July 6, 2016

For their six-month anniversary, Josh Frank and his girlfriend wanted to create their own personal movie theater. Using a building on Cesar Chavez Street as the screen, they projected “Grease”...


Four art exhibits worth visiting in July

Elena Mejia July 5, 2016

If you run out of outdoor activities and want to check out Austin’s art scene instead, take a self-guided tour around the city’s galleries and museums. Austin’s vibrant culture sets a...


UT United Muslim Relief officers celebrate Ramadan

Elena Mejia June 22, 2016

During the Islamic holy month, Nida Madni wakes up before dawn for a morning prayer and meal with her Pakistani family to prepare for their 15-hour fast. While the sun shines, they will abstain from...


Best ice cream spots in Austin

Elena Mejia June 19, 2016

Walking from class to class in the 95-degree Texas heat will have you craving something to cool you down. Reward yourself for those grueling summer classes with one of The Daily Texan's tasty suggestions...


Austin nonprofit teaches English through dance

Elena Mejia June 13, 2016

Dawn Mann traveled across the world to teach English to Vietnamese students. But it was in a dance studio, not a classroom, where their English began to flow. During the evenings, Mann taught ballet...


Humanizing Homelessness

Elena Mejia, Katie Walsh, and Cat Cardenas May 5, 2016

In this compilation of stories, the Life & Arts department explores homelessness. Click on our interactive to learn about two initiatives to change negative perceptions about the homeless community, or...

2016-05-04_Special Project Homeless Youth_Mary

Homeless man encourages openmindedness

Elena Mejia May 5, 2016

When he wakes up in his sleeping bag on a side walk between 21st and 26th Streets on Guadalupe, Bobby’s first thought is where he’ll get coffee. While he waits for outreach programs to open...

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Local missionary advocates for homeless with Street Youth Ministry

Elena Mejia May 5, 2016

Missionary Terry Cole worked with impoverished tribes in Latin America and Africa learning about the struggles of prostitutes and playing with children from villages. But eventually, Cole realized there...


Gentrification: Erasing East Austin

James Rodriguez, Elena Mejia, and Megan Hix May 2, 2016

Each day this week, the Life & Arts department will focus on a different topic. Today's page covers gentrification in East Austin and some of the communities and businesses it has affected....


Tamale House East struggles to keep its legacy after five generations of business

Elena Mejia May 2, 2016

To read more stories about the history of gentrification in East Austin, click here. During the 1950s, Carmen and Moses Vasquez wanted to fill Austin’s Mexican food void with the flavor from their...


Tex-Mex restaurant El Azteca struggles with commercialization in East Austin

Elena Mejia May 2, 2016

To read more stories about the history of gentrification in East Austin, click here. Growing up in the ’80s, Juan Guerra and his cousins walked from their houses to their family-owned East Austin...


Cisco’s Restaurant and Bakery maintains original recipes despite changing environment

Elena Mejia May 2, 2016

To read more stories about the history of gentrification in East Austin, click here. When the Cisneros family founded Sunny Veil, East Austin’s first bakery, they rode their horses from East Seventh...


East Austin artist transforms fallen trees into sculptures to commemorate neighborhood history

Elena Mejia April 27, 2016

East Austin artist Daniel Llanes walked around 24 acres of land full of fallen elm and pecan tree trunks. They were about to be burned by land developers, but Llanes wanted to transform the giant, old...

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Graduate student captures East side’s changing landscape

Elena Mejia April 15, 2016

When graduate student Amalia Diaz moved from Colombia to Austin, she used her outsider’s perspective to capture the changing landscape of the East Side through her camera lens. “When you’re...


Freehand Arts Project relieves hardships of incarceration through creative writing

Elena Mejia April 4, 2016

Raised in a small, west Texas trailer, Kelsey Shipman struggled in a working class family with a history of physical abuse and suicide attempts. Some of her uncles went to jail, exposing her to the incarceration...


UT basketball alumnus makes ‘100 most important burgers’ for Austin’s homeless

Elena Mejia March 28, 2016

Each day, UT alumnus Drew Gressett’s burgers help improve the lives of 100 members of Austin’s homeless community. In 2009, Gressett’s Hat Creek Burger Co. partnered with the Austin...

Five must-see international acts at SXSW

Elena Mejia March 11, 2016

South By Southwest connects Austinites to almost every continent in the world from Niger to Sweden. International musicians will travel thousands of miles to play at the festival, offering a wide range...

Five SXAmérica acts to check out

Elena Mejia March 11, 2016

With a mission to connect North America, Central America and South America with the Live Music Capital of the World, SXAméricas will spotlight the international creative community. It offers...

becoming blair courtesy of Carlo Nasisse

Student-created documentary to premiere at SXSW

Elena Mejia March 11, 2016

Cousins Briana Barsalou and Blair Hanner grew up playing hide-and-seek together in the Hill Country of New Braunfels, Texas. Years later, when Hanner, designated female at birth, admitted he had been hiding...


Puro Chingón Collective aims to reform ‘white-centric’ Austin art scene

Elena Mejia March 8, 2016

Austin’s art scene is known to be a home for emerging creatives, but many Latinos often don’t feel represented in these “white-centric” art spaces. To combat this, local artists...


TBT: Kinsolving ‘sit-ins’ escalate to lawsuit amid UT’s policies of dorm segregation

Elena Mejia February 25, 2016

On a mid-October evening in 1961, 18-year-old sophomore Sherryl Griffin walked beside two other female African-American students to stage a sit-in at UT’s Kinsolving dorm. The words “white...


Teatro Vivo showcases Latin American-centered plays

Elena Mejia February 22, 2016

At her mostly Latino-populated school, teacher Roxanne Schroeder-Arce found it problematic that her students’ theater productions only focused on stories about white people.  “Rarely...


Austin Harmony Project fights isolation of adults with disabilities

Elena Mejia February 16, 2016

From his group home in South Austin, Toby, diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, dreamed of singing in front of an audience. After joining the Austin Harmony Project, he left behind the CD player he...

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