Lynn Raridon, President
The “vivacious, no-nonsense owner of Austin’s beloved fetish boutique Forbidden Fruit” – (Austin Chronicle).
Lynn has been running the iconic store since 1982. 17-time winner of the Austin Chronicle’s Readers Poll for “Best Naughty But Nice Business,” Lynn has been a pioneer in expanding the social acceptance of adult-oriented products under the cloud of puritan state obscenity laws. The store has flourished into a community resource, offering educational outreach and workshops. She serves as director and producer of the Texas Burlesque Festival ( 2008-present), Extravagasm Fantasy Ball ( 2002-2012) and co-producer and talent coordinator for The Austin Zombie Ball (2011-present). Lynn served as secretary for The East Sixth Street Community Association and The Sixth Street Property Owners Association for over 15 years from mid 90’s until 2011, and is currently a board member for The Hunters Chase Property Owners Association. Lynn has been a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for the State of Texas and a director the Bill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife since 1998. Lynn has been an adjunct faculty member at Austin Community College for over 25 years and a blissfully married mother of one. She has a BFA in dance from UT.
Pastor Jimi Calhoun, Secretary
Author – Musician – Storyteller – Pastor
Musician, storyteller and author of “The Art of God: Reflections on Music, Diversity, and the Beauty in You; and A Story of Rhythm and Grace, What the Church Can Learn from Rock & Roll about Healing the Racial Divide.” Pastor Calhoun is a world-class bassist who has performed and recorded with Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Dr. John, Rare Earth, Parliament-Funkedelic and other rock and roll greats. A gifted storyteller and popular speaker, he’s made numerous television appearances and hosts a weekly radio program. He is the co-chair of Community Dreams, an Austin-based non-profit serving urban youth, and a member of the Austin Interfaith Inclusion Network, which serves people living with disabilities. He is on the boards of the Interfaith Arts Council, Humanitarians in the Arts, and the Exnihilo Art Center in Deadman’s Cay, the Bahamas.
Shannon Sedwick, Vice President & Treasurer
Co-producer of Esther’s Follies for 38 years with husband Michael Shelton. Besides producing the comedy shows, “The Follies czarina” (Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle) also performs, often playing the likes of Madonna, Ann Richards, Patsy Cline and Hilary Clinton. She is co-owner of The Velveeta Room and Patsy’s Cowgirl Café at 5001 E. Ben White Blvd. Her and husband Michael Shelton have produced thousands of shows and started several restaurants. She’s been in several movies as well, including Scary Movie, American Detective and the Cohen brothers’ first major production, Blood Simple. She won the 2009 B. Iden Payne Award recognizing outstanding contributions to Austin theater, and is active in downtown politics. Besides her long tenure with PSA, she’s the president emeritus of the 6ixth St. Property Owners Association and has served on the boards of the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Austin Arts Commission, and on the Task Force for Street Closures (focusing on Sixth St. closures).
Co-producer of Esther’s Follies for 38 years with wife Shannon Sedwick, Michael has designed the fanciful stages and sets, creating its trademark style. He is also co-owner of The Velveeta Room, the standup comedy club next door to Esther’s for 25+ years, and Patsy’s Cowgirl Café. As a partnership, Shannon and Michael have produced thousands of shows, started several restaurants such as Liberty Lunch, Phillies’ Diner, The Buffalo Grille and The Tavern at 12th and Lamar and managed performances at a variety of venues. Michael has remodeled and restored dozens of houses in East Austin and is currently creating an arts compound in eastern Travis County where he has moved an eclectic assortment of historical cottages from East Austin to create a thriving living/working compound.
“If there are any two people who have done more to ‘keep Austin weird’ than Esther’s Follies co-founders Shannon Sedwick and Michael Shelton, I’d be hard-pressed to name them.” – Virginia B. Wood, Austin Chronicle
Brian “Bydeeman” Joseph
Bydee Art Gallery
Self-taught artist, poet, author and motivational speaker, Brian’s colorful, joyous paintings reflect the spirit of the Pecan Street Festival. His art focuses on education and diversity, and his books, such as “People Come in All Colors,” “Color Me Bydee,” and “We Love Teaching” reflect this philosophy. His art has been commissioned by the City of Austin, Texas A&M University, the Texas State Reading Association, the University of Texas and the National Education Agency, to name a few. His murals can be seen around the country and Austin, such as at Kealing Middle School, Del Valle Middle School and at Live Oak, Blackshear, and Oak Springs Elementary schools. His awards include the TNOYS Spirit of Giving Award and The Austin Links Honoree of Community Arts. He’s been featured in KLRU’s “In Concept” documentary. Born in Trinidad, he has a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Tougaloo College and a MA in Urban Studies from Trinity University.
Gavin Lance Garcia
As publisher/editor of Austin’s premiere multicultural new, arts/entertainment and lifestyle free monthly newspaper, Gavin promotes the concept of “community” in our ethnically diverse city. TODO Austin celebrates our common heritage while closely mirroring the changing demographics of Austin, and seeks to provide a platform to profile the individuals, groups and organizations that present a positive vision in the community. Gavin also serves as: director of Austin Dias de los Muertos; executive director of Humanitarians in the Arts; and assistant director of UT’s Project on Conflict Resolution. A native Austinite, Gavin is also a musician and event producer/promoter Known for being well-connected in many communities, he has been dubbed by the Austin Chronicle as both a “longtime scenester” and “scene fixture.” He served in the late ‘90s as the Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s “Austin’s Music Liaison” back when “The Live Music Capital of the World” moniker was born.
Winston G. Williams
Mr. Williams is founder of PS Focus, LLC, formerly and WGW & Company, which provides management consulting services with a primary focus on law firms. In 2013, Mr. Williams founded the Capital City Black Film Festival (CCBFF) which exists to provide burgeoning filmmakers from across the nation an opportunity to showcase their work in Austin Texas. He serves as President of Austin’s Black Professionals Alliance. He authored his memoir “Would You?” and is owner of Silver Box Publishing. He has conducted memoir-writing workshops for the City of Austin and has been guest lecturer at Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern Universities. Mr. Williams made several guest appearances on radio talk shows including John L. Hanson’s In Black America.
John T. Wright
John T. Wright is a solo practicing attorney in Austin, Texas, who specializes in nonprofit governance, administrative law, government relations and entertainment law. Mr. Wright has over 13 years of experience advising member-governed nonprofits on governance, administrative law, and government relations matters primarily in the Texas electric industry. Mr. Wright also has extensive experience in the promotion, booking, management and production aspects of the music industry and has assisted many artists and organizations with legal transactional matters. Mr. Wright is currently assisting a group of music industry professionals to establish a member-governed nonprofit to advocate on behalf of the Texas country music scene. Mr. Wright is a native Texan and has been a resident of Austin since 2003, residing in the Zilker area.