Moody Amphitheater Will Come to Life By Illumination In Honor of Waterloo Greenway’s Annual Creek Show
For the last several months, unbeknownst to many, the largest park in downtown Austin has been steadily taking shape between Red River and Trinity Streets and 12th and 15th Streets. Behind the construction fence, grass has been laid, plants are abundant, playscapes are installed and the new Moody Amphitheater is nearing completion. As Waterloo Park prepares for its grand opening in spring 2021, the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy and the City of Austin eagerly look forward to welcoming the community to 11 acres of greenspace and 1.5 miles of hike-and-bike trails.
It is this time of year that Waterloo Greenway would be gearing up for its annual Creek Show – a community-wide festival of light-based art installations along Waller Creek – and though our world looks a bit different this year, we would not miss this moment to honor the organization’s creative, cultural and imaginative legacy.
This November, Waterloo Greenway is inviting the public to a sneak-peek of Waterloo Park and the Moody Amphitheater. From November 16th – 22nd, Waterloo Greenway will commemorate Creek Show’s lights by illuminating the signature Moody Amphitheater structure and invite the community to drive by on Red River for a socially-distant advance look.
“This time of year is usually incredibly exciting for all of us at Waterloo Greenway; it’s a time when our local artists, landscape architects and designers dazzle the community with their prodigious talent and radiant work. Though we wish we could partake in Creek Show live, there’s still so much to celebrate at Waterloo Park,” said Peter Mullan, CEO of Waterloo Greenway Conservancy. “This will be the first time for many in the community to get a glimpse of what’s to come; to see Moody Amphitheater lit up at night is a true display of what Waterloo is all about – a wonderfully immersive and inclusive urban space that is rooted in and surrounded by nature.”
Designed by architects Thomas Phifer and Partners, the 5,000-capacity outdoor amphitheater is an architectural masterpiece and new Austin icon, seamlessly integrated into its lush natural park environment, which was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates and local landscape architects .dwg. With the Texas Capitol and downtown Austin as a backdrop, the amphitheater’s unique steel and glass roof structure floats over the stage and graces the park below with dappled sunlight.
The amphitheater’s necessary infrastructure is largely buried underground in order to minimize the impact on the park from special events, and enhance the overall park experience. Setting the Moody Amphitheater apart from typical performing arts venues, the general public will be able to access the shaded amphitheater stage as part of the park experience when not in use for a performance.
“We want the Moody Amphitheater to be a moment of celebration in the heart of this amazing city. The city of Austin and its lively culture is a tale of two distinct worlds woven together- an active urban core paired with peaceful respites grounded in nature- all with plentiful trails and waters.” said Thomas Phifer of Thomas Phifer and Partners. “When you visit the Moody Amphitheater, you experience the best of both worlds.”
Next year, Waterloo Greenway plans for the return of Creek Show in its brand new park, and at that time will be able to invite the public to experience the amphitheater first-hand, as well as its stunning Hill Country gardens, imaginative playscapes, hike-and-bike trails and revitalized Waller Creek ecology.
While this year’s Creek Show will not take place in its traditional in-person format, Waterloo Greenway will feature virtual conversations with past Creek Show artists, giveaways and a look back at past Creek Show years throughout the month of November, made possible through support of Lead Corporate Sponsor BBVA.
Since 2014, the organization has commissioned dozens of local artists to create site-specific, experiential art installations to raise awareness about the ongoing transformation of Waller Creek and the new 35-acre urban park system coming to downtown Austin. Last year was the biggest and brightest Creek Show yet, with seven original art installations and 60,000 visitors.
This year’s week-long event will be done in collaboration with longtime partner and local audio visual production team, The Werd Co., who has graciously donated its time, talent and resources in many years past to support the mission of Waterloo Greenway.
Construction of Waterloo Park has remained on track with increased health and safety precautions. To stay up to date on park progress, tune into one of Waterloo Greenway’s monthly virtual tours. For more information about the organization, visit waterloogreenway.org, and follow along on social media for updates: @waterloogreenway on Instagram or facebook.com/waterloogreenway.
Photo credits: Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, Thomas Phifer and Partners, The Werd Co.