The Victory Grill is a historic venue in East Austin, Texas. Opened in 1945, it has hosted famous local and national blues artists, witnessed the consequences of segregation and urban gentrification, and served as a community base. The Victory Grill’s story has been undocumented, until now. This documentary portrays the Victory Grill’s legacy, impact, and possible future.

I worked with a fantastic team – Nick Swartsell (Journalist) and Alex Curry (Scholar) – to produce this film. It took us about three months to gather background information, find and interview artists and community members, attend events at the Victory Grill, and edit all of the footage. We are hoping this film will help garner increased attention and appreciation for the Victory Grill and its role in East Austin’s heritage.

Oldways’ African Heritage & Health Program is hosting a pilot community cooking class in 15 locations nationwide. In Austin, TX, the class is instructed by Toni Tipton-Martin, food journalist and founder of SANDE Youth Project and The Jemima Code: Pop-up Exhibit & Book, and Sarah Dwyer, Program Manager for Oldway’s African Heritage & Health Program. I attended one of their classes at the George Washington Carver Museum and had a wonderful time. Toni and Sarah integrate history, education, and cooking in a fun way that is easy to relate to and intriguing to continue. I hope their pilot series develops into a permanent program.