About The VORTEX

The VORTEX Mission: We conjure urgent, unashamed art to create action in a shifting age. We embrace diverse communities, break down barriers, and elevate inclusive discourse from our cultural harbor in Austin, Texas. We enliven humanity with magical green new theatre at our Butterfly Bar and Sanctuary. 


The VORTEX Core Values: Our core values are encompassed by the Pentacle of Integrity: Transformation, Magic, Community, Diversity, and Earth. Integrity lives at our core. We engage in radical transformation through edge-walking artistic creations and innovations. Magic emanates from our cultural harbor, engaging Spirit. Our space and our culture support expanding circles of inclusive community. Our art reflects diversity of people and voices from the global majority. Sustainability and environmentalism center Earth at our foundation.

History: Since 1988, The VORTEX’s highly collaborative ensemble of visionaries has conjured and navigated the storm of imagination with urgent, unashamed art. We dare to dream and actively manifest the world in which we want to live through the medium of new theatrical and performative creations. As a pioneering leader in Austin’s alternative theatre scene, The VORTEX has received hundreds of awards for artistic excellence. Guided by Bonnie Cullum’s vision, our ensemble has evolved an artistic methodology that has produced 30 seasons of aesthetically diverse world premiere productions ranging from new plays, operas, and musicals to ritual theatre, experimental collaborations, and devised projects.

The VORTEX venue is artist-owned and operated and was the first theatre to make a home for the arts in Austin’s historically underserved Eastside, now a blossoming independent arts district. With a liquor license, free WiFi, a large Yard, outdoor stage, and deck, The Butterfly Bar, has become a community destination in East Austin. A leader in the growth of the arts and economic stability in Austin, The VORTEX thrives as a mature arts organization, now receiving organizational funding like Austin’s opera, ballet, symphony, and regional theatre. The VORTEX is a Green Business Leader with successful Zero Waste initiatives that include recycling and composting.

VORTEX has offered its free, award-winning Summer Youth Theatre since 1991, mentoring several generations of young artists. Internationally renowned as a haven for alternative performance, The VORTEX has presented work by dozens of famous cutting-edge artists. Internships and Work-Study jobs involve university students. Other notable initiatives include ASL-interpreted performances, Radical Rush free tickets, and ongoing food drives for SAFE. Our diverse audience includes people of all ages and backgrounds: a large Latinix population, engaged African American neighbors, 50,000 University of Texas students, plus faculty and students from dozens of other colleges, LGBTQ patrons, persons with disabilities, and at-risk youth. Austin’s unique environment favors independent thinking, activism, feminism, history, and art.



More Information

Austin, TX 78722
[email protected]