Voices of the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival: Mark Jackson of the Central Texas Food Bank

For our second interview with people who help organize the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival, we talk with Mark Jackson, who is the Chief Development Officer of the Central Texas Food Bank. He leads a team that is responsible for all of CTFB’s fundraising, marketing, communications and community outreach. Remember that a portion of all ticket sales for the 2017 Austin Reggae Festival benefits this incredible charity.

QUESTION: What is your favorite Austin Reggae Festival memory from year’s past?

My favorite Austin Reggae Festival memory is seeing our Food Bank leadership team get involved at the gate, taking donations for the Food Bank. It’s inspiring to see our CEO spreading the message of our mission to festival attendees and cheering whenever a donation is made.

QUESTION: Can people still enter the Austin Reggae Festival for free if they donate two cans of food?

No, it hasn’t been that way for several years. However, we do encourage festival goers to bring donations of cash and non-perishable foods to drop off at the entry gate. Everything helps. Advance tickets can be purchased via this link. Or just bring cash to the gate on April 14, 15 or 16.

QUESTION: If people are going to bring cans of food to Auditorium Shores as an additional donation, what kind of canned food works best for the Central Texas Food Bank?

The Food Bank always needs things like canned tuna or chicken breast, low-sodium canned veggies, canned fruit in its own juice, canned beans and chili.

QUESTION: If someone hasn’t attended the Austin Reggae Festival before, what is the top tip you would give so that they can have a great experience?

Take a look at the list of what you can and can’t bring into the festival grounds and plan accordingly. Then find a good spot and just take it all in.

QUESTION: People watching at Auditorium Shores is really popular. Describe the most interesting person(s) you have seen in year’s past at the Austin Reggae Festival.

The hula hoop dancers always put on impromptu shows that are fun to watch. Their hula hoop tricks are fascinating!

QUESTION: Wearing a hat is always a good way to stay cool at the Austin Reggae Festival. What is your favorite hat and why?

Cowboy hats are a Texas staple and we see a lot of straw cowboy hats at Reggae Fest. Nothing beats the hats with dreadlocks attached through – instant hair style!

QUESTION: What other ways can Austin Reggae Festival attendees help the Central Texas Food Bank.

Of course, donations of food and funds are always welcome. We also depend on volunteers to help us fulfill our mission. And, in addition to Austin Reggae Festival, there are all kinds of fun events throughout the year that benefit the Food Bank. Details on all of this can be found at www.centraltexasfoodbank.org.

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