2020 Events

O. Henry Museum Closed for Restoration

August 10, 2020, 409 E. 5th Street, Austin, Texas

Starting August 10th,  The O. Henry Museum closes for an expected year long restoration of its structure and security systems. Because of COVID-19 guidelines, the Susanna Dickinson Museum is closed until December 10, 2020, so see the City's website for updates or phone 512-974-3830. 

JC Elkins O. Henry Literary Discussion Group

Monthly Story Reading. Join an informal reading and group discussion of an O. Henry short story. Usually scheduled on the 3rd Friday at 1 pm at the Susanna Dickinson Museum. Join the Facebook group to learn additional story facts and receive announcements about times and locations.

Annual Events

O. Henry Museum Pun Off World Championships

Saturday, October 17, 2020.  Virtual Event. Because of COVID-19, The May date for this year was posponed to October 17th. This will be the 43nd anniversary for the annual museum event that celebrates the lowest form of wordplay - the pun. The format is still being developed for a virtual event. Up for grabs will be the title of "Punniest of Show." This freestyle competition for players with prepared material allows 90 seconds for creative have-wits from every crook and nanny to stuff their struts.

Previously the crowd groans louder and larger each year, contest registration and admission are still free. Live music will be furnished from 11am - noon. The actual competitions begin at noon and usually draw to a twisted end near 6 pm. The Brush Square Museums Foundation will hold fundraising auction at the event. Food and drink will be available. Revenue from refreshment and souvenir sales helps support educational and restoration projects at the museums.


 If you are itching for more inflammation, the O. Henry Museum is located at 409 E. 5th St., Austin TX 78701 or call (512) 472-1903. Online registration for the competition will open soon and always fills up quickly. Pun-Off.com, the Pun-Off’s official website has more info or check out its Facebook page. For press interviews or event competition details, please contact the museum or David Gugenheim.


The Annual O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships is a co-production of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD), the Brush Square Museums Foundation, and P.U.N.Y. (Punsters United Nearly Yearly) which is also a non-prophet organization.


O. Henry's Birthday Celebration

For many years the Brush Square Museums Foundation has organized birthday parties for O. Henry, who was born on September 11, 1862. Unfortunately, in 2020 we will not throw a party because of COVID-19 for what would have been his 158th birthday

Membership Annual Meeting

Every February the Brush Square Museums Foundation hold its annual business meeting to elect any new board members and other matters. A program on a topic of history or literature is also organized for members and the public.


In 2019, audiences saw Act 1, of the The Survivors, a play by Katie Bender telling the story of The Alamo survivors. In 2017 and 2018, we hosted readers theater performances. In 2016, Michael Hoinski, Museum staff, and Ben Sargent, Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist, described how they printed a fine art book version of O. Henry's unpublished short story "As Others See Us." In 2015, a panel of Austin writers with new novels spoke about the importance of Austin as a setting for their stories. In 2014, Texas historian Donaly E. Brice, author of The Great Comanche Raid and Cullen Montgomery Baker, Reconstruction Desperado, and The Governor’s Hounds, and a resident of Lockhart,  shared some little known facts about his town’s former resident Susanna Dickinson, the only anglo adult survivor of the Alamo.




Want to volunteer to help out? We have tons of opportunities for you to get involved. Reach out to us and let us know what you are interested in doing!