2019 Upcoming Events

Austin Museum Day

Sunday September, 2019, 12 to 4 pm, 409 E. 5th Street, Austin, Texas

Celebrate Austin Museum Day with us. We are having birthday cake and lemonade in honor of William S. Porter's (O. Henry) 157th birthday on September 11th. We’ll have music and new exhibits aw well as birthday cake!  Admission and refreshments (while they last) are free.  

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, May 11, 2019.  11 am to 6 pm outside in Brush Square, Austin, Texas. This is the 42nd anniversary for the annual May museum event that celebrates the lowest form of wordplay - the pun. Spaces are open for 32 competitive word warriors in two different categories of competition. 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. Later another corny crop of 32 contestants face off in the “Pun Slingers" competition. These competitors are paired up and pared down by launching puns on a specific given topics with strict time limits. 


Although 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 at noon on April 1, 2020 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 Gary Hallock.


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. Once again, we will throw a party for what would have been his 157th birthday on September xx, 2019 at the O. Henry & Susanna Dickinson Museums in downtown Austin (409 E. 5th St.).  A fundraiser for the Foundation, the party honors all of Central Texas writers who published a new book in the past year.

O. Henry Prize Stories Readings

We are honored to have Laura Furman, editor of the O. Henry Prize Stories published by Anchor Books, as a board member. For several years, we have sponsored receptions for writers of selected Prize stories when guests could hear readings and meet the authors. Usually, receptions are scheduled during the Texas Book Festival held every year at the Capital of Texas. The goal of The O. Henry Prize Stories is to strengthen the art of the short story. 


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 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!