Let’s start with today
In May 2010, Sara became the Official State Musician of Texas, following in the footsteps of the legendary Willie Nelson, and used this title to help families create together and bring art programs into public schools. The result in 2011 was the ground-breaking album The Best of Times, a compilation album of her songs recorded by other amazing Texas musicians, including Willie Nelson, Marcia Ball, Shawn Colvin, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Ruthie Foster and 25 other artists. All proceeds go to Theatre Action Project, a group dedicated to putting art, music and theater back into public schools.
She’s been performing with her kid friendly trio, Family Time Rocks!, whose motto is “families that to create together, do great together!” Sara’s produced a CD for FTR! that came out in September 2010 as a free download for families, thanks to the support of HEB.
Sara released Absence of Blame, her most recent CD, which includes 13 songs of sorrow and redemption. She put out an animated DVD for children entitled, Big Bird, Little Bird (which immediately won Dr. Toy’s award for Best Summer Vacation item), and produced Sweet Songs, a collection of Austin female musicians singing songs for families, with all proceeds benefiting the Mothers’ Milk Bank.
But, at the very beginning…
Age 7: Sara got a guitar. She named it Martha.
Age 8: Sara wrote/performed her first song on stage, winning first place from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
As a child in Houston
With a fiber artist mother, a painter for a dad, a soccer playing sister, Sara’s world was full of interactive creativity: writing, painting, wild art parties thrown by her parents on occasional weekends, with interesting women in fur coats and long cigarettes, collegiate art students around the piano, everyone singing “Girl From Ipanema,” Sara in pajamas, eyes full of enthusiasm.
Sara attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts, studying vocals and beginning to perform at bank openings, weddings, in psychiatric units, and even at a pizza parlor. She also started getting involved in bands.
Graduated w/a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of North Texas/Denton. Set to become an art director, she switched plans when she moved to Dallas, creating her first album, Equal Scary People with Brave Combo founder, Carl Finch, who had seen her on a cable access show.
Multiple awards were won from the Dallas Observer, so Sara landed a deal with Windham Hill, then Elektra. Sara began touring, playing festivals, appearing on VH1, singing on the Tonight Show.
Elektra decided to shelve Sara’s next project and drop the album. Sara’s fans rallied together to help her raise $50,000 to buy the album back. It was a moving testimony to the power of the people.
Sara does a world of good. She’s raised hundreds of thousands of $’s for: the Dallas Dance for Life; House the Homeless; Bryan’s House; AAIM; PETA; Amnesty International; homeless shelters, SPCA, Mothers’ Milk Bank, TCADP; visited Romania to deliver clothing, money and supplies to orphans; and personally raised more than $50,000 for the Hill Country Youth Ranch in Ingram, Texas, a safe haven for severely abused children. The HCYR then opened the Sara Hickman Childrens’ Fund, which accepts matching grants and buys musical instruments, dance shoes, and art supplies for the children of the ranch. Sara’s involvement in music and art therapy continued through ARTS (Artistic and Recreational Therapies), leading her to perform for children in burn units, AIDS and stroke victims, and in psychiatric units, where she utilized her talents and love to help with the healing process. In 2004, Sara was the National Ambassador for Half Price Books visiting hospitals and schools across the U.S., helping to promote literacy where she performed and read to children.
Sara produced, directed, and filmed her first video, Joy, winning first place in the USA Film Festival; started a side project, Domestic Science Club, a three-part girl group best described as "the Andrews Sisters meet the Roches." This group released two CDs, Domestic Science Club and Three Women.
Sara’s toured with Billy Bragg, Nanci Griffith and Dan Fogelberg. Opened for everyone from Lucinda Williams to John Hiatt to the Decemberists.
Parenting, Teaching and Public Speaking
In 1997, Sara was profoundly intrigued by a parenting class, and she became a certified instructor. While teaching "Redirecting Children’s Behavior," Sara was inspired by parents who felt unsure how to be spontaneous, creative, or musical with their children. Thus began her series of releases for children (and their parents). Sara teaches parenting, creativity and songwriting classes, and is on the roster with the International Speaker’s Bureau.
- Parents Choice Gold 2001 (Toddler)
- NAPPA Gold 2001 (Newborn)
- NAPPA Gold 2004 (Big Kid and Toddler)
- Parents Choice Recommended 2004 (Big Kid)
- Creative Child’s Top Creative Toy Award 2005 (Toddler – Preferred Choice, Newborn – Seal of Excellence)
- Dr. Toy Best Vacation Product 2004 (Big Kid)
- Children’s Music Web Awards Winner Classic Recording 2003 (Newborn and Toddler)
- Dr. Toy’s Top Ten Audio Tapes 2001 (Toddler)
- Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Toys 2001 (Toddler)
- 2010-2011 Official State Musician of Texas
- 2009 Care Communities (Byron E. Cox Spirit of Caring)
- February 21, 2009 Sara Hickman Day, Austin, TX
- 2007 Hope Alliance (Arts Leadership Award)
- 2007 Performing Songwriter’s 100 Most Influential Independent Artists
- 2003 New Beginning Center Award (role model for women award)
- 2002 Austin Under Forty (Entertainment)
- 2000 Speaking of Women’s Health Initiative (community service)
- 2000 Humana Women Helping Women (humanitarian award)
- 1999-2000 Austin Music Awards (one of the top three songwriters, one of the top five female vocalists, top five singer-songwriters, in top three folk artists, top ten musicians)
- 1996-1997 The Kerrville Folk Festival (community service/Spirit of Kerrville)
- February 19, 1996 Sara Hickman Day, Austin, TX
- 1995 The National Association of Music Therapists
- 1990-1993 The Dallas Observer Awards (Best Musician, Best Producer, Best Indie Release, Best Major Label Release, Best Female Vocalist)
Daisy Sour Cream, Southwest Airlines, Fannie Mae, Popeye’s and many others are also part of Sara’s portfolio—she writes and sings national commercials, too.
With all that Sara is involved in, she spends the majority of her time with her husband and children. She can be found at home having a picnic in the backyard, or helping her girls to paint a wall mural in their room. She attends their field trips and occasionally teaches art and music in their classes. She loves to bowl (her high score is a 197), paint murals, garden, occasionally write articles for books and magazines, and hang out with her husband doing absolutely nothing but holding hands.