About us

Susan and Rob Burneson created and have sustained Voices of the Violet Crown, an independent community/history project, since 2003. They’ve lived in Central Austin since 1975.

Susan is an archival researcher, community and personal historian, and print designer. (See her resume here.)

Rob is an independent filmmaker and an Audiovisual Production Specialist for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Together, Susan and Rob have produced the film We Planted 115 Trees (2011), Friends of Brentwood Park oral history interviews (2010-2011), Texas Association of Counties Past Presidents’ Oral History Project (2009), Voices of the Violet Crown oral history interviews (2007-2011), the film A Community Mosaic (2008), and the film First Night W/ Domino & Friends (2006). They received the Mary Faye Barnes Award for Excellence in Community History Projects from the Texas Oral History Association in 2009.

Rob’s other projects include Driven by the Sun, a film about the Solar Car Challenge; work on a number of corporate, nonprofit, and independent films in Texas; and video productions, video teleconferencing, and webcasting for TCEQ.

In addition to archival research, Susan’s recent work includes this website, published articles on community and oral history (many reprinted here), three books on genealogy (2006, 2008, and 2016), community and history exhibits and companion booklet, and essays published in the Austin American-Statesman and Story Circle Journal. She wrote the script for the film A Community Mosaic and co-edited that film, as well as First Night W/ Domino & Friends and We Planted 115 Trees. She contributed copy about the history of Brentwood and Crestview for the Preservation Austin 2016 Historic Homes Tour brochure. She also is a published poet.

Susan’s essay “Vision,” reprinted on this website, has been updated from the original written in 2006. It shares her perspective as part of the team that created the Violet Crown Festival in Austin in 2003 and as a founding board member of Violet Crown Community Works, the nonprofit that coordinates the event. From 2003 to 2007, she served on the VCCW board, and from 2003 to 2010, Susan created community and history exhibits featured at the festival and helped coordinate the Community Tent and publicity for the event.

Together, Susan and Rob have volunteered with the Friends of Brentwood Park and Empty Bowl Project in Austin, in addition to the Violet Crown Festival and Violet Crown Community Works, and have coordinated five family reunions.

Rob also has volunteered as a coach/caddie for members of the United States Blind Golf Association and American Blind Golf since 2004.

Susan participated in the City of Austin Community Character in a Box project for the Crestview neighborhood (2014) and has served on the Leadership Team (2010-2012) and as webmaster (2012-2013) for the Friends of Brentwood Park, as a judge for the Texas Oral History Association Student Oral History Award at Texas History Day (2009, 2011, and 2012), and as a member of the Crestview Neighborhood Association Executive Committee (2010-2011) and Newsletter Committee (2008-2011). She was a founding board member of the Austin nonprofits Project ClayPlay (2007-2009) and Violet Crown Community Works (2003-2007).

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