Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Sept. 21, 2018

Sep 21, 2018
Emree Weaver for KUTX

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The new school year is well underway, and that means the new football season is, too. And midterm elections are coming up soon. It seems like whether our team or our candidate loses, people have a harder time being good sports – or gracious losers – these days.

University of Texas Press

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Dr. Harriet M. Murphy, retired municipal court judge and civil rights activist, former college department head and author of There All The Honor Lies: A Memoir.

Murphy talks about growing up in Atlanta, attending Spelman College and the UT School of Law and her career as a jurist.

Henry Melton is no newcomer to comic or sci-fi conventions. He's a lifelong science fiction fan, and he's been going to cons for decades now. But starting about ten years ago, he's gone not as a fan but as an artist. That's around the time he started self-publishing his own sci-fi books, which he says fall roughly into two categories.

There are his several young adult adventures, which tend to feature young protagonists who "run up against something unusual," he says. "Time travel, teleportation, portals to other worlds, all that kind of fun stuff. And then they have to solve the problem [and] dig themselves out of trouble."

And then there's his "Project Saga," an ongoing series that's at nine books so far, with (probably) six more to go. That saga starts in present day Austin, and goes on to feature aliens, supernovae, the destruction of technology on earth, and humans who have been captured and moved off world. It's a pretty ambitious undertaking. 

"The world doesn't need another... how-to manual on how to be creative," says musician Darden Smith while discussing his new book The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (and a Living). "I think there's some really good ones out there, and I don't even know how to do it, so I don't know how to write it."

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Cristina Helmerichs sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her good friend Bibi Lobo. They talked about Cristina’s longstanding job as a court interpreter, but started by talking a bit about her family history.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Aug. 14, 2018

Sep 14, 2018

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition

American Medical Association

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Patrice A. Harris, MD, a psychiatrist and president-elect of the American Medical Association. She'll serve for a year as president-elect and become the first African-American woman to lead the organization in 2019.

Harris talks about becoming a physician, her vision for the organization, mental health in the African-American community, and being the first African-American woman to lead the AMA.

"The first one [was] 30 Dates, and then the next one was  30 Loves. and the next was 30 Trips," says artistic director Leng Wong about Lucky Chaos Productions' ongoing series of short plays. For their fourth entry in the '30 Somethings' series (and the first one since 2015), the company is looking at the subject of heroes and heroism.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Sept. 7, 2018

Sep 7, 2018
Gabriel C. Pérez

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition. 

Back in February, a future Austinite named Dan wrote into our ATXplained project, asking for recommendations for books about Austin and Texas to help orient him to the city.

CREDIT TEXASRANGERREGISTER.ORG

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Christine Nix, assistant professor and program coordinator of Criminal Justice at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and the first African-American female Texas Ranger.

Nix talks about being the first African-American woman hired by the Rangers, spending time in the Army Reserves and her 25 years in law enforcement.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Sandra Molinari and Lisa Pous are friends and co-workers at the SAFE Alliance, which serves the survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. But when they met, Sandra was a staff member at SafePlace and Lisa was a client. They sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth to talk about their relationship and their history.

From Austin Youth River Watch, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:  

Austin Youth River Watch transforms and inspires youth through environmental education, community engagement, and adventure. As a result of our work, youth are better prepared to create positive outcomes for themselves and the environment, ensuring a better future for all.

Jake O'Hare for KUTX

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.  

Playwright Lisa B. Thompson wrote the play Monroe in the nineties, when she was still a graduate student. For years, the work went unproduced, largely because Thompson herself overlooked it, thinking of it, in her words, as "an early play... how good could it be?"

But that changed earlier this year when Thompson finally revisited the play, which is set in rural Louisiana during the Great Migration. "I had a good friend in California who kept saying to me, 'What about Monroe? Send it out! Send it out!,' and I'm glad I listened," Thompson says. 

Monroe became one of the winners of Austin Playhouse's 2018 New Play Festival, and was chosen by artistic director Lara Toner Haddock to open its 2018-2019 season. She's directing the world premiere production.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Brian J. Miles, board-certified urologist with Houston Methodist Hospital and Victor Murray, a prostate cancer patient. 

Each year more than 200,000 men are  diagnosed with prostate cancer, with most cases affecting African-American men 65 and older. 

Dr. Miles and Murray talk about prostate cancer and how less invasive procedure to treat it is cutting down on recovery times.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Close friends Emily Seales and Stacey Thompson sat down with each other in the StoryCorps mobile booth to talk about their friendship, and how they’ve bonded during the weekly walks they’ve taken together over the past several years.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Aug. 24, 2018

Aug 24, 2018
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with gospel recording artist Veronica Brown, who travels the world uplifting and encouraging audiences of all nationalities and faiths.

Brown talks about growing up in Detroit, representing the USO overseas, moving from secular music to gospel and singing with Aretha Franklin.

"For the past little-over-a-year, I've been inspired by this house that's the Smoot Mansion," says artist Valerie Fowler. "Now it's called the Flower Hill Foundation and it's a historic Austin home, right on West Sixth Street, that's becoming a museum."

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Vanessa Lozano-Sanchez spent some time in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her mother, Marión Sanchez. Marión was born in Venezuela and came to the United States as a teenager in the 1980s.

"It's not personal experience for me," playwright Raul Garza says of his new work, There and Back. "But it's a story that's told from a personal point of view, as opposed to something about statistics or policy only."

With There and Back, Garza is attempting to give a human face to the story of immigration. "Obviously -- obviously if you could see and the group -- that's the background that I'm from, Mexican-American. But the experience that we see in the play is not one that I had directly. It's one I saw a lot growing up. It's one that a lot of us, especially from South Texas and Central Texas see in our everyday lives. But we never really get to look at it closely from the viewpoint of the person experiencing it firsthand."

University of Texas

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Leonard N. Moore, vice president for diversity and community engagement and professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.

Moore talks about growing up in Cleveland, his new position as director of the DDCE, the study aboard program, and his love of teaching.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Erin Willig sat down in the mobile booth with her husband Mark Schoenfeld. They shared a remembrance of Erin’s schoolteacher father, Mark Hayden Willig, who passed away about a year before this conversation was recorded.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Aug. 10, 2018

Aug 10, 2018
Eddie Gaspar for KUTX

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.

Courtesy of SKAM Austin

SKAM Austin is a typical teen drama in a lot of ways. There are hookups, breakups, cattiness and plenty of awkwardness. But, while the drama itself may walk a well-tread path, the path the show takes to reach its viewers is anything but. 

ESPN

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine,  sports correspondent for NPR's Weekend Edition, and author of The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Aug. 3, 2018

Aug 3, 2018
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.

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