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

Poet Kaveh Akbar shares his poem Being in This World Makes Me Feel Like a Time Traveler, from his collection "Calling A Wolf A Wolf." He also talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about how he came to poetry, appreciating the lyricism of poems and the value of reading widely.

Also, check out Akbar and the poet he mentions on the show, Caroline Bird, on The BBC's Echo Chamber.

Michael Lee

"It's really a collaborative [project]," says artist Ethan Azarian of his latest outdoor mural. "The nice thing about it is, the kids are so... they're already artists. They're not afraid to make a mark. I really like working with young people, because I like the enthusiasm and I like the fact that they're just not afraid to make a mark. It's exciting for me -- I really enjoy the whole process."

"We wanted to do an improvised telenovela, but we wanted to take ourselves outside of stereotypical roles," says Latinauts producer and performer Lili Lopez. "We didn't want to be maids or pool boys or ..."

"Landscapers," fellow producer/performer Carlos LaRotta suggests.

"Landscapers. Nannies," Lopez continues. "We talked about it [and] asked ourselves how we can take it out of this world. And we took it out of this world."

Specifically, they took the concept off planet Earth entirely and into outerspace, creating the improv show Latinauts, which chronicles the comedic adventures of the Starship Edward James Olmos.

From Austin Bat Refuge, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

Austin Bat Refuge, at its core, is two long-time volunteer wildlife workers dedicated to promoting respect for bats and their place in the environment through education, conflict resolution, rehabilitation and release. We have been rehabilitating bats and assisting the community for 10 years; becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in early 2016 has allowed us to fundraise to expand our education and rehabilitation capacities and to better assist local bats in trouble.

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.

Matt Duncan spent part of his birthday this year in the StoryCorps mobile booth. He sat down with his father, 83-year-old Martin Duncan, who shared some memories of his life, beginning with his birth in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, April 27, 2018

Apr 27, 2018
Lynda Gonzalez for 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.  

Mary Kang / KUTX

Outdoor music venues in Austin's Red River Cultural District will be allowed to have amplified music an hour later on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights indefinitely. This follows a pilot program that lasted more than year and allowed outdoor music till midnight Thursdays and till 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

In his quarter century as a working musician in Austin, Oliver Rajamani has explored and performed music from all over the world. His musical interests and influences are remarkably varied -- he's performed with Willie Nelson, the Gypsy Kings, Eric Johnson, Dotschy Reinhardt, Edie Brickell, and many, many others.

In his latest project, he's exploring the common roots behind Flamenco music and the music of his home country of India.

Dr. Brittney Cooper

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Brittney Cooper, assistant professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.

Copper talks about race and gender in popular culture, politics on campus, and why feminism needed Beyonce.

"This is our second annual new play festival," says Austin Playhouse artistic director Lara Toner Haddock. "Last year it was a national search and we received almost 800 applicants, which was a little overwhelming... and we really didn't feel like we serving the playwrights. So this year we wanted to bring the focus in and really figure out a way to have an impact on the local community, so we made it a Texas-based festival."

Poet Matthew Dickman reads from his new book of poems, Wonderland, and talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about toxic masculinity, childhood, the origins of violence and much more.


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.

Piper Stege Nelson spent some time in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her seven year old daughter, Molly Magnolia Nelson. They talked a bit about Molly’s life now and what it might be like in the future.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, April 20, 2018

Apr 20, 2018
Cal Quinn/Wikimedia Commons

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.  

It's not uncommon for Bonnie Cullum to create an ambitious undertaking at the Vortex. Cullum and her company have spent the past three decades trying to create something that will top whatever their previous show was. But their current piece, Performance Park, might hold the record as largest Vortex production for the foreseeable future.

Courtesy of Brittney Cooper

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Brittney Cooper, assistant professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.

Copper talks about how she embraced her anger, the future of black feminism and the politics of self-help.

Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about reclaiming the power, beauty, and wonder of a C-section birth through her poem  "Self-Portrait as C-Section Scar."

They also talk about Nezhukumatathil's entry point into poetry through the work of Naomi Shihab Nye, and she shares one of her favorite poems, "Eclipse" from poet Jenny George's debut book, The Dream of Reason.

"This project just immediately captured my attention," says Andrea Mellard, the Contemporary Austin's director for public programs. "I could immediately imagine what it would look like to see this vintage Icelandic fishing boat -- that's been outfitted to look a little like a Venetian gondola -- flying under the plump Pegasus sail, with the musicians in their formal wear. ... It just seemed like something out of a dream."

Matthew Odam, Austin-American Statesman

A new food court in downtown Austin has no fast food chains. Instead, all the options come from local restaurants that normally specialize in sit-down service. We asked Austin-American Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of Fareground Food Hall


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.

Jeremy Bolf came to the StoryCorps mobile booth to learn more about his family’s matriarch, affectionately known as Granny Bolf. Jeremy was too young to know his grandmother well before her passing in 1975, so he asked his father Stanley, who was her youngest son, and his aunt Donna, who married into the family in 1958, to share some memories.

"This is our 68th year of holding a festival here in Austin for arts," says Eric Hiduke, Chairman of the Board for Art Alliance Austin. "It used to be called Fiesta, used to be held at Laguna Gloria. We do it a little differently now."

Gabriel C. Pérez / 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.  

Morgan Saint

Hear some of the artists performing in Austin over the next couple days in our weekly chat with KUTX program director Matt Reilly.


growlermag.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Chris Montana, owner and head distiller Du Nord Craft Spirits, located in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Montana talks about waking up one morning and deciding he wanted to make booze, being the only African-American craft distiller, and mixing his wife's rural upbringing with his urban experience to create a family business.

This Is Just To Say: Tomás Q. Morín

Apr 9, 2018

Poet Tomás Q. Morín reads his poem "For My Daughter" from his collection Patient Zero and talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about experiencing loss, the power of imagining the unlived life, and the vulnerability it takes to create as a poet and an artist.

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 Beltran and Emmy Laursen became friends almost four years ago while taking part in a 4000 mile bike ride from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska. They recently sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth to talk about their enduring friendship.

  

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, April 6, 2018

Apr 6, 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.  

Courtesy of RISE

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of Rise and NFL 3rd annual Super Bowl Town Hall featuring NFL players and executives. 

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

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 Monday and Wednesday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.  

Fatoumata Diallo immigrated to America from the West African country of Guinea at age six. She’s now nineteen and a student at the University of Texas. She sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her mentor, Yasmin Turk, and talked about her experience of being an immigrant living in Texas.

From Refugee Services of Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

For 40 years, Refugee Services of Texas (RST) has proudly been serving refugees, asylees, survivors of human trafficking and other displaced or vulnerable men, women, and children in Texas. 

Years ago, musician Peggy Stern created the Wall Street Jazz Festival in Kingston, New York. When she relocated to Austin a few years ago, Stern created Lulu Fest, a similar but different musical festival. Like the Wall Street Festival, Lulu celebrates female bandleaders, but unlike the earlier fest, and in keeping with her new town's wider-ranging musical tastes, Lulu embraces not just jazz but all sorts of music.

"Lulu Fest has broad musical appeal... because we think that's the best way into the audience here in Austin," says Stern. "But all of the sets do contain a component of improvisation, which is what we consider jazz."

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