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

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Benjamin W. Nero, author of That’s The Way It Was: A Memoir. Dr. Nero was the first African-American to graduate from the University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry, and the first African-American intern resident at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Errich Petersen

"Reina has this uncanny ability to mash together hard science and the most fantastical myths that you’ve ever heard of," says director Liz Fisher of Reina Hardy, the writer of the new play The Afterparty. "That seems like a really unlikely pairing, and yet through the sort of beautiful alchemy that only she can do, she creates these stories that are beautifully human and... universal in their themes -- these ideas of love, of loss, of moving on, of hope, with a whole lot of magic."

"[Poetry] is the only place that I can defy the world," Roger Reeves told poet Carrie Fountain and producer Rebecca McInroy for this edition of This Is Just To Say. Thinking of poetry as a place and a practice, rather than the attempt to create the "perfect poem" was just one of the many revelations in their conversation.

Reeves also generously debuted his poem "Children, Listen," now available at, and he shared one of his favorite poems "Preliminary Question" by Aimé Césaire, from his book Solar Throat Slashed.

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.

Karen Collier and Monica Smith met in 1968, when Karen’s family moved and she enrolled in Butterfield Elementary, a small country school on Highway 277 outside of Abilene. She met Monica on her first day at school, and the two quickly began a friendship that is now fifty years old. The two sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth this January, and shared some memories.

Austin's Nook Turner started the Jump On It Summer Music Festival way back in the '90s, when he was just a teenager. Twenty-one years later, the festival has grown larger and more ambitious than ever. The fest has always featured live music (including hip hop, jazz, and R&B) and an educational component, but this year they're expanding both of those efforts.