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

Salvage Vanguard Theater is currently presenting Antigonick, a modern translation of Sophocles’ Antigone.

“The translation’s by Anne Carson, and she is a well-known poet and experimental fiction writer, and a photographer, actually,” says director Diana Lynn Small. “It was published in 2012, and it was published as a hardbound book. The pages are handwritten by her and there’s beautiful illustrations by Bianca Stone. She didn’t necessarily write it to be performed, but it is starting to be performed around the country by experimental companies and dance theater companies.”

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Shelia Brooks, founder and CEO of SRB Communications, an award-winning advertising and marketing agency based in Washington D.C. She is also the author of Lucile H. Bluford and The Kansas City Call: Activist Voice For Social Justice.

Brooks talks about becoming a journalist, her passion for the National Association of Black Journalists and women-owned businesses, writing a book about Lucile H. Bluford, and becoming an entrepreneur. 

Moyo Oyelola

Government leaders in Texas often tout the state as the best in the country for business, and they have some data to back that up. Texas is home to some of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. But a new documentary debuting this week at South by Southwest asks viewers to look at the human cost of that growth.

Patrick Caven Brown

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Derrick R. Brooms, associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at the University of Cincinnati, and author of Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences. 

His recent study concludes that black male initiative programs enhance their sense of belonging and success in college.

“We realized that we had a lot in common with each other,” Linzy Beltran says of her comedy partner, Kim Tran. “[We] both come from immigrant parents – her’s from Vietnam and mine from El Salvador – [and] we’re both in about the same place in our lives."

"There were just a lot of these, like, kismet moments when we started playing improv together," she says, "and we decided to come up with a sketch troupe, which is Glam Fam.”

Julia Reihs / 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.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Nathan Araya, a documentary filmmaker and founder of All Creative Digital. His current project is a series called "Growing Up In America." The first episode is "Mental Health Is Wealth."

Araya talks about becoming a filmmaker, why he chose mental health as a topic, his Ethiopian heritage, and why meaningful conversations build community and contribute value.

Juan Figueroa for KUT

The Austin Youth Orchestra dedicated its annual spring concert Sunday to former member Draylen Mason, who was killed one year ago this month by a package bomb that exploded at his East Austin home.

From United Way For Greater Austinthis month's Get Involved spotlight organization:  

Our Mission

We bring people, ideas and resources together to fight poverty in our community

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, March 1, 2019

Mar 1, 2019
Lorena Peña 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.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, and author of LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry.

Perry talks about the death of Hansberry’s father, being under the watchful eye of the FBI, challenging President Kennedy and his brother, and her association with the many activists, writers and musicians of the time.

Street Corner Arts is presenting a production of Ayad Akhtar’s play Junk. “The play is based on the junk bond scandal back in the '80s, but what’s interesting about it is that … here we are thirty years later and you’d think that the financial world [and] the political world would’ve learned their lesson but we see a lot of the same behavior today,” says Rommel Sulit, the company’s associate artistic director and an actor in Junk.

“As far as men behaving badly, it seems like they haven’t learned.”

Updated at 11:36 p.m. EST

Director Peter Farrelly's Green Book, about a black musician (played by Mahershala Ali) touring the segregated South with a white chauffeur (Viggo Mortensen), won the Oscar for best picture. The film also won for supporting actor (Ali) and original screenplay.

Below is the full list of 2019 Academy Award winners, marked in bold.

Best picture

“It’s actually going to be a quite dynamic night,” says Cheryl Chaddick, the founder of Chaddick Dance Theater, about their upcoming winter showcase performance, Beneath the Mind. “We have three pieces, and one is a nightmare, one is a dream, and one is a memory of a life spent in marriage.”

That memory piece is choreographed by Chaddick and based on her own marriage.  “I lost my husband last year, and so I was just thinking about all the stages of when we started dating and how we behaved and then in the middle of the marriage and then the last part of the marriage,” she says. “So it’s a lot of reflection on that, and just the arc of that experience.”

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers professor of African-American studies at Princeton University and author of  LOOKING FOR LORRAINE: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry.

Perry talks about why she decided to write about Hansberry, what they both had in common, why A Raisin in the Sun has stood the test of time, and why Hansberry was more then a singular figure.

A choir for homeless men and women in Dallas has inspired street choirs across the country to form and collaborate. Its founder has formed a multi-city alliance and dreams of eventually creating a national street choir.

Austin’s OUTsider Festival will celebrate its fifth year this week, but when Curran Nault and the other founders were planning that first fest, they weren’t really thinking about year five.

“It’s such an unusual idea, the festival,” Nault says. “So I think we were just really thinking in the moment that we wanted to create something. And we were hoping that people would like what we created and then we would take it from there. And honestly, that’s how we’ve approached it every year since.”

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Feb. 15, 2019

Feb 15, 2019
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / 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.

Rap Unzel, the new children’s play running at Austin Scottish Rite Theater this month, was born out of a brainstorming session last summer, during which writer Jeremy Rashad Brown and members of the theater discussed ideas for this year’s Black History Month.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Feb. 8, 2019

Feb 8, 2019
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.

Sarah Bird showing off the boots she received for the Texas Writer Award at the Texas Book Festival in 2014.
Courtesy of Sarah Bird

Austin author Sarah Bird will join the KUT Book Club this Monday, Feb. 11, for a discussion of her book A Love Letter to Texas Women.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with retired television journalist Bernard Shaw.

Shaw covered many monumental 20th century events, from the Jonestown tragedy to Tienanmen Square. He helped launch news network CNN as its chief anchor.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents an encore conversation with Alexander Murray Palmer Haley. Haley’s quest to learn more about his family history resulted in his writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Roots: The Saga of an American Family.

In celebration of Black History Month, In Black America presents an encore presentation of "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music," an extended interview with her that originally aired in March 1983.

 

From Mainspring Schools, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

The mission of Mainspring Schools is to deliver the highest quality early education and care to Austin’s most economically disadvantaged children – along with services so each child and parent have tools for success in school and life.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Feb. 1, 2019

Feb 1, 2019
Andrea Garcia 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.

Central Texas certified life and relationship coaches Junice and Rock Rockman say people have been making some form of new year's resolutions for thousands of years without questioning the effectiveness or benefits of that practice.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

We are about a month into 2019. And this is about the time when our commitment to those well-intentioned New Year's resolutions starts to diminish. Don't worry. This is not a pep talk about getting back on track. And it is not a reprimand either about failing to stick with resolutions. Consider it a green light to ditch those resolutions and consider other more effective ways to make positive life changes.

For the past decade or so, the nonprofit Austin Creative Alliance has been hosting an annual unified audition, a one-day event that aims to connect actors and other creative artists with producers, filmmakers and casting directors. Originally an actors-only audition day, the event has now expanded to include directors, designers, choreographers and other theater professionals.

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.

“I play all the characters in whatever world or scene we’re in at the time, and Quinn plays me,” says Shannon Stott, who is one half of the improv troupe Twins. “And if you haven’t figured it out by now, Quinn is a white male and I am a black female.”

Stott’s partner Quinn Buckner adds with a laugh, “If you haven’t figured it out yet, by the… magic of radio…”

Twins came into being when Stott and Buckner (who are not actually twins, but are actually best friends), both improv veterans, started discussing a longstanding but frustrating truth about the improv world.

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