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 Emmy Pérez reads her poem "Green Light Go" and talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about living on the border as an act of resistance, the beauty of writing from anger, the healing power of the natural world and much more.


U.S. Postal Service

Austin will be the setting for the release of the first-ever scratch-and-sniff stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. The stamps depict a variety of frozen treats and, when scratched, have what the Postal Service describes as “the sweet scent of summer.”

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.

Reeve Hamilton sat down in the StoryCorps booth with 91-year-old Ian Pearce, whom he refers to as his "surrogate grandfather." For almost 30 years, Ian was a constant companion to Reeve’s grandmother, Margaretta Bolding.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018
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.  

Kendrick Lamar

Shows in Austin this weekend include a headlining performance by the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize, a two-night stand by a legendary country singer-songwriter and a cumbia music festival. Hear some of the music in our chat with KUTX program director Matt Reilly.


"Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic were two staples of my nighttime reading," says Stephanie Carll of her childhood love of Shel Silverstein's popular books of kids' poetry. "As a kid, I tended toward... the darker humor, the more macabre. And so Shel's tone and really unique style stuck with me. And when I found out that he had adult stuff..."

Shel Silverstein is likely best remembered for his work for children, but he was also a well-known songwriter (he won a Grammy for writing Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue") and a prolific writer of more adult material. That's the Shel Silverstein that's on display in the aptly titled An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, a vaudeville-style collection of Silverstein's R-rated poems, songs, and skits that's currently being produced by Carll for Present Company.

Darlene DeVita / Beacon Press

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joseph Rosenbloom, author of Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr’s Last 31 Hours.

Rosenbloom was an intern at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis when King died in 1968. He talks with In Black America about the last two days of King's life, why his aides didn’t want him to go to Memphis, why James Earl Ray was in the city, and how a lapse in police security may have contributed to King's death. 

"I saw the play with my best friend, and by the time it was over we were just clinging to each other, so emotionally rocked we didn't even know what had happened," says Cry It Out director Lily Wolff, recalling the first time she saw the play performed. "Every since that experience with it, I knew I wanted to do it and I knew I wanted to do it here."

Wolff asked Theatre en Bloc artistic director Jenny Lavery to read the script, and Lavery was quickly on board with the idea of producing (and acting in) Cry It Out

Poet Marie Howe reads and discusses her poem "One Day" with host poet and novelist Carrie Fountain. They talk about poetry as a spiritual practice, their time together at UT Austin's Michener Center, and 's poem, "The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act."

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.

A little over twenty-eight years ago, when she was thirty, Elena Furman and her eight-year-old daughter Miriam immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union, arriving in American on November 9, 1989, the day the Berlin Wall fell. Elena and Miriam recently sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with Miriam’s husband, Andrew, who is a Texas native.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, May 11, 2018

May 11, 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.  

Matthew Odam/Austin American-Statesman

Take two pieces of bread, slap some food between them, and you've got yourself a sandwich. A minute to learn. A lifetime to master. Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic has eaten his way through many of the city's sandwiches and has compiled a list of his 27 favorites.


history.library.ucsf.edu

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Haile T. Debas, director emeritus at the University of California Global Health Institute; the Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus; dean emeritus at the University of California, School of Medicine; and former UCSF chancellor.

Dr. Debas talks about being a physician, researcher, teacher and academic leader. He also discusses reinventing himself after retirement and the formation of UCSF Global Health Sciences.

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, May 4, 2018

May 4, 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

Loud stoner rock, the Pecan Street Festival and a Conjunto music extravaganza are among the live music events in Austin this weekend. Hear some of the music in our weekly chat with KUTX program director Matt Reilly.


BALLETINTHECITY

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Loren Walton, a young African-American ballet dancer living in Austin.

Walton talks about being a dancer, his experience with the PNB School and obstacles he's had to overcome. 

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.  

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