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

City Scenes: The Best Hotspots In Austin

May 22, 2019

In case you haven't noticed, we take music seriously here in Austin.

Eric Culver, one of the co-founders of the online marketplace ArtStartArt, got a degree in art and later went to business school, so starting a business that helps art students sell their works online was a natural use for all of his schooling. “Yes, it’s certainly kind of the culmination of all my both education and professional experiences,” Culver says. “This definitely makes sense, at least on paper.

“I had done some productions for KLRN prior to [Carrascolendas]… without budgets, you know,” says Aida Barrera. “But then I decided that maybe the time had come to go out and look for some funding and do a series that would have a different kind of goal. That turned out to be Carrascolendas.”

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights from the 32nd Super Bowl Breakfast, in which Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell received The Athletes In Action/Bart Starr Award.

Also featured on the program are Bart Starr Jr. and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy.

Poet and professor Dr. Lisa Moore talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain and KUT producer Rebecca McInroy about the profound and urgent work of the poet and activist Adrienne Rich.

Moore reads Rich's poem "What Kind of Times are These" and discusses various other works including one of her most famous poems "Diving Into The Wreck" from her book Diving Into The Wreck: Poems 1971-1972.

Known for live music, tacos, and maddening traffic, Austin, Texas has long been an incubator of sounds that run all over the sonic spectrum. With ample green space, temperate climates, and a serious party mentality, it's no wonder the Little Big City has become such a music festival mecca and testing ground for new events.

This weekend, Capital City Men’s Chorus will present two performances of Andrew Lippa’s new work Unbreakable. “The goal of Unbreakable is to tell the story of the LGBT history in the United States – the story that hasn’t been told before,” says Paul Halstead, the chairman of the board for the chorus. “It takes themes from the life stories of several characters through history that most of us have never heard of before and it puts those stories to song in a way that’s uplifting and fun and sometimes serious.

“This was started in 2004 in Kingston, New York, as the Wall Street Jazz Festival,” says Lulu Fest founder Peggy Stern. “Because a partner and I had noticed that there were very few women bandleaders playing in these festivals. Sometimes there were band members that were women, but still very few. And it was just a glaring oversight of the jazz business, which is supposed to be forward-thinking. And so we thought we’d help it along by creating this festival.”

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, May 10, 2019

May 10, 2019
Renee Dominguez for KUTX

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

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

What’s the first food item that jumps into your head when you think of Texas? BBQ? Queso? Breakfast tacos?

All reasonable choices. But you’d be missing the obvious, a food item that bears the name of the state: Texas toast.

On this archived edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Ron Banks. The singer was a founding member of the Detroit vocal group The Dramatics, which formed in the mid-1960s and continued to play for avid audiences around the country for years.

Banks talks about growing up in Detroit, not signing with Motown Records, forming the soul group and what distinguishes them from other male vocal groups, and wanting to be a professional baseball player.

"I believe language is probably the most powerful thing on earth." -Jane Miller

Poet Jane Miller sat down with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain to talk about her new book, Who Is Trixie the Trasher? and Other Questions.

Listen as Miller reads her poem "May You Always Be the Darling of Fortune" and talks about her work as a teacher of poetry, and why she considers all her poems to be love poems.

Tristan Ipock / 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.

Austin City Limits is produced at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Limits is in the middle of taping shows for its 45th season, which will begin airing on PBS stations across the country in October.

The eclectic mix of musicians invited each year to perform for the public television series prompted KUT listener Dana Harada to ask our ATXplained project:

How are musicians selected to record an ACL Live taping? Do they get paid?

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ben Tankard, minister, motivational speaker, best-selling author, reality TV dad, and gospel/jazz musician. Tankard has been referred to as the "Godfather of Gospel/Jazz,” for his instrumental magic that has bridged the gap between two genres.

Tankard talks about his upbringing, discovering his talent, starting his ministry and his NAACP Image Award nomination. 

Image courtesy of Ethan Azarian

For the past few years, artist Ethan Azarian has been working to create murals on the exterior walls of Austin schools. This year, he’s been creating a piece just outside the entrance to Travis Heights Elementary School. For this work, as is always the case with his school murals, Azarian is collaborating with the school’s students.

Poet Jericho Brown reads his poem "Duplex" from his new book, The Tradition, and talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about creating a new poetic form, the importance of play, and why Lucille Clifton should be a household name.


From Pease Park Conservancy, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

As one of Austin, Texas’ most iconic green spaces and oldest parks, Pease Park is a civic landmark and regional treasure. Unfolding across 84 acres, Pease Park serves as a shaded and lush oasis in the heart of the city – providing residents and visitors alike with an intimate, yet sprawling, natural amenity for picnics and birthday parties, nature walks, recreation and relaxation, connectivity, and general enjoyment and exploration of the outdoors.

City Scenes: 9 Austin Artists You Should Know

May 1, 2019

In 2015, the Austin metro area surpassed 2 million residents and The U.S. Census Bureau ranked it as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

The start of Austin City Limits Fest frenzy is here: The lineup is out, tickets are on sale and our sister station KUTX's top picks are in.

Plein air is a French term that was established by the French impressionist painters back in the early 1900s, which meant the artist would go out on location and paint on location and try to get at least a study or an established painting while they were on site,” says artist Alexis McCarthy, president of Plein Air Austin.

“I was down here when it started, because I kind of knew when they were having the big parties down on Sixth Street,” says Shannon Sedwick, a longtime organizer of the Pecan Street Festival who’s now considered the “chair emeritus” of the Pecan Street Association. “But it was all … really haphazard at that time and not half as organized as it is right now. It was more like a block party.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, April 26, 2019

Apr 26, 2019
The Well
Julia Reihs / KUT

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

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes highlights of the 14th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl LIII week in February.

“I think a lot of plays… even if it’s just a question that you’re asking, you’re always sort of writing from inside your own mind, so in some way it’s autobiographical,” playwright Elizabeth Doss says of her new not-exactly autobiographical play Severe Weather Warning. “But [for] this play in particular… I was thinking about old friends that I’d had, and sort of the loaded history that emerges.”

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, April 19, 2019

Apr 19, 2019
Gabriel C. Perez / KUTX

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

Photo by Sarah Annie Navarrete

Unusual Kinships, a new solo show from soft sculpture artist Magda Jarkowiec, is currently on display at Dimension Gallery. Jarkowiec has been creating art since 2001, but hasn’t always felt free to actually call herself an artist.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 14th Annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute To Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl LIII week in February.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with cardiologist Garth Graham, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services and president of the Aetna Foundation. Graham is a leading expert on the social determinants of health.

Graham talks about health care disparities, cardiovascular disease, nutrition and public health.

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