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

"This year's our sixtieth anniversary season, and that's terrific because we really get to celebrate all of the wonderful people and organizations and donors and volunteers that have all come together over the last sixty years to make us really Austin's favorite summer musical," says Zilker Theater Productions' artistic director, J. Robert Moore.

Poet Sam Sax talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about poetry as biography, the history of medician, poetry as performance and  much more.

He also reads his poem "#Hypocondria" from his book Madness, and shares one of his favorite poems, "Katherine With The Lazy Eye. Short. And Not a Good Poet." by Francine J. Harris.


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 Kelvie, age 58, recently sat down with her son Xan Bauer, who was just about to turn 21. They chatted about their life together, and about what they’ve learned from each other over the years.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, June 22, 2018

Jun 22, 2018
Julia Reihs / 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

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 poets.org, 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.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, June 15, 2018

Jun 15, 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.  

Belle and Sebastian

A local soul outfit, a master of the resonator guitar and a Scottish indie pop band are among the live music acts you can catch in Austin this weekend. We get recommendations from Matt Reilly with our sister station KUTX 98.9


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Benjamin 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.

This weekend, Spectrum Theatre Company is presenting two staged readings of the new play Juneteenth Chronicles, by local playwright Abena Edwards. The play is drawn from the actual words of former slaves, who were interviewed in 1937 by the Federal Works Project Administration. Transcripts of those interviews now reside in the Library of Congress.

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.

Ernestine Balderrama Kubicek earned her Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Texas, had a long career in corporate America, and now runs her own consulting firm. But before all that, she was born in Brownwood, Texas, to a contractor father and homemaker/bookkeeper mother. She sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her son, Christopher Morse, and shared some memories.

Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT

Author and TV host Anthony Bourdain was found dead today from an apparent suicide in his hotel room in France. He was 61.

Bourdain visited Austin frequently – speaking at the Paramount Theater and BookPeople. He even filmed a No Reservations episode about the "strangely un-Texan capital" during South by Southwest.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, June 8, 2018

Jun 8, 2018
Austin Price 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.  

zimbio.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Mike Haynes, a Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback and prostate cancer survivor. Haynes is a spokesperson for the Know Your Stats campaign.

Hayes talks about the day he discovered he had prostate cancer, the need for a prostate screening and the Urology Care Foundation.

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 founding members of the Puro Chingón Art Collective  — Claudia Aparicio-Gamundi, James Huizar, and Claudia Zapata — all sat down together in the mobile booth when it was here. Since 2012, Puro Chingón has created events, publications, designer toys, and murals, all championing Latinx art. In this conversation, they remembered the early days of Puro Chingón, which began with a self-published art journal called Chingozine.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / 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.  

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

Bike Austin is the largest membership-based bicycle advocacy and education organization in central Texas. We are working to help transform the transportation landscape into a space that is safe and hospitable to people of all ages and abilities to move freely. Our aim is to see the number of people choosing to ride bicycles increase, especially for short trips, and it become a normal aspect of daily living for residents of Austin and the surrounding communities.

Best-selling poet, writer and slam performer Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz reads her poem "The First Check-Up After My Mother Died" from her book How To Love The Empty Air, and talks with poet and novelist Carrie Fountain about the possibility models for her as a poet, what it means to grieve with an audience, and the importance of the work of Kevin Young in her life.


Courtesy of Warner Bros.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Greg Mathis, former Superior Court judge for Michigan's 36th District and host of Judge Mathis.

Mathis talks about manhood, his election as the youngest judge in Michigan's history and the 19th season of his court-based reality show.

Artist Alfonso Huerta did not set out to become a printmaker. In fact, he resisted the idea as long as he could. He studied art in his native Mexico in the late 1990s, and focused on painting. But his focus eventually changed after he moved to Austin.

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.

Lucy Kellison visited the StoryCorps mobile booth with her mother, Sally Furgeson. Sally shared some memories of her own mother, Mary Alyene Hardwick Furgeson, who was born in the small town of Calvin, Oklahoma.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, May 25, 2018

May 25, 2018
Ed Gaspar 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.  

Darlene Devita / Beacon Press

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation 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 Lorraine Hotel, King's "From The Mountain" speech, the Poor People’s Campaign, and the historical momentum that was lost on April 4, 1968.

Austin dance company Performa/Dance will present its fourth full-length show, Artist and Muse., on June 1 and 2. The program will feature four dances, including two longform works and two shorter pieces.

"We're doing two works about female choreographers who are talking about female artists," says Performa/Dance artistic director Jennifer Hart. "I have choreographed a piece called Camille: A Story of Art and Love, and it's about Camille Claudel. She was a sculptor in the earlier 20th century, artist and muse of Auguste Rodin."

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.

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