Mike Lee

Senior Producer: Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, Sonic IDs

Mike is a features producer at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, and the Sonic ID project, and also produces videos and cartoons for kut.org. When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.

Several years ago, he featured a young dancer on his Arts Eclectic program, and she was so impressed by his interviewing skills that she up and married him. Now they enjoy traveling, following their creative whims, and spending time with their dogs.

Rey Parla

Landmarks, UT's public art program, is set to unveil a monumental new work by painter José Parla. The mural, titled Amistad America, is the largest of his career, measuring 25 x 160 feet, or some 4000 square feet. 

"I had worked on several large-scale murals before, so I didn't have a fear of how to approach it," Parla says, "I know how to do it somehow -- there's something natural that happens in how I approach it. But this was even larger than anything else I had done before."

A work this large is not created quickly; Parla has been working with Landmarks for the past four years to create Amistad America. He first created a scale model, and even that was a large endeavor. 

"I made this model in my studio, which is not so small either -- it's six feet by twenty-four feet," he says. "So I... transformed myself into a very small person in my imagination and worked the mural from that perspective."

The StoryCorps mobile booth is in Austin this month, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that are being recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday and Wednesday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Joe Shaffer, 85, recently sat down with his grandson, Jerry Smith. To Jerry, his grandparents are known as “Ayee” and BB. Ayee shared some memories and some advice.

The StoryCorps mobile booth is in Austin this month, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that are being recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday and Wednesday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Luis Cepeda recently sat down with his wife, Alejandra Lima, and talked about when Luis, then an undocumented immigrant, spent eight months in an ICE detention center.

From Jeremiah Program, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Jeremiah Program - Transforming Lives Two Generations at a Time

Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Jeremiah’s proven, holistic approach begins with establishing a supportive community for determined single mothers to pursue a career-track college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, empowerment classes, and life skills training, families find stability and a path out of poverty.

"I was just trying to remember how long I've personally been doing this New Year's Eve show. I think this might be my tenth one in a row," says Hideout Theatre co-owner and longtime performer Kareem Badr. "I enjoy doing it so much that I've dedicated every New Year's Eve to going and doing these shows."

Their "Big Bash" New Year's Eve show is a longstanding Hideout tradition, but this year they're kicking the holiday celebration up a notch or five by doing a full week of holiday-themed improv shows.

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