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

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On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with radio and television veteran Donnie Simpson about growing up in Detroit, becoming a DJ at the age of 15 and being a part of cable television history at the launch of BET.

Austin Playhouse Presents 'This Random World'

Sep 14, 2017

"I was on my way to a writers' retreat...  and on the airplane there I made a list of some possible characters," says playwright Steven Dietz. "And then, probably because I've written too many plays, I made of list of 'this is all the scenes that would happen.' As the plane was landing, I realized that's what I always do in my plays... so I decided to make that the list of the scenes that could not happen."

The greater Austin area is home to myriad art galleries and museums, and on one day every year, dozens of those institutions open their doors, free of charge, to anybody who'd like to pop in and soak up a little culture. It happens on the third Sunday in September, also known as Austin Museum Day, which this year falls on this coming Sunday.

"This is our 20th year of hosting Austin Museum Day," says Austin Museum Partnership co-chair Lani Gonzalez. "That's a very exciting milestone."

Courtesy of the Wittliff Collections

The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University has announced a new archival project to gather materials from Texas musical history.

David Coleman, director of the Wittliff, says the plan is to build on an assortment of artifacts already on hand, like a songbook written by an 11-year old Willie Nelson.

“It’s got some great lyrics in it, just from an 11-year-old boy,” he says, including a song about the "hangover blues."

“I think he knew pretty darn early what his path was."

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

On this special 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 and the upcoming 19th season of his reality-based court show.

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