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

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Stephen G. Peters, founder of the nationally recognized Gentlemen's and Ladies Club programs, author, and superintendent-elect of the Laurens County School District 55 in South Carolina.

See 'The Totalitarians' at the Off Center

Sep 20, 2016

Theatre en Bloc's Jenny Lavery became aware of The Totalitarians shortly after it was first produced a few years ago. And in that short time, the political comedy has already started to feel less farcical.

"I knew that it was timely," she says, "but with current politics as it is, the play has become even more timely. Peter  Sinn Nechtrieb wrote a crazy, outlandish farce based on the Obama and Palin election cycle. But now with Trump and Clinton in the mix... it's now becoming more realistic."

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The recent remake of the groundbreaking 1977 mini-series “Roots” has been nominated for seven Emmys this year. To ensure accuracy in depicting the lives of enslaved people, the show enlisted UT-Austin history professor Dr. Daina Ramey Berry to read scripts, ask questions and ensure the production's accuracy – from word choices, to cloth used in costumes, to the breeds of on-screen horses.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Shanté Bacon, Founder and CEO of 135th Street Agency, a strategic communications and experiential marketing firm that specializes in campaigns reaching the youth consumer and business professional. They translate brand messages in a culturally-savvy yet socially responsible manner, while our experiential arm designs customer experiences that enhance the consumer's relationship with the brand.

Over the years, the creative minds behind Ethos have created many ambitious shows at the Vortex. They've filled that theater with performers, musicians, and dancers, creating large-scale shows on a relatively small stage. 

  From the Blanton Museum of Art, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Blanton Mission Statement:

Founded in 1963, the Blanton Museum of Art is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and holds the largest public collection in Central Texas. Recognized for its modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings, the Blanton offers thought-provoking, visually arresting, and personally moving encounters with art.

Blanton Education Vision:

Our Vision: We believe that art matters. Our aim is to provide visitors with engaging and memorable gallery experiences that will motivate further exploration.

We make this vision a reality through the dedicated work of volunteer gallery teachers. Our volunteers make visitors feel welcome in the museum and introduce them to a variety of ways of looking at and experiencing art. A gallery lesson at the Blanton helps visitors develop visual literacy skills and make personal connections with art that can extend beyond their time in the museum.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Keith Corson, visiting professor of English at Rhodes College and author of ‘Trying to Get Over: African American Directors After Blaxploitation, 1977-1986.’

In 2014, Austin's Doctuh Mistuh staged the first local production of Silence! The Musical, the award-winning musical parody of the 1991 movie Silence of the Lambs. The show was a big hit with audiences -- as a parody of such a popular film, Silence! drew in theater fans, comedy fans, and movie fans. "We drew a lot of audience members in who weren't regular theatergoing audiences," says director Michael McKelvey. It was also a big hit with critics -- it didn't win quite as many B. Iden Payne awards as Silence of the Lambs won Oscars, but it came close.

In the time since, there's been interest from audience members (and from the cast as crew as well) in staging the show again. When some space opened up in Austin Playhouse's August schedule, the time was right.

"It's just a show [where] we all really enjoyed the experience, which is scary to say with this show," McKelvey laughs, "but we had a blast with it, so we said 'Let's do it again."

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Former Gov. Rick Perry is joining the new season of "Dancing With the Stars."

MARK RALSTON / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Juan Gabriel, who died of a heart attack yesterday, was a master craftsman of epic love songs.

He built sparkling bridges and choruses that transformed forlorn love songs into anthems. We've written an obit over here, but Juan Gabriel's music speaks for itself.

Here are four songs you should listen to now.

Writers Jodi and Owen Egerton have been married for a dozen years, and in their time together they've always helped each other with their various creative projects. "We keep editing each other and re-reading each other, and we've found that we have a similar approach to creativity," Owen says. That shared approach to (and love for) creativity led to the pair co-writing This Word Now, their new book on the creative process.

"I didn't think to myself 'Owen and I are launching into a two-year venture to write a book together. Let's see what that approach to marriage and life is going to look like,'" Jodi says. "And it turns out it was actually really fun, but it did take us a while to discover how we write together as opposed to just how we brainstorm together or how we edit each other's stuff."

This five-minute radio gem is a listener favorite. Listeners across the country tune in each day as host Garrison Keillor recounts the highlights of that day in history and reads a short poem or two.

  

This five-minute radio gem is a listener favorite. Listeners across the country tune in each day as host Garrison Keillor recounts the highlights of that day in history and reads a short poem or two.

 

Peter Max Visits Austin

Aug 17, 2016

Pop artist Peter Max has been drawing and painting all his life, and has been earning a living by drawing and painting for well over half a century now. "I never knew I was going to be an artist when I grew up," he says, "but I loved it."

Husband-and-wife artists Dana Younger and Felice House have shown their works together before, but never in their hometown of Austin. "I think our first debut as an artist couple showing together was in Houston in 2013," House says. "Since then, we've gone to Michigan [and] we've had a show in New Mexico."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Dr. Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., education scholar, co-founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, and author of ‘PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.’

  From Ghisallo Cycling Initiative, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

Mission and Vision

Our Vision:We envision a community where youth become expert cyclists who grow to become lifelong, safety­conscious riders.

Our Mission:Our primary mission is to develop youth who safely and expertly integrate bicycling into their daily lives, to teach participants self­sufficient cycling skills, and to facilitate the experience needed for youth cyclists to be peer leaders.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., education scholar, co-founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, and author of ‘PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.’

PUSHOUT: is a discussion about the experiences of African American girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged–by teachers, administrators, and the justice system–and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish.

This summer, Austin Classical Guitar has been presenting narratives, a three-part series of shows that explores both music and literature. The summer series began with persona [beginning], continued with process [middle] and concludes with nocturne [end].    

lightedgestudios.com

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Jarrad Henderson, producer of ‘Beyond-This-Place: The Visual History of African American Fraternities and Sororities.’

African American Fraternities and Sororities have played an important role in the development of African American identity for over one hundred years. Beyond-This-Place is an independent documentary project that examines the rich culture of African American Greek Letter Organizations.

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