Life & Arts

In Black America Podcast
3:03 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

The Legacy of John Saunders Chase

John S. Chase, seen in 1998, was the first licensed African American architect in Texas and a political power broker
Credit Houston Chronicle photo library

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late John Saunders Chase, the first African American graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the first African American President of The Texas Exes.

Chase was a pioneering architect who broke barriers in Texas and elsewhere. He served as CEO of John S. Chase Architect Inc., a firm he founded in 1952 after graduating from UT-Austin as its first African American architecture student. He also was the first African American architect to be licensed in the state of Texas and the first to be admitted to the Texas Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects’ Houston (TX) chapter. His architectural imprint can be seen globally. He was commissioned to design the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia.

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StoryCorps
5:30 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Naomi and Suzette Hanser on WWII's Black Curtain

Naomi and Suzette Hanser at the StoryCorps mobile booth

Naomi Hanser recently interviewed her mother Suzette in the StoryCorps mobile booth, and Suzette shared many stories about her family. Her Polish father and French mother fell in love in Paris 100 years ago; he came to America in 1915 and she followed in 1916. By the early days of World War II, when Suzette was a child, they were living in New York and hoping to hear from their family members still in France.

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Arts Eclectic
1:55 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Experience '100 Heartbreaks' at the Sahara Lounge

Joanna Garner as Charlane Tucker

100 Heartbreaks was originally performed as a one-woman show in Seattle some eight years ago. After that run, writer and performer Joanna Garner found herself, like her heroine Chalane Tucker, longing to play with a real-deal band. 

Following a move to Austin and some tinkering with the script, Garner's now starring in a new-and-improved, expanded version of the show. No longer a solo project, 100 Heartbreaks now features a full cast and band, under the direction of Jess Hutchison and musical direction of Peter Stopchinski.

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Life & Arts
11:01 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Austin Choral Group Wins Its First Grammy

Austin choral group Conspirare won a Grammy last night for Best Choral Performance for its recording The Sacred Spirit of Russia. The group, which formed in 1991, has been nominated five times in previous years, but last night marked its first win.

The winning record includes the group covering Russian composers such as Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Gretchaninov. The album was recorded in Austin in 2013 at St. Martin's Lutheran Church.

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StoryCorps
5:30 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Steven Webb and Jeremy Stubbs on Getting Married

Steven Webb and Jeremy Stubbs at the StoryCorps mobile booth

Steven Webb and his husband Jeremy Stubbs recently had a conversation in the StoryCorps mobile booth. They talked about their lives growing up, their experiences coming out to their families, and their time together, including their recent wedding.  

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Events
5:01 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad In Conversation on Creativity, Risk & Gut Churn

March 2, 7 p.m. @ Paramount Theatre

Jad Abumrad, host of WNYC’s Radiolab, knows something about creative struggle. He’ll be telling the story of Radiolab and how he found his voice, with attention paid to all the horrible feelings involved in making something new.

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Life & Arts
3:52 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

UT Museum Acquires Original Work by Artist Ellsworth Kelly

A rendering of the exterior of the building.
Courtesy of Blanton Museum

UT-Austin's Blanton Museum of Art has acquired and will construct an original work by artist Ellsworth Kelly. The price tag for the construction is $15 million, but the work is more than a sculpture or an installation – it's a 2,715-square-foot building.

Kelly designed the piece, now titled "Austin," in 1986, and he hoped that it would one day be built in a public space. The work will feature a redwood totem sculpture, black and white marble panels and colored stained glass windows.

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In Black America
1:08 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Remembering Joseph Leslie 'Joe' Sample

Joseph Leslie "Joe" Sample was a pianist, keyboard player, and composer. He was one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders, the band which became simply the Crusaders in 1971, and remained a part of the group until its final album in 1991.

On this edition of In Black America, producer & host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Joe Sample.

Sample was a pianist, keyboard player and composer, who became a jazz star in the 1960s with the Jazz Crusaders and an even bigger star a decade later when he began playing electric keyboards and the group simplified its name to the Crusaders.

The Jazz Crusaders, who played the muscular, bluesy variation on bebop known as hard bop, had their roots in Houston, where Sample, the tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and the drummer Nesbert ‘Stix’ Hooper began performing together as the Swingsters while in high school.

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StoryCorps
5:30 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Nathan and Molly Wiebe on Inspiring Each Other

Nathan and Molly Wiebe at the StoryCorps mobile booth

Nathan and Molly Wiebe met as teenagers, dated for several years, and have now been married for a decade. They recently sat down together in the StoryCorps mobile booth to talk about their life together, and the fact that Nathan has been living with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis since childhood.

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Life & Arts
3:23 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

George Gershwin and The Art of America

Credit www.classicfm.com

“..true music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. My people are Americans and my time is today.” -George Gershwin

But what does it mean to be American? How did being a first generation American inform Gershwin's perspective? Was he always on the outside looking in? How does he, and the work he produced, embody the American dream? 

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StoryCorps
5:30 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Jennifer Connor & Joyce Culbertson on Growing Up With Deaf Parents

Jennifer Connor and Joyce Culbertson at the StoryCorps mobile booth

Sisters Jennifer Connor and Joyce Culbertson recently sat down together in the StoryCorps mobile booth. They talked about a lot of things, and shared some memories of growing up with their mom and dad, both of whom are deaf.

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Get Involved
5:00 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Get Involved Spotlight: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas

From Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texasthis month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Mission:

The Big Brothers Big Sisters mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Vision:

The Big Brothers Big Sisters vision is that all children achieve success in life.

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Life & Arts
12:17 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Austinite Plans City's First 'Cat Cafe'

A cat lies in the sun in a cat cafe in Kyoto.
Credit totororo/flickr

Cat lovers may soon have a new Austin hangout: Plans are underway for the city's first cat café.

The idea for what Rebecca Gray is calling the Blue Cat Café is still in the early planning stages. She hasn't secured a location yet, but Gray envisions a space where people can play with adoptable cats while grabbing coffee or a bite to eat. She hopes to open sometime this year.

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In Perspective
3:07 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Homelessness and the Concept of Home

Credit kefiproject.org

This month’s episode of In Perspective explores what it means to be displaced or without a home. Our new roundtable participants ask: How do we define “home”? Is it a house? Is it family, a sense of community? Is it a place or a feeling?

The discussants share their perspectives, from the practical concerns of living on the streets of Austin, to the role of creative production in dealing with homelessness, to challenging notions of displacement and transience as unnatural. Ultimately, the discussion turns toward the ways in which our perceptions of home and homelessness influence our views on immigration, the need for refuge, and national identity.

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Arts Eclectic
10:34 am
Wed January 28, 2015

A'Lante Presents Flamenco 'Prophecies'

This weekend, A’Lante Flamenco will present Prophecies, a music and dance production inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s 1923 book The Prophet.   

The book, a collection of poetic essays, addressed many of the issues of the day, as the residents of a village asked a foreign prophet for his insights on the human condtion. While many of those issues remain just as relevant 90 years after the book's publication, and are addressed in the show, the creative minds of A'Lante (husband and wife artistic partners Olivia and Isai Chacon) decided to tackle some more modern questions as well, such as negotiating friendship in the age of social media.

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StoryCorps
5:30 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Josh Ribakove & Margaret Koppelman on What Marriage Means

Josh Ribakove and Margaret Koppelman at the StoryCorps mobile booth

Josh Ribacove has only been married to his wife Margaret Koppelman for a few years, but they met nearly four decades ago. When they sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth recently, Josh and Margaret talked about the day they met.

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In Black America Podcast
9:30 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

'Only By Grace' Author Dr. Edward D. Irons [Part II]

Dr. Edward D. Irons

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Edward D. Irons, noted educator, financial and business executive, and author of “Only By Grace.”

Irons spent more than sixty years as a university educator; a business, government, and educational executive; a management and financial consultant to business, banks, and to the U.S. and foreign governments including the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa. He served on a number of corporate boards and numerous nonprofit organizations. Four Atlanta mayors, three Georgia governors, and one Oklahoma governor appointed him to boards and commissions.

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Music
9:53 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Here's a Look at the Austin Bands Battling for a Seat at NPR's Tiny Desk

NPR won't announce the winner of its Tiny Desk Concert Contest until Feb. 12, but the submissions are all in. Unsurprisingly, there are a good number of entrants from the Live Music Capital of the World, and they're all collected below.

The first-ever Tiny Desk contest received more than 7,000 submissions involving about 40,000 musicians total.

The contest winner will fly to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and perform a concert at the media outlet's famous Tiny Desk recording corner, a space formerly visited by the likes of T-Pain, Miguel, Adele and John Legend.

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StoryCorps
5:30 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Gertha Murphy & Rev. Marion Childress-Usher on Growing Up in Goodwill

Rev. Marion Childress-Usher and Gertha Murphy at the StoryCorps mobile booth

Gertha Murphy was born 101 years ago in Goodwill, Texas, a small community in Washington County. She is, in her words, a "dyed in the wool" Texan.

She recently sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her daughter, Reverend Marion Childress-Usher. They talked about many things, and in this section of the conversation, Rev. Childress-Usher asks her mother about her childhood. 

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Life & Arts
1:36 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Watch: Internet Famous Zelda Artist Prepares His Next Treasure Chest

The next Hyrule in Austin treasure box.

Three weeks ago, an Austinite known as Ez became internet famous. It’s a tempered fame, he says, and it comes in waves. About nine months ago, Ez rode a similar wave after he put a video on Reddit showcasing his interactive street art project he calls “Hyrule in Austin,” in which he creates a handful of “prizes” inspired by the Zelda videogame franchise, hides them in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and unsuspecting Austinites find them in a wooden chest.

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