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. Gayle Wald, Professor of English and American Studies at George Washington University and author of ‘It’s Been Beautiful’: Soul! and Black Power Television.

‘Soul!’ on Public Television from 1968 to 1973, was the only national TV show dedicated to cultural and political expressions of Black Power.

Photo by Suzanne Reiss

Debra Monroe is an award-winning author of six books and acclaimed university professor. But she was, in her own words, “raised to be a farmer’s wife, a shopkeeper’s wife, a telephone man’s wife.”

Texas Book Festival

From Texas Standard:

This weekend tens of thousands of Texans will descend on the grounds of the state capitol for a little shindig called the Texas Book Festival. The annual celebration of all things literary will host 300 authors this year – the biggest yet.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Darrell M. Newton, Associate Dean and Professor in the Fulton School of Liberal Arts, Salisbury University.

Since 1979, Newton has been working in higher education. He also teaches media and cultural studies, film, broadcast writing and international media as a full professor in the Communication Arts department.

Bengt Nyman/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard: There are lots of musicians who can claim to be from Texas, but only a handful who are convincing enough to make you believe they're really from the Lone Star State — even though they're not. 

Image via YouTube

From Texas Standard:

Today, the Houston hip-hop sound is known around the world: hypnotic, narcotic slow-motion beats, pioneered by DJ Screw, which have found their way from the bayous of Syrup City to the Billboard Top 10.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with ReShonda Tate Billingsley, award-winning national bestselling author and co-founder of Brown Girls Books.

Image via Flickr/Embajada de EEUU en la Argentina (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Sandra Cisneros is a daughter of Texas.

She isn’t really a Texan, per se, but her writing – mostly involving Latinos and Latino issues – has so resonated among Texas audiences that she was awarded the Texas Medal of the Arts. She was writer-in-residence at Our Lady of The Lake University in San Antonio once upon a time and received the Texas Institute of Letters Dobie Paisano Fellowship.

Cisneros is the author of “The House on Mango Street.” It’s a book so beloved that it’s required reading in middle schools, high schools and universities across the country. It’s sold over six million copies since its initial publication and it’s still selling strongly.

Tomorrow, Cisneros releases her memoir, “A House of My Own.”


The dark comedy Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric play debuted to acclaim and award nominations in 2012, and this fall it makes its regional debut in Austin, courtesy of the theater program at St. Edward's University. David Long, artistic director of St. Ed's Mary Moody Northen Theatre, was keen to bring Mr. Burns to Austin because he was "excited about not only the premise, but the content, dealing with something that travels in time, and most importantly... the importance of community [and] theater."

See Rothko's Roots in a New Houston Retrospective

Oct 1, 2015
Flickr/Stefan Klocek (CC)

From Texas StandardIf you want to understand American art, there are a handful of names you have to know. Nearly everyone would agree that one of them is Mark Rothko.

From Farmshare Austin, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization: Farmshare Austin is a 501c3 that teaches organic agriculture and provides fresh produce to partnering nonprofits that alleviate hunger and supply nutritious food to low income individuals.

Cornell University

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Edward E. Baptist, Professor in the Department of History, and House Dean, Becker House at Cornell University.

Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.

Photo via Flickr/texasmilitaryforces (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month begun nationwide on September 15, and will continue until October 15. It’s a period to recognize the contributions of Hispanics and Latinos to the country, and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture. But who exactly is a Hispanic person? And what’s the difference between being Hispanic and Latino?


'Lazer Team' trailer

People have talked for years about the death of the independent film industry. Seasoned filmmakers continue to leverage credit cards, family and friends to realize their creative visions. It’s a tough climate to find financing.

Fantastic Fest/facebook

From Texas Standard: There are a lot of film festivals these days. Some focus on the work of one big director or actor – like the John Wayne Film Festival now in its fourth year in Dallas. Other festivals have a theme – perhaps it’s films by or about the LGBT community, or only documentaries.

The Daily Buzz at TIFF, Episode 9

Sep 24, 2015

Daily Buzz Producer/Host Irene Cho catches up with well-known Canadian movie critic/film writer-turned-director Katherine Monk and the subject of her documentary Rock the Box, Rhiannon Rozier (aka DJ Rhiannon) at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) offices during the 40th Anniversary of the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Daily Buzz at TIFF, Episode 8

Sep 24, 2015

Daily Buzz Host John Wildman chats with director Alexandra-Terese Keining in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival about her film Girls Lost. The film centers on three teenage girls who magically turn into boys. Keining talks to Wildman about why she was inspired to make this film by YA author Jessica Schiefauer, whose novels have been banned in several schools in Sweden. They discuss magical realism, gender fluidity, bullying, and finding your true identity.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with the Honorable Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Ambassador and former Mayor of Dallas, TX.

The Daily Buzz at TIFF, Episode 7

Sep 22, 2015

Daily Buzz speaks with renowned Italian film director Nanni Moretti mid-fest at the 40th Edition of the Toronto International Film Festival in the Empire Room of the Soho Metropolitan Hotel. Daily Buzz host John Wildman asks this former 2012 Cannes Jury President about debuting his film earlier this spring at Cannes, why he didn’t play the alter ego in this film — which is something he does often does in his films — what the film’s connection is to Italy and politics, working with John Turturro, and whether he considers this film a drama or a comedy.

Image via Flickr/Ellen Macdonald (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)