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 Daron K. Roberts, founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Honors program.

The folks at Glass Half Full Theatre like to combine elements in their show. The combination of live performance and puppetry is a trademark of Glass Half Full, and they also tend to mix a little social commentary in with their comedy.

The new work 'Simple Sundries' uses all those elements. Using an earlier short play about a woman and a pigeon as their basis, writers Caroline Wreck and Parker Dority crafted a full-length show that includes puppetry and physical comedy and also has something to say about the changing face of Austin's East Side.

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas. 

In our second week, we'll look at former First Lady and environmentalist Lady Bird Johnson, rancher and philanthropist Petra Kenedy, legendary singer Janis Joplin, and more.

Amanda Eyre Ward is not afraid.

In researching her first novel Sleep Toward Heaven, Amanda sat down with convicted murderers waiting on death row to explore their regrets and hopes. While writing her novel Forgive Me, Amanda traveled to South Africa to experience the ethnic tensions of Johannesburg first-hand

In this episode of The Write Up, we discuss her latest novel The Same Sky her penchant for telling stories of the voiceless and powerless, the importance of looking past political divides to tell the stories of real people and how exploring the lives of others has impacted her own own.

This weekend's shows includes an album release by a local 70s-influenced rock band, a chamber music experiment by the drummer of the Police and a concert by singer-songwriter John Mellencamp.

KUT’s Nathan Bernier listens to quick clips of who’s playing with KUTX program director Matt Reilly.

This episode of In Perspective recognizes Black History Month by bringing together several scholars for a discussion of race in contemporary America. As we look back on 2014, we celebrate the achievements of African-Americans, but we also find racial inequality and abuses of power and privilege that continue to endanger and oppress non-white Americans.

We must also ask ourselves: Where are we, as a nation, in our ongoing debates regarding race? Among other inquiries, host Rebecca McInroy asks these In Perspective discussants which conversations about race are most productive to pursue.

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.

He was a songwriter who nurtured Texas music for decades from his honky tonk in San Marcos. Kent Finlay lost a battle to cancer Monday at the age of 77. He passed away at home. 

In 1974, Finlay opened the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos and hosted performances by artists such as Willie Nelson, Towns van Zandt, Guy Clark, George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan. 

"Kent is one of the stealth legends of Texas music," Texas music writer Joe Nick Patoski says. "As an arts patron, I don't think I've ever met anyone better." 

Listen to our conversation with Patoski about Finlay's life and legacy.

Texas Women's History Month (Week One)

Mar 1, 2015
Native American Women Texas
Gerald W. Williams Collection-2008

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas. 

In our first week, we'll look at the African-American women's suffrage movement in Texas; trailblazing writer Molly Ivins; Mollie Bailey, the "Circus Queen of the Southwest;" Ruthe Winegarten herself, and more. 

From Creative Actionthis month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit: 
Our MissionThe mission of Creative Action is to spark and support the academic, social and emotional development of young people.

Creative Action serves more than 20,000 youth annually in seven area school districts. As the largest provider of creative youth development programs in the Central Texas area, Creative Action uses the arts to activate the academic, social, and emotional development of young people. Through interactive classroom performances, after school, summer camp, and teen programs, Creative Action's team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be creative artistscourageous alliescritical thinkers and confident leaders in their community. By discovering their own voice, gaining confidence in sharing their perspectives, wrestling with big ideas, and deeply engaging in the world around them, youth become better prepared to work through social, emotional and academic challenges to become the next great thinkers, doers, and makers in our world.

Paul Bardagjy

Since 2008, the folks at Landmarks have been commissioning and installing public art across the University of Texas campus. Piece by piece, they're turning the university into a self-guided outdoor museum space.

The latest piece in the Landmarks series is also the largest. Monochrome for Austin, by artist Nancy Rubin, stands nearly 50 feet high and stretches across 24th street. It comprises around 75 kayaks, canoes, and small boats, arranged together to form an impressive whole that almost resembles a giant, otherworldly tree. The piece is so large that, when assembling it, considerations had to be made to ensure that it wouldn't block the path of any firetrucks.

Audrey Hukari recently sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with her friend Megan Trout, who works as a hospice chaplain. While Megan loves her job and feels that she has found her calling in her life, she didn’t enter the seminary planning to work with the dying. 


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Gospel Recording artist, radio and TV host, Dr. Bobby Jones; Wil Haygood, Washington Post reporter and author of “The Butler: A Witness to History;” Natalie Madeira Cofield, President & CEO of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, located in Austin, TX; and the late Robert C.

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUTX

KUTX held its third annual Map Jam festival this weekend, with nine bands playing across four venues in East Austin all day Saturday. This year's performers included the Golden Dawn Arkestra, Sip Sip, Leticia Rodriguez and Ruby Jane.

Lu Zeidan met her friend Qusay Hussein through her work with refugees at Interfaith Action of Central Texas, and they recently sat down together in the StoryCorps mobile booth. In 2006, when he was 17, Qusay was playing volleyball with three brothers and some friends in Mosul, Iraq, when a car bomb was detonated at the court. Dozens were hurt and 16 people were killed in the explosion. Qusay was severely injured, and later taken to a U.S. Army base for treatment. There, he was unconscious for twelve days, during which his family thought he was dead.  

Justin Sherburn and his band Montopolis have been performing live film scores for a few years now, creating original music for silent films and documentaries. For their next project, though, they're playing the music of another composer, the legendary Ennio Morricone. In fact, the project began with Sherburn's desire to pay tribute to Morricone and grew from there. 

He selected the 1916 silent film western 'The Return of Draw Egan' as a canvas, largely because it contains all the elements you'd expect to see in a classic western (gunfights, love interests, bad men trying to go straight). Then he decided to add an extra layer to the project, by changing the existing title cards to something a little funnier, creating what is essentially a Mystery Science Theater treatment for the silent film. Once he sat down to start writing some comedy, Sherburn came to an important realization: he's not a comedy writer.

Via flickr/megmccarron

The James Beard Foundation has announced the semifinalists for its coveted culinary Awards, and six Austin chefs and one new Austin restaurant have earned nods from the prestigious foundation.

Mark Buley and Sam Hellman-Mass of Odd Duck (Rising Star of the Year)

On this edition of In Black America, producer & host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Dr. James L. Hill, former senior vice president of The University of Texas at Austin and life-long educator, who helped the university make significant progress in the recruitment of students from underrepresented communities and build strong relationships with the East Austin community.

In this episode, hosted by Brian Ramos, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner talks about the genesis of the hit AMC show and its upcoming final episodes. Then Vince Gilligan talks about cutting his teeth writing for X-Files and the crazy origin of Breaking Bad.

Esther Garza and her fiance Patrick Brickley had a conversation recently in the StoryCorps mobile booth. They talked about topics including their family histories and the coincidences they've experienced over the years. They also talked about Esther's health. Nine years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer and is now classified as N.E.D., or No Evidence of Disease. In this section of their conversation, she shares a story of finding the strength she needed to deal with the disease.