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

Words

Apr 18, 2017

Sometimes

Life isn’t fair

It was proven to me

He didn’t deserve it

No,

None of them did

And me,

I was saved

By words

A Forgotten Home

Apr 18, 2017

Read by Zell Miller III

We came to a stop,

the door opened

and a thick air filled the car

and creeped into my lungs.

I cough and sniffle,

dirt covers my face.

as we walk down the streets

of red, orange, blue and green houses,

mix matched tall and short, big and small 

made of twig, cement or bricks.

Fruit stands, carts selling make-up,

tacos and aguas frescas

line the block

and barefooted children run everywhere

asking for food or money.

I can feel the warmth in every step I take

to get to my grandma’s house.

I hear “bien” and “còmo estas,”

a language that almost sounds foreign now

and I realize: I’ve missed this place, my home. 

Ledges

Apr 18, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

I jumped off a ledge once

Into the water

It took me about half an hour to work up the courage

I realized afterwards

That it all happens very fast

But when you jump from high enough,

Your heart flies

And your stomach drops

And you can feel the wind wash you

And then you are in the water

The bottom of the lake was like a marshmallow covered in moss

I stayed under for a bit

Then shot to the top with traces of suspense in my heart

Once

FLICKR.COM/HELLBOY_93

The late Tejano music pop icon Selena Quintanilla-Pérez would have turned 46 on Sunday. Selena was murdered at age 23 by the president of her fan club. 

But 22 years after her death, Selena still has a large and dedicated fan base. Events marking her birthday in Austin include movie parties at Alamo Drafthouse locations, a Selena tribute at the Sahara Lounge and a Selena trivia night at the Dog and Duck Pub. 

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Apr 14, 2017

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe

The hum of excitement,


The tense moments before the kickoff,


The game starts and you’re sitting


In the stands but you feel


The movements of every player,


All our preconceived ideas about each other

Become non-existent


As you meld with the crowd,


The singing, the jeering, the roar


When your side scores a goal—


There is no class distinction


Or racial divide when your team


Takes a shot-- a blissful silence


As the ball hits the back of the net


And the crowd erupts in a deafening boom,

But once that final buzzer sounds,


Whether you won or not,


You’ll never walk alone. 

The Seasons Change

Apr 14, 2017

Read by Sara Hickman

The seasons change,

The trees sprout new leaves,

Birds sing a beautiful medley,

The flowers bloom every day.

The sun rises later in mornings,

The wind blows, the leaves beautify,

The sky is bright blue,

The animals come from hibernation,

It is the beginning of spring.

Sandy Carson

"Basically, it was an offshoot to concert photography assignments," says Sandy Carson of his new book We Were There.  "I was in the photo pit shooting the bands... and turned my camera around on the fans, basically capturing the energy of the music experience."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 12th annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl XL week.

Filipa Rodrigues / KUT

Author Richard Florida has made a career studying cities, both culturally and economically. He promotes what he calls the "creative class" and has said for years that cities prosper when they attract upscale innovators and entrepreneurs. Make your city a place where the creative class wants to live, and they, in turn, will create jobs.

Courtesy of Austin Peay State University

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Harold Young, assistant professor at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn.

Multi-directional pressures and demands from administrations, departments, students, and parents are universal in academic life. What is different for faculty of color is the racist micro-aggressions encountered while going about the tasks of engaging a diverse student body and fulfilling other responsibilities in a challenging social and political environment. They are charged with supporting their students who also share these experiences.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

When director Richard Linklater presented Shirley MacLaine with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Texas Film Hall of Fame event last month, he wasn’t wearing a tux or a coat and tie. In true Texas fashion, he was wearing a chain-stitch embroidered Western shirt with pearl snaps and all. 

From Farmgrass, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Mission: Farmgrass's mission is to promote the mental and physical well-being of independent Central Texas farmers and ranchers.

Farmgrass raises emergency medical funds for local, independent farmers by donating proceeds from community events throughout the year such as Farm To Feast, a locally sourced dinner banquet, and Farmgrass Fest, a family-friendly Americana music festival. These events raise awareness about the dangers and struggles of farming, promote the local food movement, and bring in critical funds for independent farmers who don't have a financial safety net.

"The first festival was in 2007, but we took a break in 2008 ... and then the next one came back in 2009, [so] this is the actual 10th production of the festival," says producer Lynn Raridon of the Texas Burlesque Festival. 

Audrey Maker, who co-founded the fest, continues the history. "I started the Texas Burlesque Festival with Stacey Breakall, and ..." 

"A.K.A. Tijuana Trixie," Raridon adds.

Ricardo B.Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman

A mash-up of a Texas smokehouse and Japanese bar food is drawing crowds to a restaurant on East 2nd Street near Pleasant Valley Road. We asked Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam for his review of Kemuri Tatsu-Ya.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of The Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award at Super Bowl LI.

The award was created to honor the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. The Award is named after Bart Starr who, in addition to being in the NFL Hall of Fame, was selected as MVP in Super Bowls I and II. Starr is an individual of impeccable character who has served his family and community faithfully through the years and is a role model for athletes and business people alike.

"Underground is a play that's been in my consciousness for many years," says playwright Lisa B. Thompson. "I lived in Los Angeles during the uprising-slash-riots for Rodney King. I also lived in upstate New York during 9/11... and all that's been brewing in my consciousness for quite a long time."

"It began with a woman at the center," Thompson says. "She's now just a name in the play -- the men took over, and I was happy to let them. I've been writing it for some time and the characters announced themselves quite strongly." As Underground took shape in Thompson's mind, the work came to be about two men -- Kyle and Mason -- who reunite decades after meeting in college. 

Marc Pouhé plays Kyle. "At the start of the story... he's the head of the BSA, the Black Students' Association, on campus, and he takes Mason under his wing. But they have different beginnings and different... I don't want to say endings, but different where-we-end-up-meeting-them in this story."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Jeff Ballou, Al Jazeera Media Network News editor, and the 110th president of the National Press Club.

Ballou is the first African American man to hold the position, and will mark the first time someone from a non-U.S. and non-Western-based television network has been elected president of the National Press Club.

Beth Dubber/Netflix

Life magazine once dubbed Madalyn Murray O’Hair “the most hated woman in America.” This week, a feature film about the longtime Austinite’s life and tragic death made its debut at South by Southwest.

J. Paul Brick

This is the 10th year St. David's Episcopal Church in downtown Austin has been a South by Southwest music venue. Nearby Central Presbyterian Church was the first church to be a venue for the festival, and it still is. Musicians will also perform at Promised Land Church this year.

Ricard Brazziell, Austin American-Statesman

The Chinese flavors at Old Thousand on East 11th Street might not be the most traditional or authentic you've tasted, but they're still delicious, according to Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam. We spoke with him about his review.


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