Life & Arts

SXSW
2:13 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Bill Gates Delivers SXSW Edu Closing Remarks

Bill Gates closed out the third annual South by Southwest Edu conference.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Microsoft founder Bill Gates says tougher standards and more testing have not helped American students get a better ranking against their peers in other developed countries.

South by Southwest edu wrapped up today with a keynote from Bill Gates. In his remarks, Gates encouraged the hundreds in attendance to invest in technology as way to improve education in the U.S., while retaining educational fundamentals.

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SXSW
12:13 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Spring Break For Geeks: SXSW Interactive Starts Friday

At SXSW 2012, the app "Highlight" was touted but failed to break out like Foursquare or Twitter in years prior.
Jack Plunkett AP

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 2:01 pm

Every year, the South By Southwest music, film and interactive festival gets larger, and navigating the blur of panels, parties and shows gets more daunting. The girth of it all is enough to keep many SXSW old-timers away from Austin this year.

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Arts and Culture
10:25 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Take a Multimedia Tour of the Blanton Museum's 'Masterworks'

The "Masterworks" exhibit compares and contrasts art from the collections of UT Alumni.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Audio from Morning Edition 3/7/13

The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new exhibit — "Through the Eyes of Texas: Masterworks from Alumni Collections". The exhibit features almost 200 pieces of art from the private collections of UT alumni.

The exhibit features work that spans the globe and human history.

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SXSW
9:35 am
Thu March 7, 2013

SXSW Film Kicks Off Friday

A still from "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," featuring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey.
Warner Bros./New Line Cinema

The longest part of the South by Southwest festival, the film portion, starts Friday. This is its 20th year, with more than 100 features to screen. KUT News talked with SXSW Film Festival Producer Janet Pierson about the festival's allure.

People love coming to the SXSW Film Festival – filmmakers and talent, they have a great time here; and partly it’s the magic of Austin, and it’s what happens with the Austin audiences.

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Books
4:00 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Former Austinite's Memoir Not Your Usual Mother-Daughter Story

Domenica Ruta says her years in Austin at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin were pivotal in beginning to sever the tumultuous relationship she had with her mother.
Meredith Zinner

Domenica Ruta had a childhood some kids would envy- ice cream for breakfast; shopping trips and movies instead of school sometimes; no real rules at home. But for every dream moment like those, there were the nightmares, too - a drug addicted mother; the constant threat of violence; and the joking encouragement to become a teen mother.

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SXSW
5:47 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Austin's Homeless to Sell 'Street Treats' During SXSW

Mobile Loaves and Fishes

Homeless people will be selling coffee, snacks and ice cream from push carts during South by Southwest. The local non-profit Mobile Loaves and Fishes is running the program. They call it Street Treats. (Not to be confused with this food truck that bears the same name.)

“We wanted to create a dignifying opportunity for these men and women to earn an income. We’re able to put them in a uniform, and they look really clean and presentable to the community," said Stephanie Asmus with Mobile Loaves and Fishes. She says this is the second year of their program.

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SXSW
4:48 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Phone Carriers Brace for SXSW

That's a lot of cell phones: The scene at the Austin Convention Center last South by Southwest.
flickr.com/joelanthonyvaldez

Cell phone companies are getting ready for South by Southwest, when thousands of smartphone-toting attendees will be putting mobile bandwidth limits to the test.

“What we’re doing is we’re adding capacity to all of the existing sites that cover that area,” says Bill Brickle, Verizon’s director of system performance for Central Texas. “We’re also adding coverage by adding portable cell sites, or ‘cells on wheels’ as we call them.”

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Arts and Culture
1:03 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

'Drowning House' Plunges Readers Into A Dark, Victorian Galveston

Elizabeth Black's first novel "The Drowning House" explores Victorian Galveston.
Random House

Galveston Island is famous for many things: miles of beaches, its many festivals and Victorian architecture – and its sea wall – that was built after the hurricane of 1900. That was the deadliest hurricane in US history – and it rewrote the history of Galveston.

Texas author Elizabeth Black has set that famous hurricane at the center of a mystery in her first novel, “The Drowning House." Just as Galveston’s modern history is built on the foundation of the great hurricane, so is the narrative, set moodily in the city’s historic district. 

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SXSW
10:25 am
Tue March 5, 2013

The Mix: The Austin 100

Molly Hamilton of Widowspeak is one of the 100 acts with songs in our annual SXSW sampler.
Loren Wohl for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:03 pm

Audio for The Austin 100 is no longer available.

It says a lot about SXSW's size and scope that this "sampler" of the annual music festival spans six and a half hours, but here we are: 100 songs by 100 artists worth discovering at this year's big event.

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Arts and Culture
4:53 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Interview: Greater Tuna's Jaston Williams on Art and Activism

Jaston Williams and Joe Sears as their "Greater Tuna" characters Vera Carp and Pearl Burras.
Phil Konstantin, via Wikipedia
  • Interview: Greater Tuna star Jaston Williams

  |

The Texas Cultural Trust hosts the Texas Medal of Arts Awards March 4-5 in Austin.  Since 2001, the awards have spotlighted highly creative Texans and generous patrons of the arts.

KUT News spoke with Jaston Williams, one of this year’s honorees. Williams and his collaborator Joe Sears are being recognized for writing and starring in the legendary satiric play series "Greater Tuna."

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Arts and Culture
2:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

'Thank You For That Gift': Memories Of Van Cliburn From Medalists

Van Cliburn in concert in 1993.
Ron Jenkins

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 3:42 pm

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Arts and Culture
5:54 am
Fri March 1, 2013

New African-American Center Opens Today

City of Austin

Today is the grand opening of Austin’s new African-American Cultural and Heritage Facility. The center is housed in a historic structure at 912 East 11th Street. The Dedrick-Hamilton house was home to the family of one of the first freed slaves in Travis County.

The center was paid for with $1.5 million from the 2006 city bond, along with about $3 million in federal grants, according to the city.

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Arts and Culture
6:17 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Folklore From All Over in New Cargill Novel

Austin is home to a lot of weird stuff: bat tributes, floating marching bands, Hippie Hollow. In his new book, Dreams and Shadows, Austin author C. Robert Cargill delves deep into the dark heart of the city’s inner weirdness, using a little myth and legend as punctuation for a truly unique story. He spoke with KUT’s Emily Donahue about his work and his inspiration.

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in memoriam
11:40 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Van Cliburn, The 'American Sputnik' Of Piano, Dies At 78

Van Cliburn Foundation

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:48 am

Legendary pianist Van Cliburn has died at his home in Fort Worth, former CEO of the Cliburn Foundation Richard Rodzinski confirms. Cliburn was diagnosed with bone cancer in August. 

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Arts and Culture
12:06 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Photos: Austin’s African-American Community Heritage Festival

The Reagan High School drumline marches into the festival on the Huston-Tillotson campus.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The 14th annual African-American Community Heritage Festival was held in East Austin this weekend, at historic  Huston-Tillotson University.

The event featured food, vendors, a performance from R&B singer Dwele and much more.

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Arts and Culture
7:35 am
Mon February 25, 2013

The Oscars Broadcast, Zooming Way Past Cheeky To Land Squarely On Crass

Adele performs the theme song to "Skyfall."
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 3:36 pm

If you like Argo (which won Best Picture), the movie Chicago (which made a couple of appearances) and jokes about women (which just kept coming), you probably had a substantially better night than the average viewer, who was subjected to Seth MacFarlane's delivery of one of the worst hosting performances in Oscar history.

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SXSW
1:13 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

The Good Listener: Do I Come To SXSW If I Don't Have A Badge Or A Billion Dollars?

Whether you buy a $795 badge or show up with a little spare cash on hand, SXSW has something for you — and will expect you to stand in line at some point.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 7:06 am

[This story originally ran on Feb. 22, 2013, but still applies today.]

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the Valentine's Day cards that got returned with no forwarding address is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how music fans could and should approach SXSW, the gigantic music festival held every March in Austin, Texas.

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Arts and Culture
6:07 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Out of the Attic: Quilting for the 'Pinterest' Generation

Modern Quilt Guild members chose Austin as the location of the first QuiltCon.
Tyler Pratt for KUT News

Click the player to hear an audio version of this story.

The first-ever international Modern Quilting Convention – QuiltCon – starts right here in Austin today. So what exactly is “Modern Quilting”?

Quilting has moved out of the attic and into the realm of cool. Just ask the millions of people on websites like Pinterest and Etsy.

QuiltCon organizer Heather Grant says the craft started its internet revolution in 2005… when it became easier to share photos online.

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FOOD
1:09 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Five Austin Chefs Named James Beard Semi-Finalists

A private table in the vault under La Condesa, one of several restaurants whose chefs were named James Beard semi-finalists
flickr.com/ahockley

The James Beard Foundation announced its semi-finalists for one of the most prestigious set of culinary awards, and five local chefs made the shortlist

  • Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko (Outstanding Chef)
  • Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine (Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best Chef: Southwest)
  • Janina O’Leary of TRACE (Rising Star Chef of the Year)
  • Laura Sawicki of La Condesa (Outstanding Pastry Chef)
  • Rene Ortiz of La Condesa (Best Chef: Southwest)

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Arts and Culture
5:57 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Mindy McCready, Whose Life Was a Country Song, Has Died

Mindy McCready performing in 2008 in Nashville.
Frederick Breedon IV WireImage

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:59 pm

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