Life & Arts

Life & Arts
2:59 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

National Spelling Bee: Rare Co-Champions, And A Star Online

Ansun Sujoe, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Sriram Hathwar, of Painted Post, N.Y., were named co-champions of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday. Their siblings helped them celebrate the first shared title since 1962.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 11:41 am

For the first time in 52 years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned two winners last night, after the final two competitors exhausted the word list. The winners were Sriram Hathwar, an eighth-grader from Painted Post, N.Y., and Ansun Sujoe, a seventh-grader from Fort Worth, Texas.

"I like sharing the victory with someone else," Ansun said. "It's been quite shocking and quite interesting, too. It's very rare."

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Life & Arts
10:10 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Austin Favorite Sarah Bird's New Novel Travels New - and Old - Ground

Austin novelist Sarah Bird's new book is entitled, "Above the East China Sea."
Filipa Rodrigues

Austin novelist Sarah Bird has been writing for a while. Long enough to become beloved in Austin and build a loyal following for her fun, easy stories with an Austin flair. But this month, Sarah Bird's about to ruin her reputation. Her new novel, Above the East China Sea looks at life from a completely different perspective. 

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Life & Arts
8:56 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

Angelou became Hollywood's first black female movie director on Nov. 3, 1971. She also wrote the script and music for Caged Bird, which was based on her best-selling 1969 autobiography. She had been a professional singer, dancer, writer, composer, poet, lecturer, editor and San Francisco streetcar conductor.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:58 am

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of a series of memoirs.

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In Black America Podcast
4:55 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

The LBJ Civil Rights Summit: Music and Social Consciousness

Mavis Staples

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the LBJ Civil Rights Summit, held this past spring at the LBJ Presidential Library on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Featured on today’s program are Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and Grammy Award-winner Mavis Staples.

This past April, the LBJ Presidential Library on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin hosted a Civil Rights Summit to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The summit featured three former presidents and President Obama. It also looked back at the civil rights movement of the 1960s and looked forward at the civil rights issues still facing America and the world.

 

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Life & Arts
4:13 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Here Are Five Page-Turners for Summer Reading Season

This weekend not only kicks of the summer vacation and travel season. It also kicks off the summer reading season. So The Texas Standard reached out to the mavens of manuscripts at the Kirkus Reviews. 

Editor-in-chief Clay Smith sat down with David Brown to discuss some of the best books available this season. Smith's picks for summer reading with a punch include:

Natchez Burning by Greg Isles. "Greg Isles is a guy who has been publishing thrillers for a while and he was on a routing publishing schedule, you know, year after year ... He had a car crash and was induced into a coma recently and so this is his first thriller in five years. And it deals with all that southern stuff. You know, race, long held secrets, society and readers are loving it. It is hard to put down."

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Life & Arts
2:46 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

New Reality Series Follows Two Austin-Based Classic Car Dealers

Antonio Brunet and Yusuf Johnson with their 1963 split-window Corvette.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT

The latest in reality television isn’t coming to you from a Louisiana bayou. Duck Dynasty doesn’t have quite the same global reach as the Discovery Channel’s new series premiering tonight.

“Chrome Underground” hails from a classic car shop in Austin, but it will take you across the earth.

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Arts Eclectic
11:55 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Enjoy Free Shakespeare in the Park

For the past three decades, Austin Shakespeare has partnered with the city to present free Shakespeare in Zilker Park. This year, they're finally producing a free-in-the-park version of artistic director Ann Ciccolella's personal favorite Shakespearean play, As You Like It.

It's one of the bard's most joyous works, including hallmarks of Shakespearean comedy such as mistaken identity, cross-dressing, and the search for true love. As You Like It features some of Shakespeare's best-loved characters and most memorable scenes, and in true romantic comedy fashion, a happy ending that includes no fewer than four weddings.

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Life & Arts
1:08 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

UT Filmmaker Wins Top Prize at Prestigious Cannes Film Festival (Update)

Writer/Director Annie Silverstein reacting to her win at Cannes.
facebook.com/pages/SKUNK/501052066618739

Update: Annie Silverstein's "Skunk" won first place in the Cannes Film Festival Cinéfondation competition.

Her film was singled out from 1,631 entries coming from 457 film schools worldwide. Silverstein's win comes with a €15,000 prize – that's more than $20,000. She is also guaranteed that her first feature film will be presented at the Festival de Cannes.

Original Story (7:17 a.m.): The Cannes Film Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious. Films that screen there are often instantly propelled to a level they might otherwise never reach.

Annie Silverstein is learning all about that first hand. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in UT's Radio-Television-Film Department in 2013. Her thesis film “Skunk” was one of 16 chosen from over 1,600 film school submissions.

Silverstein will find out today if “Skunk” will be picked as one of the top three.

Annie Silverstein stopped by KUT to talk about the journey of “Skunk.”

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Arts Eclectic
9:40 am
Thu May 22, 2014

See 'Chicago' in a Lounge Setting

  M. Scott Tatum and Julianna E. Wright have been producing theater together since their high school days. Their partnership continued through college and eventually culminated in the formation of their production company, Half and Half Productions.

The latest show from Half and Half, co-directed by Scott and Julianna, is the classic musical Chicago. Chicago's been onstage in Austin a few times as part of Broadway Across America, and there have been a handful of school productions of it, but this is, perhaps surprisingly, the first professional, locally-produced version presented to Austin audiences.

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Life & Arts
4:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

The International NBA: How Hiring Outside the Box Builds Better Teams

Flickr user Doug L., flic.kr/ps/2bA2fE

The San Antonio Spurs face the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in Game Two of the NBA's Western Conference playoff.

While the game's on the Spurs' home court in the AT&T Center in San Antonio, several Spurs players don't hail from San Antonio – or Texas – or even the United States for that matter. In fact, the Spurs are the most international team in the NBA.

Other teams are on their way. In the 2013 NBA draft, the number one pick was a Canadian. This year, the number one pick may well be another Canadian.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 Lineup
9:00 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Judas Priest, Nas, Neutral Milk Hotel Headline 2014 Fun Fun Fun Fest

A FFF Fest goer revels in last year's mosh pit. This year's fest returns to Auditorium Shores with a blast of metal and punk.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUTX

In 2006 a small music festival began in Austin’s Waterloo Park. It was aimed at the city’s alternative music scene and headlined by Austin’s own psych rockers, The Black Angels.

Nine years later, Fun Fun Fun Fest has grown to become one of the premiere independent music festivals in the country, attracting international acts and attention. At a special event Monday night, the festival’s producers, Transmission Events, revealed this year’s lineup. And you may want to remember to bring your earplugs.

This year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup features a medley of heavy metal and punk, with legendary acts such as Judas Priest, King Diamond, Dinosaur Jr. and Rocket from the Crypt. Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Sick of It All, Amon Amarth, Black Lips and Glassjaw are also bringing the noise.

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In Black America Podcast
3:47 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Interview: 'Careeranista: The Woman's Guide to Success After College'

Chaz Pitts-Kyser, Founder and Managing Editor

  On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Chaz Pitts-Kyser, Founder and Managing Editor of and author of Careeranista: The Woman’s Guide to Success After College. 

Just 30 minutes of watching the news is enough to make the average woman graduating from college want to crawl beneath the covers. The headlines always seem to come back to the sluggish economy, high rate of unemployment, fierce competition for jobs, and ultimately, just how unlucky young professionals are for having to build a career amid such misfortune.

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Life & Arts
4:00 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

The Moyers on Addiction: A Public Family Talks About A Private Problem

Texas Standard's David Brown (left) recently sat down with Bill, William and Judith Moyers for a discussion of addiction.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Addiction affects nearly 23 million Americans, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Yet only about 10 percent of those affected are receiving treatment.

Addiction comes at a high price to society. It's estimated that drug and alcohol abuse costs the United States around $500 billion a year in health care spending, lost productivity and crime. But perhaps the friends and families of those struggling with addiction can best attest to the emotional, psychological and social toll of the illness.

One American family knows the struggle addiction brings all too well. 

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Author Interviews
8:19 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Author Robert Bryce: Why Thinking Smaller Will Bring the Future Faster

What do transistors, lithium batteries and AK-47s have in common?

Each one of those inventions fast-forwarded human history. They and many more, argues Austin-based author Robert Bryce, are examples of a trend in nature and society toward making things, faster, cheaper and – Bryce argues – better.

Bryce's new book is called "Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong." He spoke to Texas Standard host David Brown.

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Arts Eclectic
10:14 am
Wed May 14, 2014

See Children's Theater from Pollyanna Theatre Company

Austin's Pollyanna Theatre Company specializes in theater for young audiences. And in addition to creating original theatrical works for children, they also believe in theater as a teaching tool.

To that end, they stage shows in cooperation with the Long Center, which are aimed at young children and their families, and also venture into local schools for performances and education.

Their latest play, Plus and Minus: The Vacation Adventure by Katherine Gee Perrone, revisits popular characters Addy Plus and Minus Takeaway and teaches lessons about both math and acceptance.

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Arts Eclectic
1:51 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Austin's Homeless Ask 'Am I Invisible?' in New Art Project

Am I Invisible? is an ongoing art project written and performed by members of Austin’s homeless population. It  explores their lives through video presentations, monologues and other performances. 

The project began last year when video artist Roni Chelben began facilitating video workshops at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. It led to a series of videos featuring members of Austin's homeless community, and eventually a live show based on the lives of its participants. 

Am I Invisible? incorporates all these elements, including the video segments, performances, and live monologues written by homeless members of our community, inspired by their lives.

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In Black America Podcast
9:05 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Interview: 'No One Left To Hate' Author Cleveland Pimpton

Cleveland Pimpton

    

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Cleveland Pimpton, author of "No One Left To Hate."

Can someone you've never met have an impact on your life? The answer is simply yes. This is the story of two men who share the same first name, but because of fate intervening they never meet. Separated by war and a generation apart, they both do their part to save the lives of their friends and brother in arms.  

 The spirit of one seems to live in the other. Shirley, the true love of one Malcolm and the mother of the other is the conduit that connects them. Journey with us through these pages and see how God can take the tragedies in their lives and turn them into second chances at love and life.

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Willie Velasquez Day
3:13 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Latino Voting Rights Activist Willie Velasquez Remembered As Hero

Willie Velasquez fought to gain voting rights for Latinos in the Southwest
William C. Velasquez Institute

He died young and unexpectedly more than 25 years ago, but his political legacy continues today.

The Texas Legislature and Gov. Rick Perry have designated today, Friday, May 9, as Willie Velasquez Day. A fighter for Latino voting rights across the Southwest,  the late activist died suddenly of cancer in 1988 at the age of 44.

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Food & Drink
12:59 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

As Craft Beer Starts Gushing, Its Essence Gets Watered Down

Craft breweries now make up 98 percent of all U.S. operating breweries. Of course, overall sales are still dwarfed by traditional beers.
Courtesy of the Brewers Association

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:19 am

There was once a time when it was easy to throw around the term "craft beer" and know exactly what you were talking about. For decades, craft was the way to differentiate small, independently owned breweries – and the beer they make – from the brewing giants like Coors, Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

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Life & Arts
2:19 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Barstool Poetry Can Turn Anyone Into a Poet

A poem entitled "Bats, Bats, Bats" from "Barstool Poetry: Best of Austin."
Bob Makela

When things get quiet at a bar, many turn to their cell phone as a way to escape that awkward feeling.

Bob Makela hopes to change that with Barstool Poetry.

The idea began at a bar called the San Francisco Saloon in California in 1992. Makela and his roommate were having trouble working up the courage to speak to members of the opposite sex.

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