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

Fried chicken sandwiches are enjoying renewed popularity, and there are a growing number of options in Austin. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his new top ten favorite chicken sandwiches .

Playwright Elizabeth Doss has spent the past few years creating theater pieces about her family history. Hillcountry Underbelly was inspired by her own childhood in Central Texas, and in last year's Mast she crafted a tale based on the true life adventures of her maternal grandparents. Now, for the third work in that loose trilogy, she's reaching further back in time, all the way to her great-great-great-grandfather, Herman Melville. "It's, in a large part, tracing not just the life of Herman Melville but specifically my lineage up to him," she says, "so all that family are the characters in this play."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late legendary blues musician B.B. King. King died on May 14, 2015. He was 89. The winner of 15 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors, and more, King leaves a legacy of influence on American music. Coming from the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta, he remained true to the blues, and won millions of fans including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and U.S....

Before embarking on a long and successful career as a standup comedian, Lewis Black had another, less successful, career as a playwright. One of the plays he wrote during that time, One Slight Hitch , has recently seen a resurgence in popularity decades after its creation. After being performed at a handful of theaters across the country in recent months, it's now making its Austin premiere thanks to the folks at Paradox Players. Set in 1981, the play is now a period piece; it's set in the...

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Foyekemi Ikyaator, emergency room physician and Medical Director of Life SaversER , located in Houston, Texas. Life Savers Emergency Room was created to meet the medical needs of Houston. They are a stand-alone emergency room, meaning they are not attached to a hospital. Dr. Foye enjoy Emergency Medicine tremendously and at Life Savers ER, they are able to provide the same ER care much more efficiently than...

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tunette Powell, motivational speaker, author, education consultant and co-founder of The Truth Heals . Powell has made it her mission to be a voice of hope and healing for some of the world’s most despaired and underserved populations. She currently serves as the CEO of The Truth Heals and sits on a host of nonprofit boards. Powell has also authored three books, including a fourth-grade history book for Omaha...

From Divine Canines , this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit: Divine Canines provides free therapy dog services to more than 60 sites around Austin and Central Texas. Our specially trained dog-and-handler volunteer teams visit children and adults facing various physical and cognitive challenges, including mental illness, physical limitations and dementia. Clients who interact with our wonderful dogs benefit emotionally and physically, showing signs of improved mood, confidence, communication and trust. Our dogs love the attention and affection they get from our clients!


Apr 29, 2016

Like clouds in the sky, My many thoughts float around, Then sink into a deep fog. A maze of feelings, A maze where I can’t get out. Life was quite good, An adventure like the maze, Those were the good days. Were...


Apr 29, 2016

The saddest thing about it is that it never comes from my enemies and it’s always a surprise. I start depending on people for my happiness and when they leave, like they always do, they take my happiness with them but they don't care. I'm discarded like an old toy and forgotten about.


Apr 29, 2016

Poetry is powerful. Powerful as the deadly flight of a hungry falcon, the majestic roaring of waterfalls, the enormous roar of a free tiger. Poetry is entertaining. Entertaining as the hilarity of everything when you’re tired, as your brother when he tries to show off in front of his friends, as the ridiculously cheesy movies that still make us cry. Poetry is magical. Magical as the whisper of the wind on a cold winter night, as the sparkles that you never quite see in the corner of your eye,...

The Difference

Apr 29, 2016

Thick bricks blockade my inside laughs. Others giggle, I stare. Mom says it's a new page being turned But my inside chattering thinks otherwise. “At least try,” they say, But I retract from the thought. I used to greet with a smile, I used to talk with a squeak, I used to run with pride. Now, Thick bricks blockade my inside laughs.

The Seasons Change and So Do You

Apr 29, 2016

Every summer, when the sun beats down and you feel the heat coming off your skin, it seems as if it will never be cold again. And every winter, when the skies are a pale grey and you can't feel your fingers as they rub together, it seems as if it will never be warm again. When you are happy, your lips spread in a laugh and your eyes bright and rested, it seems as if you will never be sad again. And when you are sad, the emptiness in your stomach tightening and your face damp with tears, It...


Apr 29, 2016

Remember when The raindrops splashed Tracing down your face like tears And you would take my hand Promising more days, more years? Yet now, underneath the winter ground, Your hands lay clasped, to your chest bound. Remember how you used to be? Remember when Your song would make us smile, Your eyes all light And full of life? But then, one came for you Like a great bird, it took you. Remember how we used to be? Remember when You used to laugh Counting clouds And make a wish That wish never...

School Observations

Apr 29, 2016

Talking Always talking Heard walking under the courtyard sky. Talking walls and floors, A jogging cart with keys ripping words from the air, And trophies breaking through the glass display case, Fluttering origami on the counselors’ door, Next to the sculpture of nearly silent clocks. The rustle of posters and paintings, scratching of writing utensils - My observations of a magically magical place.


Apr 29, 2016

Above the stars In emptiness We are there. You look, yet You can’t Find us. We dwell We play We laugh Yet you don’t see us Peering through your telescope Seeing the infinite horizon Staring out at space. But we whisper to you while you sleep Telling you secrets Telling you stories Telling you lies Telling you things you would be shocked to hear.

The Wait

Apr 29, 2016

I wait and wait for the moment to come, but when it finally arrives, I am no longer waiting.


Apr 29, 2016

Dear World, If I were to hold you, you would have to be small, to fit my small hands. I would hold you and protect you if it weren’t for the problem that everyone is so big - too heavy for me to carry - and they don’t seem willing to change for one small person.

Who am I?

Apr 29, 2016

I am a Hispanic-American, 14 years old. Both of my parents are from Mexico and it’s in my blood. On weekdays, I sometimes go home and watch novelas, eat tacos and chicharrones with salsa valentina. Yeah, I am a Hispanic girl who is planning to have a Quinceanera for an unforgettable day. But I am also an American girl, born here in the U.S.A. and it also runs in my blood. On Wednesdays, I look forward to watching Modern Family while eating hot dogs and hot cheetos. Yeah, I am an American girl...


Apr 29, 2016

Sun burning bright in soft blank sky. Asphalt streets lined with trees, yet emanating heat. Black ramp, years of people gripping its rail. The street an orchestra of colors: green, black, brown, yellow, red up to the clouds of white. Inside the houses, people languish escaping from the heat. Joggers brave the scorching sidewalk. We all feel it. The street is alive despite the excruciating heat.


Apr 29, 2016

What is love? Love is something you earn or gain through the challenges you face with others. Love is something that you need in order to live in everyday life. Love is a rhythm that keeps your body grooving like a whip and nae-nae. Love—an unknown object that no living object could resist. MLK, back then said that “in the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.” In these terms, he used it as a force for good, but to others it is a force of evil such as the love of destruction and...