Sneak Preview of Citizen Architect

The new documentary from Austin’s own Sam Douglas will air nationally in August. But KLRU is offering our viewers the first look at this inspiring story tonight (6/10) at 7 p.m. The filmmaker and other guest will be in the studio talking about the experience of making this film.

Citizen Architect
In 1993, the late architect and MacArthur “genius” Samuel Mockbee started the Rural Studio, a design/build program in which students create striking architecture for impoverished communities in rural Alabama. Guided by frank, passionate, never-before-seen interviews with Mockbee, the film shows how students use their creativity, ingenuity and compassion to craft a home for their charismatic, indigent client, Jimmie Lee Matthews, known as “Music Man” for his passion for soul music. The Rural Studio provides students with an experience that inspires them to consider how they can use their skills to better their communities. Interviews with Mockbee’s peers and scenes with those he’s influenced infuse the film with a larger discussion of architecture’s role in issues of poverty, class, race, education, citizenship and social change.

Wednesday live on KLRU

The arts feature prominently on the regular Wednesday night lineup and on this evening some of Austin’s finest talents performed live on KLRU. Musician Austin Collins performed two songs throughout the premier of American Masters Neil Young: Don’t Be Denied. His soulful, rootsy sound was a fine accompaniment to Mr. Young’s music and stories.

Audiences had the delight of seeing great performances by the McCallum Fine Arts Academy during Great Performances In the Heights. Frankly, they blew us away.

Under the direction of Julie Wright and Scott Tatum, the cast of students grades 9-12 performed two selections from their bilingual adaptation of Evita. They are preparing to take their “show on the road” to Coast Rica this July. As Julie explains:

Community building, outreach and cultural exchange are the Theatre Department’s continuing goals as their bilingual Evita hits the road this coming summer. By working with local theatre professionals, immersion specialists and civic organizations in Central America, McCallum’s Fine Arts Academy has arranged to perform Evita in Costa Rica in July while participating in a two week learning program alongside local performers and technicians.

We wish them the best on their tour and will follow their adventures online.

It’s not a surprise to say the KLRU staff regularly have the honor to work with some of the best musicians and artists on the planet and the talent performing in studio 6B tonight was no exception; thanks to them and all of our community supporters.

Please support the folks who support us. Austin Collins performs at the Ghost Room this Saturday and you can support the McCallum Fine Arts Academy by attending a performance in person or donating to their program online.

Tuesday Live on KLRU

The theme Tuesday night in studio 6B was exploration. Brought together by a heated debate over Pluto and the zeros and ones of the digital frontier, fans of science and media gathered together to support Austin’s PBS station

While members of the Austin Planetarium (@austinplanet) answered phones during NOVA program The Pluto Files, executive director Torval Hessel explained to viewers that the argument over Pluto was not a new one. In fact a book on astronomy published more than 100 years ago numbers 450 planets in our solar system, including Pluto. Mr. Hessel spoke earlier in the day to the host of NOVA, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson about Pluto. Listen to their conversation about angry letters from 4th graders, Neil’s first encounters with the night sky, and his thoughts on why Austin needs a planetarium.

The Austin Social Media Club (@SMCAustin) tweeted, blogged and updated their support throughout Frontline: Digital Nation. Co-founders David J Neff and Mike Chapman explained in interviews that social media is a two way conversation. If you’re just starting out try to just listen for awhile, it’ll be easier to understand the conversations taking place and your participation with have more value.

If you’d like to explore the summer sky through a telescope check out the free Austin under the Stars event, more information at Austin Planetarium’s website.

The Austin Social Media Club invites you to attend their next meeting and learn about the latest trends in social media with like minded folks. Check the events calendar at their facebook group.

A big thanks to everyone who supported NOVA and Frontline in their regular Tuesday time slots.

Monday Live on KLRU

On Monday night, members of the community joined staff live in the studio to help fundraise for KLRU. It was a great kickoff to this week of live television breaks during the regular primetime lineup.

Throughout Antiques Roadshow Austin appraisers gave two lucky KLRU fans a professional examination of their jewelry. Rebekkah Kwast brought in watches that had belonged to her grandmother. After Ralph Mothnar gave a closer look at one of the pieces, a gold watch he discovered to still be in working condition, he determined the value to be around $300.

Elizabeth Chapman’s antique ring proved to be a big surprise. She knew the piece was from her grandmother, a Mardi Gras queen in New Orleans, but was thrilled when Sarah Williams valued the Victorian era ring at more than $3000.

During American Experience we were joined for an interview with Sebastian Puente CEO, Cultural Strategies. Along with his insights on Austin’s Mexican American community he shared a touching story about watching A Class Apart together with his daughter and the important discussion on culture and history that followed.

Thank you to the phone volunteers and guests that made the evening very engaging. Our appraisers were Ralph Mothnar 512-797-1026 and Sarah Williams 512-452-6641.

June 2010: America's Orchestra

Craig Ferguson America’s Orchestra: Celebrating the 125 Years of the Boston Pops

7-8pm, Wednesday, June 23rd

Craig Ferguson hosts this star-studded 125th anniversary celebration of the Boston Pops, telling the story of the orchestra’s transformation from summertime entertainment for Bostonians to the national icon it is today. In the past eight decades the Pops has been under the leadership of just three conductors, Arthur Fiedler, John Williams and Keith Lockhart. This special features their work and interviews and/or performances by Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Groban, James Taylor, Vanessa Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and Roberta Flack. Also featured is rare footage of favorite artists past and present, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Cash, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., John Raitt, k.d. lang, The Carpenters, and Patti LaBelle.

Thursday, June 24th, 2-3 a.m. & 8-9 p.m.
Friday, June 25th, 4-5 a.m.
Sunday, June 27th, 4-5 a.m. & 4-5 p.m.

KLRU Tries Something Different

Instead of interrupting your regular schedule to fundraise for KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, we’ve decided to stick to our normal program lineup and TRUST YOU to support your PBS station.

We often hear from our viewers, “Why don’t you air the shows I depend on all year long during the fundraising drive…I’d like to pledge my support for them?” Well, now is your chance. This week (Monday, June 7 through Friday, June 11) we’re reaching to achieve an aggressive June fundraising goal, but we’ve set aside the traditional pledge programs to bring you a lineup of PBS Newshour, Antiques RoadShow, American Experience, Nova, Frontline, and more. We only ask that you support KLRU. We also have some great thank you gifts, plus every online supporter this week will receive a new KLRU water bottle.

In addition to your favorite PBS programming, members of the community will be joining us to show their support this week. We hope you’ll tune in to see your friends and neighbors live in our studio. It is truly a community effort running Austin’s only locally owned and operated TV station and we thank everyone for their help!

Sid the Science Kid

Mom, Dad and Zeke have front row seats as Sid, Gabriela, May and Gerald perform a backyard singalong in “No School Singalong Special!” No School Singalong Special premiers June 21st at 8:30 a.m.!

SID THE SCIENCE KID celebrates the first day of summer with the all-new “No School Singalong Special” premiering June 21 on KLRU’s PBS KIDS.  The half hour episode features Sid and his friends performing their favorite science-song hits in a back yard singalong extravaganza!

Click here for additional air dates.

Highlights 6/6 to 6/12

Poisons, toxins and venoms are the defense and attack mechanisms of the natural world. Yet scientists on Nature are finding impressive new possibilities for them – new drugs, new cures, and new ways to save lives at 7 p.m. Sunday.

When Miss Marple learns of the deaths of businessman Rex Fortescue, his wife, Adele, and their housemaid, Gladys, on Masterpiece Mystery at 8 p.m. Sunday, the circumstances mimic the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence.”

From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case as told on American Experience at 8:30 p.m on Monday. The little-known story of the Mexican American lawyers who took Hernandez v. Texas to the Supreme Court, challenging Jim Crow-style discrimination.

When the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium stopped calling Pluto a planet, director Neil deGrasse Tyson found himself at the center of a firestorm led by angry, Pluto-loving elementary school students. Tag along as NOVA follows Tyson’s study of the solar system’s best-loved non-planet Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Over a single generation, the Web and digital media have remade nearly every aspect of modern culture—from love affairs blossoming in virtual worlds, to the wired classrooms of the future, to military bases where the Air Force is fighting a new form of digital warfare on Frontline at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Neil Young grants rare and unprecedented access for this documentary in which he traces his musical journey in his own words at 7 p.m. Wednesday on American Masters.

In a journey reminiscent of the unexpected zeitgeist success of Hair, A Chorus Line, and Rent, the story behind the success of In the Heights is so organic to New York City that no one expected it to happen. Follow the story on Great Performances at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Nigerian bandleader/political activist Femi Kuti brings his multi-layered, socially conscious Afrobeat to the Austin City Limits stage for a groove-laden, celebratory performance at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Friday.

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee And The Spirit features the late architect and MacArthur “genius” Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio, a design/build architecture program in which students create striking architecture for impoverished communities in rural Alabama at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Canadian indie rock marvel Arcade Fire brings its powerful artistic melodrama to the Austin City Limits stage in celebration of its acclaimed second album, The Neon Bible at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Grant from Austin Community Foundation

KLRU was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Austin Community Foundation to underwrite the cost of educational children’s programming used in Ready To Learn, its early childhood literacy initiative.  KLRU’s nationally award-winning outreach services provide life-long learning tools to fulfill the educational needs of children, teachers and parents in Central Texas.  In particular, Ready To Learn provides families with a variety of critical skills that promote school readiness in our region’s youngest learners.  We are thrilled that the Austin Community Foundation has chosen to partner with us in providing this vital service.

Antiques Roadshow event

This Monday, KLRU is offering a chance for two lucky fans to get their jewelry appraised by local appraiser Ralph Mothnar live on KLRU during Antiques Roadshow.

Have a piece of your Grandmother’s jewelry you’re curious about? Maybe a piece of fine jewelry or a watch that you want to know more about? Mr. Mothnar will give you background information about your item and a dollar value if possible.

Enter your name and email address and we will choose two lucky Antiques Roadshow fans at noon Friday, June 4. You must be able to come to the KLRU studios on Monday, June 7, from 5:30-8:30pm and be willing to appear on live television. Enter here