Q Night at the Movies 7/4

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

On this week’s Q Night at the Movies, after an all-new On Story, we highlight some of New York’s finest, with Annie Hall starring Woody Allen and American Masters telling the story of Mel Brooks. Then, we take a musical turn, with Elvis: Return to Tupelo as he comes back to rural Mississippi and Appalatin, focusing on the band’s Appalachian-Latin sound.

On Story Scott Frank: A Screenwriter’s Design at 7:30 pm
Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Out of Sight) reflects on his diverse career writing thrillers and pulp films, and his approach to developing complex characters in search of their identity.

All-Star Film Collection Annie Hall at 8 pm
A New York comedian (Woody Allen) recalls his lost love, a kooky singer (Diane Keaton) with a style all her own.

American Masters Mel Brooks: Make a Noise at 9:35 pm
In 60 years in show business, Mel Brooks has earned more major awards than any other living entertainer. A comedy giant of our time, scrawny Melvin Kaminsky developed his aggressively funny personality on the mean streets of Brooklyn, to protect against bullies. He has never authorized a biography and has requested that his friends not talk about him, making his full participation with American Masters a genuine first.

Elvis: Return to Tupelo at 11:05 pm
In the 1950s and ’60s, Elvis Presley became an icon of rock n’ roll around the world. But understanding the Elvis story requires going back to his origins in rural Tupelo, Mississippi. This film documents the period from his birth in 1935 during the depths of the Great Depression, to his breakout year 1956, when Elvis made a triumphant return to his hometown.

Appalatin at 12 am
Appalatin, a music group based in Louisville, Kentucky, has fused Latin and Appalachian influences for an energetic and exciting new sound. Recorded live in concert at Natasha’s Music Club, they perform songs that range from traditional South American songs such as “Alpa Mayo” to a Latin-infused version of the mountain classic “Shady Grove.”

KLRU-Q is broadcast channel 18.3. It is also available to digital cable subscribers of Grande on 284 and Time Warner on 20.

Highlights July 5 to July 11

KLRU Highlights

On Last Tango in Halifax at 7 pm on Sunday, Alan finally lets Celia into his secret about Gary, but is saddened when Celia punishes Caroline on her wedding day for his mistake. Meanwhile, Gillian loses her job after a humiliating visit from Cheryl.

Poldark’s battle with the local gentry deepens, and he faces one turning point with Elizabeth and another with Demelza during Poldark on Masterpiece Part Three at 8 pm on Sunday.

Thomas wrestles with a growing attraction to Kitty, a terrified patient faces court martial, and Sister Joan reveals a dark secret to one of her patients on Crimson Field Episode Three on Sunday at 9 pm.

Having lost custody of their children, two parents fight to win back the trust of the courts and reunite their families on POV Tough Love at 9 pm on Monday. Acknowledging their past parenting mistakes, both contend with a complex bureaucracy to prove they deserve a second chance.

On Tuesday at 7 pm, Abolitionists: American Experience The Abolitionists brings us the story of how abolitionist allies William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimke turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation. During The Abolitionists, Part Two at 8 pm, the divide between North and South deepens, touching off a crisis that is about to careen out of control as Douglass escapes slavery, eventually joining Garrison in the anti-slavery movement.

On Operation Wild at 7 pm on Wednesday, find out how pioneering medicine is transforming ways to tend to animals. See a rhino’s groundbreaking skin graft after poachers stole her horns and an orangutan’s micro-surgery to try to restore her sight – and her freedom.

First Peoples Europe on Wednesday at 8 pm tells us that when Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe, they ran into the Neanderthals. The two types of human were similar enough to interbreed – and they were just as capable of making artifacts. As more Homo sapiens moved into Europe, there was an explosion of art and symbolic thought.

NOVA Why Sharks Attack tries to answer the question, “Will analyzing the hunting instincts of this endangered predator reduce deadly attacks?” on Wednesday at 9 pm.

At 10 pm on Wednesday and Friday, roots music rocks on Austin City Limits with Eric Church. Country superstar Church performs tunes from his hit album The Outsiders. On Saturday at 7 pm, country legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell return to the ACL stage, playing favorites and songs from their joint LP Old Yellow Moon.

Golden Hornet Project has presented concerts of indie classical music by composers from non-academic musical backgrounds – all in the name of making classical music exciting and accessible. Arts In Context Classical Undead at 7:30 pm on Thursday will take behind the scenes to the follow up to the successful “String Quartet Smackdown I” from 2012.

During BBQ with Franklin Competition on Thursday at 8 pm, Aaron travels to a BBQ cook-off competition in Kansas with his father-in-law, going way outside his comfort zone.

Chet heads to the San Jacinto Battlefield where Texas won its independence on The Daytripper at 8:30 on Thursday. He experiences the renaissance of Baytown, Texas’s historic district including visits to a coffee bar and an artist painting every fallen soldier from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

American Masters Harper Lee: Hey Boo at 8 pm on Friday explores the life of Harper Lee and unravels its mysteries. Illuminated with family photos, revealing personal letters and an exclusive interview with her sister, Alice Finch Lee (100 years old), the film is steeped in the texture of the novel’s Deep South and the social changes it inspired.

People come to Yellowstone primarily because of the unusual thermal features and opportunities to view wildlife, often not realizing they are standing on one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. Yellowstone: Land to Life on Friday at 9:30 presents an interpretation of the sweeping geologic story of Yellowstone, from glaciation to mountain-building to the gigantic caldera of a volcano.

Learn how to worms naturally fertilize gardens and container plants and visit a Spanish romantic courtyard on Central Texas Gardener Worm Composting at noon on Saturday.

KLRU News Briefs: Goodwill Excel Center’s First Graduating Class

Last fall we introduced you to the Goodwill Excel Center, a charter school which enrolls students who formerly dropped out of high school. This Sunday during NewsHour, we attend the school’s inaugural graduation ceremony. 33 of the 43 graduates are over the age of 26, which means they are too old to earn a traditional high school diploma and would have only been able to earn a GED.

A high school diploma translates into high earning potential and makes the students more competitive if they hope to earn a higher degree. But school officials tell us being able to finally graduate from high school means even more to these families.

“It’s not only about a job now, it’s about a career, and about the example they’re setting for their kids,” Superintendent Traci Berry says. “Because we know that people who drop out of school, their kids are more likely to drop out as well.”

If you missed NewsHour last weekend we have some other stories you can catch up on. Last week we looked at the debate surrounding some of Austin’s Confederate monuments. That story is in the video below. We also highlighted An Eastside Education, KLRU’s first-ever digital news project, which follows Austin’s Eastside Memorial High School as students, parents and administrators work to meet state accountability for the first time in over 10 years and keep their school doors open. You can watch An Eastside Education here.

KLRU News Briefs air locally every Saturday and Sunday evening at 6:30 during PBS NewsHour Weekend. Sunday’s story and An Eastside Education are part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative, which is aimed at increasing awareness around the dropout crisis in Central Texas. 

Do you have an American Graduate story idea? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at CivicSummit@klru.org, post a comment, or tweet at us using #amgradtx. 

Science Night July 8

On this week’s Science Night, we look at ancient humans and progressive medicine. On Operation Wild, see how new medical discoveries are changing the lives of animals and First Peoples discovers what happened when the earliest humans found themselves in Europe. Finally, NOVA dissects the hunting prowess of sharks.

Operation Wild at 7 pm
On the second episode of Operation Wild, find out how pioneering medicine is transforming ways to tend to animals. See a rhino’s groundbreaking skin graft after poachers stole her horns and an orangutan’s micro-surgery to try to restore her sight – and her freedom.

First Peoples Europe at 8 pm
When Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe, they ran into the Neanderthals. The two types of human were similar enough to interbreed – and they were just as capable at making artifacts. But as more Homo sapiens moved into Europe, there was an explosion of art and symbolic thought. The balance of power had shifted and Neanderthals were overwhelmed. Ever since, we’ve had Europe and the rest of the world to ourselves.

NOVA Why Sharks Attack at 9 pm
Find out the answer to the question, “Will analyzing the hunting instincts of this endangered predator reduce deadly attacks?”

It All Adds Up

KLRU presents It All Adds Up, a documentary profiling the teachers and students of Wayne State University’s “Math Corps,” a groundbreaking organization that partners struggling middle and high-school students from Detroit’s public schools with collegians, who help teach vital math and life skills the kids need to succeed.

After 16 years, the program’s results speak volumes: more than 90 percent of Math Corps’ students graduate from high school, and more than 80 percent attend college. Produced by Academy Award-winning director Sue Marx, the documentary features engaging and heart-warming interviews with alumni and current campers who testify to the life-changing impact of the Math Corps.

The documentary premieres July 27 at 10 pm on KLRU.

It All Adds Up is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The American Graduate initiative seeks to establish a clearer understanding about why students drop out of high school and how drop out impacts our economy and society.

What’s happening this weekend: July 3-5

Happy holiday weekend, Austinites! There’s no shortage of Fourth of July festivities across Central Texas this weekend, but we’ve rounded up a few suggestions here.

Celebrate Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic’s return to Austin

The Redheaded Stranger is back to celebrate the red, white and blue on Saturday in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas, and of course he’s bringing all his friends. Willie Nelson and family will headline the one-day festival, with Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Asleep at the Wheel, Sturgill Simpson, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, David Allan Coe and more. Get in the spirit before you go by watching Willie perform “Pancho and Lefty” at the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in 2014 with Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris.

Also, don’t miss this Antiques Roadshow clip from Austin featuring Willie Nelson memorabilia.

Admission: Tickets range from $35 to $75. Hours: Parking opens at 10 a.m., gates open at 11 a.m. Music starts at 11:15 a.m. and will go until 12:30 a.m. Fireworks display will go off at 9:45 p.m. http://circuitoftheamericas.com/willie

Watch the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake

After a brief stint at the Circuit of the Americas, the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display featuring the Austin Symphony is back at Auditorium Shores. The family-friendly event on Saturday has fireworks, food, drinks, local venders and a live performance by the Austin Symphony. Before you head out, make sure to set your DVRs to record the 35th anniversary of A Capitol Fourth, featuring Barry Manilow, Alabama, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, classical pianist Lang Lang, the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jack Everly.

Admission: Free. Hours: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. http://www.roadwayevents.com/event/symphony-july-4th/

Get out of town and head to the Nutty Brown

If you don’t feel like dealing with traffic and crowds at the city’s fireworks event, head out to the Nutty Brown Cafe for Austin City Limits artist Bob Schneider’s annual Fourth of July bash, but check out these photos from Bob’s Austin City Limits Season 36 taping here before you go.

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Admission: $17 general admission. Hours: Doors open at 6 p.m. http://nuttybrown.com/bob-schneiders-4th-of-july-bash

Have your own Fourth of July barbecue!

What’s Fourth of July without a cookout? We’ve gathered some tips from Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ as well as recipes from PBS Food to help you keep your friends and family fed and happy. Watch the brisket episode of BBQ With Franklin below and click here for the recipes! 

Unwind with a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the museum

What’s your story? Find out the best way to share your stories, listen to new ones and create art that tells tales at the Free First Sunday: Story Telling event at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. You can also check out the museum’s roller derby exhibit, which runs through Aug. 8. Make sure to watch KLRU News Brief’s segment on the exhibit before you go!

Admission: Free. Hours: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free First Sunday: Story Telling ends at 3 p.m. 


Click here to check out a full list of Fourth of July events in Austin and surrounding cities from Austin360.


American Graduate Champion: Briana Lopez

FEATURED_Champion2

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

briana-lopez-lifeworks-logoToday’s Champion is Briana Lopez! Briana is a mother of two and a full-time retail employee who recently obtained her GED through Lifeworks. Briana aspires to study pharmacy and plans on attending ACC and eventually Texas State or UT.

Jaime Rich, Briana’s nominator, says, “Briana’s story shows her determination to further her education, no matter how difficult or scary it seemed. She was driven to make a better life for herself and her girls. Despite the many roles and commitments in her life, she was able to carve a place in her daily routine for her education.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Libby Lucera

FEATURED_Champion2

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

libby-luceraToday’s Champion is Libby Lucera! Libby is the French teacher and French club sponsor at Westlake High School. She teaches her students to love the language and culture, as well as how to be successful learners in her class and beyond.

Her nominator, Natalie Cannon, says, “She provides meaningful and valuable feedback on everything that her students do. It is so important that her students have immediate feedback that she spends many hours every night and weekend to make it happen. She also creates notes, guides, practice sheets and everything that she gives to them by herself. She is there to help them when they need it, and she does it with grace and enthusiasm.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Liz Conway Plachta

FEATURED_Champion2

KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

liz-conway-plachtaToday’s Champion is Liz Conway Plachta! Liz runs a nonprofit organization called Ruby’s Rainbow that grants scholarships to adults with Down syndrome who are seeking post-secondary educational opportunities.

Liz’s nominator, Galia Farber, says, “In 2010, Liz and her husband Tim had an adorable daughter Ruby – who was born with an extra chromosome. They knew they wanted to ensure that Ruby had all the opportunities possible for her success in education and in life, and this quickly expanded into Liz wanting to help others with Down syndrome be able to go on to college as well. Inspired by her daughter, Liz founded the organization Ruby’s Rainbow and started fundraising to help provide college scholarships to help individuals with Down syndrome.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

An Eastside Education: Behind the story

An Eastside Education tells the story of an Austin high school struggling to meet state standards. For years Eastside Memorial High School has been plagued by failing test scores and negative headlines. The story follows one semester as teachers, parents, administrators, and students fight to meet state accountability standards or watch their school be closed.

To see what it took to put the project together, we sat down with the KLRU minds behind the project, producer and writer Allison Sandza and videographer and editor Blair Waltman-Alexin.

Q: Where did the idea for the project come from?

A: KLRU was awarded a grant by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which made us an American Graduate station, which funded reporting on the dropout crisis in our region. So, we wanted to take a hyperlocal look at the dropout crisis in our region and we started talking about what schools we could use as a lens to talk about that issue, and we remembered Eastside Memorial. Everyone in Austin has heard about Eastside Memorial before. It’s had a lot of bad press for over 10 years. It hasn’t been able to meet state accountability, it’s been repurposed, renamed, all these different things, so we thought, “Hmm, let’s check in there.” We had recently met the dropout prevention specialist, or the graduation coach [at Eastside], and he mentioned to us just offhand that the dropout rate at Eastside had dropped from 6 percent to 1 percent in just a few years, so that kind of piqued our interest as well. We went over there, we started talking to them, and we realized there was so much more to the story, so we wanted to follow them for a whole semester and see what a school like Eastside was like for a whole semester. -A.S.

Q: What was it like spending an entire semester at Eastside?

A: It was interesting. It was very different from how you normally approach filming and producing a news-focused story, because if you’re doing a regular news piece on a school, you’re in a classroom for maybe 15 minutes, get a few shots, talk to a couple of people, and then that’s it, you kind of leave, you’re disassociated from the group, and there’s more distance between you and your subject. But with this, we were checking in with the principal all throughout the semester, checking in with the same teachers all throughout the semester, asking them, “How are things going? How do you feel like you’re doing with testing?” So you get a lot more involved than you normally do with a regular news story. Also, you’re trying so hard not to be obtrusive, but you have to be there so much more of the time. We spent a lot of time in one of the teacher’s English classes, so you’re hanging out for maybe, like, an hour, waiting for the class to end so you can interview her, and then you also want to get her teaching the class, so you’re trying to cover that as much as you can, but then also not distract the students, because they’re there to learn and you’re trying to not interfere with that, so it’s a little bit different. You’re trying to be there as much as you can, and also be invisible as much as you can. -B.W.

And so much of the story at Eastside relies on how they’re going to perform on the STAAR test, the state accountability exam, so much of the spring semester that we were there has to do with that test that happens in March and April. So it was interesting to be able to watch these students come back from winter break, you know, everyone’s still kind of on vacation mode, then buckle down, do mock testing, do the real test, deal with the emotional and physical exhaustion that goes into taking this five-hour exam, and then watch these administrators and the students and the teachers wait for test scores to come back. It was a really interesting thing to see, just the spectrum, and then you end with graduation, which again, is a celebratory thing, and people getting ready for vacation. I’m glad that we followed them during the spring semester, I think that was a really interesting thing to experience. -A.S.

Q: The media hasn’t been friendly to Eastside in recent years. What was your reception on campus from students and teachers who are concerned about bad press for their school?

A: It seemed like there was a little bit of unease, not everybody, but a few people. There would be a little bit of, you know, “What are you going to say about our school?” And I think that’s a well-deserved emotion for them to have, because they’ve had kind of a rough time in the media for several years, and you think, “Oh, someone else is going to come in and bash our kids, or our teachers, and we’re trying really hard.” Sometimes there would be a little bit of, “What are you doing?” And then we would explain what the project was, and then it was this very immediate, “Oh, okay, that’s cool,” and that seemed to kind of break the tension, once they understood it was a long-form project, that we wanted to talk about how much they’re fighting to stay open, and the history of the school, and it seemed like that put people at ease pretty quickly. -B.W.

I also thought it was interesting that you could tell that these kids had been on camera before, and that there had been cameras in their school before. I think if you went to some of the other high schools in the area, and maybe elsewhere in the state, maybe they would be waving at the camera, but these Eastside kids and their parents and the teachers have been through this before, and yes, there was that standoffishness because they wanted to know, is this another round of bad press that was on the way? But it was almost like they could get used to ignoring a camera in a classroom. It was sort of bizarre in that way, and sort of sad. -A.S.

Yeah, I was thinking about a couple of other shoots we’ve done at other high schools, and that does kind of seem to be a thing, you get this weird look from kids like, “Why are you here and what are you doing in my classroom?” And they’ll either get really nervous and giggly, or they’ll immediately just hide their face, but most of those kids at Eastside, they kind of had this familiarity with, “Oh, it’s a news crew in our school,” and then they just kind of go about their routine. -B.W. 

Q: What did you learn from this project and what should the public take away from the story?

A: I think the biggest takeaway was how many people it takes to keep a school afloat and successful. Everyone thinks of teachers right away, they might think of the principal, but Eastside’s a school with support staff, with outside organizations that help them. Some parents are super involved, some parents aren’t involved at all because they work multiple jobs. But they also have proud alumni who come back to the school, and Eastside’s actually a really small school. It’s probably one of the smallest high schools, if not the smallest high school, in the district. It was a major takeaway, just how many people put their everything into keeping this school alive, you know, even their own money to help these kids be successful. It was pretty inspiring, actually. -A.S.

Yeah, I would say it almost kind of felt like there was this small gravitational pull toward the school, where you have kids that graduated that wanted to come back and help out or do what they could to support the school and show that it’s a school worth fighting for and that there are success stories there. And you had teachers that would stay late every night to work on stuff. There are teachers that help students pay for their prom dresses. It was that type of staff, where they could go home and chill out, but they’re spending their time at the school. You have community members at the school, you have some people in the area that volunteer in their free time to help out with different extracurricular activities because they want to. It just seemed like there’s this pull to do something there and there’s a pride people have in that community for that school that they want to hold it up and see it survive. -B.W.

And I think the takeaway from that is that if this school does get shuttered, it’s more than just students that’ll be relocated and teachers that will get relocated. It’s an entire community that really is fighting to keep it open. When they all used the word to tell us that if the school gets shut down it’ll be “devastating” to this community, I think even a cynical journalist would hear that and learn about the school while reporting on it all semester and say, “Yeah, I think you’re right. I think it would be devastating.” -A.S.


 

An Eastside Education is part of KLRU’s American Graduate initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The American Graduate initiative seeks to establish a clearer understanding about why students drop out of high school and how drop out impacts our economy and society. An Eastside Education examines these issues up close by exploring how one school, in an at-risk community, is overcoming years of poor performance and trending toward success.

Click here to watch the full six-part digital news project, An Eastside Education.