KLRU brings Conspirare’s Considering Matthew Shepard to TV

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, in collaboration with Conspirare, is bringing Considering Matthew Shepard to television. KLRU has assembled an award-winning team to help adapt the three-part oratorio into a unique theatrical experience for the small screen. The Considering Matthew Shepard television adaptation will be formatted for a 90-minute broadcast and distributed nationally to PBS stations in 2018 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Shepard’s death. The performance will be recorded live in front of an invitation-only audience February 1 at 7:30 pm at ACL LIve at The Moody Theater.  Watch a trailer here.

Considering Matthew Shepard is a Grammy-nominated three-part oratorio composed by Craig Hella Johnson. The work is an evocative and compassionate musical response to the murder of Matthew Shepard. On October 6, 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and left to die, in what became an infamous act of brutality, and one of America’s most notorious anti-gay hate crimes. Shepard’s murder ultimately led to the creation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and provided a catalyst for legislation that expanded the definition of a hate crime to include sexual orientation. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Composer Craig Hella Johnson had a profoundly personal reaction to both the murder and its resonance. The Shepard family and Foundation engaged with Johnson in the creation of the work, and allowed the use of fragments from Shepard’s personal diary.

“We are honored to be partnering with Conspirare to bring this important and meaningful work to a national audience,” said Sara Robertson, KLRU’s VP for Production and Technology. “Considering Matthew Shepard is a powerful piece that connects with you on different emotional levels. We feel public television is the perfect medium to share this message and encourage community conversations around the themes of acceptance and human rights.”

Considering Matthew Shepard isn’t strictly a biographical work but rather a reflection of our society and our collective experience told through the lens of one individual story. One of the most remarkable elements of Shepard’s continuing legacy is the powerful inspiration his life and death have provided to artists of every genre. Considering Matthew Shepard joins the ranks of many significant artistic responses to Matthew Shepard’s legacy. Most noteworthy is The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and the Members of the Tectonic Theater Project, which has been seen by more than 30 million people. Jason Marsden, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation calls Considering Matthew Shepard “by far the most intricate, beautiful and unyielding artistic response to this notorious anti-gay hate crime.”

Watch KLRU’s Arts In Context documentary about Considering Matthew Shepard

Produced by KLRU and directed by Peabody Award winning Broadcaster and Producer Elliott Forrest, the music’s storytelling will be supported by visuals explicitly designed to appeal to the television viewing audience. The backdrop of the stage with be a large screen for projections and will augment the storyline and libretto through color, video and text.

The recording of Considering Matthew Shepard on the harmonia mundi / [PIAS] label debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart in mid-September, 2016.  The Chicago Tribune called it  “one of the best classical albums of 2016.”

“This exciting collaboration with KLRU, feels for us like the opportunity of a lifetime, said Craig Hella Johnson, Founder and Artistic Director Conspirare.  “The musicians and I are deeply committed to sharing the light and power in the story of Matthew Shepard.  We feel that this television production will bring both his story and Conspirare’s music to a much broader national audience. I am inspired by the level of talent, imagination, and dedication that I experience in our KLRU colleagues. Perhaps best of all, this has that great feeling of being an Austin-based creation and partnership.  I feel so grateful that KLRU is bringing their distinctive brand and love to this project.”

The film will be accompanied by outreach and engagement programs, providing opportunities – facilitated by public television stations- for communities to participate in a national conversation about acceptance, compassion and bullying.  Considering Matthew Shepard is a co-production of KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and Conspirare.

About KLRU-TV, Austin PBS:
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique – whether music, arts or public issues – by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Civic Summit and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all. Find out more at KLRU.org.

About Conspirare:
Established in Austin, Texas in 1991, Conspirare is a Grammy-winning and internationally recognized choir with a reputation for “expanding the boundaries of choral performance” (Wall Street Journal). Conspirare, which translates from Latin as “to breathe together,” is led by founder and Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson, and is comprised of soloists from around the country. Conspirare’s extensive discography includes 11 releases on the harmonia mundi / [PIAS] label. The 2014 album The Sacred Spirit of Russia won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance. Conspirare’s ambitious mission is to engage the power of music to change lives. Through its artistic excellence, creative programming, commissioning, and educational endeavors, the organization has established itself as an agent of change and a bedrock of the Texas arts community and beyond.

Taste of Black Austin 1/31

KLRU is a proud supporter of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce and its mission to promote the development of African American businesses in Central Texas. Join KLRU and Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce for the Taste of Black Austin on Jan. 31st at the Peaches Social House. Purchase tickets now

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.52.22 AMTaste of Black Austin is a culinary event that explores the narrative of economic development through the historical context of food. The event will open with an intimate reception on January 31, 2017 at Peached Social House featuring savory hors d’oeuvres prepared by nine of Austin’s favorite Black chefs and a curated photo exhibition showcasing Austin’s unique food history dating back to 1870.

Event tickets are available for $65 and community sponsor tickets are available for $120 and include a VIP cooking demonstration preceding the reception. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Urban Roots. In 2008, Urban Roots began as a program of another youth development nonprofit to empower and develop Austin youth and promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Taste of Black Austin allows guests the opportunity to taste various hors d’oeuvres that have been recreated to chronicle Black food history in Central Texas from 1870 to present. The menu will feature bite sized portions of dishes found in archived recipe books and historic menu selections.

Highlights Jan. 15-21

KLRU Highlights

In this episode of Sherlock on Masterpiece at 6 pm and 9 pm on Sunday, 9 pm Thursday, 10 pm Saturday written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, long-buried secrets catch up with the Baker Street duo. Someone has been playing a long game indeed and Sherlock and Watson face their greatest ever challenge. Is the game finally over?

As a new queen, the young Victoria struggles to take charge amid plots to manipulate her. Her friendship with the prime minister leads to a crisis in Parliament. Watch the first episode of Victoria Sunday at 8 pm and Saturday at 8 pm.

Austin filmmaker Mat Hames newest documentary What Was Ours airs on Independent Lens at 9 pm Monday. A tribal elder and Vietnam vet, who hasn’t left the Wind River Indian Reservation in over 40 years, visits the underground archives of Chicago’s Field Museum with two young Arapaho to explore ancestral objects kept in boxes for many years. Together they try to learn how these artifacts vanished from their tribe in the first place.

Ladonna Harris: Indian 101 at 10 pm Monday profiles Comanche political and social activist LaDonna Harris.

Cactus Jack: Lone Star on Capitol Hill at  7 pm Tuesday and 7:30 pm Thursday reveals the rollicking saga of one of the most powerful but often forgotten figures in U.S. history-John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner (1868-1967).

Frontline at 8 pm Tuesday and 8 pm Wednesday examines the partisanship that gridlocked Washington and charged the 2016 presidential campaign, the rise of populist anger on both sides of the aisle and the racial tensions that have erupted throughout the country.

Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm Thursday features David Fahrenthold, a reporter at The Washington Post and most recently covered the 2016 presidential campaign.

Grammy-winner Alicia Keys performs in notable locations all around New York on Alicia Keys – Landmarks Live In Concert at 8 pm Friday.

From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, American Masters August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand at 9 pm Friday captures the legacy of the man some call America’s Shakespeare.

Welcome up-and-coming country singers Margo Price and Hayes Carll to Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday. Price supports her debut album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, while Carll sings songs from his album Lovers and Leavers.

 

Right to Assemble, Civil Liberties, and Expressing Dissent – in Austin and Around the World

With protests dominating the news, we wanted to add some historical and educational background on the right to assemble and how protesters have impacted policy in the past.

The Snapshot: Right to Assemble gives a brief overview of protests in Austin that helped propel big social changes, from desegregation to recognition of LGBTQ groups.

Austin Revealed has presented the stories of people who decided to personally take a stand against prejudice, from people who pushed back against segregation at Austin’s public pools to an in-depth look at the Chicano Civil Rights Movement here in Austin.

KLRU’s PBS Learning Media portal has educational resources on protesting around the world for teachers to use in the classroom or for parents to use at home. Get the resources now. Learning Media also offers resources on peaceful protests. Plus learn what is a right, and where does it come from?

Learn about the rise of student protests in the 60s.

Get a Crash Course on civil liberties.

 

Judy Maggio joins KLRU to help expand station’s news and public affairs reporting

KLRU is pleased to announce that veteran journalist Judy Maggio is joining the station to expand news and public affairs reporting. She will lead efforts to extend our current reporting, looking for innovative new ways to tell stories and to broaden conversations around issues that matter most to the Central Texas community.

HiRes-Judy_Maggio-0018“Now more than ever we know our audiences want to see more local news and public affairs programming on KLRU,” said Sara Robertson, VP for Production and Technology at KLRU. “And as a locally-owned and operated media organization we are uniquely positioned to do this.  Having Judy on our team will help us do more to serve our community and tell more stories that matter.”

KLRU has a longstanding commitment to present stories about important issues facing our community and our world by providing news and public affairs programming such as PBS NewsHour, Frontline and more.  The station is also committed to providing distinctive media experiences that matter and does this by providing a space for diverse voices to come together to talk about difficult or challenging issues that our community faces.

“This is watershed time in journalism,” said Maggio. “Finding and exploring new ways to engage people in news and issues that truly matter in this community is incredibly exciting, especially at a respected PBS station like KLRU!”

Maggio has more than three decades of experience as a lead news anchor in Austin.  She served as Managing Editor at both KVUE-TV (1981-2003) and KEYE-TV (2003-2014).  Most recently she has been consulting on communications, video production as well as heading up the Engage Breakfast Series for Leadership Austin group, moderating its monthly panel discussions with high profile Austinites talking about key issues facing the city.

The expansion of KLRU’s news and public affairs reporting is made possible through the early support of the Still Water Foundation and a generous gift from Luci Baines Johnson and Ian Turpin.

About KLRU-TV, Austin PBS:
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique – whether music, arts or public issues – by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Civic Summit and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all. Find out more at KLRU.org.

 

Miss Fisher joins KLRUQ lineup

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries joins the KLRUQ lineup on Mondays at 8:55 pm! The Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis, Girl with a Pearl Earring) is a thoroughly modern woman of the late 1920s operating in a mostly male world. The glamorous “lady detective” goes about her work with a pistol close at hand-and, more often than not, a male admirer even closer. To the dismay of Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page, The Secret Life of Us), Phryne’s investigations take her through the back alleys, jazz clubs, and shady markets of Melbourne. Ignoring the dangers all around her, she seems to glide through life determined to enjoy every moment. But beneath her devil-may-care attitude, Phryne hides ghosts from the past that continue to haunt her.

Find out what Phryne is up to this week

New PBS Kids streaming service launches 1/16

KLRU and PBS will launch new, free localized 24/7 children’s programming live stream services on Jan. 16th!  The effort is KLRU’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community. We will also be adding a 24/7 Kids broadcast channel in April (stay tuned for more details on that!)

This streaming services will make it easy for Central Texas children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high. Viewers will be able to watch the KLRU-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, and tablets. Soon after launch, the live stream will be available on over-the-top platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via pbskids.org.

Following its initial launch, the localized live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The live stream and games feature is grounded in research demonstrating that measurable gains in learning are achieved when children engage with PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning.

PBS stations reach more kids aged 2-5, more moms with children under 6 years old and more children from low-income families than any other kids TV network. With its new 24/7  digital offerings, KLRU will build on this reach and impact.

Through this effort, KLRU will extend its commitment to early learning by offering more families high-quality PBS KIDS content that is trusted by parents and proven to help kids learn. In a recent survey, PBS KIDS led all networks in improving kids’ behavior, with 74% of parents saying their child exhibits more positive behavior after engaging with PBS KIDS. And years of research confirm that PBS KIDS media content helps children build critical skills that enable them to find success in school and life, while also helping parents increase their own engagement. A recent study conducted by WestEd found that PBS KIDS resources can help narrow the math achievement gap for children from low-income families and better prepare them for kindergarten. Additionally, parents’ awareness of their children’s math learning increased significantly – as did their use of strategies to support their children’s learning.

Command and Control screening 1/12 with Richard Linklater and Eric Schlosser

American Experience will present the powerful documentary Command and Control on KLRU Jan. 10th at 8 pm. They are also giving Austin a special opportunity to see the film with the author of the book the film is based on in attendance.

On Thursday, January 12 at 7 pm at the Texas Spirit Theater at the Bullock Museum (1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX), there will be a special screening followed by a conversation between Richard Linklater and Eric Schlosser about the film and book. Tickets are available for purchase now.

A chilling nightmare plays out at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September, 1980. A worker accidentally drops a socket, puncturing the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead in our arsenal, an incident which ignites a series of feverish efforts to avoid a deadly disaster. Directed by Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and based on the critically acclaimed book by Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Command and Control is a minute-by-minute account of this long-hidden story. Putting a camera where there was no camera that night, Kenner brings this nonfiction thriller to life with stunning original footage shot in a decommissioned Titan II missile silo. Eyewitness accounts — from the man who dropped the socket, to the man who designed the warhead, to the Secretary of Defense— chronicle nine hours of terror that prevented an explosion 600 times more powerful than Hiroshima.