Arts In Context Shorts: Barrio Writers

By empowering teens through creative writing, higher education, and creative arts, the Barrio Writers are reinstating the term “Barrio” to its original meaning – community – and embracing it. This writing community began with small workshops at El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana, California and have now evolved into week-long, intensive programs on university campuses across America. At the end of the week, the Barrio Writers transform their stereotypes into a place of positivity and become empowered in their own words. Having also published several summers of writing into anthologies, they collaborate to promote diversity, cultivate creative writing, and offer a new voice in literature. Get information about events in Central Texas at

Watch full performances from students who participated in the Austin program this summer.

American Graduate Day Oct. 3rd


On October 3rd, KLRU will be exploring the dropout crisis in Central Texas and celebrating the people and organizations who are working to keep all young people in our community on track to graduate high school. From 10 am to 5 pm, KLRU will participate in national American Graduate Day. American Graduate Day is a 7 hour celebration of the American Graduate initiative. In between the national content, Central Texas students will be your hosts from KLRU’s Studio 6A to talk about what the station is doing locally.

Local focus areas during the day include:
10:24am & 10:54am: Early Education
11:24am & 11:54am: Caring Consistent Adults
12:24pm & 12:54pm: More and Better Learning
1:24pm & 1:54pm: Special Needs Communities
2:24pm & 2:54pm: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)
3:24pm & 3:54pm: Dropout Prevention and Recovery
4:24pm: Career Readiness and College Completion

American Graduate Day is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen – a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help more kids stay on the path to graduation. the program will tell the story of Community Partners and Champions – those groups and individuals providing support, advice, and intervention services to at‐risk students, families, and schools.

KLRU receives grant to implement early learning partnerships

CPB and PBS Receive Ready To Learn Grant From the U.S. Department of Education; Project Includes Community-based Activities in Central Texas Through KLRU-TV, Austin PBS

CPB and PBS to Develop and Distribute Science and Literacy Content to Help Prepare Children for School; KLRU to Implement Early Learning Partnerships Locally to Support Low-income Families

Austin, TX, September 10, 2015 – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS have received a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. The grant will provide $19 million in year one of a five-year grant to fund CPB and PBS’ innovative science and literacy media initiative to support the learning needs of children in low-income communities. The grant will provide resources to 11 PBS stations, including KLRU, to implement local partnerships in underserved communities in Central Texas.

“KLRU is honored to be a part of CPB and PBS’ Ready To Learn-funded project,” said Bill Stotesbery, CEO of KLRU. “This grant will help KLRU continue to serve Central Texas-area families with high-quality early learning content and services to set them on the path for a successful future.”


Austin-area Veterans Memorials

On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam, airing on Sept. 22 at 9 pm, examines the Latino experience during a war that placed its heaviest burden on working class youth. Framing the documentary are memoirs of two siblings, Everett and Delia Alvarez, who stood on opposite sides of the Vietnam War, one as a POW and the other protesting at home.

We will be hosting a screening and discussion of the film on Nov. 10th in honor of Veterans Day. For now, we invite you to take a few moments to explore the Veterans memorials in the Austin-area. This map features just a few from San Marcos, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Williamson County and other Central Texas areas. Few additional photos.

We realize this is far from a complete list so we’re asking for your help. Is there a memorial that is important to you that is not included? Leave a comment with the name, location and why it’s special to you and we’ll add it to the map!

In the Studio: Civic Summit Austin’s Asian-American Identity 9/16

Civic Summit Taping Announcement

Join us in studio for a taping of Civic Summit, where we’ll explore the challenges Asian-Americans face and common misconceptions about this diverse community.

DATE: Wednesday, September 16
TIME: 6:30pm Doors | 7pm Start
LOCATION: KLRU Studio 6A (map)
RSVP: This event is free but an RSVP is required. RSVP now

Civic Summit: Austin’s Asian-American Identity will air on KLRU on October 8, 2015 at 9 pm, moderated by Esther Chung Martin, Executive Director of the Asian American Resource Center Nonprofit. Our panelists will be:

  • Dr. Snehal Shingavi, Associate Professor of South Asian literature at UT
  • Linda Phan, Executive Director of the Asian Family Supports Services of Austin
  • Richard Jung, Chair of Asian American Quality of Life Commission
  • Dr. Vagdevi Meunier, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Have a question you’d like to ask our panelists on this subject? Email us at:

Want to learn more about Austin’s Asian-American heritage? KLRU’s Austin Revealed: Pioneers from the East profiles three of the first families of Chinese origin to settle in the Austin area – the Sing family, the Wong family and the Lung family. Watch and learn more about the project

Arts In Context Shorts: Sweet Art

AICS SWEET ART ANNIE DECORATINGEach time Annie Varghese starts a new cake, she feels like it’s her first one, and she won’t stop until she reaches perfection. She found her passion for cake sculpting from baking cakes for her children’s birthdays, and now she uses traditional flavors and ingredients to transform her cakes into a limitless, fictional world. She believes that every cake is a chance to explore her imagination, and she uses clean lines and balanced color tones to add details and create larger, more extravagant cakes. Her passion shows that cake isn’t just a sweet treat but an exciting art medium.


Attend the 2015 Texas Tribune Fest – GIVE today!

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Support KLRU now and you’re entered into a giveaway for two (2) passes to the Texas Tribune Fest on October 16-18! And donating isn’t the only way to enter this giveaway – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru.

With big names, award-winning barbecue and a near-quorum of the Texas House and Senate involved, The Texas Tribune’s fifth annual Texas Tribune Festival is on track to be the biggest and best yet.

Join more than 3,000 attendees Oct. 16-18 on the UT-Austin campus for more than 50 discussions on 11 topics ranging from public education to immigration, water to transportation, health care to energy as well as a special focus on the 2016 elections. Registration for The Texas Tribune Festival — or, as it’s sometimes known, “Woodstock for Wonks,” — is now open at



Watch An Eastside Education

An Eastside Education – a six-part digital news project that follows one semester at the most talked about school in one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods as teachers, parents, administrators, and students fight to meet state accountability standards or watch their school be closed.

Prologue: All In
The Texas Education Agency gave Eastside Memorial three years to meet state accountability standards or watch their school by shuttered. Principal Bryan Miller calls this year “make or break.” In the prologue we explain how the school got to this point and why the staff is all in on making the grade this school year.

Chapter 1: East Side
Johnston High School opened in East Austin in 1960, when mostly African Americans and Latinos lived east of I-35. In recent years parents, students, and community members have rallied to keep the doors open.

Chapter 2: Family Lives Here
Students at Eastside see struggles most teens don’t have to deal with. But many of them agree with the school’s unofficial motto: Family Lives Here. We follow two seniors through their final semester as they overcome statistics and graduate.

Chapter 3: At Risk
It’s Graduation Coach Harry Brooks’ job to keep dropout rates low and graduation rates high. We follow him through the halls, to Truancy Court, as he conducts home visits, and watches his students walk across the stage at graduation.

Chapter 4: High Stakes
Eastside’s survival depends on how well the students perform on end-of-course STAAR exams. We follow as students, teachers, and administrators brace for test day.

Chapter 5: Waiting Game
If Eastside fails to meet standards again this school year they will only have one more school year to make it happen, or be shuttered for a year. Preliminary test results are back and some students will be forced to return to Eastside during the summer. We check in with teachers as they pack up their classrooms and watch the Class of 2015 graduate. Everyone at Eastside will have to wait until August to find out if they finally made accountability.

Epilogue: Test results released (Updated reporting to come in August)
School ratings go public in August – stay tuned to find out how Eastside Memorial fared.

This project 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.

Austin films featured in PBS Online Film Festival 2015

PBS has announced the 25 films that will be part of the fourth annual, Webby Award-nominated PBS Online Film Festival on June 15 – July 17, 2015. Austin filmmakers Ivete Lucas, John Spotswood Moore, and Sai Selvarajan are among those featured in this year’s Festival for their films “ExVotos”, “Once Again”, and “Sugarless Tea”.

Starting June 8th, Roku customers will have exclusive early access to the PBS Online Film Festival for one-week via the PBS channel on Roku players and Roku TV models. Beginning June 15th, the Festival will be available via PBS and station digital platforms including, YouTube and PBS social media channels. Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite film  to win the “People’s Choice” award. For updates on the festival, follow #PBSolff on Twitter.

The three films submitted by KLRU from Austin filmmakers are:

After experiencing a shootout in her neighborhood, Anayansi, a pregnant teenager, fears that  she will lose her child. Hoping for a miracle, her mother takes her on a pilgrimage to the festival of Saint Francis. As their journey merges with thousands of travelers from across Mexico, they  must face the reality of her condition and escape the confines of tradition if she is to survive.

Once Again
In the early nineties, OCD was thought to be a behavioral, almost psychotic disorder. Weaving together animation, home movies, and animation, filmmaker John Spotswood Moore tells the story of years lost to this horrible condition. Through mental torture, hospitalization, and humiliation, “Once Again” shows how Moore eventually won the fight against this disorder to become a champion of his own mind and body.

Sugarless Tea
Sugarless Tea takes viewers on a journey to India and Queens, NY, in a tale of separated brothers, chance meetings and identity. The film features watercolors filmed using a stop motion technique that evokes travelogues and bedtime stories, and highlights the process of painting itself. The short film is narrated by political comic Hari Kondabolu (Conan, Late Night and John Oliver’s New York Stand Up show).

The PBS Online Film Festival showcases powerful and engaging stories from filmmakers across the country. The Festival has become a popular annual online event; last year it attracted more than 350,000 streams and 50,000 votes cast for the winner, as well as a nomination in the 2015 Webby Awards category for Online Film & Video: Variety (Channel).  This year’s line up features films from the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), National Black Programming Consortium, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), POV, StoryCorps and Vision Maker Media, as well as PBS local member stations including Alaska Public Media, CET/ThinkTV (Cincinnati/Dayton), KLRU-TV Austin PBS, KQED (San Francisco), Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Twin Cities Public Television, UNC-TV and Vermont PBS. Promotional partners for the PBS Online Film Festival include Independent Lens and World Channel.


Highlights June 7-13

KLRU Highlights

KLRU presents an encore of season two of Last Tango in Halifax before season three starts on June 28th. On Sunday at 8 pm, Gillian is devastated when Celia inadvertently reveals a secret. At 9 pm, sad news inspires Alan and Celia to have another wedding ceremony.

Independent Lens God Loves Uganda at 9 pm Monday explores the role of the American Evangelical movement in fueling Uganda’s terrifying turn towards the proposed death penalty for homosexuality.

Roosevelts: An Intimate History at 7 pm Tuesday focuses on 1933-1939 as FDR brings the same optimism and energy to the White House that his cousin Theodore displayed.

Frontline Prison State at 9 pm Tuesday follows the lives of four individuals in Kentucky’s criminal justice system, as the state tries to interrupt the cycle of mass incarceration.

Florida’s Everglades National Park is one of the last great wildlife refuges in the United States, home to numerous unique and endangered plants and wildlife. But pet pythons released into the wild are wrecking the delicate eco system. Find out more on Nature Invasion of the Giant Python at 7 pm Wednesday.

Dive teams, submersibles, and robots explore a massive underwater WWII archeological site on Nova Secrets of Sunken Treasure at 8 pm Wednesday.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Nicholas Kristof on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm Thursday.

Arts In Context In Face at 7:30 pm Thursday follows the complex lives of three performance artists to shed light on the hectic and determined lifestyle of pursuing a drag career.

Aaron takes a deep-dive into the realm of BBQ pits, as personal as they are functional on BBQ with Franklin at 8 pm Thursday.

Chet heads to the Marble Falls to explore its art, adventure, and cuisine on The Daytripper at 8:30 pm Thursday.

Keep your plants and spare the water. Tour artistic lifestyle outdoor living with succulents on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday.