More than an after-school program, the Austin Community Steelband has created an expressive place to uplift local youth through learning steelpan music. Originating in Trinidad, steelbands served as a way for poor and oppressed people to come together and express themselves through music. Executive Director Paula Beaird and Musical Director Cecil Francis continue manifest the soul of Trinidad by providing a free musical instruction where underprivileged children learn skills like memorization, focus and listening that they can take home and apply to their lives at home and in school. With an emphasis on collaborative and enriching learning, the students have turned it into more than an after-school program. They are now a part of a vibrant, historically-rich musical community that extends beyond the city limits of Austin, Texas.
Here at KLRU, we love our planet and proudly celebrate Earth Day. With it coming up on April 22nd, what better way to pay tribute to our big blue planet than to air programs that embrace nature and shed light on problems the Earth currently faces?
On April 21, Arts In Context Thirst explores an art installation that takes on the pressing issue of water shortages and challenges the community to action at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Center For Women & Their Work, Thirst memorializes the loss of over 300 million trees that died in the Texas in the drought of 2011.
From April 25-30 at 8 p.m., the miniseries, National Parks: America’s Best Idea, will chronologically work its way through the history of the creation of our national parks.
On April 25, National Parks: America’s Best Idea The Scripture Of Nature (1851-1890) tells how the astonishing beauty of Yosemite Valley and the geyser wonderland of Yellowstone give birth to the radical idea of creating national parks for the enjoyment of everyone; John Muir becomes their eloquent defender. In addition, Symphony of the Soil artistically explores the miraculous substance soil at 10 p.m.
April 26 brings National Parks: America’s Best Idea The Last Refuge (1890-1915), which discusses how a young president, Theodore Roosevelt, becomes one of the national parks’ greatest champions; in Yellowstone, a magnificent species is rescued from extinction; and in Yosemite, John Muir fights the battle of his life to save a beautiful valley. But before that, at 7 p.m. National Parks of Texas: In Contact With Beauty shares how these parks were created and reveals the secrets they hold.
National Parks: America’s Best Idea The Empire Of Grandeur (1915-1919) airs April 27. In John Muir’s absence, a new leader steps forward on behalf of America’s remaining pristine places; a new federal agency is created to protect the parks; and in Arizona, a fight breaks out over the fate of the grandest canyon on earth.
On April 28, National Parks: America’s Best Idea Going Home (1920-1933) tells the story of a Nebraska housewife who searches for peace and inspiration in park after park, while a honeymoon couple seeks fame and adventure in the Grand Canyon; and the future of the Great Smoky Mountains becomes caught in a race with the lumbermen’s saws.
National Parks: America’s Best Idea Great Nature (1933-1945) explains that in the midst of an economic catastrophe and then a world war, the national parks provide a source of much-needed jobs and then much-needed peace on April 29; the park idea changes to include new places and new ways of thinking; and in Wyoming, battle lines are drawn along the front of the Teton Range.
A stubborn iconoclast fights a lonely battle on behalf of a species nearly everyone hates on National Parks: America’s Best Idea The Morning Of Creation (1946-1980) on April 30. America’s “Last Frontier” becomes a testing ground for the future of the park idea; and in unprecedented numbers, American families create unforgettable memories, passing on a love of the parks to the next generation.
KLRU Q also crafted some of their April programming in honor of our planet.
On April 15, Q starts the night off with Big Burn: American Experience at 8 p.m. This one-hour special highlights the hundreds of wildfires that raged across the Northern Rockies during the summer of 1910. Then at 9 p.m., America’s First Forest: Carl Schenck And The Ashtev examines the pivotal role played by pioneering forestry educator Carl Schenck and his founding of America’s first school of forestry-the Biltmore Forest School. To finish the night off, Jens Jensen The Living Green profiles the unsung pioneering landscape architect who became one of America’s most influential urban designers and early conservationists at 10 p.m.
Then on Earth Day itself, April 22, experience the battle for a living planet in the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement, spanning 50 years of grassroots and global activism on American Masters A Fierce Green Fire at 8 p.m. After that, Green Fire: Aldo Leopold And A Land Ethic For Our Time highlights Aldo Leopold’s extraordinary career as an environmentalist, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Finally, Symphony of the Soil artistically explores the miraculous substance soil at 10 p.m.
Q Night at the Movies embraces the joys and perils of romance this week. We start the night off with Hollywood Idols discussing the career and life of Casablanca star, Ingrid Bergman. Then on On Story, screenwriters of some modern day romantic comedies explain what they consider when writing their screenplays. Finally, Sleepless In Seattle tells the story of two people who fall in love at a weird time in their respective lives.
Hollywood Idols Ingrid Bergman Remembered at 7 p.m.
Ingrid Bergman possessed a natural and vulnerable persona, which was both genuine and alluring. Her cinematic contributions included such movie classics as Casablanca and Anastasia. Appearing together for the first time, Ingrid’s daughters Pia Lindstrom and Isabella Rossellini take a personal look back at their mother’s life beyond Bergman’s acting career.
On Story Romantic Comedies at 7:30 p.m.
The screenwriters behind Never Been Kissed, Safe Haven, Going the Distance and He’s Just Not That Into You contemplate the important balance of relationship, conflict and originality when creating romantic comedies. Followed by the short film, Do Over by David Fabelo.
All-star Film Collection Sleepless In Seattle at 8 p.m.
A recently engaged newswoman (Meg Ryan) becomes obsessed with meeting a grieving widower (Tom Hanks) she heard on a late-night radio call-in show.
The Austin Samba School has created a new twist on the classic western “horse opera.” Fusing Brazilian Carnaval rhythms and dancing with Texas’ musical history, the performers of Austin Samba School are truly a community who come from all walks of life and in all sizes, shapes, colors, races and nationalities. This diversity allows them to take on creative challenges with full force and to create a performance unlike any other – cattle and cowboys, blues and rock, spangles and feathers, glitter and gold, samba and country.
The Chicano movement empowered Mexican Americans from all walks of life to celebrate their roots. In the fourth installment of Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights, hear how locals fought criticism and came together to embrace their heritage through the arts.
Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights debuts on Thursdays in March on KLRU.org. Past installments address the rise of Mexican Americans in politics, organizing and activism and the struggle of the Chicano movement as the Mexican-American community in Austin continues to fight for their rights.
KLRU has also partnered with The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center to present a screening and discussion of the documentary on March 31 as part of their César Chávez celebrations. Find more information about the screening here.
This week, Q Night At The Movies celebrates female friendships! We start out with Hollywood Idols highlighting the career of Shirley MacLaine, one of the stars if Steel Magnolias. Then, Callie Khouri talks about her experience making the ultimate female dynamic duo film, Thelma and Louise. After that, Steel Magnolias tells the story of six women and their friendships. We end the night with conversations with actors and actresses who starred in some of the biggest movies of the year.
Hollywood Idols Shirley MacLaine: Kicking Up Her Heels at 7 p.m.
Shirley MacLaine’s love of the theater began at a very early age. Her ballet training and long-legged pixie charm led her to rapid success on Broadway in musical comedy. Inevitably, Hollywood called. It wasn’t long before she was offered dramatic roles opposite the most popular leading men of the time. Shirley MacLaine’s films include The Apartment, Two For The Seesaw, The Turning Point, Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias and many more.
On Story Thelma and Louise: A Conversation with Callie Khouri at 7:30 p.m.
Callie Khouri reflects upon her experience working with Ridley Scott and writing the classic female-driven-buddy film, Thelma and Louise. Followed by Avram Dodson’s short film, Pistachio Milk, a coming of age tale about a young suitor using only his wits and a bottle of pistachio milk to pursue his love interest.
Variety Episode #302 at 10 p.m.
An intimate conversation between some of the greatest actors working today. Featuring Kate Winslet (Jobs) with Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Carey Mulligan (Suffragette) with Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy), Steve Carell (The Big Short) with Rooney Mara (Carol), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) with Jason Segel (The End of the Tour).
On Thursday, March 31 at 9 p.m., KLRU presents The Girls In The Band. Directed by Judy Chaikin, this documentary relays the poignant, inspiring, yet often unknown stories of female jazz artists and big band instrumentalists from the late 1930s to the present day. These highly skilled women endured decades of sexism, racism and diminished opportunities to succeed in a field that seldom welcomed them. Because of their hard work and perseverance, today a new breed of gifted young women are taking their rightful place in the world of jazz – a world which can no longer deny their talents.
The New York Times says The Girls In The Band “is everything a worthwhile documentary should be, and then some: engaging, informative, thorough and brimming with delightful characters.”
Get insight into the entertainment industry this week on Q Night At The Movies! On Hollywood Idols, Academy Award winner Gregory Peck walks through his rise to stardom. Then, The writers of the TV show Justified explain the progression of the program. The feature film of the night, Postman Always Rings Twice, tells the story of a drifter who conspires with his lover to kill her husband. We end the night with exclusive conversations with A-listers such as Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson.
Hollywood Idols Gregory Peck: His Own Man at 7 p.m.
Talented and enduring Academy Award-winning star, Gregory Peck, tells how it was when the studios ruled and a shy boy from a broken family could rise to become a famous leading man. Unfashionably modest, Peck describes his fascinating journey from early theater roles, through his first films, and on to becoming Hollywood’s elder statesman.
On Story Justified: Insider the Writer’s Room at 7:30 p.m.
Writers (Chris Provenzano, Wendy Calhoun, Dave Adron, VJ Boyd) from the hit show Justified discuss adapting Elmore Leonard’s short story for television and the evolution of the show’s tone, rhythm, and setting.
Variety Episode #301 at 9:55 p.m.
Exclusive conversations between some of the most exciting actors working today. Featuring Cate Blanchett (Carol/Truth) with Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes), Will Smith (Concussion) with Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), Brie Larson (Room) with Joel Edgerton (Black Mass), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight) with Michael Keaton (Spotlight).
Overheard with Evan Smith is thrilled to welcome Richard Linklater back to Studio 6A! Linklater is a multiple Academy Award-nominated director whose credits include Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, A Scanner Darkly, School of Rock, Bernie, and Boyhood. His most recent Oscar nominations were for Boyhood, which was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Film Editing. That film won him the Golden Globe for Best Director. His newest film is Everybody Wants Some, which is premiering at South by Southwest and will be released April 15.
Starting now until March 18, be one of the first 5 to answer the following questions to enter in the drawing.
- What Film Director stated that it was Linklater’s SLACKER (1991) that made him want to be a director?
- What are the names of the 2 actors that were Oscar nominated for their performances in BOYHOOD?
Be sure and RSVP for the taping as well. KLRU’s Overheard with Evan Smith interviews Richard Linklater on March 22 at noon in KLRU’s Studio 6A (map). Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The event is free but an RSVP is required. Please complete the form to the left to RSVP.
Inspired by a push for labor reform, hear about how the Chicano movement gained momentum during the 60s and 70s in Austin.
Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights debuts on Thursdays in March on KLRU.org. Watch all episodes now Other installments address the rise of Mexican-Americans in politics, Chicano identity through the arts, organizing and activism and the struggle of the Chicano movement as the Mexican-American community in Austin continues to fight for their rights.