July 2012: P.O.V. "Up Heartbreak Hill"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program, UP HEARTBREAK HILL, explores the lives of Native American teens.

P.O.V. “Up Heartbreak Hill
Sunday, July 29, 5-6 p.m.

Thomas and Tamara are track stars at their rural New Mexico high school. Like many teenagers, they are torn between the lure of brighter futures elsewhere and the ties that bind them to home. For these teens, however, home is an impoverished town on the Navajo reservation, and leaving means separating from family, tradition and the land that has been theirs for generations. Erica Scharf’s “Up Heartbreak Hill” is a look at a new generation of Americans struggling to be both Native and modern.

June 2012: Mariachi High

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program, MARIACHI HIGH, will give you a glimpse into the lives of a teen mariachi ensemble.

Friday, June 29, 9-10 p.m.
Sunday, July 1, 3-4 p.m.

Mariachi High presents a year in the life of the champion mariachi ensemble at Zapata High School on the Rio Grande in South Texas. As they compete and perform with astonishing musical virtuosity, these teens, and the music they make, will inspire, surprise, and bring you to your feet.


Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program, NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT 2012,  will unite the nation with an evening that has become an American tradition.

Jack Everly Concert

Sunday, May 27, 7-8:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 27, 8:30-10 p.m.
Monday, May 28, 10:30 p.m.-midnight
Tuesday, May 29, 2:30-4a.m.

The NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT honors the service and sacrifice of the men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. The top-rated show (#3 in PBS Primetime!) is broadcast live from the West Lawn of the US Capitol before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, to millions more at home and on the American Forces Network to troops serving around the world. The multi award-winning broadcast features an all-star line-up in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra and is co-hosted for the seventh time by Emmy Award- winner Gary Sinise and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna, two acclaimed actors who have dedicated themselves to veterans’ causes and supporting the troops in active service. The event has become the nation’s memorial service offering viewers a time to remember, to heal and bring the country together.

April 2012: Independent Lens "Being Elmo"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program INDEPENDENT LENS: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey,  explores Kevin Clash’s story in vivid detail and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process..

Watch Meet the Man Behind Elmo on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey
Thursday, April 5, 8-9:30 p.m.
Friday, April 6, 1-2:30 a.m.
Monday, April 9, 8-9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 10, 3-4:30 a.m.

As a teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Kevin Clash had very different aspirations from those of his classmates — he wanted to be a puppeteer, part of Jim Henson’s team, the creative force responsible for delivering the magic of SESAME STREET. Combining archival footage with material from the present day, filmmaker Constance Marks explores Clash’s story in vivid detail and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and including interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others.

March 2012: NOVA "Dogs Decoded"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program NOVA “Dogs Decoded” researches the question “How smart are dogs, and what makes them such ideal companions?”

NOVA “Dogs Decoded”
Sunday, March 25th at 6:00 pm.
no repeat broadcasts

Dogs have been domesticated for longer than any other animal on the planet and humans have developed a unique relationship with these furry friends. We treat our pets like a part of the family and we feel that they can understand us in a way other animals cannot. Now, new research is revealing what dog lovers have suspected all along: dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions. What is surprising, however, is new research showing that humans, in turn, respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies. How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be? And how can dogs, so closely related to fearsome wild wolves, behave so differently? It’s all in the genes. “Dogs Decoded” investigates new discoveries in genetics that are illuminating the origin of dogs — with revealing implications for the evolution of human culture as well. NOVA also travels to Siberia, where the mystery of dogs’ domestication is being repeated — in foxes. A 50-year-old breeding program is creating an entirely new kind of creature, a tame fox with some surprising similarities to man’s best friend. This film reveals the science behind the remarkable bond between humans and their dogs and spurs new questions about what this could mean for our relationships with other animal species.

February 2012: NATURE "Raccoon Nation"

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: NATURE: Raccoon Nation where we learn that we might actually be making racoons smarter.

Nature’s “Raccoon Nation”
Wednesday, February 8, 7pm

Friday, February 10, 4-5am
Sunday, February 12, 2-3am & 5-6pm

Are we, in an effort to outwit raccoons, actually making them smarter and unwittingly contributing to their evolutionary success? Are the ever more complex obstacles that our fast-paced urban world throws at them actually pushing the development of raccoon brains? In this film, scientists from around the world share their thoughts and work to help explore this scientific theory. Attempting to do something that has never been done before, they closely follow a family of urban raccoons as they navigate the complex world of a big city.

January 2012: ARTS IN CONTEXT “Opera Odyssey”

Arts in Context #201 “Opera Odyssey”

Thursday, January 12th at 7:30 pm
repeats: Sunday, January 15th at 2 pm

Every summer the Austin Lyric Opera organizes “Opera Odyssey”, an opera camp with kids ages 8 to 12. Students produce their own original musical work, design and build sets and costumes, and learn the business of opera. ARTS IN CONTEXT followed their journey through the creative process which resulted in the original production “The Quarantine”.

December 2011: Lidia Celebrates America

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: Lidia Celebrates America where Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich Encourages Viewers to Cook Together, Eat Together, Be Together.

Lidia Celebrates the HolidaysLidia Celebrates America “Holiday Tables and Traditions
Tuesday, Dec. 20th at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, December 21, 1 & 3 am
Thursday, December 22, 3 am
Saturday, December 24, 3 am
Sunday, December 25, 5 pm 

An Italian Christmas Eve. A Mexican-American Christmas Day. A Chinese New Year. A Passover Seder. Four holidays, four different tables and traditions. Join celebrity chef and culinary author Lidia Bastianich as she travels across America in a celebration of culture through food in LIDIA CELEBRATES AMERICA “Holiday Tables and Traditions.

At the heart of LIDIA CELEBRATES is my own immigrant experience,” says Lidia. “When I came to this country at the age of 12, I had already spent two years in a political refugee camp. Whenever I meet American families with roots in other countries, I know immediately that we have something in common.”

An Italian Christmas Eve
This delicious holiday adventure begins in New York City, where Lidia prepares a traditional Italian Christmas Eve La Vigilia — feast of the seven fishes — with actor Stanley Tucci (Julie and Julia, Big Night). But first, actor Mo Rocca (“Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”) accompanies Lidia on an unforgettable shopping trip to a fish market on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. “Cooking and food is about more than sustenance,” says Rocca. “The sacredness of family and friends eating together is something that crosses all lines. It may be the only thing that crosses all lines.” Back in her kitchen with Stanley Tucci, Lidia prepares a feast that includes octopus salad, linguine and clam sauce, whipped baccala, insalata di mare, mozzarella with peppers, broccoli rapini, stuffed lobster and monkfish.

“The idea of taking those recipes that have been around for centuries … it’s a way of passing on family history, emotions — it’s a way of connecting with somebody,” says Tucci. “It’s a way of expressing love … and that’s the thing for me that makes food so interesting.”

A Mexican-American Christmas Day
As Christmas Eve turns to Christmas Day, Lidia travels to San Antonio, Texas, to celebrate the holiday Mexican-style with the Cortez family, owners of the famed Mi Tierra restaurant. “America has a lot to offer to anyone who is willing to work hard,” says Michael Cortez, current owner of the restaurant. “My grandfather would often say he was an American by choice, not by chance.”

What started as a small counter operation has expanded to fill an entire city block, employing four generations of the Cortez family. Here, Christmas is all about making the traditional Mexican-American tamales — and some decadent desserts. Traditional pecan pralines, peanut patties, macadamia pralines — there’s even a candy the color of the Mexican flag, a long-held family tradition! Here, Lidia learns how to make Mexican bunuelos, a fried dough topped with cinnamon and sugar that the children gobble up as fast as it’s made.

A Chinese New Year
From San Antonio, Lidia heads to San Francisco to celebrate a colorful and plentiful Chinese New Year, the most important holiday of the year for Chinese Americans. With the late Shirley Fong-Torres, renowned travel writer and chef as her guide, Lidia visits Chinatown for tea and dim sum before returning to Fong-Torres’ kitchen to make Chinese dumplings, also known as pot stickers. “My granddaughters and I love to make pot stickers together,” Fong-Torres explains. “Dumplings are very significant in the New Year. It’s like enveloping the fillings, and enveloping love.”

The Chinese New Year symbolizes the beginning of a new season and a hope for a better year. Much of the symbolism has to do with prosperity and rebirth. “This is what America is all about … this great exchange of culture,” Lidia says. “The more I discover about new cultures, the more I notice how close they are to each other. They are all about the family, staying together, and being good to each other.”

A Passover Seder
Finally, Lidia returns to New York City to celebrate a Passover seder with food author Ruth Reichl and the fourth-generation owners of the specialty food shop Russ & Daughters. On the menu: smoked salmon, charoset, chicken soup with matzo balls, and, of course, beef brisket and horseradish. Reichl, former editor of Gourmet and a longtime Russ & Daughters customer, joins Lidia in the kitchen. “As you know, my mother was the world’s worst cook,” says Reichl. “So this is maybe the only recipe of hers that I would ever dare to share. She loved showing up at seder with her brisket and everyone would gasp and say I’ve never seen anything like that before!”

As viewers participate in the various ethnic and religious celebrations across the country, it’s clear food is the common denominator that ties all human beings. “No matter what your religion, or your ethnicity,” Lidia says, “we have the opportunity to celebrate whatever we worship, whoever our families are, and this is something to celebrate: America is something to celebrate.”

November 2011: My Life As a Turkey

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: NATURE: My Life As a Turkey.

A turkey perches on Jeff Palmer's head.

NATURE: My Life As a Turkey
Wednesday, November 16, 7-8 p.m.

Friday, November 18, 4-5 a.m.
Sunday, November 20, 2-3 a.m. & 5-6 p.m.
Monday, November 21, 2-3 a.m.

Based on the true story of writer and naturalist Joe Hutto, portrayed by wildlife photographer Jeff Palmer, this film chronicles Hutto’s remarkable experience of imprinting wild turkey eggs and raising the hatchlings to adulthood. Deep in the wilds of Florida, Hutto spent each day out and about as a “wild turkey” with his family of chicks — until the day came when he had to let his children grow up and go off on their own. As it turned out, this was harder than he ever imagined. Hutto’s story also became a book, Illumination in the Flatlands.

October 2011: Lords of the Gourd

Each month, KLRU chooses a program for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice program is: Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence.

Small child on a large pumpkin Sunday, October 30. 4-5 a.m. and 6-7 p.m.

The extreme gardeners who compete at the annual Cooperstown Weigh Off have one obsessive goal — to raise the biggest giant pumpkin in the world. These gurus of the gourd nurture their fruits through harsh weather, floods, animal attacks and even sabotage to produce glorious pumpkins of gigantic proportion. This program follows Joe Pukos and his fellow competitors through the final harrowing days of harvest and the journey across New York State with the bulging behemoths strapped into the backs of their pick-ups. Joe is a real contender — at least until last minute rumors circulate that another grower may be set to smash the world record.

Check out the only Giant Pumpkin Festival, “Floydada Punkin’ Days”  in Floyd County, Texas. http://www.floydadachamber.com/punkin.htm.