Nelson Puett Foundation Supports KLRU

The Nelson Puett Foundation has just granted KLRU $20,000 to support the Inspiration Fund and Friends of Austin City Limits.

The Inspiration Fund is a mechanism to sustain comprehensive services at our station: local productions, outreach and education activities including Ready To Learn, Community Screenings, Community Cinema, Spark at The Moody Theater:  KLRU’s Engaging Speaker Series, and more.  Each of these elements frames KLRU as a trusted window to the world with universal access to educational and creative content in and beyond Austin.

Austin City Limits has presented audiences with the most diverse, original, cutting-edge talent that music has to offer for more than three decades. ACL airs nationally on 97% of the country’s PBS stations.  In addition, select episodes are available to view online.

The Foundation’s investment in our mission will help bring pioneering programs, authentic engagement and meaningful acquisitions to the citizens of Central Texas.  On behalf of all who will benefit, thank you!

Community Cinema: Lioness 12/6

Join KLRU and the Austin Public Library for free Community Cinema screenings on the first Tuesday of the month at the Windsor Park Branch Library (5833 Westminster Dr,). Screenings will start at 7 p.m. with a discussion to follow each of the films. The next screening will be Lioness on December 6.

Lioness
How did five female Army support soldiers–mechanics, supply clerks and engineers–end up fighting alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq War? Directors Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers give an intimate look at war through the eyes of the first women in U.S. history sent into direct ground combat, despite a policy that bans them from doing so. Through harrowing personal stories, these women candidly share their experiences in Iraq as well as from their lives back home to form a portrait of the emotional and psychological effects of war.

PBS Arts Festival: Cleveland Women Who Rock 11/18

Watch PBS Arts From Cleveland: Women Who Rock Preview on PBS. See more from PBS.

Discover even more unique art from the nation’s emerging artists as the PBS Arts Fall Festival continues its nine-week celebration of the arts. Tune in each week for new full-length performances, artist and performer profiles, behind-the-scenes documentaries and mini-films about the art scenes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chicago, Cleveland, and more.

From Bessie Smith to Janis Joplin to Lady Gaga, PBS Arts from Cleveland: Women Who Rock, airing Friday, November 18, surges with energy as it traces the indelible mark that women musicians have made on America’s soundtrack, while revealing new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll.

Keep on rockin’ (in the free world) with a min-documentary titled, Artistic Choice. See how Clevelanders not only moved to recognize the powerful resource of their cultural artistic traditions, but also discovered an innovative way to keep their artists financially supported.

Then, learn about Austin Asian Occasion, an evening of artists and acts celebrating various regions of Asia presented by the Asian American Cultural Center and the Asian American Community Partnership.

Songwriting legend Randy Newman takes the Austin City Limits stage, crooning a selection of his greatest tunes at 9:30 p.m.

Spark: Thanks for a civil event 11/14

Thanks to everyone who attended the November 14th Spark at The Moody event. William Galston, Matthew Dowd and Mark McKinnon gave the crowd some valuable insight into how to make the political system better meet the needs of the public and to help have civil discourse on political issues. During the presentation, Galston and McKinnon referenced the No Labels non-profit organization that they co-founded. If you’d like more information on that group, the website is nolabels.org

The next Spark at The Moody event is on January 31st and features Holland Taylor, Paul Stekler and Wayne Slater discussing the life of Ann Richards. Details and tickets at klru.org/spark

Science Night 11/16

Watch Nature: My Life As a Turkey on PBS. See more from CET.

Wednesday Science Night for November 16th presents:

Nature: My Life As A Turkey 7 pm
Based on a true story. Deep in the wilds of Florida, writer and naturalist Joe Hutto was given the rare opportunity to raise wild turkeys from chicks. 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 eventually became a book, Illuminations in the Flatlands.

NOVA: The Fabric of the Cosmos: “Quantum Leap” 8 pm
Accompany physicist and acclaimed author Brian Greene on a mind-bending reality check and journey to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time and the universe. Join Brian Greene on a wild ride into the weird realm of quantum physics, which governs the universe on the tiniest of scales. Greene brings quantum mechanics to life in a nightclub like no other, where objects pop in and out of existence and things over here can affect others over there, instantaneously — without anything crossing the space between them. How could the rules of the quantum world, which work so well to describe the behavior of individual atoms and their components, appear so dramatically different from the everyday rules that govern people, planets and galaxies? Quantu m mechanics may be counterintuitive, but it’s one of the most successful theories in the history of science, making predictions that have been confirmed to better than one part in a billion, while also launching the technological advances at the heart of modern life, like computers and cell phones. But even today, even with such profound successes, the debate still rages over what quantum mechanics implies for the true nature of reality.

NOVA: The Elegant Universe: “The String’s The Thing” 9 pm
In the last few years, excitement has grown among scientists as they’ve pursued a revolutionary new approach to unifying nature’s forces. To the uninitiated, string theory is totally mind-boggling. But physicist Brian Greene has a rare gift for conveying physics in vivid everyday images, a gift that has turned his recent book, The Elegant Universe, into a mighty bestseller. Now Greene brings his talent, youth and vitality to television for the first time in this special three-hour presentation. A highly innovative, Matrix-like production style makes the surreal world of string theory spring to life on the screen. String’s the Thing — In the second hour, Greene describes the serendipitous steps that led from a forgotten 200-year-old mathematical formula to the first glimmerings of strings – quivering strands of energy whose different vibrations give rise to quarks, electrons, photons and all other elementary particles. Strings are truly tiny – smaller than an atom by the same factor that a tree is smaller than the entire universe. But, as Greene explains, it is possible – for the first time ever – to combine the laws of the large and the laws of the small into a proposal for a single, harmonious Theory of Everything.

KLRU programming helps families plan for economic hardship

November 10, 2011 — This month’s Literacy Night/Meals for Minds at Pickle Elementary on Tuesday, November 15th, will focus on the KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, program Sesame Street’s Food for Thought. The project will help approximately 400 families in the Austin area.

Sesame Street’s Food for Thought, a bilingual, multimedia program, is designed to help families coping with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious food. With a focus on families with children ages birth to 8, the project provides resources including recipes, menu guides, shopping lists and tips for families. Sesame Street’s Food for Thought also features one of the show’s newest characters that will help children learn about food issues.

“It’s an important sign of the times that Sesame Street has introduced a new Muppet, Lily, who lives with food uncertainty, and that the nationwide reaction to Lily has been so strong,” said Ben Kramer, KLRU’s Director of Educational Services. “We’re thankful to take part in this project, a remarkable collaboration of Austin organizations tackling hunger, nutrition, and education.”

November’s Literacy Night/Meals for Minds at Pickle Elementary takes place from 5-7:30 p.m. on November 15th and includes dinner for the invited families, teaching activities and food distribution. The event is part of a Target and Capital Area Food Bank grant called Meals for Minds, which brings food to feed elementary school students and their families most in need. With nearly 1 in 4 Texas children now living at risk of hunger the Capital Area Food Bank in partnership with Target, created this program to combat childhood hunger, and its impact on children’s education, while increasing parental involvement in their child’s education. Other sponsoring agencies include Austin ISD, City of Austin Parks and Recreation, Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, Austin Public Library.

About KLRU:
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, presents quality multimedia content that engages people in the thoughtful exchange of ideas, the expression of the arts, and enjoyable lifelong learning opportunities, resulting in a more vibrant community and a higher quality of life. In addition to providing locally produced and quality national television programming, KLRU is also a non-profit organization helping to build a stronger community through educational workshops, community engagement projects and public events. Known as the producing station of the longest-running live music television show AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, KLRU has also worked on several other national productions including OVERHEAD WITH EVAN SMITH and documentaries like CITIZEN ARCHITECT and LAST BEST HOPE. Get more information about KLRU at klru.org.

Review: Independent Lens "We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân"

Director Anne Makepeace offers a unique perspective on the fight to recover and preserve native languages in her latest documentary, “We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân”. The subject of her film is the indigenous Wampanoag nation of southeastern Massachusetts who helped the first Pilgrims in America survive. While their good deeds ultimately resulted in the aboriginal culture’s demise, the Wampanoag language rapidly declined as their traditions were replaced in the shadows of imperialism. No known native speakers have survived for the past 150 years as the Wampanoag language has becomes completely dormant.

Centuries later, a new generation of speakers is emerging under the direction of linguist Jessie Little Doe. A descent of the Wampanoag culture herself, Doe discovered the native language in researching her ancestors and found that they were attempting to communicate through a dead language. She decided to revive the language by creating the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, a group whose primary focus is to rescue Wampanoag from the verge of extinction. Through her continuous efforts, Doe’s research has developed into weekly vocabulary meetings and reading through Wampanoag copies of The Bible to search for words they have not recognized yet. Though tedious, the group’s passion to preserve their dying culture has renewed Wampanoag as a living language that is now being taught to even younger generations.

“We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân” engages the audience in the story of the Wampanoag Indian language’s return while demonstrating how Americans are the link between preserving their heritage for future generations. It also places a heavy emphasis on the struggle between assimilation and cultural preservation with a focus on the tribe’s demise in the midst of European settlement. As the language disappears around the world, viewers are given insight regarding the traditions and cultural history of the Wampanoag community from the group’s discoveries, which may be the path towards a once again thriving future for the Wampanoag people.

About the Review: Kaitlyn Roche is a third-year student at the University of Texas at Austin and currently works in the Marketing department of KLRU. She has contributed to online and print publications such as A.V. Club, San Antonio Express-News and Verbicide Magazine.

Highlights: November 13-19

America in Primetime at 7 pm Sunday presents “The Misfit”, a celebration of the unique characters who defied comic stereotypes and societal expectations to reflect America’s diverse personalities.

Two ex-lovers meet for lunch at their favorite haunt from years before. Will sparks reignite? Will some other explosion ensue? Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility) and Alan Rickman (Harry Potter) star in “The Song of Lunch” on Masterpiece Contemporary at 8 pm Sunday.

Rape of Europa at 9 pm Monday tells the epic and miraculous tale of how Europe’s art treasures survived the systematic theft and deliberate damage perpetrated by the Third Reich during World War II.

Secrets of the Dead: Churchill’s Deadliest Decision at 7 pm Tuesday reveals the darkest side of Britain’s Finest Hour, where Winston Churchill had to make a choice between trusting the promises of the new French government that they would never hand over their ships to Hitler or by destroying them himself.

Nazi Hunt: Elusive Justice at 8 pm Tuesday explores the 65-year effort to identify, prosecute and punish the 20th century’s most notorious murderers of the Nazi regime.

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday presents “My Life As A Turkey”, the story of writer and naturalist Joe Hutto’s rare opportunity to raise wild turkeys from chicks deep in the wilds of Florida.

Nova at 8 pm Wednesday presents “The Fabric of the Cosmos“, where physicist and acclaimed author Brian Greene will take you on a mind-bending reality check and journey to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time and the universe. On this week’s episode, Greene brings quantum mechanics to life in a nightclub like no other, where objects pop in and out of existence and things over here can affect others over there, instantaneously without anything crossing the space between them.

On Nova at 9 pm Wednesday, physicist Brian Greene springs the surreal world of string theory to life on the screen on “The Elegant Universe“. In this week’s episode, Greene describes the serendipitous steps that led from a forgotten 200-year-old mathematical formula to the first glimmerings of strings – quivering strands of energy whose different vibrations give rise to quarks, electrons, photons and all other elementary particles.

Songwriting legend Randy Newman takes the stage with a selection of his greatest tunes on Austin City Limits at 10 pm Wednesday and 9:30 pm Friday.

Andy Borowitz, writer and satirist who’s been described as “one of the funniest people in America,” talks about humor on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm Thursday.

Arts in Context at 7:30 pm Thursday explores the remote Texas city of Marfa and looks at what made the Trans-Pecos town nestled near Big Bend National Park the desert destination it is today.

Chet Garner travels to Spicewood, Texas to sip some coffee, swim in Krause Springs, go ziplining through the trees, and eat some delicious BBQ on this week’s episode of The Daytripper at 8:30 pm Thursday.

Independent Lens at 9 pm Thursday presents “We Still Live Here”, which tells the story of the return of the Wampanoag language, the first time a language with no Native speakers has been revived in this country.

PBS Arts From Cleveland: Women Who Rock is a performance documentary that chronicles and celebrates female musicians from early groundbreakers to contemporary powerhouses. The film features the stories of trailblazers like Bessie Smith and Mahalia Jackson, as well as contemporary stars Darlene Love, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Bonnie Raitt, Cyndi Lauper and more.

Author Sharon Lovejoy makes a solar oven out of a pizza box, along with lots of fun garden projects for children and gardeners of all ages on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. On tour, visit the next generation of gardeners at Casis Elementary.

ACL Presents at 7 pm Saturday highlights the annual Americana Music Awards ceremony taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and includes performances by Lucinda Williams, Gregg Allman and Robert Plant.

KLRU donates Library Corner to Sí Se Puede Learning Center

PBS Kids Raising Readers Library Corner at Si Se Puede Learning Center

Sí Se Puede Learning Center, an organization dedicated to providing a nurturing environment in which young kids and their parents gain the knowledge and skills to succeed, is partnering with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, to launch the center’s first PBS Kids Raising Readers Library Corner. Located in a corner of the on-site computer lab, the cozy library is stock full of engaging children’s reading and activity books, as well as computer games to foster literacy and learning.

All materials have been donated by KLRU-TV, whose dedication to fostering a love for reading among children comes to life in the materials it publishes and television shows it produces. Christina Collazo, Executive Director at Sí Se Puede, views this commitment as being closely aligned with her organization’s efforts to promote reading and English-language learning in school and at home. “Given that most of our young students don’t speak English at home, we have the opportunity to give children a head-start in the language before they enter kindergarten,” says Collazo. “A library with engaging books in both English and Spanish is a great way to get our kids excited about bilingual reading and learning.”

Benjamin Kramer, Director of Education for KLRU-TV, echoes Ms. Collazo’s enthusiasm. “When centers like Sí Se Puede and initiatives like the Library Corners come together, we create opportunities for young children to develop from their first days as bilingual speakers, readers, and writers, and as sophisticated readers and viewers of television and other media.” Kramer added, “Multilingual literacy and smart viewing practices are great attributes to have, but of course, they need to be nurtured. Here is a shining example of just that.”

Children and parents will be able to spend time together at the library during the center’s “Mommy and Me” time, as well as check out materials to take home. Reading while relaxing on the inviting cushions, surrounded by Dr. Seuss and The Hungry Caterpillar decor, will also serve as an incentive for students to record the number of minutes they spend reading at home. By incorporating the enjoyment of reading into every-day learning, Sí Se Puede hopes to engage young minds in discovering their potential, reaching their goals, and imagining future possibilities.

Benjamin Kramer Named Director of Education

Former principal, teacher, and professor to direct station’s education initiatives

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, announces Ben Kramer has joined the station as the Director of Education. Kramer has 20 years as a professional educator, from early childhood to doctoral studies, with his most recent role as Principal for The University of Texas Elementary Charter School. In his position as KLRU’s Director of Education, Kramer will be responsible for providing vision and leadership for the PBS station’s community educational initiatives by engaging educators, parents and students in pre-K through 12 and higher education in a manner that builds skills and a commitment to learning.

“We’re excited for Ben to help us shape the future of KLRU’s educational services,” said Bill Stotesbery, KLRU CEO and General Manager. “During his career, Ben has shown that he strives to bring quality instruction and intellectually stimulating curriculum to all students, particularly those who depend upon resources outside of the home for their access, and recognizes the importance and power of using multimedia technologies for learning. This philosophy fits perfectly with KLRU’s mission to provide livelong learning opportunities to the Austin area.”
Kramer holds a Bachelors from Princeton University, a Masters from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He has been principal or assistant principal at several schools including The University of Texas Elementary Charter School, Austin’s International High School, Mathews Elementary School and Hill Elementary School. He has also taught at Texas State University in the Masters program in education and community leadership.

In addition to more than 11 hours of curriculum-based kid’s programming daily, including Vme’s Spanish-language children’s programing, KLRU’s current educational services include conducting workshops to help parents provide early learning skill development in their children, providing materials to teachers to help them gain additional knowledge for the classroom, and distributing books to families that could not otherwise afford them. KLRU participates in numerous national PBS initiatives that help strengthen the station’s educational role in the community and under Kramer’s leadership, the station will find additional ways to help build a stronger educational foundation for the future of Austin.

About KLRU:
KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, presents quality multimedia content that engages people in the thoughtful exchange of ideas, the expression of the arts, and enjoyable lifelong learning opportunities, resulting in a more vibrant community and a higher quality of life. In addition to providing locally produced and quality national television programming, KLRU is also a non-profit organization helping to build a stronger community through educational workshops, community engagement projects and public events. Known as the producing station of the longest-running live music television show AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, KLRU has also worked on several other national productions including OVERHEAD WITH EVAN SMITH and documentaries like CITIZEN ARCHITECT and LAST BEST HOPE. Get more information about KLRU at klru.org.