What’s happening this weekend: July 31-Aug. 2

Austin Skyline

Now that the summer heat has arrived in full force, we know you’re looking for ways to stay cool this weekend. We’ve got some suggestions for you!

Check out the Texas Robot Roundup

Watch high school teams from across the state compete at the fifth annual Texas Robot Roundup at the Austin Convention Center Friday and Saturday. What’s cooler than watching smart young people show off their amazing creations? Before you go, get inspired by this clip from SciTech Now and watch elementary, middle and high school students take part in robots competitions through the nonprofit organization FIRST.


Admission: Free to spectators. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Details here.

Visit the Carver Museum’s newest exhibit
The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center’s newest exhibit, John Yancey’s Can u see, opened Thursday. Yancey is a Chicago artist who was influenced by social and political events of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s to create public murals and mosaics and commissioned sculptures and paintings. Yancey is currently a studio art professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Before you go, watch this clip from the 2012 episode of Juneteenth Jamboree, in which KLRU features the Carver Museum and its curator.

Admission: Free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. Details here.

Extreme bird-watching in the Capital Plaza Shopping Center
If you live in Austin, chances are you’ve watched the bats come out from the Congress Avenue Bridge. But have you ever watched purple martins roost at Capital Plaza? The Travis Audubon Society has hosted purple martin parties on Friday and Saturday nights this summer. Bring a lawn chair and watch hundreds of thousands of purple martins roost in the Live Oaks near Shepler’s Western Wear at Capital Plaza. The good news is the purple martins roost at dusk, so you don’t have to worry about the summer sun — and the Travis Audubon Society says it’s even better than watching the bats! If you’d like to know more about purple martins before you go, watch this video from Texas Parks and Wildlife.


Admission: Free. Hours: 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Details here.

Landmarks Guided Tour of Bass Concert Hall
Escape the blistering summer temperatures and join The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts’ Landmarks for a docent-led tour of art in Bass Concert Hall on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The collection features striking examples of postwar and contemporary sculpture from influential artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Check out Ursula von Rydingsvard’s artwork featured in Ecology, as artists explore how our understanding of the natural world becomes deeply cultural.

Admission: Free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: July 17-19

Happy weekend, Austinites! Stay cool this weekend with these (mostly) local events.

Take a road trip to Winedale for UT’s annual Shakespeare productions

“Shakespeare at Winedale,” a University of Texas program which presents various Shakespeare productions in Winedale, Texas, is in its 35th year this summer. This year, the students are presenting Twelfth Night (opening July 16), Henry V (opening July 17) and Pericles (opening July 18). Established in 1970 as a UT English course, Shakespeare at Winedale has grown into a year-round program reaching many different groups. Students in the summer program spend two months in the Texas countryside, studying and performing three plays in a nineteenth-century barn converted into a theatre.

So, load up in the car this weekend and journey about 80 miles east to Winedale to appreciate the students’ hard work. But before you go, watch this episode of Shakespeare Uncovered, in which Jeremy Irons researches Shakespeare’s history plays such as Henry V, as well as the differences between the real history and the father-son drama that Shakespeare creates.

Admission: $5 with a UT ID, $10 for all others. Hours: Showtimes vary. Details and ticket information here. 

Revisit your childhood fairytales at the Blanton Museum of Art

Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm opened last week at the Blanton and features more than 30 gouache and pastel drawings by artist Natalie Frank, a New York-based Austin native. Organized by The Drawing Center in New York, this presentation explores the nineteenth-century fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, including well-known stories such as Cinderella and Snow White, and more obscure tales such as The Lettuce Donkey and The Ungrateful Son.

Before you go, watch On Story: Reimagining The Classics as writers of re-imagined classics & popular franchises such as Ghost, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Twins and Snow White and the Huntsman deliberate how to keep stories fresh while staying true to the original.

Admission: Free for Blanton members and UT students, faculty and staff. $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for college students with valid ID and youth ages 13-21, free for children 12 and under. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Details about the exhibit can be found here.  

Dance and sing along to Hairspray at the Zilker Hillside Theatre

Zilker Theatre Productions’ annual free summer musical this year is Hairspray, and trust me, you’ll have a hard time resisting the urge to sing and dance along with the energetic characters and catchy tunes.

Before you get down with “The Nicest Kids In Town,” check out this interview with John Waters, who directed the 2007 movie.

Admission: Free. Hours: Thursday through Sunday nights beginning at approximately 8:15 p.m. Details here.

Mix up your musical interests with the Austin Chamber Music Festival

Each summer the Austin Chamber Music Center presents an exciting line-up of world-class artists, programmed by Artistic Director Michelle Schumann. The 19th annual Austin Chamber Music Festival wraps up this weekend with performances from Trio con Brio Copenhagen, Time for Three and Cactus Pear Ensemble in the Bates Recital Hall on UT campus.

Austin’s own Mother Falcon performed as part of the festival last weekend. Check out this episode of Arts In Context documenting the band’s inspiring story.

Admission: $25 for general admission, $50 for premium seating. Hours: Concert times vary. Details and ticket information here.

Love your rescue pet (and all local rescue pets) with Austin Pets Alive!

In Austin, we love our rescue pets. Local rescue Austin Pets Alive! has devoted an entire day to loving your rescue cat or dog. APA! has partnered with local businesses to help raise money to save more local pets. Click here for a list of participating businesses.

Additionally, it’s supposed to finally hit 100 degrees this weekend in Austin…so make sure to check out these tips for keeping your furry friends safe during the summer.

Shop at the biggest garage sale you’ll ever attend

Austin’s City-Wide Garage Sale is Saturday and Sunday at the Palmer Events Center. If you’re an antiques junkie or you’re just looking to get a good deal on some gently used items, it’s worth checking out. Before you go, make sure to binge-watch some of our online episodes of Antiques Roadshow. You never know when you’ll find something really valuable at a garage sale!

Admission: $6 for adults, kids 12 and under get in free, $10 for early shoppers on Saturday only. Hours: Early shopping Saturday at 8:30 a.m., all other shopping 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: July 10-12

TGIF! Another beautiful weekend in Austin, Texas. Here are our recommendations for how to spend it!

Free, local, live music at the Bob Bullock Museum

It wouldn’t be a weekend in Austin without your favorite local bands playing somewhere really cool for absolutely no charge. Catch Brownout and Sweet Spirit Friday night at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum as part of the “Music Under The Star” series, presented by the museum and Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Before you go, check out Brownout’s 2010 performance of “Nawlins” on Satellite Sets.

Admission: Free. Hours: Sweet Spirit will open at 6 p.m., followed by Brownout. Click here for details.

Second Saturdays at Laguna Gloria

Every second Saturday of the month, The Contemporary Austin offers hands-on art-making workshops at Laguna Gloria, inspired by the exhibitions on view. This Saturday’s theme is pinhole cameras, based on John Grade’s sculpture hanging from the trees, framing a view of the sky. Drop in and see family-friendly performances, meet local artists, make your own pinhole camera, then see how an entire room can be transformed into a giant pinhole camera! Recommended for ages 2-11. Before you go, watch this episode of Arts In Context Shorts about these relaxing experiences in a beautiful sculpture garden and the opportunity to learn about how nature influences art.

Admission: $10 per family, $5 per member family. Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get additional details and RSVP here.

Re-watch Jaws in probably the scariest possible way

The Alamo Drafthouse is hosting a screening of “Jaws” on Saturday, but this isn’t your average screening. Moviegoers will be floating on inner tubes in the water at the Texas Ski Ranch while the movie plays on a screen nearby. So, if you’re feeling brave…rent a floaty and pack your swimsuit. And probably bring a friend who isn’t a practical joker and won’t grab your feet under the water.

“Jaws” isn’t exactly the most factually accurate shark movie — so brush up on your shark facts here before you go, or catch up on NOVA’s “Why Sharks Attack” documentary below.

Admission: $30 for movie ticket and inner tube rental. Hours: Movie starts at 8:30 p.m. Details here.

What’s happening this weekend: July 3-5

Happy holiday weekend, Austinites! There’s no shortage of Fourth of July festivities across Central Texas this weekend, but we’ve rounded up a few suggestions here.

Celebrate Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic’s return to Austin

The Redheaded Stranger is back to celebrate the red, white and blue on Saturday in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas, and of course he’s bringing all his friends. Willie Nelson and family will headline the one-day festival, with Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Asleep at the Wheel, Sturgill Simpson, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, David Allan Coe and more. Get in the spirit before you go by watching Willie perform “Pancho and Lefty” at the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in 2014 with Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris.

Also, don’t miss this Antiques Roadshow clip from Austin featuring Willie Nelson memorabilia.

Admission: Tickets range from $35 to $75. Hours: Parking opens at 10 a.m., gates open at 11 a.m. Music starts at 11:15 a.m. and will go until 12:30 a.m. Fireworks display will go off at 9:45 p.m. http://circuitoftheamericas.com/willie

Watch the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake

After a brief stint at the Circuit of the Americas, the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display featuring the Austin Symphony is back at Auditorium Shores. The family-friendly event on Saturday has fireworks, food, drinks, local venders and a live performance by the Austin Symphony. Before you head out, make sure to set your DVRs to record the 35th anniversary of A Capitol Fourth, featuring Barry Manilow, Alabama, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, classical pianist Lang Lang, the National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jack Everly.

Admission: Free. Hours: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. http://www.roadwayevents.com/event/symphony-july-4th/

Get out of town and head to the Nutty Brown

If you don’t feel like dealing with traffic and crowds at the city’s fireworks event, head out to the Nutty Brown Cafe for Austin City Limits artist Bob Schneider’s annual Fourth of July bash, but check out these photos from Bob’s Austin City Limits Season 36 taping here before you go.

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Admission: $17 general admission. Hours: Doors open at 6 p.m. http://nuttybrown.com/bob-schneiders-4th-of-july-bash

Have your own Fourth of July barbecue!

What’s Fourth of July without a cookout? We’ve gathered some tips from Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ as well as recipes from PBS Food to help you keep your friends and family fed and happy. Watch the brisket episode of BBQ With Franklin below and click here for the recipes! 

Unwind with a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the museum

What’s your story? Find out the best way to share your stories, listen to new ones and create art that tells tales at the Free First Sunday: Story Telling event at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. You can also check out the museum’s roller derby exhibit, which runs through Aug. 8. Make sure to watch KLRU News Brief’s segment on the exhibit before you go!

Admission: Free. Hours: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free First Sunday: Story Telling ends at 3 p.m. 


Click here to check out a full list of Fourth of July events in Austin and surrounding cities from Austin360.


KLRU Civic Summit: Arts in Context

Video segments from the KLRU Civic Summit: Arts in Context are now posted.

Economic Impact of Austin’s Creative Sector from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

Living & Working as an Artist in Austin, Texas from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

The Future of Arts in Austin from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

Why do you think we should fund the arts?

Education focus of Live United Film Series event on 1/28

Join KLRU and United Way Capital Area for a special film screening and discussion on education issues in Austin on Thursday, January 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in KLRU’s Austin City Limits Studio 6A. RSVP here. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages provided.

Jason Sabo from United Ways of Texas will moderate a discussion on whether the Austin community is investing enough in education. Panelists will include:

  • Dr. Michael Marder from University of Texas UTeach project
  • Liliana Ary from Univision Radio
  • Clayton Christopher from Sweet Leaf Tea and a student he is mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas
  • The discussion will take place immedately after a screening of It All Adds Up. This documentary, produced by Academy Award-winning director Sue Marx, focuses on the academic enrichment and mentoring program called Math Corps. The film features engaging and heart-warming interviews with alumni and current campers who testify to the life-changing impact of this project. RSVP here.