Arts in Context Short: The Latino Comedy Project

“I looked at the absence of Latino voices as a reason to do what I was doing,” says Adrian Villegas, artistic director of The Latino Comedy Project. Living up to their mission of providing a voice for the Latino community, Adrian and the LCP troupe have been providing audiences with political satire that provoke big laughs and offer insight into societal issues affecting communities of color.

 

Bella Muerte, Dulce Vida: A Day of the Dead Tradition

“… it’s just part of learning from our ancestors and learning who we were and where we’re heading to,” says Nayeli Miranda, a sugar skull instructor for the ESB-MACC. With the intent of preserving and sharing her culture, Miranda teaches the art behind sugar skulls, along with its rich history within the Day of the Dead celebration.

 

Arts In Context Shorts: Belonging

“Everything is here for a reason,” says Sally Jacques, artistic director of Blue Lapis Light. Using a combination of stunning aerial dancers swinging from stacks, ground dancers, and haunting projections, Blue Lapis Light’s latest piece “Belonging: Part One” explores the beauty of the earth and the interconnectedness of all life.

 

Arts In Context Shorts: Guild of the Silent Sword

“When I was a youth …, I had no idea that there were any major empires, kingdoms or cities or cultures in Africa,” says Da’Mon Stith, founder of the Guild of the Silent Sword. With the goal of recovering and evolving the lost fighting arts of Africa, Stith created the Guild of the Silent Sword as a way to build community and awaken people’s understanding of African culture. He considers sword play “experimental archaeology” and uses it to feel like part of a larger, human story.

 

Indie America: Our picks from PBS Digital Studios

This week’s picks from PBS Digital Studios’Indie Amierca‘ will take around the U.S. featuring stories on unique towns across the country.

Story Time in the Heights, Michigan – Indie America

As Michigan native Barbra Lubic began to see the crime and unemployment rate increase in her community, she decided to stand up and make a difference. In this segment, watch Lubic as she helps an entire community simply by offering ice cream and books to children.

Lion Habitat Ranch, Nevada – Indie America

For years Keith Evans has brought his lions daily to the MGM Grand, where they were an attraction for tourist and locals. Now the lions live leisurely at Evans’ ranch south of Las Vegas. The Lion Habitat Ranch is open for visitors of all ages. The owners hope that it will become an attraction that pays for itself one day. In the meantime, it’s a labor of love.

Professor of Scrounge, Texas – Indie America

One man’s trash is another man’s living. Jeff Ferrell is a professor of sociology and criminology, author of numerous books including “Cultural Criminology” and “Empire of Scrounge” and an avid dumpster diver. For Ferrell, combing the trash around Forth Worth, Texas for recyclables and reusable items is more than a hobby, it’s a way of life.

 

 

New Local Show: Stand Up Empire starts 6/5 on KLRU Q

There is always something new coming out of the woodworks in Austin, Texas. Here at KLRU we’re celebrating this hallmark with a brand new series shot in this beautiful, creative city.

Stand Up Empire chronicles the white-hot stand up comedy scene currently exploding in the “live music capital of the world”. Co-Creators Brently Heilbron & Mike Wilson bring you a mix of intimate interviews and tight stand up comedy sets by Austin’s brightest rising stars. The show will air Sundays on KLRU Q.

Stand Up Empire 6_Saffron HerdonStand Up Empire aims to showcase the household names of the future, as well as document their incredibly diverse backgrounds, their motivations, commitment to comedy, and definitions of success.

Featured in each episode is a segment called “Snapshot” which aims to showcase a unique person, business, organization, or entity, and their connection to the Austin comedy scene. The show is hosted by comedic veteran Brently Heilbron and produced & directed by Austin filmmaker Christopher Shea.

Stand Up Empire 5_Chris CubasEpisode 1- airing Sun. June 5 at 10:30 pm.

Featured comics Chris Cubas & Saffron Herndon, with a Snapshot of Liezta Brass and the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival.

Episode 2– airing Sun. June 12 at 10:30 pm.

Featured comics Kerry Awn and Kerri Lendo with a Snapshot on Shaun Branigan and the emo puppet band Fragile Rock.

Episode 3– airing Sun. June 19 at 10:30 pm.

Featured comics Rob Gagnon & Lashonda Lester with a Snapshot on cartoonist/artist Danny Jock.

Episode 4– airing Sun. June 26 at 10:30 pm.

Featured comics Martin Urbano & Avery Moore with a Snapshot on the Coldetowne Theatre and the Austin improve scene.

Episode 5– airing July 3 at 10:30 pm.

Featured comics Daniel Rubb Webb & Roxy Castillo with a Snapshot on the live storytelling show Greetings From Queer Mountain.

Stand Up Empire 2_Lisa DelariosEpisode 6– airing July 10 at 10:30 pm.

Featured comics Lisa Delarios & Chip Pope with a Snapshot on Workout with Erica Nix. (Season Finale)

Arts In Context Shorts: Curating Cosmic Vida

With “Cosmic Vida,” an exhibition at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, curator Raul Valdez gave visitors a glimpse into the cosmos.

“Cosmic Vida” is the first show Valdez curated in more than a decade. An artist himself, he curated the collection after he realized he could not produce enough work to fill up the space himself. The exhibition, which is no longer on display, juxtaposed dynamic and subdued pieces. With artworks of various mediums, colors, sizes and imagery, he explored the literal and symbolic meaning of the exhibit’s title.

Valdez hoped the audience was inspired to make their own interpretations on the universal experiences of La Raza, the human race.

“You can see the chicano in it, but you can also see the universal part,” Valdez said

Arts In Context Shorts: The Neon Jungle

Evan Voyles builds signs to last generations. Voyles is the sovereign sign-maker of South Congress – he hand-created and repurposed vintage signs for Magnolia Cafe, Homeslice, Soul, Stag, Creatures, Turquoise Door, Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Perla’s, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Yard Dog and Uncommon Objects, the last two going on 20 years of age. Voyles started on his craft as a vintage neon sign collector and began to build signs when clients asked for specialized styles. Most recently, Voyles faced one of his biggest challenges yet: a 50-foot-tall replica of a 1952 Fender Telecaster for Austin Vintage Guitars. His personal artistry is on full display as he creates a new iconic masterpiece.

“I get to change the way my hometown looks,” Voyles said. “Who really gets to say that?”

Learn about Sam Houston this July

Sam Houston: American Statesman, Soldier, And Pioneer 
This three-part series airs July 11, 18 and 25 at 9 pm

He remains the only person in American history to have served as governor of two states. As if that were not résumé building enough, he was also a U.S. Representative, a U.S. Senator, president of a republic he helped found; became a citizen of, married into and held leadership positions in the Cherokee Nation, taught at the first and oldest school in Tennessee, was a protégé of an American President and in line for that office as well as the General of an Army that won one of the most
decisive and historically significant battles in American History. “It’s an epic life, worthy of an epic telling, and the documentary Sam Houston does just that — told in a beautiful way that is historically dead on” says Mac Woodward, Huntsville Mayor and Director of The Sam Houston Memorial Museum in that city. He was an 1800s American statesman, politician, soldier, provocateur and rabble-rouser of enormous stature, even by the outsized standards of early Texas. Yet remarkably little is known about him. Texas school children are exposed to his life and accomplishments in the 4th and 7th grades but there have been few modern resources to bring these events to life … until now.

With never before seen images, original works of art, dozens of scenes filmed on location, period reenactments, interviews with governors, senators,
historians and family members and consistently compelling story-telling, Sam Houston: American Statesman, Soldier, And Pioneer tells the epic story of
the life of Sam Houston from his birth in Virginia to his death in Texas. Sam Houston is the first full-length documentary on the life of this towering political,
military and frontier leader and comes to KLRU for three consecutive Thursday nights, July 11, 18 and 25th at 9pm.

The Texas Rundown: Now Online

Last week was an historic week in Texas: an 11-hour filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis drew national attention, and two Supreme Court cases with deep ties to Texas were decided. In light of the recent news, KLRU aired a special thirty minute news and analysis program Friday evening called The Texas Rundown. The program was aired statewide, in cooperation with Texas PBS.

Joining us for analysis was Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter, The Texas Tribune. She moderated a discussion with Ben Philpott, host KUT’s Agenda Texas, Dave Mann, editor The Texas Observer, Becca Aaronson, health reporter The Texas Tribune, and Erica Greider, senior editor Texas Monthly.

You can watch the show in the video above.