“I think that when women get together there is MAGIC, period,” says TK Tunchez, founder of Frida Friday ATX, an artisan market centered around women of color. With the goal of promoting and supporting WOC, Frida Friday ATX has created a sacred place that allows women to connect, celebrate themselves, and truly form community.
“It’s really important to me that the people I know and love…are represented in the culture,” says playwright Lisa B. Thompson. She creates works from a wide range of genres that all have one thing in common: being unapologetically black. She balances her artistic life with her life as a professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas as well as her life as a mother – all of which feed into and inform one another.
“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.
Don’t miss a special screening of KLRU’s Arts In Context documentary Plastic Planet at 4 pm, Sunday, December 3, at Central Library Special Event Center (1st floor), 710 W. César Chávez St. Artist Calder Kamin and AIC producer Christopher Hwisu Kim will be in attendance at this free event.
Artist Calder Kamin always loved sculpting animals but it wasn’t until she started using plastic bags that her medium matched her message. The Plastic Planet project is a series of animal sculptures made entirely out of plastic bags, highlighting the fraught relationship between nature and humanity – all while making a positive impact on the environment.
“… 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.
“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.
Local artist Hakeem Adewumi has been a creator for a long time, but he started out as another viewer like you.
“I grew up on PBS KIDS,” Hakeem tells KLRU. “I think all my friends did.”
Hakeem also distinctly recalls watching a civil rights program on KLRU that hit him hard, capturing a long history of racism and resistance.
“I really used that moment and experience,” he says. “I carry that with me to curate my art, to start talking about the importance of inclusivity and diversity and race, Black history and Black culture.”
Hakeem’s work has taken him all over the world, tracing the roots and pathways of the African diaspora. Last year, a KLRU documentary team followed Hakeem and collaborating artists for an episode of the original KLRU series Arts In Context.
Almost exactly a year ago, the episode premiered on PBS stations all over the country.
It’s something of a full circle for Hakeem: once, KLRU programming inspired and influenced him as an artist. Now, in turn, his story has become part of KLRU’s mission: to share history, art, culture and community with audiences near and far.
“My art is always with a Black lens, it’s always my perspective. But my goal at the end of the day is to always build community,” Hakeem says. “And that platform has been shared widely on KLRU. I’m super grateful for that.”
- Watch Hakeem’s episode of Arts In Context
- KLRU has also featured over 100 other local artists and arts organizations, bringing their work to national audiences on air and online. See the full episode list here.
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“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.
The multi-award-winning documentary series Arts In Context will begin airing new episodes on KLRU on October 5th! We’re giving you a sneak peek as we explore the process of creation through collaboration and examine what it’s like to be an artist.
Saturday, September 16 at 1:30 p.m.
AFS Cinema (Austin Film Society theater)
6406 N I-35 Suite 3100 (map)
RSVP: Event is free, but an RSVP is required. RSVP now
Enjoy a preview of episodes appearing in the new season of Arts in Context, including genre-defying musicians Magna Carda; Vietnamese-American playwright Christine Hoang; artist Calder Kamin who makes animal sculptures out of plastic bags; the band Migrant Kids; poet, theater artist and educator Zell Miller III; Anuradha Naimpally founder of Austin Dance India; and Shen Jun whose dance translates the emotions and conflicts he felt as he adjusted from his old life in China to his new life in the United States.
Then stay to enjoy featured episode “Let All the Children Boogie.” Led by Gavin Tabone, the Barton Hills Choir – comprised of 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students – has performed on the biggest stages in the world.
Thanks to our show sponsors!
“Hip-hop is the number one form of communication in the world,” says Nook Turner, founder of Jump On It. With the goals of community building as his top priority, Turner created Jump On It as a different kind of music festival – one that uses hip-hop as a vessel to promote health awareness, entrepreneurism, and community pride.