Premiere concert for KMFA’s Draylen Mason composer-in-residence program launches new music for classical radio

Anthony McSpadden wants to expand the music we hear every day on classical radio. “There’s a reason that [classical music] has survived this long: it’s because it’s great music,” said McSpadden, who is the director of broadcast and content at KMFA, Austin’s classical station. “But we have to keep it going with new music and to add to the repertoire,” he said.
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The first social media? Actually, it was postcards

When historian and author Lydia Pyne began work on her book “Postcards: The Rise and Fall of the World’s First Social Network,” (Reaktion Press, 2021) her relatives began giving her family postcard collections. Her mother sent a box with hundreds of cards Pyne’s great-grandfather had received between...
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Film review: ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ will probably please fans

It’s tempting to say that “Downton Abbey: A New Era” has finally jumped the shark — an entirely inappropriate phrase for such a high-minded sequel. But its multiple story lines — and the insistence on giving every single character upstairs and downstairs a moment on the big screen — makes for something of a muddle.

Channeling the chaos: Cyrus Cassells’ ‘The World That the Shooter Left Us’

Perhaps above all else, Cyrus Cassells is a listener. In “The World That the Shooter Left Us,” his most recent book (of many), the poet, who lives in Austin and teaches in the MFA program at Texas State, has his antenna raised high to beam in voices, news and songs from near and far, and to document them in his poems. In a recent email, Cassells commented that “this book was written in Spain and Italy in the summer of 2019 in the space of eight weeks — the most mysterious and speedy of all my poetry books: all my feelings about the day-to-day chaos and unravelling democracy in America since 2016 poured out of me.”

Film review: ‘Happening’ takes viewers down a harrowing road

In a way, “Happening” couldn’t be more timely for U.S. audiences, although the events depicted in the new film from director Audrey Diwan take place in France in 1963. The movie might as well be named “Harrowing,” because that describes the experiences facing the main character, Anne, played by Anamaria Vartololmei.

Texas Performing Arts unveils 2022-23 season, and a new slate of artists-in-residence

Texas Performing Arts unveiled it 2022-23 season of interdisciplinary performance, curated by executive and artistic director Bob Bursey. Dance Theatre of Harlem; South Africa’s Vuyani Dance Theatre; Mexico’s indigenous-centered Makuyeika Theatre Collective; all-female ensemble Flor de Toloache; Italy’s Compagnia TPO (Teatro di Piazza o d’Occasione); and Sandbox Percussion are among those bringing shows to TPA, University of Texas’ performing arts presenter.

“Field of Light” is the latest arty spectacle headed to Austin

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the latest locale for an arty entertainment designed to dazzle crowds. Come Sept. 9, some 28,000 solar-powered lights will be spread across 16 acres at the Wildflower Center with “Field of Light,” a spectacle designed by British artist Bruce Munro. The multi-colored lights are intended to resemble flowers and meant to be viewed at night.

A new documentary short tells the story Parque Zaragoza, the first public park for Austin’s Mexican American community.

“Parque Zaragoza: Communidad, Cultura, y Resiliencia” is a new short documentary that offers a history of Austin’s first public park for Austin’s Mexican American community. Produced by the city’s Park and Recreation Department ahead of Parque Zaragoza’s 90th Anniversary Celebration on May 14, the 16-minute film is...

Yuliya Lanina: Drawing on violence in Ukraine

Yuliya Lanina is an Austin-based American artist of Ukrainian-Russian-Jewish descent whose wide range of work comprises paintings, animation, animatronic sculptures, performances, and installations. Her art can be surreal, colorful, otherworldly, sexual, and playful, always edged with darkness. Soon after the pandemic hit, Lanina traveled to Vienna as a Fulbright Scholar,...

aGLIFF hosts Pride month Mini Film-A-Thon

In celebration of Pride month, aGLIFF will host Pride Mini Film-A-Thon, a weekend of films and programming June 3–5. The mini-fest includes four feature films, one shorts program and a live comedy show with 69-year-old transgender comedian Julia Scotti that follows a screening of Susan Sandler’s award-winning documentary portrait “Julia Scotti: Funny That Way.”

The Line-up: Seven exhibitions to see in May

The best and freshest of what to see in Austin galleries this month. Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery, 3411 E. Fifth St. New work by eight Austin artists who share a penchant for using natural elements in their abstract paintings: Rory Foster, Shawn Camp, Abi Daniel, Jason Brooks, Ann Flemings, Jana Swec, Court Lurie and Blair Gallacher.

The Line-up: Five dance concerts not to miss

May 13-15 Women & Their Work outdoor garden, 1311 E. Cesar Chavez St. Tickets: A multimedia dance and music performance created by the inimitable Heloise Gold and Henna Chou. This intimate and informal presentation will share the work Chou and Gold have been collaborating on slowly and intermittently over the past two-and-a-half years. Experimenting with sound and movement loosely based on themes from the ancient Chinese Classic the Tao Te Ching, which has directly or indirectly influenced both of their lives.

Austin Film Festival announces two diversity initiatives

The Austin Film Festival announced Wednesday the beginning of two initiatives to increase diversity and equity through its programs. The first, the Uplifting Storytelling Initiative, will include targeted fellowship opportunities within the festival’s film and script competitions and in events at the annual writers conference. The festival also plays to expand its Digital Storytelling Education Program in school in Austin and elsewhere in Texas.

Flash Jordan, the Austin public access TV eccentric, has died at 80

Flash Jordan, the eccentric Austin public access TV character who played a keyboard and sang with an Elvis impersonator and three male backup dancers, has died. Her music show was called “Austin City Lights.” She also teamed up with Danny Boy Squire as Elvis in a public access reality show, with Flash Jordan as Marilyn. The show followed them traveling by car to various towns for performances.