Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

Arts & Culture

How Austin’s LBGTQ Community Hopes to Recover from COVID’s Cultural Vacuum

As venues, bars and theaters shut their doors and cultural funding dried up because of COVID, many Austin LGBTQ arts organizers struggled to keep their heads above water and found it increasingly difficult to connect with their communities. 

Austin Rapper Sees Busking as Steppingstone to Success

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, Karl Anthony arrives on West Sixth Street around 11:15 p.m. in a silver Jeep Wrangler. He parks alongside the curb, turns his hazard lights on and sets up two amplifiers, lighting equipment and a microphone — all of which are needed to prepare for a three-hour shift rapping to the crowd of revelers, some of whom toss money into a box in front of Anthony. On a good evening, he can make more than $1,200.

Amid Pandemic and Stress, UT Freshman Finds Safe Place in Songwriting When Bird Anderson started writing songs around 7 years old, they were about things around her like Legos. Growing up, her house was often filled with the noise of banging drums, guitars or banjos as her father taught Bird and her three brothers to play different instruments. “[Songwriting] developed more into how I like […]

A Podcast: James White’s Legacy Unbroken at The Broken Spoke

James White, the founder of the The Broken Spoke, died almost a year ago in January 2021. But his presence and vision lives on through the vibrato of cowboy boots two-stepping across the legendary honky-tonk’s dance floor to the wail of traditional country music. Reporting Texas’ Danielle Streetenberger and Sarah Velasquez sat down with White’s […]

Dec 13, 2021

14 Years and a Reversed Veto Later, Dog Advocates Get Their Animal Cruelty Law

A new Texas law requires drinking water for outdoor animals, prohibits the use of chain restraints and eliminates a 24-hour waiting period that kept animal control officers from addressing tethered animal situations immediately.

Dec 13, 2021

Austin Theater Groups Look to Post-Pandemic Future

Live theater felt the effects of the pandemic deeply.

Dec 08, 2021

NFTs are leveling the playing field for Black artists. Here’s why.

This new digital marketplace came into the public eye in the past year. It is now opening doors for Black artists in Central Texas who might have struggled to sell their work in traditional galleries and navigate an art world with museum collections that have been reported to be more than 85% white.

Dec 08, 2021

Archery Gaining Popularity in Central Texas

People’s desire to provide their own meat and to get outside during the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the influence of movies featuring archery and celebrities promoting the sport, fueled an increase in archery participation.

Dec 07, 2021

Dia de los Muertos Provides Opportunity to Celebrate, Educate

The scenery is a burst of color. Lines of patterned flags blow in the wind and paper marigolds decorate altars and hair. Performers walk around covered in face paint, dressed in traditional Mexican dresses or Aztec costumes. The sound of mariachi, drums and shell embellished ankle cuffs fills the area. Attendees of the Dia de […]

Dec 02, 2021

Austin Veteran Arts Festival aims to reduce suicide through the arts

Vietnam combat veteran Glenn Towery won a gold medal in 2014’s National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, an annual competition using creative arts as rehabilitative treatment to help veterans recover from and cope with disabilities. “When I came back, I felt so good,” Towery said. “And I thought, ‘Wow, I wish everybody could experience what I […]

Nov 21, 2021

Texas From Below: Texas Book Festival Panels Punctuate Climate, Immigration and More

Despite the disruption brought on by a pandemic now going on two years, this years’s Texas Book Festival allowed writers — virtually and literally – to display Texas’ diversity. During the Texas Institute of Letters panel, authors Christina Soontornvat, David Meischen and Marisol Cortez discussed their novels and the influence of their identities and Texan […]

Nov 18, 2021

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Magical Realism

The morning Gabriel Garcia Marquez received news of him winning the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, his son Rodrigo captured the moment in a black and white. Four decades later, the photograph hangs on a wall as part of an exhibition honoring his colorful work at the University of Texas at Austin Gabriel Garcia Marquez […]

Nov 17, 2021

Austin Muralists Explore ‘Works of Consequence’

From the “I Love You So Much” script on the side of Jo’s Coffee on Congress Avenue to the “Greetings from Austin” postcard mural on South First Street, Austin’s most recognizable murals have become spots for newcomers and locals to photograph and post on their Instagram feeds. Throughout the past year, local Austin artists have […]

Nov 12, 2021

Forget the ‘Backseat’ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­– Give Susannah Joffe the Steering Wheel

  Susannah Joffe is an artist just as down to earth as you expect someone raised in Austin to be. After a bit of digging for a contact number online and sending a long-winded text message asking to interview the Austin-based musician, I was surprised when Joffe herself responded, “Hi! Yes I’m super down.” After […]

Nov 11, 2021

K-pop Fans Find Community at UT and Other Local Campuses

Dance crew ATX KDC, founded to promote South Korean pop culture through modern dance styles, serves as a local manifestation of K-pop, the music phenom sweeping across the globe with its formula of catchy and trendy songs, loyal fans and smart use of social media. The New York Times states that roughly 90 percent of […]

Oct 15, 2021

ACL Music Fest Marks Return of Major In-Person Events in Austin

“A lesson we’ve all learned is that change is constant. I think we all learned that during the pandemic. It felt like it was never going to end, but it did. Here we are.”

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