News and Features

NPR Tiny Desk Concert Winner Joins KXT Summer Cut Lineup

Photo: Walt Miliken

Photo: Walt Miliken

Emerging blues singer Fantastic Negrito has been added to lineup for KXT’s Summer Cut on Saturday, August 29 at South Side Ballroom. Fantastic Negrito beat out 7,000 entries to win NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest earlier this year, and he is currently on a national tour.


Scottish band Belle and Sebastian will headline Summer Cut. This is the group’s first performance in Dallas in more than nine years. KXT’s fourth annual fest also features an incredible slate of regional and national acts, including Sarah Jaffe, Israel Nash, Doug Burr, Repel the Robot, Jessie Frye, Calhoun and Catamaran.

Summer Cut tickets are on sale now at The concert is produced by Live Nation. For more information, go to

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Saturday Spotlight – Yoga, Art, and Field Day in Downtown Dallas



new collage

For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re spending the day in downtown Dallas and visiting some of our favorite museums. At the Nasher Sculpture Center, it’s Target First Saturday. This month’s theme is “Old and New,” and we’ll participate in Yoga in the Garden while the kiddos create puppets. At the Crow Collection of American Art, we’re getting ready to hit the books and make origami book covers and a back-to-school survival kit as well as play some field day games the Crow way.

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Tonight’s New Cliburn TV Documentary Is All About ‘Virtuosity’


From Virtuosity, directed by Christopher Wilkinson

Virtuosity can be a tough thing to get a handle on – that’s exactly what a new documentary on the Cliburn International Piano Competition aims to do. As KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports, the chronicle of the 2013 Cliburn in Fort Worth premieres nationally tonight on PBS. And KERA is the presenting station.

  • Virtuosity – the new documentary on the 2013 Cliburn Competition — premieres nationally tonight at 8 pm.

The film’s about a piano contest, so, no surprise, it opens with piano. But early on, the key turns minor, pictures fade to black and white, and we hear this voice:

“Imagine you’re back stage at a concert hall, with 2000 people waiting to hear you play one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the piano, and depending on how you perform, your life will change.”

Director Christopher Wilkinson, that voice, injects big doses of humor to lighten this story. Best known for writing Hollywood hits Nixon and Ali, Wilkinson interviews Cliburn competitors before and during the contest. Today, he talks about why he made himself a character.

“I would ask what’s your favorite tree, or is there a part of your body you don’t like, know what I mean? It would, you know, throw them off balance so in 30 seconds you’re having a human conversation.”

Here’s a Q & A between Wilkinson and pianist Steven Lin.

“Stravinsky or Bartok?


“Bach or Mozart?”


“Biggie or Tupac?”
… I don’t know … what?

” Big … Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur, they’re rappers.”

Oh sorry, I don’t…’ I know….”

Wilkinson visited many of the musicians at home, before they arrived in Fort Worth. In Italy, he met competitor Beatrice Rana, who went on to win Silver. She and her dad play piano, her sister plays cello, and mom and the family dog listen.

Wilkinson exclaims, “I want to join your family. I like your family much better than my family!”

Third-place winner Sean Chen likes the way Wilkinson became a player in the film.

“The narrator always has a character in books and movies. I mean he’s very easy to get along with. He’s been to concerts of a few of us, even of people that didn’t get past the first round.”

Editor Gabriel Wrye says this film was tough to cut because there were so many good stories.

“There’s not just five people who are amazing. They’re all unbelievably talented. So we wanted to have as much as we could, just little moments, of other people playing just to show the depth of talent.”

And the strength of virtuosity on stage every four years, in Fort Worth.

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Ash Studios Near Fair Park: A Do-It-Yourself Arts Center?

Fred in yard

Fred Villanueva in the yard at Ash Studios. Photos: Jerome Weeks

What would a do-it-yourself arts center even look like? Not a glossy performance hall or museum, certaily. It might look more like Ash Studios, a few blocks away from Fair Park. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports there’s a surprising amount of arts activity in this ramshackle, former metal-working shop and its crowded, gated yard.

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Glasstire Top 5: Ro2 Art Downtown

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Categorized Under: Local Events, Visual Arts

Need to shake things up a little bit? Check out Chaos!!! 2015. The big group show opens this weekend at Ro2 Art Downtown Gallery and made Glasstire’s Top 5 list this week.

This is the third year for the Annual Small Works Show that features small scale works by over 100 artists in every medium. The opening reception is Saturday and the exhibition runs through Sept. 12, 2015.

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The Big Screen: Turning A Book Into A Movie


BIG SCREEN LOGO FOR POSTThe book Blood Aces tells the story of Benny Binion’s rise from Dallas gangster to Las Vegas impresario. It was written by Dallas Morning News reporter Doug Swanson, and this week we talk to him about the process of turning the book into a movie.

Be sure to subscribe to The Big Screen on iTunes. Stream this week’s episode below or download it.

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The Big Deal: Amazing Animals: Built to Survive At Perot Museum of Nature and Science at Victory Park

Photo by: Jean Lachat

Photo by: Jean Lachat

Last month the traveling exhibition, Amazing Animals: Built to Survive, opened at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science at Victory Park. With over 100 specimens and displays to explore, visitors can examine the inner and outer workings of animals. From the smallest fleas, to racing cheetahs, to towering giraffes, learn how these amazing animals have evolved to acclimate to the conditions around them. Then see how we have adapted nature’s ingenuity for human innovation. Win a family pack of 4 tickets to see the bilingual exhibition on display through Sept. 7.

While you are busy signing up for this Big Deal go ahead and take a chance for winning our other Deal this week, passes to Park and Palate, the weekend wine and food event at Klyde Warren Park.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win passes to Amazing Animals: Built to Survive at Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

UPDATE:  We have our lucky, lucky winner! Thanks for playing!

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The Big Deal: Park And Palate At Klyde Warren Park

park and palate

Sign up to win tickets to the hottest culinary event in Dallas.  Klyde Warren Park will host its first ever food and wine event, Park and Palate. The two day affair will showcase some of the region’s finest culinary creations and spirits.  There’ll be a cook-off, tastings, seminars, demonstrations and live music. Here’s your chance to mix and mingle with celebrity chefs, winemakers and sommeliers at the urban green space Sept. 25 and 26. The winner’s general admission passes will get you into Friday’s Down to the Roots event, a cook-off event featuring 12 chefs with a panel of expert judges, including Chopped judge, Amanda Freitag. On Saturday partake in the Grand Tasting event featuring over 30 chefs and 30 wineries. Yowza!

Now, will also be a good time to sign up for our other Big Deal this week – family passes to see Amazing Animals: Built to Survive, at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science at Victory Park.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win general admission passes to Klyde Warren Park’s inaugural Park and Palate.

UPDATE:  We have our lucky, lucky winner! Thanks for playing!

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New Artists’ Workshops In An Old Ice Cream Plant

architectural rendering1

Architectural rendering by ArchiTexas.

A former ice cream plant in the Cedars area south of downtown Dallas will become a new home for the arts. But a different one. Cedars Union, as it’s called, will be like a private gym – with 24-hour access for artists to use fully-equipped workspaces. Or rent micro-studios. KERA’s Jerome Weeks says, the plan is for an ‘arts incubator.’

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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Touristy Adventures For Stay At Home Types

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Mary Beth's parents loved road trips. Photo: MB Boehm

Mary Beth’s parents loved road trips. Photo: MB Boehm

The other day my co-workers and I were reminiscing about our favorite childhood vacations. My friend Mary Beth jumped in with a story about how she and her parents visited 47 of the 48 continuous states when she was a child. She’s not sure why they skipped Utah. No matter where they were in the state they were visiting, they always made sure to include a side trip to the state’s capitol where Mary Beth would have her picture snapped on the front steps. Not a big deal in states like Delaware, but there would definitely have to be a plan for places like California and Texas. Besides having very dedicated parents, her story also illustrates how road trips from the 1960s and ’70s were a lot less complicated than today’s getaways, but are still just as memorable.

We all like the idea of a vacation to a national monument, state park, or even to see the world’s largest ball of string. It’s the reality of 10 hours in the car with squabbling kids and a car sick dog that makes us balk. If you want memorable, but would prefer to skip the driving cross-country part, check out these 4 events for a taste of something different that’s close to home.

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