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

Arts & Culture

Award-Winning Chef Edgar Rico’s Taqueria Is Giving Back, One Free Meal at a Time

Edgar Rico, chef and co-owner of the taqueria, hosts the biggest community fridge in East Austin, a project born of the financial struggles of the COVID pandemic.

“Hundreds of people a day were coming to our door to ask for food,” recalled Rico, a second-generation Mexican chef who recently appeared on Time magazine’s “100 Next 2022” list of influential people. 

In June, Rico won a James Beard Award — the so-called “Oscars of the food world” — as best emerging chef, and his restaurant continues to appear on “best of” lists. That success traces to his love of the culture of his parents’ home country and a desire to inspire and help others through food, both through his restaurant and through the community fridge it stocks. 

Diversity in Tattooing Opens Up Art Form to People with Different Identities

In the years she’s been a tattoo shop owner and artist, Tina Poe has witnessed more body art studios opening, increased diversity in artists and more creative work being put out. It’s exciting to see more demographics being represented in the industry, she said. One demographic Poe noted was women. The majority of Moon Tattoo’s clients are female now, she said.

George Clinton Art Exhibit  ‘Grooves from the Deep’ in East Austin

The Carver Museum exhibit, “Grooves from the Deep and the Space Math of George Clinton,” opened March 10 and will run through June 19. It’s the first public museum showing for Clinton, who debuted his visual art in a solo exhibition in a private gallery in New Orleans in 2021.

Carre Adams, Carver Museum culture and arts education manager, said Clinton’s visual art is an extension of his music — a singular form of eclectic psychedelic funk that he performs in outrageous costumes with his band Parliament Funkadelic.
The exhibit features dozens of mixed-media paintings made by the artist, album covers from his records, posters, videos and photographs. 

Fiesta’s Return Proved San Antonio Still Knows How To Celebrate Culture

Bryan Campa doesn’t attend Fiesta for the food or the alcohol, though he doesn’t begrudge people who do. To him, Fiesta is a chance to celebrate his culture. Fiesta, a festival that lasts for 11 days during April, honors the Battle of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto and celebrates the Mexican-American and other […]

May 31, 2022

Just Call Me By My Name: UT Students Reflect on Their Identity

A name is the first glimpse into a person’s character. It, too, is one’s brand.

Names correlate with self-worth, personality and status. According to author Ralph Ellison, it is through our names how we first place ourselves in this world.

Three University of Texas at Austin students share how their names shaped their identities, often not without struggle.

Apr 25, 2022

Acclaim for ‘CODA’ a Sign that Times Are Changing for the Deaf Community

Students at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, hope acclaim for “CODA” is just the beginning for better representation of the deaf community and opens the door for more opportunities for deaf individuals in the film industry.

Apr 12, 2022

At Mexic-Arte, Activists and Artists Pay Tribute To Chicano Movement, Culture

East Austin community activist Paul Hernandez left such an imprint on Austin that his image adorns the walls outside Mexic-Arte Museum. The mural’s completion coincided with the opening Friday of an art exhibit dedicated to the Chicano political and civil rights movement of a half-century ago that sought to end discrimination against Mexican Americans.

 The photographs at the entry of the exhibit, “Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s,” capture Hernandez and other activists in the Austin community working to bring about change. 

Dec 27, 2021

How Austin’s LGBTQ 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. 

Dec 17, 2021

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.

Dec 13, 2021

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 […]

Dec 13, 2021

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 […]

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