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KLRU Turns 50, Throws a Weeklong Party

Bon Iver, Yul Kwon, and GPS-free directions to Sesame Street
Kimberley Jones, 9:56pm, Sat. Apr. 21, 2012
America Revealed host Yul Kwon
Traditionally, gold is good gifting for a 50th anniversary, but cheeky KLRU went and gave its viewership a week of programming presents instead. At least an extra generous pledge come the next drive would be nice thank you gesture, doncha think?

In celebration of its five decades of operation, Austin’s favorite public television station moves the party off-screen for a series of events intended to “reflect the diversity of KLRU.”

On Monday, April 23, former Survivor winner Yul Kwon will be in attendance at a special screening of his new series America Revealed, which roams the country to investigate the complicated inner workings of food, transportation, and energy industries – an investigation that apparently involves jumping out of airplanes, too (see photo). This free event takes place at KLRU’s Studio 6A; RSVP required.

The Spark speaker series continues Tuesday, April 24, with Sesame Workshop’s Miles Ludwig, who’ll be speaking on the topic of “How Do You Get To Sesame Street?” Tickets for this event at the ACL Live at The Moody Theater are still available.

Also at Moody will be Wednesday’s Austin City Limits taping with Bon Iver. A limited number of tickets are available to the general public; KLRU has the details up on their site. (I’d also like to point out – since we’re talking gift-giving and all – that Wednesday happens to be my birthday. Know what would make mine a bon anniversaire?)

Thursday sees an event celebrating UT Blackademics at Studio 6A, wherein UT professors will speak on topics including “health disparities in the black community, urban transportation planning and low-income communities, and the role of university-community partnerships in promoting dynamic and healthy communities.”

Sunday nights are usually when we spend some quality time with Masterpiece Mystery!’s cool-cat detectives (tangentially related: seriously, Zen didn’t get renewed?!), but KLRU’s getting a jump on Sherlock’s season 2 May debut with a sneak preview on Friday.

Saturday’s all about the kids – first, with Dia de los Niños/Dia de los Libros, featuring a performance by Ballet Folklorico Mexikayotl, storytime, and facetime with the Cat in the Hat and Martha the talking dog from TV show Martha Speaks (a title that perhaps renders “the talking dog” superfluous; then again, the talking part is a neat trick). The event runs 10:30am-12:30pm at Austin Public Library Southeast Community Branch (5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd.), followed at 1:30pm with the winner announcements from the PBS Kids Go! Writing Contest; awarded kids then get to read their stories aloud.

Capping off the week will be Sunday’s block party in Downtown Austin. Second St. will be shut down from noon to 4pm for fun times with PBS all stars Cookie Monster, Arthur, Clifford, Maya & Miguel, and more; local productions like Arts In Context and Central Texas Gardener will be out and about, too, along with dance demonstrations and storytimes.

For more dates, times, locations, and links to RSVPs or ticket info, check out the whole lineup here.

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