West Texas Talk

West Texas Talk — Marfa Public Radio’s flagship program — made its debut when the station launched and is now a repository of hundreds of local profiles.

The program features discussions about regional issues and topics with residents and experts. Whether looking at immigration on the border, delving into West Texas history, or having conversations about the Big Bend’s changing towns we hope to explore the topics that matter most to residents.

The show also celebrates the creative spirit of Far West Texas and features conversations with writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists who both live here and pass through the region. 

Subscribe to the West Texas Talk podcast on Apple Podcasts.

West Texas Talk broadcasts on Thursday at 6 pm and rebroadcasts Friday at 9 am.

The show’s theme music was composed by Andy Stack.

Recently on West Texas Talk:

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014:
Historian Lonn Taylor of Fort Davis Appears on the Colbert Report

Our extended interview with Lonn Taylor of Fort Davis, host of Rambling Boy, and the author of The Star Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon.

Taylor will appear on The Colbert Report at 10:30 PM on Thursday, September 11.

Marfa Public Radio host Lonn Taylor, on the schedule to appear on Colbert Report, on Comedy Central, on September 11, 2014.

Marfa Public Radio host Lonn Taylor, on the schedule to appear on Colbert Report, on Comedy Central, on September 11, 2014.

Tuesday, Sep 9, 2014:
On Location Touring The El Paso Museum Of Art

In late August, our host K. Yoland took a tour of the El Paso Museum of Art. Speaking with curator Chrisitan J. Gerstheimer they discussed the October exhibition Modern Masters Series: Highlights from the Solomon Guggenheim museum as well as works from the permanent and temporary exhibits.

Christian Gerstheimer, a graduate of the Transart Institute, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Michigan State University, is a Curator at the El Paso Museum of Art. He has curated one-person exhibitions for artists such as: Gaspar Enriquez, Manuel Acosta, Margarita Cabrera, Carole Feuerman, Annabel Livermore, Diego Rivera, Teodulo Romulo, David Taylor, and Camille Utterback.  In 2013 he was one of thirteen co-curators of the Texas Biennial. As a writer he authored artist essays for the following selected publications: The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Photography published by Routledge in 2005, Texas 100: Selections from the El Paso Museum of Art in 2006, Arte al Día México, 2011 and Gaspar Enriquez Metaphors of El Barrio, 2014. Mr. Gerstheimer served as a grants reviewer for the Texas Commission on the Arts visual arts panel and has also served as a juror for the Hunting Art Prize and as a Portfolio Reviewer at Fotofest, Houston. Prior to working in El Paso Mr. Gerstheimer worked at The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL, and The Kresge Art Museum, at Michigan State University.

Monday, Sep 8, 2014:
Dixon Water Foundation’s Sustainable Ranch Management Event


Casey WadeMegan Wilde and Ann Adams talk with Host K. Yoland about the Saturday, September 13 event at Dixon Ranches Mimms Unit, part of Holistic Management International’s Open Gate Learning Series of peer-to-peer, action-based field programs, during which participants learn about sustainable ranch management.

Friday, Sep 5, 2014:
Chef David Cordúa And Author John DeMers Talk “Foods Of The Americas”

On Friday, host K. Yoland spoke over the phone with Chef David Cordúa, who served up a diverse menu at Saturday’s “Grilling at the Gage” at the Gage Hotel in Marathon.

John DeMers, co-author of Cordúa’s cookbook, Foods of the Americas, also joined us to talk about how the chef’s background has influenced his unique culinary style.

Thursday, Sep 4, 2014:
Paul Chaplo on Aerial Photography over the Big Bend

Author and Photographer Paul Chaplo joins us this morning to talk about his aerial photography work and his new book “Marfa Flights: Aerial Views of Big Bend Country.”

The book features detailed images of the geography and landscape of the Big Bend. Chaplo took the images during flights launched from the Marfa Municipal Airport with local pilot Roger Amis at the yoke.

An exhibition of Chaplo’s work takes place at the Museum of the Big Bend at Sul Ross State University in Alpine on September 19, from 6 – 8 pm.

Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014:
Carl Hart and Controversial Views on Drug Use

It’s another Science Studio edition of Talk At Ten, with host Keith Pannell.

Our guest is Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and author of High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery that Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.

Hart’s views on drug use challenge the prevailing attitude that drugs are bad. Hart believes that most people who use hard drugs like cocaine and heroin are not addicts or drug abusers, but include those who know how to use those drugs responsibly, within limits.

Although he believes in the decriminalization of drugs, he does not discount, the destructive nature of these drugs for most users.

Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014:
Wendy Davis, Candidate for Governor, Discusses Border Issues and KRTS Youth Media

Over the Labor Day weekend, Texas Senator Wendy Davis, visited the KRTS Studios during her campaign for Governor. She is the Democratic candidate, facing Republican nominee Gregg Abbott in the general election this Fall.

KRTS News asked Senator Davis about her position on borderland issues, including her opinion of Governor Rick Perry’s decision to place National Guard troops in South Texas to handle the immigration surge this summer. We asked what was her definition of a “secure border,” what the U.S. President should do about immigration issues, and how she would handle the borderlands if she were governor.

Senator Davis commented on Friday’s ruling by a U.S. District Judge against new requirements for Texas facilities providing abortions. Davis famously filibustered against House Bill 2 in the summer of 2013, but the bill later passed. Some of the bill’s provisions already have been enacted, while these latest requirements – which were to go into effect in September – were struck down as unconstitutional. Her opponent, Abbott, the current Attorney General, indicated he would appeal that judge’s ruling.

Host Tom Michael concluded with several questions about education, the key plank in her campaign for governor, which was the focus of their previous KRTS interview. The discussion wrapped up with a question from 11th-grader Eva Guevara, from KRTS Youth Media. Guevara represents Marfa Public Radio in the Student Reporting Labs of PBS NewsHour.

Continue reading

Monday, Sep 1, 2014:
Labor Day Art Special: Ralph Fasanella

Copyright Ralph Fasanella, “Bread and Roses” (1977)

Copyright Ralph Fasanella, “Bread and Roses” (1977)

Today’s Talk at Ten, a Labor Day special, discusses the life and works of Ralph Fasanella (1914-1997). Fasanella, who was born in the Bronx, was a self-taught painter whose large works depicted urban working life and critiqued post-WWII America.

Friday, Aug 29, 2014:
Reporter Details Former Border Protection Watchdog’s Account of Corruption

In June, the head of the internal watchdog office at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was removed from his post and re-assigned, after an independent report revealed the agency didn’t do enough to investigate the Border Patrol’s use of deadly force.

The move was seen as a step toward better transparency, something the CBP’s newly-appointed commissioner Gil Kerlikowske has pledged to focus on.

But in an unauthorized interview this month with the Center for Investigative Reporting, former Chief of Internal Affairs James Tomsheck tells reporter Andrew Becker his removal was instead meant to deflect controversy over the agency’s use of force policies.

We spoke with Becker about those comments, including Tomsheck’s opinion that the deaths of at least 7 of the 28 people killed by Border Patrol agents since 2010 were “highly suspect.”

Continue reading

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014:
Sounds Modern Brings Music Of Mexican Composers To Marfa

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Davis and The Chinati Foundation will be bringing  “Sounds Modern,” a series showcasing modern music as it relates to the ideas being explored in galleries, to the Crowley Theater in Marfa.  Flutist Elizabeth McNutt joins our host K. Yoland to discuss the latest iteration of the series, “Neighbor Notes” which will highlight modern chamber music by Mexican composers. The event takes place tonight at 8 p.m. is free to the public and can be streamed online here.