Stephen Becker | KERA News

Stephen Becker

Producer, Think and Anything You Ever Wanted To Know

Stephen Becker produces the shows Think and Anything You Ever Wanted to Know. For five years, as part of the Art&Seek team, Stephen produced radio and digital stories, along with the podcast "The Big Screen," with Chris Vognar, movie critic of The Dallas Morning News. His 2011 story about the history of eight-track tapes was featured nationally on NPR’s All Things Considered. Before coming to KERA, Stephen was the film and television editor at The Dallas Morning News. In 2008, he participated in the Moving Image Institute in Film Criticism and Feature Writing at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

In his 10 years at the News, he also worked in the Lifestyles, Business and Sports departments and was the recipient of several Society of Newspaper Design awards. Additionally, he served on teams that launched Quick and the GuideLive arts and entertainment section of the newspaper. He is a native of North Texas and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Ways to Connect

On a recent episode of KERA's "Anything You Ever Wanted to Know," a listener new to Texas asked for suggestions of books that would help him to learn about the Lone Star state. So we polled the smartest audience in radio, and here are the 12 books listeners recommended the most.

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors holds its annual meeting in Dallas beginning Friday. More than 200 mayors are expected to attend. The event will be presided over by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA point guard who is now in his second term as mayor of his hometown.

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In 2013, a meteor exploded over the Ural Mountains in Russia (you might remember the dashcam footage and the seemingly non-plussed Russians who captured it).

Which begs the question: What else flying around in the cosmos might come into contact with Earth? And who better to deliver the answer than Neil deGrasse Tyson?

Gus Contreras / KERA News

College basketball fans from Connecticut, Wisconsin, Florida and especially Kentucky are flooding into Arlington this weekend for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. KERA’s Stephen Becker spent Friday with thousands of them at AT&T Stadium.

Three of the Final Four teams use blue as a school color. But on Friday, the bulk of that blue was on the backs of Kentucky fans.

“I’m not gonna miss Kentucky playin’. If we’re goin’ to a Final Four, I’m gonna be there if I have to walk.”

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Over the last decade or so, a movement has emerged in divorce court to make future exes teammates in the process instead of opponents. On KERA's "Think," host Krys Boyd spoke to a panel of experts on what’s known as “collaborative divorce" ahead of a conference in Dallas that started Thursday.

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At 1 p.m. today on Think, we’re taking a tour of the North Texas craft beer scene with three of the people responsible for its grown. Wim Bens (Lakewood Brewing), John Reardon (Deep Ellum Brewing) and Grant Wood (Revolver Brewing) will join us for a discussion of how they chose the types of beers they make, how they come up with their names and what goes into brewing a great beer.

This season marks the 20th anniversary of the Dallas Stars coming to town. In that time, the team’s won a Stanley Cup and helped develop a generation of kids who play hockey in Cowboys country. In our Friday Conversation, Dallas Stars President and CEO Jim Lites talks about the team’s impact on North Texas.

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Dallas Cowboys fans have held out hope all week that Tony Romo might be able to overcome a back injury and play in Sunday’s make-or-break game against the Philadelphia Eagles. But all those prayers will go unanswered.

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On Monday’s Think, Italian architect Renzo Piano joined KERA’s Krys Boyd to talk about the Piano Pavilion, the addition he designed for the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. A grand opening celebration for the Piano Pavilion is scheduled for Nov. 27. Previews for Kimbell members start Friday. The expansion provides the Kimbell with more room to display its collection, plus classrooms and a theater.

On Tuesday night, Piano joins Art&Seek’s Jerome Weeks on stage at Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium to talk about the project.

Nasher Sculpture Center

One of the biggest art shows of the fall might be taking place in your neighborhood.

That’s because 10 public artworks commissioned by the Nasher Sculpture Center will be open to the public beginning Saturday. (Check out this great interactive graphic that shows the locations.)

The goal of Nasher XChange is for the Nasher to have an impact beyond its downtown space. KERA’s Stephen Becker reports that pieces will be located all over town: at Fish Trap Lake in West Dallas, in the Oak Cliff Gardens and Vickery Meadow neighborhoods, as well as at the University of Texas at Dallas and Dallas City Hall.

Alex Katis

This fall, dozens of art projects will emerge across North Texas with a common goal – creating social change. The projects are part of an initiative called Make Art With Purpose – or MAP. Janeil Engelstad leads the effort.

By the early 1990s, Engelstad’s career was already on the rise. She’d earned an MFA in photography from NYU. Her work was included in gallery shows.

But as her professional life was taking off, she began volunteering, teaching photography to homeless kids. She got hooked on the combination of art and social activism.

On Friday, we profiled Nicole Studer, a Dallas ultramarathoner competing in the Leadville 100 in Colorado this weekend. Studer finished the 100 mile race almost exactly an entire day after she started – in 24 hours and 25 minutes. That placed her ninth among women. Ashley Arnold won the race in 20 hours, 25 minutes, and Ian Sharman was the overall winner in 16 hours, 30 minutes.

Nicole Studer

For most runners, finishing a marathon is the pinnacle. But for ultramarathoners, 26 miles is little more than a training run. So what drives someone to run 100 miles in one stretch? For 20 hours? We followed a Dallas ultramarathoner as she prepared to take on one of America’s most grueling races.

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art has put in a bid to buy a painting -- and not just any painting. This one's recently been attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci.

The museum won’t say how much it has bid, but the masterpiece's value has been estimated as high as $200 million. It’s currently at the museum but not on display.

Da Vinci painted the work, known as the Salvator Mundi, in the late 15th century.

Booker T. Washington High School may be Dallas best-known arts high school. But it’s not the only place where DISD students can receive an advanced education in the arts. In fact, one school in the city is building its reputation as an arts leader through another route.

The Dallas Museum of Art has opened a survey of clothing designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s career. KERA’s Stephen Becker looks at why Dallas is one of the only two U.S. stops on the exhibition tour.

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