Five stories that have North Texas talking: Remembering the explosion in West; it’s bluebonnet time; the Dallas Art Fair is underway; and more:
The one-year anniversary of the deadly explosion in West is approaching and a documentary explores how the town’s football team has helped lead the recovery. Rise Up, West airs at 6 p.m. Saturday on WFAA-TV (Channel 8.) The station says it spent weeks with Coach David Woodard’s family, capturing “the challenge of coaching a team that just experienced enormous devastation and loss.” “Despite what happens in our life, we have to pick ourselves up the next day and move forward," Woodard told WFAA. Last weekend, hundreds of West residents saw the documentary. “It was inspiring,” Israel Veselka, whose children attend school in West, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It was real. It didn’t gloss over anything. It showed who we are.” Fifteen people were killed following the fertilizer plant explosion on April 17, 2013. Here’s the trailer:
- Also on Saturday, a Zumba dance fundraiser in McKinney will benefit the First Baptist Church of West Disaster Relief Fund. The opening ceremonies at “RISE UP, Dance for West” will include a tribute to fallen West first responders. Country singer Donna Beckham, a West native, will perform the national anthem. She’ll also sing a song she wrote about West, titled “Home.” The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at The Beach at Craig Ranch in McKinney.
- “The Writers Studio” continues at 9 p.m. Saturday on KERA 90.1 FM. This weekend’s conversation features Robert Olen Butler, who has published 12 novels and six volumes of short fiction, one of which, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Butler has also published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream. Catherine Cuellar and Randy Gordon are the hosts. KERA’s Art&Seek is presenting the series, which is produced by The Writer’s Garret. (Coming later this month: Jane Smiley visits "The Writers Studio" on April 19.)
- It’s bluebonnet time – the state flower is blooming all across North Texas. This should be a good weekend to explore the bluebonnet fields. Don’t wait too long: They should peak by Easter weekend. Ennis’ annual Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival takes place 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. The festival includes live music, food, arts and crafts, bluebonnet souvenirs and activities for kids. KERA’s Eric Aasen recently traveled to Ennis to find out why the Ellis County town is so crazy about bluebonnets. The area includes more than 40 miles of roads covered with bluebonnets. And KERA has been diving into bluebonnets in other ways: Check out this fun list of 15 amazing things about Texas bluebonnets -- there are pictures, videos, songs -- and some bluebonnet history.
- The Dallas Art Fair runs through Sunday. Ninety national and international art dealers and galleries are showing off paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photography, video, and installation by modern and contemporary artists at the sixth annual art fair in the Arts District. Also, the Dallas Contemporary is presenting major exhibitions by American artists Richard Phillips and Julian Schnabel in conjunction with Dallas Arts Week. KERA’s Jerome Weeks recently contacted Schnabel in his New York City home.