Kinky Friedman, Texas' quixotic gubernatorial candidate, has died

The news of his death was confirmed by his official X account this morning. "Kinky Friedman stepped on a rainbow at his beloved Echo Hill surrounded by family & friends," the post read. "Kinkster endured tremendous pain and unthinkable loss in recent years but he never lost his fighting spirit and quick wit. Kinky will live on as his books are read and his songs are sung." He was 79 years old.

Friedman, whose full name was Richard Samet Friedman, was perhaps best known for his colorful and quix

New Houston theater leader is ready to step into the spotlight

Despite coming to lead one of Houston's most popular theaters, Derek Charles Livingston spent part of a recent visit to the Bayou City out from behind the curtain: looking for a gym he liked in his soon-to-be home. As a former fitness instructor, working out is important to him. Livingston has had many titles over his life: community activist, peer counselor, director of new play development at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Soon he'll add another to his resume: artistic director for Houston's S

'Crazy Rich Asians' author Kevin Kwan returns home to Houston

The 2013 novel Crazy Rich Asians brought glitzy, modern Singapore to Western audiences. But author Kevin Kwan insists that he never would have become a writer were it not for Houston, where he lived from the age of 11 to early adulthood.

The book, billed as a modern retelling of Anthony Trollope's Doctor Thorne, is a comedy of errors that spans from an ill-fated wedding in Hawaii to the markets of Marrakech to the gleaming skyscrapers of Los Angeles. The story follows wealthy bachelor Rufus Leu

Meet Dessie Love-Blake, Houston's Miss Gay America winner

Miss Gay America is the oldest drag pageant in the United States, founded in 1972. Soon, Love-Blake will embark on a six-month tour, visiting close to 30 cities for preliminary pageants that feed into the finale in Little Rock, Arkansas, next January. Before all that, though, she's taken a moment to speak to Chron about her drag life, her long road to the crown, and her love of Astros baseball.

"I'm a competitive person," she says of entering the pageant world. "When I found out that there was

In Houston’s Botanic Garden, Zimbabwean art is born in real time

At the Houston Botanic Garden Friday morning, artist Passmore Mupindiko was putting the finishing touches on a stone sculpture, a hummingbird perched atop the leaves of what looks like a bromeliad. A visitor to the garden earlier in the week saw Mupindiko's unfinished sculpture and already put a claim on it. That customer is coming to pick up the sculpture later on Friday, and so Mupindiko, working under a pop-up tent just inside the gardens' entrance, is trying to finish it in time.

"It needs

Meet the young Houstonian bringing music to shelter animals

A 10-year-old Houston boy has created a program to help bring comfort to shelter animals through the power of music. The program, called Wild Tunes, just launched an official partnership with the Houston Humane Society and is hoping to spread the word to both musically-inclined potential volunteers and other animal shelters looking for innovative behavioral programming.

Yuvannh "Yuvi" Agarwal is a self-proclaimed music nut and animal lover who has been playing the piano and drums since ages 4 a

Meet the man keeping Houston’s LBGTQ history alive

The book, titled 1981—My Gay American Road Trip: A Slice of Our Pre-AIDS Culture, captures the brief but promising and heady period between the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 and the AIDS crisis that began in the early 1980s, while also documenting more than180 gay bars and other gay-oriented businesses in the South that existed during that time. The story is told through the eyes of Doyle, whose diary of the trip formed the basis of his memoir.

"It was the only time in my life [I've kept a journal

Sometimes its takes 4,000 weddings to find the love of your life

Actress Denise Fennell was married thousands of times on stage before becoming a real-life bride in her 40s. Her journey to matrimony, including family drama and an examination of the wedding industrial complex, are part of Fennell's new one-woman show, The Bride, Or: Does This Dress Make Me Look Married? currently running at Stages Theatre.

Houstonian theater fans will know Fennell from her numerous performances at Stages as the nun in the Late Night Catechism series. Nationally, Fennell is al

Go under the sea with a new exhibit by this Houston artist

The term "midnight zone" refers to the layers of ocean so deep—3,000 to 10,000 feet below the surface—that sunlight can't reach them. This makes life difficult to sustain, but many species have developed unique traits, such as bioluminescence, in order to survive.

Those creatures, and the darkness that surrounds them, serve as the inspiration for a new exhibit by Houston's own Adela Andea opening Friday evening at Anya Tish Gallery. "Midnight Zone(s)," which will run through February 25, is a c

How a '90s watch group kept Houston safe from gay bashers

The co-founder of an early '90s Houston gay rights organization has some advice for queer Houstonians and allies who want to fight against harassment and attacks like the one that happened last year in Colorado Springs.

Document everything, says Glenn Holt, one of the co-founders of Q-Patrol, a group that worked with Montrose bars and Houston Police throughout the 1990s to prevent gay-bashing incidents. "If there's anything going on anywhere, anytime, record video," says Holt, now 64. "Because

A walking group for women has created a new Houston community

Every Sunday morning, a diverse group of Houston women gather at Buffalo Bayou Park with a single goal: to walk. Just a few miles, no more than an hour, each woman moving at her own pace. There's no need to talk, no need to count steps, no expectations other than to walk together, as a community.

They're called City Girls Who Walk, and in half a year, the group has grown to more than 200 members. The goal may seem simple—and it is, says founder Tiffany Nelson. But through that simplicity a sort

See this young Houston artist's eye-popping paintings

A new exhibit by Houston-based artist Erika Alonso tells the story of three women’s immigrations to the United States through abstract landscapes meant to evoke feelings of belonging, loss, homesickness, and possibility. The show, called "Land(e)scape," features more than a dozen watercolor and acrylic paintings. Those works are paired with audio clips of the oral histories of three women from Latin America who have come to call Houston home. "Land(e)scape" will be on view Saturday, December 10

Diane Severin Nguyen finds beauty in K-pop and TikTok

In a recent interview with Art21, Diane Severin Nguyen, whose new solo show opens this weekend at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, tells an anecdote about growing up the child of Vietnamese immigrants who sometimes struggled with American culture.

"I came home to visit my mom and she was out in the garden, just stabbing fake flowers into the ground amongst real flowers," she said. "For her there was no difference. The fake flowers and the real flowers were filling up the yard and making it

EaDo Restaurant Indianola Has an Exciting New Chef

An up-and-coming chef with an extensive resume at some of Houston’s most popular kitchens has returned to the Bayou City, with plans to revamp the menu at EaDo restaurant Indianola.

Martha Wilcox, who most recently worked at celebrated Seattle Italian restaurant Cafe Juanita, has been named chef de cuisine at Indianola, where she will work with executive chef Paul Lewis and culinary director Vincent Huynh. Wilcox has previously worked at some of Houston’s most outstanding restaurants, including

Aggressive Reporting, Fierce Writing, and FOI Requests: How a Small Town Editor Won a Pulitzer

Jeff Gerritt was only on his second day of the job when he managed to piss off the local sheriff.

As the new editor of the Palestine Herald-Press, a small town paper in east Texas, Gerritt had written an op-ed criticizing Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor for his agency’s lack of transparency. Taylor, a four-term incumbent, was livid.

“He just got enraged,” Gerritt said. “He would not talk to the paper after that. He wrote a letter to the editor and called me a ‘guy from up north with his li

J.R. Martinez Talks Inclusive Power of the Arts

When J.R. Martinez returned from Iraq, he didn’t want to be labeled a “disabled veteran.”

In 2003, when he was just 19, Martinez's Humvee hit a roadside bomb. He sustained severe burns to a third of his body and was in a coma for nearly a week. But as he began his healing process, he knew he didn’t want to be pigeonholed.

“Naturally, when you hear ‘disabled veteran,’ you think of someone who is not physically capable or mentally capable or emotionally capable,” he says. “And so my tagline is,

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