Houston Matters

What Pres. Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Could Do For Texas (April 13, 2021)

On Tuesday’s show: What Pres. Biden’s infrastructure plan could do for the state, former astronaut Jim Lovell reflects on Apollo 13, the economic impact the pandemic has had on the arts, and a theater troupe finds an unusual way to get back in front of live audiences.

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On Tuesday’s Houston Matters: The White House recently released an assessment of each state's infrastructure needs and gave them a letter grade. Texas got a C. We talk about the report and what Pres. Biden's infrastructure plan could do for Texas.

Also this hour: On this date 51 years ago, an oxygen tank explosion severely damaged the Apollo 13 spacecraft some 200,000 miles from earth. Space Center Houston is marking the anniversary of the harrowing mission with several events this weekend, including a live-streamed panel discussion with two of the surviving crew members, Jim Lovell and Fred Haise. We revisit a conversation with Lovell we had last year on the mission’s 50th anniversary.

Then, we take a look at the economic impact of the pandemic on Texas' creative sector. A recent study by the non-profit Texas Cultural Trust found the state’s arts and culture industry generated $6.1 billion for the economy before the pandemic. But how much did that change because of COVID-19? Plus, Ray Benson, front man for the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel, gives a firsthand account of how the pandemic has affected performers like himself.

And there's just something about performing in front of a live audience – the energy is different. And that's something many of Houston's performing artists are missing these days. But one local theater troupe continues to find unusual ways to get back in front of live audiences. We revisit a story we did on The Drama Squad from Houston’s Catastrophic Theatre last October.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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