West Texas Talk


West Texas Talk features interviews with community members discussing issues that affect our region, along with upcoming local programs and events. You’ll hear from local and visiting, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and other interesting personalities.

The program is broadcast on 91.3 FM Tuesday through Friday at 6:30 p.m. We welcome your comments and your suggestions for interview guests at info@kxwt.org


Recently on West Texas Talk:

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017:
Professor Stephanie LeMenager on Energy and Culture

Stephanie LeMenager is a professor of English and environmental studies at the University of Oregon. She writes about energy, climate, culture, and the role of the arts and humanities. Despite growing up in an oil family, LeMenager went on to become an environmentalist who holds a nuanced perspective of the role oil has played in American identity. This topic is explored in her book Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century. 

In this conversation, LeMenager and Nguyen discuss the importance of oil in the American mythos, the branding challenges of renewable energy and climate change, and how storytellers can help envision a more productive, sustainable future by moving past apocalyptic narratives.

She will speak at UTPB on October 5 as part of the Boom or Bust Speaker series, and is looking forward to learning more about the complex experiences of people in the Permian Basin.

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017:
Jon Barela on Economic Development Along the Border Region

Jon Barela is with the Borderplex Alliance, a group that works to promote the business and economic development of the southwest border region. Previously, Barela served as New Mexico’s Economic Development Secretary. Today, his work with the Borderplex Alliance seeks to champion the border region — specifically, southern New Mexico, El Paso, and Ciudad Juarez — as a hub for economic development.

On tonight’s talk, Barela discusses the business benefits of the border offers, how his group works to promote policy initiatives that benefit the region, and El Paso’s recent bid to be the home for Amazon’s second headquarters.


Friday, Sep 22, 2017:
Ramona Rose

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation and in-studio performance from musician, artist, and poet Ramona Rose.

Originally from upstate New York, Ramona came Texas via Joshua Tree, California, with intent to help with Hurricane Harvey relief – she ended up in Marfa after meeting some people in El Paso who told her it was a good place to start.

She stopped by Marfa Public Radio’s Studio A to perform a few songs and talk about life experiences.

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017:
Johnny Stallings on Walt Whitman as “the poet of American democracy”

On this episode of West Texas Talk, writer, actor and director Johnny Stallings talks about Walt Whitman’s enduring legacy in American society. Stallings will be performing one of Whitman’s most renowned works, “Song of Myself,” on Friday, September 22 at the Presidio County Courthouse at 7pm.

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017:
Harley Tallchief Continues Native American Traditions of Beaded Sculpture and Dance

Harley Tallchief splits his time between running an oil rig in Odessa, creating ornate beaded sculptures, and practicing traditional Native American dance. Originally from the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York, Tallchief found himself in Odessa after running out of money on his way to California for a job opportunity. Since then, he’s continued to work in the oil industry while continuing his native traditions. He says that beadwork is a reprieve from the demanding job of running an oil rig, “It calms me down… It’s like a therapy for me — peace and quiet…”

Tallchief’s first exhibit, “Beaded Sculptures,” will be on view through September 28th at the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017:
Gabriel Diaz Montemayor

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we hear from Gabriel Diaz Montemayor. He’s an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Recently, Montemayor wrote an editorial calling for a revitalization of the border’s landscape. He argues this could lead to increased security and would provide benefits to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


Continue reading

Friday, Sep 15, 2017:
Andrea Aranow

On this edition of West Texas Talk, Guest host Tim Johnson sits down with legendary clothier, textile designer, and collector, Andrea Aranow.

Aranow has created fashion and studied textiles since the late 1960’s creating pieces of clothing for a long list of well-known clients, including Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis – She has traveled and lived all around the world in such places as London, Peru, outlying districts of China, and Japan.

In this,  the full, uncut interview – Andrea speaks about how she got into textiles, travelling the world, and Textile Documents, a business which sells pieces from her international collection to fashion companies as inspiration fro new designs.

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017:
Superintendent Orlando Riddick on Improving Education in Midland

On this episode of West Texas Talk, we sit down with Orlando Riddick, the new superintendent of the Midland Independent School District. Orlando shared his thoughts on managing the district’s relationship with the business community, improving education outcomes and how to mitigate the effects of Texas’ so-called Robin Hood plan.

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017:
Dr. Robert Brescia, Executive Director of the JBS Public Leadership Institute at UTPB

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Dr. Robert Brescia discusses how UTPB’s John Ben Shepperd Leadership Institute is training the next generation of leaders. The institute recently launched the Crisis Leadership & Learning Center, which allows students to participate in computer simulations of real-life crises, such as 9/11, Benghazi and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Prior to working in education, Brescia was in the military and worked under President’s Reagan and Clinton.

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017:
Longtime Big Bend Resident Betty Alex

Betty Alex first came to the Big Bend on a road trip in 1969. She says on that drive, “I got out of the car and looked south from Persimmon Gap at the Chisos Mountains in the distance… I said, ‘That’s it. That’s where I want to be.’ And it took me eleven years to get back. But I did.” She ended up working at Big Bend National Park for over three decades and has lived in Terlingua for several years. In this episode, Alex talks about her life and experiences in the Big Bend.