Arts & Culture

Stateside
4:11 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

New film explores the life of Holocaust survivor Irene Butter

Irene Butter speaks to 400 students in Laupheim, Germany about her life in Germany and the Netherlands when the Nazis where in power.
Credit http://www.ggg-laupheim.de/

She was born in Germany, but as life for Jews in Germany became more dangerous through the 1930s, she and her family moved to the Netherlands – to Amsterdam, in the same neighborhood as a young girl named Anne Frank.

And like Anne Frank, she was captured by the Nazis and taken to the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

But unlike Anne, young Irene Butter survived the camp.

Today, Dr. Irene Butter is a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.

Her life has been a remarkable journey, knit together by Irene's decision that she was going to live as a Holocaust survivor, not as a victim.

Irene Butter is the subject of the  film "Never a Bystander," by Ann Arbor filmmaker Evelyn Neuhaus.”

Irene Butter and Evelyn Neuhaus joined us today on the show.

*Listen to our interview above.

Arts & Culture
4:43 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

University of Michigan Art and Design students help to share joy of creating with visually impaired

University of Michigan's School of Art and Design.
Credit user: Dwight Burdette / Wikimedia Commons

It began as a series of annual workshops for K-12 students who were visually impaired to introduce them to art, and to help them experience the joy of creating. 

That was 15 years ago. Those workshops became engagement courses where University of Michigan Art and Design students worked closely with people who are visually impaired. 

Bringing the low vision and sighted communities together to discover the joy of creating art was the idea of internationally renowned ceramic artist, Sadashi Inuzuka. He is the Arthur Thurnau Professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan, and he joined us to discuss the program. 

Arts & Culture
12:20 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

DIA plans an exhibition on the year Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in Detroit

Frida Kahlo overlooking Rivera Court at the DIA circa 1932-33.
DIA Archives

The Detroit Institute of Arts is planning a unique exhibition that highlights the year Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in the city.

Between April 1932 and March 1933, Rivera created the famed Detroit Industry murals on the walls of a courtyard at the Detroit museum.

Here’a video of the murals being made at the DIA:

Sherri Welch reports for Crain’s Detroit Business that other museums and private collectors will help the DIA with the exhibition:

"When Rivera was here, he was regarded as one of the most important artists in the world of western art at that time," [DIA Director Graham] Beal said.

Edsel Ford paid for the murals, which wound up costing just less than $21,000 at the time, according to the DIA.

Rivera, seen as one of the greatest muralists of his time, was a very important influence on the artists who became abstract expressionists, Beal said.

And Kahlo's development as an artist took place when she was here in Detroit. Renowned as not only a portrait artist but as a symbol of feminist strength, Kahlo's works range in style from folk art to surrealist.

In its press release, the DIA says most of the works Kahlo created in Detroit will be shown for the first time in the city.

The show is scheduled to run from March 15, 2015, to July 12, 2015.

In all, 80 artworks will be featured in the exhibition, including Rivera's preparatory drawings for the Detroit Industry murals.

Arts & Culture
12:01 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Artpod on writers, good stories, and blind luck

Keillor talks with Michigan Radio about his new book.

Today on Artpod, we're talking with writers: how they stop being terrible and start being good.

How they start with their own weirdness and turn it into talent.

And how Midwest writers can take anything - learning how to make fudge or throwing tomatoes at their sister's butt - and turn it into a great story.  

First, we'll hear from Garrison Keillor, who's celebrating 40 years of "A Prairie Home Companion" and the release of his new book of essays, poetry and memoir.

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That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Are you a one- or a two-spacer?

If you learned to type on a typewriter, you probably learned to put two spaces after a period.

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the online debate raging about the number of spaces to place at the end of a sentence.

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Culture
2:53 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

37% of you would rather live somewhere else than Michigan

The darker the green, the more likely the state has residents who want to move elsewhere.
Gallup

I mean, it's not like we're living in Hawaii, after all.

Michigan is "above the national average" for the number of people who say they'd rather live somewhere else, according to the Gallup poll.

Here was the question they put to the 600 people they reached by phone in Michigan:

"Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?"

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Arts & Culture
4:19 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Kalamazoo deemed a literary hot spot

The Michigan News Agency is an independent bookstore in downtown that helps to promote the work of local authors.
Credit user: Kevin Martini / Flickr

What city would get your vote as one of Michigan's literary hot spots? 

Writer Anna Clark would give her vote to Kalamazoo. Her recent story in the Detroit Free Press is titled Kalamazoo quietly emerging as a literary hot spot.

She joined us today to tell us why. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

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Stateside
4:46 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Gilmore International Keyboard Festival underway

Gilmore Festival posters.
Credit Gilmore Festival / Facebook

Even though life took him in a somewhat different direction, Irving S. Gilmore has turned Kalamazoo into a place that truly celebrates piano music.

The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival is in full swing and runs till May 10.

Dan Gustin, the director of the Gilmore, joined us today.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
4:38 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Organizers say "Save Rosie's Factory" campaign will be a success

One of the real "Rosies" at work at a bomber plant.
Credit Alfred T. Palmer / U.S. Government

It looks like Rosie the Riveter's famous "We Can Do It!" line is proving true once again. 

The campaign to save part of the historic Willow Run bomber plant, where Rosie and thousands of others worked during World War II, says it believes it's raised enough money to keep it from being torn down. 

For the last year or so, the Yankee Air Museum has been trying to raise around $8 million.

That, organizers said, would be enough to buy a corner of the plant and separate it from the rest of the building, which is set to be demolished.

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Culture
11:52 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Arab American festival in Dearborn canceled once again

The festival in past years.
Credit The Arab American News.com

The festival has been canceled for the second year in a row due to higher liability insurance costs for festival organizers.

The three-day festival in Dearborn celebrated Arab culture and was one the largest gatherings of Arab Americans in the U.S., but it also attracted anti-Islamic protestors and Christian missionaries from around the country.

Niraj Warikoo reports for the Detroit Free Press:

Tensions at the festival broke out in 2010 when a group of Christian missionaries arrived with video cameras to record their attempts to debate Muslims. Some were arrested for disturbing the peace, though later acquitted of most charges. Their arrests drew outrage from conservatives across the U.S.

Another Christian group filed a lawsuit against the city, saying the missionaries were restricted in where they could distribute their literature. In 2012, a separate group of Christians brought a pig’s head mounted on a pole with anti-Islam signs, resulting in some youth hurling bottles at them.

Warikoo reports that Dearborn was forced to pay $300,000 to the Christian missionaries arrested in 2010.

The Arab-American Chamber of Commerce says they’re still looking for ways to move forward with the festival.

Stateside
11:10 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Garrison Keillor celebrates 40th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion with a new book

You've no doubt heard that saying "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Lennon used that line in his 1980 song "Beautiful Boy," although it was kicking around for a full two decades before that.

The life of our next guest could serve to illustrate the wisdom of that line. He indeed had "other plans."

As a romantic 20-year-old, he thought about dying young and becoming immortal like Buddy Holly or James Dean or Janis Joplin, with people leaving bouquets at his grave and mourning the loss of his "enormous complicated talent."

But life happened. He didn't die tragically young. And his talent was not lost to the world.

Instead, Garrison Keillor is 71 and about to mark the 40th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion, a program that reaches some four million listeners on more than 600 public radio stations coast to coast, including, of course, Michigan Radio.

To celebrate this milestone, Garrison Keillor has a new book, The Keillor Reader, a collection of his stories, his essays, poems and so much more. All in one volume.

Garrison Keillor joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:52 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

"Music in Our Parks" composes pieces using the sounds of nature

GVSU play one of their "Music in Our Parks" selections.
Credit GVSU / YouTube

After two years of planning, the New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University is launching a new project. It’s called “Music in Our Parks.”

The project shows us how nature and landscape affect the process of making music. Here's a video promoting their effort:

Bill Ryan is the director of Grand Valley State University’s New Music Ensemble. He was joined on our program by one of the members of the New Music Ensemble, percussionist and senior music performance major, Josh Dreyer.

*Listen to the interview above.

That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun April 27, 2014

Where did these “effing” euphemisms come from?

    

We have found many ways to say curse words without actually saying them.

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss euphemisms for taboo words.

The presence of euphemisms shows how impactful words can be. Curzan describes, "Words are enormously powerful and they can do a lot of damage, which is why with some of them, we find ways to get around actually saying them."

One of the first English-language euphemisms for a taboo word was "criminy," which showed up in 1681. Speakers used this word to avoid saying "Christ."

The origins of "gee," as in "gee willikers" or "gee whiz," are less clear. Some linguists believe these euphemisms came from "gee willikens" as a substitute for "Jerusalem," which was a common exclamation of surprise in the 19th century.

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That's What They Say
10:30 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Why a "spendthrift" isn't thrifty

Spendthrifts are more spendy than thrifty, so the word spendthrift doesn’t seem to make much sense.

This week on That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the seemingly oxymoronic word spendthrift.

While thrifty refers to being economical with money, spendthrift means the exact opposite—someone who spends money irresponsibly. Curzan explores the etymology of thrifty to get to the bottom of spendthrift.

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Arts & Culture
12:32 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Diego Rivera's Detroit murals get landmark status

Credit user VasenkaPhotography / Flickr

DETROIT (AP) - Diego Rivera's murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts have been designated as one of four new national historic landmarks.

Federal officials announced the designation on Wednesday.

The Detroit Industry murals were conceived by Rivera as a tribute to the city's manufacturing base and labor force of the 1930s. The Mexican artist in 1932 and 1933 completed the murals on walls of a court in the museum and they're considered to be among his greatest works.

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Stateside
4:05 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Detroit Big Three ruled the 1964 World's Fair; what's changed in the last 50 years?

Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America.
Credit Twitter

The 1964 World's Fair opened its door to an eager public 50 years ago this day at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, in New York City.

And it is no exaggeration to say that cars ruled that World's Fair. Detroit's Big Three worked very hard to grab the world's attention.

We talk about what those messages were and how the Detroit Three weren't just selling cars, they were pushing a lifestyle and a political system.

Joseph Tirella, author of Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
1:13 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

The return of Artpod!

Yo Yo Ma is pumped for more Artpod.
Credit Dave Trumpie

It's been a long, stupidly cold and soul-killing winter. 

Few people know that Artpod cannot survive until we've had at least three days above 70 degrees.

So it's only now that Artpod can emerge from hibernation,  much the way men's feet are unfortunately baring themselves to the world in flip flops again.  

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Stateside
5:02 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Yankee Air Museum sets record for most "Rosies;" now about that bomber plant

One of the real "Rosies" at work at a bomber plant.
Credit Alfred T. Palmer / U.S. Government

A few weeks ago, 778 women of all ages donned coveralls, tied their hair up with bandanas, and headed to the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport in southeast Michigan to try to break a world record.

And now it's official. That gathering has set the Guinness World Record: 778 “Rosie the Riveters” all in one place.

It was the Yankee Air Museum's second try at setting the Guinness World Record for the most women and girls dressed as Rosies, and their second try was a charm.

The original Rosies turned out B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers at the plant during World War II.

The event helps the museum with the serious business of raising enough money to save the historic Willow Run Bomber plant from demolition.

The Yankee Air Museum is trying to raise $8 million to buy the old plant from the RACER trust, which oversees liquidation of former GM properties.

The Museum has until May 1 to save the bomber plant from the wrecker's ball.

*Listen to our interview above.

Arts & Culture
4:16 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Indian man's skull turned over to tribe

SUTTONS BAY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A skull that was passed down through generations of a northern Michigan family has been turned over to an Indian group. 

Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle that the family doesn't want its name known. He says the family gave the skull to his office in Sutton's Bay Township.

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Arts & Culture
1:04 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Holland, Michigan, windmill reopens after restoration

The 252-year-old DeZwaan windmill is back in operation after a $260,000 restoration project.
Credit Windmill Island Gardens

HOLLAND  – A southwestern Michigan landmark has been revived – and now it's been rededicated. WZZM-TV reports the blades of Holland's 252-year-old DeZwaan windmill began turning again Saturday morning during a community celebration and open house.  The windmill underwent about $760,000 in restoration and repair work after a fundraising effort. The windmill is part of Windmill Island Gardens, a popular tourist destination that's also undergoing improvements. Project consultant Jodi Syens tells The Grand Rapids Press the windmill is open for daylong tours.

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