Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Mendez currently works with Minute Men Staffing Services, a staffing agency located in Southwest Detroit. She says the work environment treated her well, but she felt that as a woman she didn’t have as many advantages as a man would.

“Let’s go take my daddy out of that place. I miss him why is he there?”

These were the words of a three-year-old Dana whose father had just been detained to be deported.

The mother, Mireya, says the little girl cried every night, saying she wanted her father home and was confused as to why he was in there in the first place, demanding that he is brought home to her. The mother says on one visit to the detention facility, the daughter asked her to break the glass, unbeknown to the child that she would probably never see her father free any time soon.

Courtesy of Robert Downes


Bicycle paths are expanding every year in Michigan. In the northern part of the Mitten, there are a bunch of great bike paths and there’s a book to help guide you.


Robert Downes’ "Biking Northern Michigan: The Best & Safest Routes in the Lower Peninsula"  describes 1,400 miles of bike paths and attractions along the way.


Courtesy of Jeff Smith

Faith is a very personal thing.

For some people, finding a faith that brings their lives meaning takes time and a whole lot of searching.

Bill Moser's family undertook such a journey, and eventually joined the Amish community in their search for a life that reflected their faith. Their story is told in a new book called Becoming Amish.

Beowulf Sheehan


What would’ve happened if Lee Harvey Oswald missed and John F Kennedy lived?

That’s the premise of David Means' first novel, “Hystopia.” Means is a fiction writer born and raised in Kalamazoo.


Set in and around Michigan, the novel re-imagines the state during the Vietnam War era. Traumatized veterans run amok throughout the state. The novel explores the nature of memory, trauma and history.


Means joined us to talk about his new book and his relationship to his home state.

Laith Al-Saadi performing Ed Sheeran's "Make It Rain" on "The Voice"

One night early in March, the rest of America discovered what audiences here in Michigan have known for years:  Laith Al-Saadi​ is a musical powerhouse.

That blind audition on NBC's The Voice had stars Blake Shelton and Adam Levine raving about Al-Saadi's voice.

And, as a member of Team Adam, Al-Saadi went on to finish fourth.

The Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan turns 150 years old.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan’s oldest opera house, the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, is 150 years old.

Jere Righter, Artistic Director for the Croswell, joined Stateside to talk about the history and the future of the venue that has seen countless performers, speakers, plays and events over the last century and a half.

Righter says the venue was once used for animal shows, poultry sales, lectures and plays put on by the community. It was also a place for big, national shows and speakers to perform.

Keith Wunderlich

Detroit is celebrating Vernors 150th anniversary this week. That celebration winds up tomorrow, when the city will try to set a world record for most pop drinkers at a time.

Keith Wunderlich, curator of Vernors collectibles, joined us on Stateside today to talk about the iconic company, which started with Ginger Ale.

Catie Newell, Nightly

To many of us, darkness and light are just something you affect by flicking a light switch or snuffing a candle.

But for University of Michigan architecture assistant Catie Newell, light is a condition and a "material."

Courtesy of The Moth

Some fine storytelling is coming to the Wharton Center at Michigan State University.

The Moth Mainstage happens tomorrow night, June 9, at 7:30.

Jay Allison, producer of The Moth Radio Hour, joined us today to talk about the event, the Moth's history and the often overlooked importance of storytelling.


Jay Allison is producer of The Moth Radio Hour. He tweets @jay_allison.

Anne Corlett painting in Wyoming
photo courtesty of Anne Corlett

Let's say you're an artist.

You've spent years capturing the beauty of your home state.

And now, a new adventure calls to you: hit the road with your paints, brushes and easel, and capture a landscape from all 50 states.

Do you talk yourself out of this immense undertaking? Or give in to that siren call?

Saugatuck artist Anne Corlett chose to answer that call of adventure.

After three years, 29,604 miles of driving and 164 days away from home, she's done it.

A Vernor's delivery man in 1909.
Courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society

Vernors, the ginger ale that has become one of Michigan’s oldest and most celebrated brands since a pharmacy on Woodward Avenue began offering it in 1866, is a century and a half old this week.

The Detroit Historical Society is celebrating with a full slate of events centered around the Mitten State’s favorite soft drink, including a June 11 party at the Detroit Historical Museum.

That event will feature appearances by James Vernor V and James Vernor VI, the great-great- and great-great-great grandsons of James Vernor, who invented the drink, as legend has it, by accident.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A pre-school art project in Flint is being praised by a world-renowned artist.

As an art project, the class at the U of M-Flint Early Childhood Center created a chandelier from thin strips from painted plastic water bottles.

The Center has plenty of water bottled because of Flint’s lead tainted drinking water crisis.

The two-year olds in the class are among those most at risk by Flint’s tainted drinking water.

Ivan Moshchuk will perform at Orchestra Hall on June 9, in the first solo piano concert presented by ProMusic in over 10 years.
Marco Borggreve

Ivan Moshchuk has been playing piano publicly since he was a young teenager. 

Born in Russia and raised in Grosse Pointe, Moshchuk became the first Michigan artist to win the Gilmore Young Artists award in 2010. 

He's since gone on to perform in concert halls around the world.

Watch Moshchuk perform Prelude in B minor by J.S. Bach, arranged by Alexander Siloti:

Michigan Radio has a new Morning Edition host!

Thousands of Michiganders will now wake up to hear Doug Tribou manning the microphone.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio


Love Interruption by Liz Cosby, beverage director, Rock City Eatery

2-3 sprigs thyme

1/2 oz simple syrup

1-1/2 oz White Blossom Vodka (this is an infused vodka; other vodkas will change the taste)

1/2 oz Cointreau

2 oz grapefruit juice

Muddle two sprigs of thyme with simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake, strain into ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with remaining thyme.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Symphony has made one of the most important decisions an orchestra makes: selecting a new music director. The search for a new director has taken the better part of four years.

Brazil native Marcelo Lehninger says he felt a “great chemistry” with Grand Rapids' musicians when he guest-conducted in 2015 and earlier this year.

“Every single concert that orchestra plays, you know we need to convey that passion, because that, it’s really what gets to people’s hearts,” Lehninger said.

Richard T. James

The Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education was awarded to Detroit teacher Marilyn McCormick. She was picked out of 1,100 candidates who were nominated by people across the country. McCormick will be recognized during the live Tony Award broadcast on June 12. In addition, the Cass Technical performing arts program will receive a $10,000 grant.


What happened to Midwestern history?

Jun 1, 2016
A map of Michigan and Wisconsin

What happened to Midwestern history?


In places like the West, New England and the South, universities and professors are dedicated to studying regional histories. But in the Midwest, not so much.


Jon Lauck, a history professor and author of “The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History,” says the field of Midwestern history used to be robust. Yet, after World War II, the field declined to the point where there was no academic journal or association dedicated to it.

Lauck is also president of the Midwestern History Association. The organization is holding its second annual Midwestern History Association conference June, 1 at the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University.

The Accidentals are Katie Larson, Michael Dause and Savannah Buist
Tony Demin

The Accidentals have been busy since last we spoke in 2013.

All told, the young musicians performed a whopping 230 shows across the country after graduating high school last year.

The dynamic Traverse City trio was named one of Billboard Magazine's top seven breakout acts of South by Southwest in 2015.

And now, they've just released their newest EP, Parking Lot.

Stateside 5.31.2016

May 31, 2016

Today, the Stateside test kitchen tried its hand at morel mushrooms. And, we learned about a plan to fix metro Detroit's public transit system.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Warm weather is here across Michigan, and with it brings fresh food out of our gardens. One of those delicious, fresh dishes you can make is morel mushroom conserva. The Stateside Test Kitchen was lucky enough to have Chef James Rigato come into the studio to share his recipe.

Crime-fighting term is still going gangbusters

May 29, 2016

Things can now be "going gangbusters" because of a WWII-era radio crime-fighting drama with sirens and gunfire and other loud noises.

"Gangbusters is a great word which I had not thought very much about until one of our listeners wrote in and said ‘There’s an interesting word for you to talk about,'" says University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan.

"Then I started hearing the word everywhere, and realized it was on my radar. Gangbusters goes back to what it sounds like it might go back to, which is a gang buster, someone who busts gangs."

detroit symphony orchestra

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Symphony Orchestra says it has received a roughly $3 million donation for its music education programs.

The ensemble on Friday announced the $2.9 million gift from the estate of Dr. Clyde and Helen Wu. Orchestra officials say the bequest is the second largest in its 129-year history.

The DSO says the money will help sustain programs through its Wu Family Academy for Learning & Engagement.

The orchestra plans to honor the couple's legacy with a portrait-hanging and dedication Saturday evening before a concert at Orchestra Hall.

Courtesty: Andrew Herscher

Detroit is getting some love in Venice.

The Venice Architecture Biennale is a really big deal in the architecture world, and the designs presented by this year's American exhibitors are all about the Motor City. 

Coloring books help adults find their happy place

May 27, 2016

Adult coloring books are everywhere and they're filled with images of just about anything. There are adult coloring books that feature owls, butterflies, secret gardens, dream doodles, lighthouses, mandalas, kaleidoscopes and fantastic cities.

Adult coloring clubs are also popping up throughout the state. They’re often affiliated with a local library. The basic idea is that for an hour or two adults can drop in and spend some time coloring, using coloring books and markers and pencils that the library provides.


David Maraniss’ earliest memories are in Detroit. He's the associate editor of the Washington Post. Maraniss lived in Detroit until he was six years old and remembers the strong taste of Vernor's. He remembers the Boblo boat.

His book Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story tells us what Detroit gave America. It also details the first signs of the city's troubles. Maraniss joined us on Stateside to talk about his strong feelings for the state and about the country’s view of Detroit.  

Flickr user Andrew McFarlane/Flickr

Steven Ford joined us today to discuss his father, the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford.

On Friday, the film A Test of Character airs on National Geographic at 9 p.m. Eastern. It tells the story of President Ford and the challenging time in history during which he took office.

5th-grade teacher to open for Eddie Money

May 25, 2016
Courtesy of Crashing Cairo

Rock stars like Gene Simmons and Sting used to be teachers, not long before having sold-out concerts across the world. For Crashing Cairo, this serves as a good omen as they prepare to open for Eddie Money at the DTE Energy Music Theatre on Friday.

The Michigan pop-rock group's lead singer, Robert Wax, is a fifth-grade teacher at Norwood Elementary in Royal Oak. Drummer David West is a software engineer who also advises future engineers.

John Thomas

In the summer of 2013, we spoke with law professor and music journalist John Thomas about the Kalamazoo Gals on Stateside.

Thomas had uncovered the story of women who built some 9,000 guitars at the Gibson Guitar headquarters in Kalamazoo during World War II.

This discovery clashed with Gibson’s official assertion that they built no instruments during the war.

He tells the story in his book, Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women & Gibson’s “Banner” Guitars of WWII.

In the three years since we last spoke, the story has taken some interesting turns. Today Thomas and Kalamazoo Gal Irene Stearns joined us again on Stateside to talk about it.

The Henry Ford

The Beatles have come to The Henry Ford Museum.

The Magical History Tour, a 10,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the full history of the iconic rock band is coming to Dearborn. The exhibit takes fans through the band's early days in Liverpool through its break-up in the 1970s and the solo careers that followed. 

While there are millions of fans of the band in the Great Lakes State, the number of significant connections to Michigan is relatively minimal (Paul McCartney has a Detroit Red Wings sticker on his guitar!). So why was Michigan chosen as the first stop on this tour?