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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

civil rights rally in detroit
Sonny Edwards / Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University

On this day 75 ago, the 1943 race riots were coming to an end. Over a three-day period, 34 people were killed in the riots. Nine of them were white and 25 were African-Americans. The event would mark a turning point in the city’s history.

Michael Jackman, senior editor of the Detroit Metro Times, joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss this bloody part of Detroit’s history.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We’re outside the blacksmith shop of Joel Sanderson of Sanderson Iron near Quincy, Michigan. 

There's a steady putt-putt sound that comes from the heart of Sanderson Iron.

Detroit News Staff / Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the 1943 race riots in Detroit, and Stateside is exploring this violent episode in the city’s history – and its legacy in present-day downtown and Midtown.

Jamon Jordan, tour leader for the Black Scroll Network History and Tours, joined Stateside to talk about another “major flashpoint” of the riots: Woodward Avenue.

white men pulling black man from a bus
Bentley Historical Library: U-M Library Digital Collections

Today marks an infamous anniversary in our state. Seventy-five years ago today, a brawl between African-Americans and whites began on the Belle Isle Bridge.

Central Station in Detroit
Gordon / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

Thirty years ago this week, on January 5, 1988, the last train left Michigan Central Station. That moment marked the end of nearly 75 years of Michiganders catching trains at the once-proud station.

Dan Austin, who has written three books about Detroit history and founded HistoricDetroit.org, and Mark Harvey, state archivist from the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to discuss the station's legacy.

pen and notebook next to coffee
Live Once Live Wild / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

From 2005-2007, Patricia Clark was the poet laureate of Grand Rapids. Now, she's a poet-in-residence and professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University.

Clark is also the author of five volumes of poetry, including her most recent work titled The Canopy.

Listen above to hear writer John Freeman's review of the collection.  

"Nonplussed" is one of those words that historically doesn't have a particularly complicated meaning, but it's one that people frequently misuse. 

In fact, the definition of "nonplussed" has become so muddled over time, people often use it to mean the complete opposite of its actual meaning.

Again, the definition of "nonplussed" is pretty simple, so why all the confusion? You could say there's a prefix to blame. 


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This spring, the Last Word’s Casey Miller had just returned from being named one of three Midwest Finalists in the 2017 United States Bartending Guild, Incorporated’s World Class competition. (His colleague at The Last Word in Ann Arbor, Giancarlo Aversa, has also been among the finalists in years past.)

“This cocktail I call the Kibby Cobb. It’s named after a little region of Jackson, Michigan where we would always go back in the summer,” Miller said. While his family was from Michigan, Miller grew up in Tokyo.

He says the cocktail includes ingredients that make him think of summers and springs in Michigan.

Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels

 


Detroit has one of the largest populations of African-Americans among major US cities. But you might not know it based on what you see in the media, which often highlights the growth and development of white-owned businesses as signs of the city's comeback. 

There's a new journalism outlet looking to challenge that narrative. 

Tostada Magazine is a digital publication celebrating the range individuals who contribute to Detroit's food world. It aims to use food as a tool to discuss the issues facing communities of color and immigrants in the metro area. 

An elevated view of a Vaudeville Theater
Shannon O'Toole / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

It’s time for another edition of Theater TalkDavid Kiley, editor-in-chief of Encore Michigan, joined Stateside to preview and review what's on stage around Michigan.

Two students on stage
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A group of high school and middle school students in Muskegon have recently discovered the power of poetry. That’s thanks to an after school workshop led by three West Michigan poets.

Stateside 6.12.2018

Jun 12, 2018

Today on Stateside, a watchdog group finds that one of Michigan's biggest utility companies is hitting back at politicians pushing for a more open energy market by funding their opponents. Plus, women in a Washtenaw County prison build new skills and find parallels to their own lives performing Shakespeare's Macbeth. 

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

“When I first go on stage I’m nervous, but as I go I feel exhilarated. I feel like I am the only one out there and that’s amazing.”

Cameron Mizell / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

New and exciting artists are cropping up around West Michigan. There are even a few moving from abroad to join the lively music scene there.

Editor and publisher of Local Spins, John Sinkevics returned to Stateside to discuss the latest music trends being crafted and performed in West Michigan.

Listen above to hear more.

Leave it to a political reporter to come up with a question that's both intriguing and extremely relevant to an election year. Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta, who also co-hosts It's Just Politics, came to us with this question:

"I see how we get from 'president' to 'presidential,' from 'congress' to 'congressional' and from 'legislator' to 'legislative,' but how do we go from 'governor' to 'gubernatorial'? Are governors historically 'goobers' or is it something else?"  

Considering that Michigan voters will head to the polls this November to elect a new governor, this question about one of the many oddities of English couldn't be more timely.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Since Michigan Radio started bringing you this series on Artisans of Michigan, we’ve been asking if there are any coopers in the state. We have learned of two of them: Lake Effect Cooperage in Traverse City and Kalamazoo Cooperage. We recently got to spend some time with Ben Aldrich, the owner of Kalamazoo Cooperage.

A photo from 1881 of Moses Fleetwood Walker with the Oberlin team
Courtesy of the Baseball Hall of Fame

At Stateside, we love talking about Michigan history.

 

We've looked at the invention of snowboarding (first known as snurfing); why a small town held a funeral for a bunch of pizzas, and the University of Michigan student who broke baseball's color barrier 64 years before Jackie Robinson.

Stateside 5.29.2018

May 29, 2018

On today's Stateside, the superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools explains what his district is doing for students experiencing homelessness. Plus, a sneak peek at the new Star Wars costume exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

To find individual interview, click here or see below. 

darth vader sketch and darth vader costume
2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.


When audiences first heard the trumpet fanfare of John Williams's theme for Star Wars, it was a jolt of pure movie magic.

Forty-one years later, the magic is still there, and Star Wars continues to hold a Darth Vader-like grip on our imagination.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is tapping into that magic with its newest exhibit, Star Wars and the Power of Costume

Cynthia Canty / Michigan Radio

Poetry can be a powerful tool for expressing yourself.

That's certainly the case for James Scarborough and Ciera Dozier from Arts Academy in the Woods, a performing arts magnet school in Fraser, Michigan.

Earlier this month, Scarborough and Dozier were part of the team that took first place at Louder Than a Bomb, a statewide slam poetry festival. 

University Of Chicago Press, 2017

 

When was the last time you heard about a politician who realized she or he needed to change to help the country – that former ways had to be put aside to foster bipartisan cooperation for the good of the country? 

 

A U.S. senator from Michigan, Arthur Vandenberg, was such a person. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Distillers in Beer City, USA are turning beer into whiskey.

Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids has been working with (so far) four local breweries to produce some distinctive whiskeys. Look for more in the series in 2018.

The Cheers! team of Tammy Coxen of Tammy's Tastings and Lester Graham of Stateside had to check that out.

Carl Cox - Douglas Wojciechowski / Movement Music Festival

Movement Music Festival, formerly known as DEMF, returns to Detroit this Memorial Day weekend. The event, now in its 19th year, draws electronic music fans from around the world, and has since evolved to include other genres such as jazz, funk and hip hop.

Kristina Stonehill

When you think of a mermaid story, maybe an ocean comes to mind.

But couldn’t a mermaid live in the Great Lakes? Lake Michigan maybe?

Writers Linda Nemec Foster and Anne-Marie Oomen posed that question to each other ten years ago. Their new book is called The Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems.

Idioms generally don't get clearer the longer you think about them. They simply mean what they mean.

For instance, have you ever thought about the phrase "get someone's goat"? You may already know that it means to annoy or anger someone, but why?

Our advice is don't spend too much time on this phrase -- it'll just get your goat.


Alex Porbe / Incite Design

There are people in Michigan who are quietly making pieces of art with a purpose beyond art. 

One of them works in Detroit at a nondescript shop on Mack Avenue. Alex Porbe is with Incite Design, a  fabrication and custom design firm.

Porbe works with architects and project managers, working up designs to complement existing architecture or making a design statement.

Stateside 5.16.2018

May 16, 2018

Today on Stateside, we discuss Michigan State University's $500 million settlement with Nassar survivors, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow talks about the future of net neutrality, tariffs, and PFAS contamination. Also on today's show, Hollywood actress Toni Trucks says her hometown Manistee "sweats this historic magic."

Courtesy of Toni Trucks

Michigan born-and-raised actors may wind up working in New York or Hollywood, but they make sure the world knows they’re from the mitten.

Toni Trucks has been in a host of movies and TV shows, including her current roles as Lisa Davis in “SEAL Team” on CBS. Trucks began her performing career here in Manistee, and now she’s giving back to her hometown by loaning it her voice.

Neon box office sign
Connor Limbocker / Unsplash

It’s time for another edition of Theater TalkDavid Kiley, editor-in-chief of Encore Michigan, joined Stateside to preview and review plays, with a special focus on West Michigan.

Empty theatre seats
David Joyce / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 


 

The Detroit Public Theatre is wrapping up its third season with a new play that it commissioned: "Birthday Candles." It's written by Noah Haidle, a Grand Rapids native. 

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