Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
5:30 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Leading US Muslim group holding convention in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - Former President Jimmy Carter has told a group of Muslim Americans in Detroit they should take a role in supporting peace and justice efforts.

Carter delivered the keynote at Saturday's Islamic Society of North America convention at Cobo Center.

The society is among America's leading Muslim groups. The Detroit area has one of the nation's largest Muslim populations.

The Detroit News reports that Carter said he hopes Muslim Americans "will use the principals of Allah to bring peace and justice to all."

Read more
Stateside
4:55 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Dwayne Gill is a state trooper by day, and a stand-up comic by night

Dwayne Gill
Credit dwaynegill.com/comedy / dwaynegill.com/comedy

Michigan State Police Sgt. Dwayne Gill uses his day job as a reference pool for his stand-up sets.

Gill said that comedy came first for him, but open-mic nights did not bring in enough money, so he became a police officer.

“They knew that I was doing stand-up in the academy and I was called 'Recruit Joker,'” Gill said.

Gill started his comedic journey in 1989. He signed up for an Apollo Night contest in April 1995. After getting booed off the stage, he decided to quit comedy and focus on his police work.

Seven years later, he went to a retirement party for a trooper at the Ann Arbor Showcase, and said that gave him the itch to try comedy again.

He read books, took a class in New York, and learned more about comedy. September 11, 2002 he was back on stage, and started getting paid for his jokes in 2004.

Now he has opened up for celebrities like Tim Allen, and recently for Aretha Franklin.  

Gill has been working in law enforcement for 21 years. He is now the Michigan State Police liaison to the Legislature, and he still continues to do stand-up work.

*Listen to our full interview with Dwayne Gill above. 

Stateside
12:23 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Lovers of jazz see Detroit as the New Orleans of the north

A Detroit Jazz Festival float.
Credit Maia C / Flickr

The 35th annual Detroit Jazz Festival is this Labor Day weekend. It is the largest free jazz festival in the world, and it will be held in downtown Detroit at Campus Martius and Hart Plaza.

Chris Collins, the artistic director, and Jim Gallert, jazz broadcaster, writer and researcher, joined Stateside today to talk about the history of this festival and of jazz in Detroit.

“The Detroit Jazz Festival celebrates not only the greater jazz landscape, but, in particular, this amazing legacy of the city of Detroit,” Collins said.

Detroit came into the jazz scene in the early 1920s. Gallert said Detroit was an important feeder city. A lot of Detroit bands set the style for bands in New York.

“Many of us think of Detroit as the New Orleans of the north,” Gallert said.

The Detroit Jazz Festival is a year round effort to spread the gospel of jazz and support jazz artists. They work with students in Detroit Public Schools in what is called the "Jazz Infusion" where professional jazz artists work with the students to teach jazz, form bands, and put on shows.

The Detroit Jazz Festival runs this Labor Day weekend in downtown Detroit. You can get schedules, artists and all the information at their website.

*Listen to the full interview with Chris Collins and Jim Gallert on Stateside at 3:00 pm. Audio for this story will be added by 4:30 pm. 

Culture
11:13 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Jimmy Carter to speak at Islamic Society of North America conference in Detroit

Jimmy Carter at a book signing in 2010.
Credit Geoff Holtzman / Talk Radio News Service/Flickr

The former president, who will turn 90 on October 1, will be the keynote speaker at the annual conference for the nation's largest Muslim group.

The Islamic Society of North America's 51st annual conference will be held at the Cobo Center from August 29 through September 1. The theme of the conference will be on "elevating Muslim-American culture."

More from the Toledo Blade:

President Carter will talk on the subject of his latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, at a luncheon Aug. 30.

That night, at a session called “Generations Rise: Elevating Muslim-American Culture” -- the same title as the entire conference theme — the outgoing president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Magid, and four other Muslim speakers will offer ideas for Muslim-American advancement over the next five years. A “secret special guest” is also on the bill.

The Blade reports Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will speak at the opening of the conference, which will also feature "Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the national leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member of Congress."

Here's one of the Society's promotional videos for the conference:

Culture
8:43 am
Sat August 23, 2014

As a word nerd, I notice some things about the way you talk

Credit Pierre Metivier / Flickr

Language, language everywhere

A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor asked me what the scoop is with the phrase all of a sudden.

“I was thinking about it the other day,” she said, “because I would never say ‘a sudden.’ And I thought, ‘I should ask Anne.’”

A few days later, I was chatting with one of my colleagues over lunch, and he told me he had just learned the slang term thirsty from his students and was wondering if I already knew it.

Read more
Culture
3:18 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

This 20-year-old U of M student makes six figures breaking stories about Apple

Mark Gurman has a passion for all things Apple.
markgurman.com

Mark Gurman started his tech journalism career in high school. Now he's a junior at the University of Michigan and he's still making good money by breaking stories about Apple Inc.

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells reported on Gurman last year predicting "We will all be working for this kid someday."

Read more
Culture
10:08 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Former Detroit Archbishop and Vatican City governor Szoka dies at age 86

SM Giovanni and SM Angela with Edmund Cardinal Szoka.
Credit Felician Sisters of North America / Flickr

DETROIT - Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the former governor of Vatican City and the head of the Detroit archdiocese, has died. He was 86.

The Archdiocese of Detroit says Szoka died of natural causes Wednesday night at Providence Park Hospital in Novi, Michigan.

Pope John Paul II made Szoka a cardinal in 1988. Not long after, he became the Vatican's point man for finance. By 1998, he was running the Vatican City, one of the world's smallest countries.

Since his retirement from active ministry in 2006, Szoka had been living in the Detroit suburb of Northville.

Arts & Culture
7:15 am
Thu August 21, 2014

3 things struggling historical groups can do to attract more people

Guests at a Romanian wedding reception in Detroit in 1936.
Credit Metro Detroit Ethnic Communities Collection/Walter P. Reuther Library

There’s a joke that historical organizations are stuck in the past when it comes to how they do things. You know, like they don’t have a grasp on using social media, and their museums and events are outdated and uninspiring.

And that joke might extend to the people who run historical organizations – many of whom are senior citizens and have often run their group in the same way for a long time.

Read more
Stateside
4:45 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New book explores Civil War re-enactments in Michigan

American Civil War re-enactment
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Michigan embraced the Union cause before the first shot at Fort Sumpter was ever fired. And Michigan soldiers and sailors were involved in virtually all of the campaigns and battles of the Civil War.

A new book looks at the ways Michiganders were a part of the Civil War through photographs of some of the 10,000 Civil War re-enactors in Michigan.

It's called "American Civil War Years: The Michigan Experience (The Reenactors' Telling)."

“We really wanted to pay tribute to these people who are out there in 100-degree weather in wool,” said iMichigan Productions’ Donna Ullrich, the editor of the book.

Read more
Culture
3:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Renowned forensic psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Emanuel Tanay, dies at 86

Dr. Emanuel Tanay
John Lofy

Dr. Emanuel Tanay died of metastatic prostate cancer on August 5. A visitation is planned for Saturday, September 13 at 11:00 am at the Nie Family Funeral Home in Ann Arbor with a memorial service to follow at noon.

Tanay led an amazing life. Here's more about Tanay from a family press release: 

Read more
Stateside
4:32 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Underrated attractions await those who drive I-75

The West Branch smiley face.
Troy B Thompson Flickr

If you live in Michigan, chances are pretty good you've found yourself driving I-75 at one time or another.

But how about this: drive I-75 from Detroit to Sault Ste. Marie and stop at all the underrated sights your readers tell you about?

That's what Detroit Free Press Travel writer Ellen Creager did as "The Michigan Traveler."

Creager drove north on I-75 stopping at places readers suggested. Each attraction was within five miles of the freeway. The trip took four days.

The readers then voted on the most underrated sight on I-75.

The winner was the West Branch Smiley Face. It's a water tower in West Branch, beyond the Tanger Outlets, and it can be seen from the freeway.

The runner-ups on the list were the Straits State Park bridge overlook in St. Ignace, and the Castle Rock lookout point in St. Ignace.

View the full story in the Detroit Free Press here.

*Listen to the full story above. 

Arts & Culture
9:17 am
Thu August 14, 2014

How a Potawatomi tribe lost its culture and what it takes to bring it back

Dancers line up during the Grand Entry at the Hannahville Pow Wow
Emily Fox

Native American culture has been struggling to survive for more than a century. For a Potawatomi tribe in the Upper Peninsula, tribal culture almost vanished around the 1940s. But for the past four decades, there have been efforts to bring tribal culture back.

Click here to listen to the story and hear music from the Hannahville Indian Community

Read more
Stateside
5:33 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Motor City Burning: a crime story set in the 1967 Detroit riot

Bill Morris and his book Motor City Burning
Credit User: Meet Bill Morris / facebook

1967 and 1968. Those were some mighty vivid years in Detroit's history.

In 1967, racial tensions boiled over that hot July night on 12th Street.

But the following year saw baseball fans, black and white, coming together at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, rooting the Tigers on to that World Series win over the Cardinals.

That's the setting for the new novel Motor City Burning. Author Bill Morris blends the riot and the World Series into a murder mystery.

Morris says living through those eventful years as a teenage boy in Detroit inspired him to write the novel.

“I thought if I can find a way to weave these two summers together and tell that story, I’ll have a good book. That’s what I tried to do through the eyes of a young black man up from Alabama,” says Morris.

*Listen to our conversation with Bill Morris above.

Arts & Culture
1:21 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

An arts class helped this teen discover his passion for sculpting

The young artist says music is key to his artistic process, especially jazz and soul.
Credit Doug Coombe

Eighteen-year-old sculptor Austen Brantley makes some pretty impressive art. But don't take our word for it, check out these photos of Austen's work, at the Michigan Radio Picture Project.

Professionals in the art world agree. "It's just amazing to see the amount of talent that he has at 18 years old. He’s right up there with some of his peers that are in their 30s and 40s," says Garnette Archer, owner of Jo’s Gallery in Detroit.

Read more
Stateside
12:03 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Do you really know Lewis Cass?

Lewis Cass
Credit Wikimedia Commons

We’ve got Cass County, Cass City, Cassopolis, and Cass Tech High School in Detroit.

There's also Cass Lake, and many other cities, townships, and streets around the country all named after Lewis Cass, a towering figure in Michigan and the United States in the 19th century.

But most of us don't know much about Lewis Cass.

Historian Bill Loomis wrote a story published in the Detroit News titled "Lewis Cass, the titan of Michigan’s early years."

“His writing was not as fiery as lot of other people, so he wasn’t quoted often,” Loomis says. “He was also temperate; he didn’t drink, so he wasn’t a real sociable type of person.”

Read more
Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Fri August 8, 2014

One break-in and $50k later, Write-A-House to unveil finalists

Write-A-House will soon announce its list of finalists.
Credit Andrew Kopietz / writeahouse.org

Listen to the full story here.

The Write-A-House project started out with a big, romantic plan: buy abandoned homes in Detroit. 

Fix them up. 

Then give them away to promising writers who commit to live in them for at least two years.

But one break-in and $50,000 in bills later, the reality of rehabbing a house in Detroit is becoming clear. 

Read more
Stateside
5:27 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

A Detroit Anthology: Motor City stories written for Detroiters

Credit BELT MAGAZINE & RUST BELT CHIC PRESS / beltmag.com

“Detroit is a city of stories. In this way, we are rich. We begin with abundance.”

That’s from the introduction of the book A Detroit Anthology, a collection of essays and poems from Detroiters. Anna Clark is the editor of the book.

Clark said this is a book for people who have some familiarity and connection with the city, and the stories in it come from people who can tell them in the first person.

Read more
Stateside
11:09 am
Wed August 6, 2014

The Good Fight: A Story of Cancer, Love and Triumph

Credit nationalwritersseries.org / nationalwritersseries.org

A cancer diagnosis, either for yourself or for a loved one, is an incredibly frightening experience. When Greg Holmes received the diagnosis of a very rare and highly fatal cancer, he and his wife Katherine Roth found themselves trying to find hope in what seemed like a hopeless situation.

They’ve shared their journey in the memoir The Good Fight: A Story of Cancer, Love, and Triumph.

Below is an excerpt from the book where Katherine gives the news to her husband that he has cancer.

“I hesitated as one does when facing a huge precipice. I knew that telling Greg would make it real and send us free falling into a nightmare. I longed to hold back and return to our innocence, but reality pushed me forward. I asked Greg if he was sitting down and then I jumped. I don’t remember how I told him or the words I chose, but each one felt cruel. Each word was irretrievable, shattering our world and life as we knew it. Nothing remained except the harsh wind-swept shoreline of our tentative future.”

Greg Holmes and Katherine Roth joined Stateside to talk about their book and share their experience.

*Listen to the full interview with Greg Holmes and Katherine Roth above.

Stateside
3:58 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Is college radio dying?

Credit user: laffy4k / flickr

According to a recent headline, college radio is dying. With music libraries packed into smartphones, and laptops and websites like Spotify and Pandora, college students aren't listening to music in their dorms from a portable radio anymore. 

So what’s the point of college radio? Should we save it?

Jesse Walker said he doesn’t think college radio is dying, it’s just going through a rough patch.  He's a former DJ at WCBN, Ann Arbor’s student-run, community radio station. He’s also the author of “Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America.”

Read more
That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun August 3, 2014

The rise and use of emojis while texting

The emoji is more than just an emoticon on digital steroids.

This week on That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan take a closer look at emojis and their use in the digital age.

“Emoji or emojis are those little images or icons that you can use while texting or emailing. It includes smiley faces, but also pictures of cars and bells and things like that. So it’s a much richer set of symbols than the emoticons that I think many of us are familiar with” says Curzan.

According to Curzan, Emojis first show up in the late 1990s in Japan, but they quickly moved to the U.S. and eventually the word gets incorporated into English, and in 2013, the Oxford English dictionary chose to include emoji.

People are using emojis to communicate, and Curzan cites their simplicity and the tendency of people to be both playful and creative while using emojis.

What are your favorite emojis to use while texting? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Omar Saadeh - Michigan Radio Newsroom

Pages