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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Art is supposed to have a message – at least that's what several folks attending the annual Grand Rapids ArtPrize festival are saying.

The ninth annual ArtPrize festival officially starts today in downtown Grand Rapids. There are exhibits in more than 170 venues throughout the downtown area.

Several of the exhibits have politically charged messages at this year's open art competition.

One such piece,"Immeasurable Numbness" by Rachel Nanzer, illustrates the polarizing messages of "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter."

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.

image of sunken ship
Becky Kagan Schott

Standing on the shores of the Great Lakes on a sunny late-summer day, it’s virtually impossible to think of those sparkling waves as a death trap.

But divers have seen what those angry lakes can do to a ship.

Becky Kagan Schott, noted underwater photographer, joined Stateside to discuss what it’s like to document these untouched wrecks.

groupthing / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

This past Sunday, Detroit Free Press music critic Brian McCollum looked at three white rap artists. They all launched their careers in Southeast Michigan in the 1990s. Since then, they've built national and international fan bases.

They're also on deeply divided sides of the political spectrum. We're talking about Eminem, Kid Rock, and ICP – Insane Clown Posse.

Dzanc Books, 2017

"Poetry is good food."

That's the lesson award-winning writer Peter Markus has been teaching to kids in Detroit for years.

He taught creative writing in the Detroit Public Schools and he is the senior writer with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, which places writers in public schools to hold creative writing workshops.

Stateside 9.18.2017

Sep 18, 2017

Today on Stateside, U.S. Rep. Sander Levin says the White House is gutting funding for programs that help people sign up for health care. And Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon explains why the red zone was kryptonite for the Wolverine offense this weekend.

Four soldiers sit at a table in South Vietnam, 1972
Manhhai / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

The Vietnam War spanned more than a decade, from the arrival of U.S. support troops in 1961 to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. It’s a conflict that remains one of the most painful chapters in United States history.

Now, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick look back on this period in a ten-part documentary series The Vietnam War.

There’s a rule that makes a clear distinction between “I shall” and “I will.” However, we as speakers don’t seem to respect that line.

Do you know where that line is? Actually, here’s a better question: Did you know this rule existed?

We found out from a fourth grader.

 

 

 


two tiger shaped robot lamps
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Cre Fuller was already at work in the garage behind his Ypsilanti house when I arrived. I had seen photos of his work online, but I was not quite ready for the display set up in the garage. It’s great eye candy. 

"I make robot-inspired sculptures. You know, I try to make them look like vintage robots from the future," Fuller said, glancing around at probably 40 of his creations in the workspace. He says he usually has a few more than that on hand.

Stateside 9.13.2017

Sep 13, 2017

What happens if a mysterious company becomes the Monsanto of marijuana? That answer comes today on Stateside. And, we hear former Governor James Blanchard explain why he supports Gretchen Whitmer for governor.

street performance
Courtesy of the National Theatre of Ghana

 

The magic of theater is coming to Michigan in a new, unique form. Starting today through Sunday, the University of Michigan Center for World Performance Studies hosts the National Theatre of Ghana

The centerpiece of this residency is a series of open-air performances of the Tennessee Williams one-act play 10 Blocks on the Camino Real. Written in 1948, it’s the story of an American sailor struggling to survive in a poor foreign town.

Stateside 9.12.2017

Sep 12, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear state House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, break down the House of Representatives' legislative priorities for this session. And, we learn why Howell is considered the KKK capital of Michigan.

Courtesy of Buddy Moorehouse

The scenes of white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, including the Ku Klux Klan, led many to think about these groups in our state.

Michigan Radio listener Zachary Jones from Ypsilanti was ahead of the game. He submitted the following question to our MI Curious team back in June:

Why is Livingston County considered the KKK capital of Michigan?

Courtesy of Encore Michigan

Theater around Michigan this week ranges from a modern French farce to a show about an exotic dancer’s death in Detroit.

To talk about those shows and everything in between, David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside for today’s rendition of "Theater Talk."

Stateside 9.11.2017

Sep 11, 2017

Today on Stateside, we revisit the day Muhammad Ali went to Ground Zero. And, we learn why one researcher think's Amazon's second headquarters competition is a "red herring."

Drawing of the World Trade Center obtained from Yamasaki & Associates.
Archives of Michigan

Most of us remember where we were 16 years ago today when the twin towers came down in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The buildings, once a towering representation of New York's financial district, became a massive pile of concrete and twisted metal in less than two hours.

The time has come again for University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan to offer her opinion on another round of language disputes.

Every September the editors of the American Heritage Dictionary send a ballot to panel members, asking about usage issues.

Curzan and around 200 others are tasked with voting "yea" or "nay" on the way we've been using words like "cohort" and "hoi polloi."


Nic Morgan holding drink
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s hard to find. The address is 80 Ottawa Avenue NW in Grand Rapids.

But unless someone has told you about it, you probably would never realize that once you take those concrete steps down from the sidewalk, enter a door into an entryway, turn your back to the pizza place, and enter yet another door, you’ve arrived.

This is SideBar. It’s a tiny 18 seat bar where people who love craft cocktails gather.

Stateside 9.7.2017

Sep 7, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear about a bitter brotherly feud, and how Kellogg's Corn Flakes reimagined American breakfast. And, we learn about Detroit's "Femology," a collaborative space tailored to businesswomen.

will keith kellogg with horse
University of Michigan Medical School Center for the History of Medicine

A chirpy, cheery jingle from the 1960s was part of a massive advertising effort that helped Kellogg’s Corn Flakes become amazingly popular.  

Kellogg’s best to you” meant breakfast to countless families across America. Open that box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, or Rice Krispies, pour on the milk — and you've got breakfast.

Stateside 9.6.2017

Sep 6, 2017

As state lawmakers get back to work, we learn why auto insurance and pension reform top the Lansing agenda on today's Stateside. Also, an emphasis on STEM and skilled trades is all the rage these days--but what about the value of a liberal arts education?

Author Oummu Kabba and her father Brima Kabba
Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

It’s never too early to begin following your passion.

That’s true for ten-year-old Oummu Kabba of Kentwood, one of Michigan’s youngest published authors. Schuler Books of Grand Rapids has published four of her books already.

Seth Thompson/Revue​

 

Each month, Stateside checks in with John Sinkevics, the editor and publisher of Local Spins, a site that covers West Michigan’s music scene. Sinkevics discusses new artists, their backstories and what makes their music great.

Recently, two listeners, including one named Ruth, asked us what's going on with "ruthless." For starters, a ruthless action is one that's clearly without ruth, but can an action also be full of ruth?

The answer is  yes, something can be ruthful, but here's a better question -- have you ever actually used that word?

There's no need to be ruthful if your answer is no. In the Corpus of Contemporary American English, there are over 2,000 instances of "ruthless" and zero instances of "ruthful."

But ruthful wasn't always such a pariah.


picture of kelly church holding cradle board
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Soon, the entire park-like area we’re in will echo with the sound of pounding, metal against wood. It’s nearly a ringing or gong-like sound.

But first, Jeff Strand strips the bark from a black ash tree log. Then he takes out a knife and scores the end of it, a sort of pie wedge cut.

“So that the undergrowth rings have relief, so they’ll come up out of it as I’m crushing the growth rings. The ax is for crushing the fibers in between the growth rings and when you do that, they release,” Strand explains.

Stateside 8.31.2017

Aug 31, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn Michigan has the highest ratio of robots to workers in the country, and what that could mean for the humans in our state. We also learn if the small town of Benzonia is ready for gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, and how rule changes and safer equipment could save football from itself.

SAM CORDEN

The Crystal Café in Benzonia has been a popular breakfast spot for 20 years. The restaurant serves standard diner fare like corned beef hash, but also gets creative with dishes like Hawaiian omelets and bread pudding French toast.

Thomas Wright is the new owner of Crystal Café, but just a year ago, he was a server here. He moved north from Ann Arbor with his fiancé, and they were enjoying the Up North life and planning their wedding.

Then, last summer, out of the blue, the owners of the café said they wanted out of the business.

garrison keillor
Becky McCray / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

In July 2016, Garrison Keillor wrapped up 42 seasons of hosting the public radio favorite A Prairie Home Companion.

The show resumed that October with Chris Thile as its host.

Those of you who've missed Keillor's inimitable voice and style can take heart. He is taking a break from retirement and going on the road with the Prairie Home "Love & Comedy" Tour.

Stateside 8.29.2017

Aug 29, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a filmmaker who wants the U.S. Census Bureau to stop classifying Arab Americans as "white." And, we learn how political consultants are getting into the "fake news" business.

a stone wall
Mike Locke / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Every study abroad program offers a chance at discovery. You get to explore a different country and its unique cultural traditions, history, and cuisine.

A group of students from Washtenaw Community College (WCC) took that discovery to a whole new level when they uncovered priceless Roman artifacts during an archaeological dig at an ancient Roman fort in England.

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