Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Courtesy of Phil Stagg

You’ve heard of storm chasers and tornado chasers.

Phil Stagg is a waterfall chaser.

He runs a business in Cadillac, but his real passion lies in taking photographs of Michigan.

He’s especially interested in the hundreds of waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula.

Flickr user Joey Lax-Salinas / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

"Poets at the Grand Hotel" is a chance for Mackinac Island visitors to take time out from soaking up the sights, riding bikes, and eating fudge to explore poetry.

Every Wednesday morning in July and August, poet Jim Lenfestey presides over a weekly poetry gathering in the Audubon Room at The Grand Hotel.

This is the 10th year of the series and it's being marked by Lenfestey's latest book, Seeking The Cave.

Courtesy of the author

The Old Testament story of Cain and Abel is one of the most compelling in the Bible. How could a man kill his brother?

The tragedy is at the heart of the stunning debut novel The Fishermen from Chigozie Obioma.

Obioma was born in Nigeria and earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

The Fishermen is a parable set in 1990s Nigeria.

Gemma Amor / flickr-http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Hey, America! The rest of the world is wondering: What's with the bland beer?

It's no secret that the American beer market is dominated by pale, mild beer.

Despite the rising number of craft brewers here in Michigan and across the country, our best-selling beer is, you guessed it, Bud Light! Coors Light and Miller Lite come in right behind it.

Economist Ranjit Dighe wanted to figure out why Americans like bland beer.

Just a few years ago, we had never even heard the word "selfie".

These days, our social media feeds are filled with them. And that's sparked conversations and questions: Are they ridiculous? Are they little more than a deep dive into narcissism? Are they important ways to record our lives?

DIA director retiring after 16-year tenure

Jun 29, 2015
DIA

The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts is retiring after leading the museum for 16 years.

Graham Beal first announced plans to step down from the position back in January. Tuesday will be his last day.

There are many words in our language that are just plain fun. But what exactly do they mean? University of Michigan English professor Anne Curzan did a deep dive this week into colorful, sassy words. 

Let’s start with the ever-popular term, bumbershoot. What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of a bumbershoot?  

It means an umbrella.

Stephanie Wade (R), and Lori Hazelton (L) from Muskegon get married.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Same-sex couples are already getting married in a number of Michigan counties after today’s Supreme Court ruling.

With TV crews hovering nearby, Lori Hazelton and Stephanie Wade exchanged rings in a tiny conference room at the Muskegon County Clerk’s office.

It wasn’t the quite the wedding Hazelton once hoped for; one with family and friends.

Mark Bennington / Mark Bennington Headshots

    

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of world history knows about the horrors that came out of the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

Some six million of Europe’s Jews – 63% of Europe’s Jewish population at the time – killed in the Holocaust.

Barbara Stark-Nemon’s debut novel, Even in Darkness, is the true story of her great-aunt Klare Kohler and her experiences living through the Holocaust.


Letters on a typewriter.
user Andreas. / Flickr - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Have you noticed that some people are spelling their names using all lower-case letters?

We have.

And that got us wondering about why people choose to do this, and where all the capitalization rules came from.

Alan Newton / Parkhurst Brothers Publishers

This summer marks the 32nd season for the Stone Circle.

Poet Terry Wooten is known for having created this space for poetry, storytelling and music on a family farm near Elk Rapids.

"There's something in our DNA that you cannot sit around a fire and not want to hear stories," said Wooten.

Now, he has released a collection of his poems called The Stone Circle Poems covering many decades of his writing and showcasing his ability to make poetry accessible to everyone.

Anders Adermark / Flickr http://ow.ly/OE5HR

Popping the cork on a bottle of Champagne can make an occasion extra-special.

The reputation of real Champagne comes largely from the industry standard that requires the Champagne to be very consistent from one year to the next – unlike ordinary red and white wines, which can be very different from year to year.

Making Champagne at the big houses of famous names comes down to two or three sets of taste buds in the heads of the wine team.

Forge Detroit / Facebook

A new competition show called Forged in Fire starts tonight on the cable channel History.

Contestants will be challenged to make swords and knives, including period-specific weapons like medieval broadswords or ancient throwing blades.

SEO / flickr

More and more, consumers are realizing that social media is a much better way to get a company’s attention than getting lost in a voice mail jungle when you call some 1-800-phone line.

Michigan Radio’s social media producer Kimberly Springer joined us to talk about what companies and consumers are learning about using social media.

We’ve got winning on the brain, but not because our lotto tickets finally paid off. It’s because of sports and Coach Carol Hutchins finding herself as the second-winningest active coach of softball and the winnigest coach in the University of Michigan’s athletic department history.

Winningest has been around since at least the mid-20th century, but winning in the Charlie Sheen sense, has been around even longer, says University of Michigan English Professor Ann Curzan. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan broke ground this week on a unique farmers market.

When it opens in July, the market near Mount Pleasant will feature locally grown produce, including some from local Native American farmers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Making art in the open air has been on display this week in and around Saginaw.

More than 50 artists have been busy sitting in parks and along busy roads painting street scenes, lake shores and quiet parks in several mid-Michigan counties.   

It’s all part of the Great Lakes Bay En Plein Air festival.

Film rolls.
Luca Nonato / Flickr

It looks like a new Comedy Central pilot called "Detroiters" will be one of the last projects to get Michigan's film tax incentive.

The legislature voted this week to phase out the state's tax rebates for film crews that hire people and spend money in the state.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Ahya Simone doesn’t particularly like the word transition when she describes being a transgender woman.

Simone was born and raised in Detroit. From an early age she was drawn to the performing arts, singing in church choir and, eventually, while attending Cass Technical High School in Detroit, learning to play the harp.

But it wasn’t until she was in college at Wayne State University that Simone decided it was time to get real, and start living her truth.

Here's a video of Ahya Simone performing with her harp. 

Led by Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver, the Hallelujah Singers are a group of men and women singing together in an all-star community choir.
Andrew Sacks

The documentary film Let's Have Some Church Detroit Style was the Audience Choice winner at the second annual Freep Film Festival earlier this year.

And on June 20, it’s coming to Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater.

Andy Ryan

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

When Brad Meltzer sent his first novel to 20 publishers, he got 24 rejection letters.

His next novel became a New York Times bestseller.

Meltzer has lived at the top of the bestseller lists ever since, and he’s just released his newest political thriller: The President’s Shadow.

Success has not made Meltzer forget his past. In fact, he draws directly on his initial failure for inspiration to continue writing.

dream hampton

On October 23, 2011 a 19-year-old Detroiter named Shelly Hilliard was murdered and dismembered.

It happened just three days after she cooperated with suburban police, according to a civil suit filed by her family against the Madison Heights Police Department.

Willow Run Factory and B-24 bombers.
U.S. Army Signal Corps

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP – A preserved section of a plant where Rosie the Riveter built World War II bombers has been rededicated.

The part of the old Willow Run Bomber Plant will become the home of the Yankee Air Museum.

Sarah Price's debut album "SarahTonin" comes out this week
Toko Shiiki

Sarah Price is the choir teacher at Saline High School, and this week she is releasing her debut CD, SarahTonin.

“Found missing.” “Gone missing.” “Went missing.” If you have ever seen the side of a milk carton you are familiar with these phrases. But these curious expressions just sound wrong … and British.

“This is a Briticism, and I think why Americans are noticing it is that it is absolutely on the increase in American English,” says University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan.

“Over the last 15 years, the phrase 'go missing', 'went missing' has increased tenfold.”

Lance Kawas

    

Michigan filmmakers have their work cut out for them. Millions of dollars in annual state tax incentives are a certain target for cuts. And now, there's a move afoot in the Legislature to shut down the Michigan Film Office altogether.

Critics worry that the film and television industries are going to pass right by Michigan in favor of states with more generous incentives.

But filmmakers like Lance Kawas are still finding ways to make movies even while being based in Michigan.

The Alger Theater at present day on the corner of Warren and East Outer Drive.
Courtesy of Friends of the Alger

The Alger Theater on the corner of Warren and East Outer Drive in Detroit hasn't shown a movie for 30 years.

But come Sunday, members of the Friends of the Alger Theater will get the chance to watch Young Frankenstein inside the partially renovated theater as part of the groups' summer fundraising effort. The "Brew and View" series will offer a monthly screenings through August.

The theater is perhaps best known for its marquee, said Helen Broughton, president of the Friends of the Alger, a non-profit group that has been working to restore the space since 1986.

Benjamin Foote

 

When the Grand Rapids band Ghost Heart plays live, it’s a performance spectacle. They played in-studio at Michigan Radio as part of Songs from Studio East.

 

Diane DeCillis' premiere book of poems has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015
Diane DeCillis

As part of our series "Poetically Speaking," we're highlighting Michigan poets.

West Bloomfield’s Diane DeCillis’ first book of poetry, Strings Attached, has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015.

DeCillis draws on her past and her family in many of her poems, including the poem for which the book was named.

An entire generation of  fifth graders is contemplating a big decision as the school year comes to an end: "What instrument should I play next year in band?"

But plenty of kids don't even know what instruments they can choose from. They may have seen Kenny G jamming on a saxophone on TV, or heard about an instrument they think might be called the "ter-bon," but they've never had the chance to actually hold one (a trombone, that is) and try blowing into it.

That's where "instrument fittings" come in.

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