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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Stevie Wonder Avenue is made offical in Detroit

Dec 21, 2016
Stevie Wonder Avenue stretch of Milwaukee Street in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit music legend Stevie Wonder has a street officially named after him.

Stevie Wonder Avenue is on a stretch of Milwaukee Street near Woodward Avenue in Detroit's New Center Area neighborhood. It's only about a mile from Hitsville U.S.A. where Motown Records once operated. 

Wonder said he's excited for the expansion of the Motown Museum.

Transcription of the book review: NOLA Gals by Barbara Rebbeck, published in 2015, honored the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and received five major awards in Young Adults categories. This year Rebbeck wrote a play for young people called Turbulence. It was based on her own novel.

Katia Strieck / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Is it possible to choose a single word that captures the tumultuous and often bizarre year that was 2016?

Probably not. But that isn’t going to stop major dictionaries like Oxford, Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com from trying.

They have all released their selections for 2016’s “Word of the Year” and the results are not exactly uplifting. 

The Oxford English Dictionary, which has been in the word business for well over 100 years, chose post-truth as their top word for 2016.

Oxford defines post-truth, an adjective, as follows: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Keegan-Michael Key (fourth head from the left) and his comedy group, The 313
Courtesy of The 313

Never underestimate the power of the class clown.

The Southfield-born Keegan-Michael Key took his "class clown" talent (or "class theater nerd" as he put it) from Gesu Grade School and Royal Oak Shrine High School in Detroit to roles in television and film.

Key made his name when he was one-half of Comedy Central's show Key & Peele. The national success of that show led him to a gig working side-by-side next to President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

See below:

If you run with grammar sticklers, you know that saying "irregardless" under any circumstances not considered ironic is a great way to get yourself thrown into exile.

While it's true that grammar enthusiasts die a little each time someone utters this persistent double-negative, other words of a similar nature don't seem to draw quite as much ire as "irregardless." 

For example, what about "reiterate"?

Think about the last time you used that one. It was probably to let someone know that you were going to repeat something; e.g., "I like to reiterate that the final paper is due tomorrow."

Did anyone correct you when you said it? Did someone give you a slap on the hand with a ruler? Or even just a haughty look? Probably not.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

“It’s like Christmas in a glass,” said Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings.

She’s talking about a cocktail invented by the principle bartender at The Last Word craft cocktail bar in Ann Arbor, Giancarlo Aversa.

One of the best things about studying the history of English is digging up words that, for the most part, have died out of the language but still pop up in funny places.

For example, let's take a look at "wer" and "wif", the Old English words for man and woman.

Etymologically, "wer" is related to "vir", which is Latin for man. "Vir" shows up in modern English in words like "virile" and "virility."

However, "wer" has pretty much vanished from modern English. Except for one word.


In today's political roundup, we hear updates from the "strange" lame-duck session. And later in the show, we learn what science says about a Michigan lab's plan to bring frozen dead bodies back to life.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We live in a throw-away society. Things are made cheaply and when we’re finished with them, we toss them out. That goes for furniture too. People put couches out on the curb. In college towns such as Ann Arbor, at the end of the academic year, there are lots of couches at the curb. 

We used to re-upholster furniture. In fact, some people still do. And in this installment in our series, “Artisans of Michigan” we visit an upholsterer.

In new new book, Heather Ann Thompson looks at the Attica prison uprising of 1971. and what it can tell us about today's prisons.
flickr user Jayu / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

The book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy has been getting lots of attention by the national media and is a National Book Award finalist.

The author is University of Michigan Professor of History Heather Ann Thompson.

She joined us today to talk about the 1971 prison uprising in New York and what we can learn from it today.

Peter Kudlacz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

If you wandered past any landmarks or took a stroll through a public park this summer, you may have noticed a lot more foot traffic than usual. But instead of walking and talking together, these large groups of new guests basically just sit around and stare at their smartphones. 

Yes, "Pokémon GO" players are everywhere.

For many, the game has become a core part of day-to-day life. 

Alexander Weinstein's new book of short stories takes the idea to the extreme, exploring a future full of dangerously immersive virtual reality games. 

Jan Worth-Nelson told us that high-quality writing and photography have always been staples of "East Village Magazine."
Courtesy of East Village Magazine

This year marks the 40th anniversary of East Village Magazine.

The nonprofit magazine has been bringing community news to people in Flint since 1976, a labor of love for its founder, the late Gary Custer.

East Village Magazine has hung in there to become one of the nation's oldest community media outlets. 

Courtesy of Lester Monts

Michigan boasts an exceptionally rich mix of folk, ethnic and immigrant music, and it goes back centuries.

Music professor Lester Monts wanted to capture that rich tapestry, so he spearheaded the Michigan Musical Heritage Project.

This posthumous portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was painted by Barbara Krafft in 1819.
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

The Magic Flute is one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most famous works.

There’s a good chance you know the piece, but what you might not know is that Mozart finished and premiered the opera in the very final months of his life.

Mozart died 225 years ago today. He was only 35.

The cause of Mozart’s death is a medical question that has endured as long as his music.

According to McClelland, nasality is the hallmark of Midwestern speech.
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

One of the core elements of  your identity is your accent. 

But we here in the Midwest have a tendency to believe we don't have an accent. 

Writer Edward McClelland proves otherwise in his new book How to Speak Midwestern

McClelland sat down with us today to talk about what makes the Midwestern accent so distinct.

Despite the diligent tutelage of our Speak and Spells, there are plenty of spellings that continue to elude us.

However, while we sometimes complain about the vagaries of English spelling, would we actually change the spelling of any of the words?

University of Michigan English professor Anne Curzan recently put the question to her students, who decided they would change up “supersede.”

Obviously, since it’s already typed out here on the page, we can’t really ask you how you think “supersede” is spelled.

Be honest though, when you saw it, did it look strange to you?


Courtesy of Amer Zahr

 

The election of Donald Trump worries a lot of people.

Some women, immigrants, and Muslims are wondering if Trump’s presidency will be anything like his campaign rallies, and what that might mean for their lives.

Benjaman James

After college graduation, Traverse City native and musician Benjaman James had a big decision to make: get a job that pays the bills, or pursue a career in music.  

Benjaman got a degree from Michigan State University’s college of engineering. After graduation he started the band “Old Mission Collective.”

As the group continued to gain traction, members came and went, but he says he became the only common member in the band. So he decided to go solo.

Now, Benjaman James is out with a new EP titled “Growing Pains" out December 3. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

December 5 is Repeal Day.

“Repeal Day is sort of an invented holiday,” explained Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings. In recent years, bars, brew houses, and the drinking public have embraced the repeal of the 18th Amendment, which brought in the era of Prohibition.

On December 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the 21st Amendment, doing away with Prohibition. He famously said, “What America needs now is a drink.”

 

We take a look at what to expect from the lame-duck session, which begins today in the Michigan legislature, and we hear from Michigan's own Tony-award winning playwright and co-founder of theater group Five Lesbian Brothers.

John Hanson

 

It’s holiday music for people who maybe aren’t really feeling the holiday spirit.

May Erlewine is getting ready to drop her new EP The Little Things with a tour of winter dance parties all around the state.

The EP’s full of holiday music that works for everyone, but is especially good for anyone who’s having a hard time grooving with the “tidings of comfort and joy” of traditional holiday tunes.

"Fun Home" was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won five.
Sarah_Ackerman / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Tony-award winning musical Fun Home opens tonight at Detroit's Fisher Theatre for a two-week run. Fun Home was adapted from Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, telling the story of her relationship with her gay dad and coming to terms with her own identity as a lesbian.

The musical got a very warm welcome when it finally got to Broadway. It was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and the show won five of them.

A few of those Tonys went to Michigan native Lisa Kron. She grew up in Lansing and is a playwright, actor and co-founder of the theater group Five Lesbian Brothers.

Joshua Johnson
Stephen Voss / NPR

 

After a 37-year run, Diane Rehm is retiring.

She’d served notice to her legions of loyal listeners that she would see out the election and then step away from The Diane Rehm Show.

Much as Garrison Keillor hand-picked his successor Chris Theil for A Prairie Home Companion, Rehm personally selected her own: radio journalist Joshua Johnson.

Johnson sat down with us today to talk about how he plans to follow in Rehm’s shoes and what he plans to do with his new show, 1A.

When to use “who” and when to use “whom” is one of those grammar conundrums that just won't die.

Once you learn the rule, it’s not too hard to distinguish between the two.

“Who” is the subject that does an action, while “whom”is the object that receives an action. For example, “who” speaks to “whom.”

Pretty simple, right?

Unfortunately, learning the rule doesn’t mean you’ll escape tricky cases.


Michigan Bookmark is a series that features Michigan authors reviewing Michigan books.

On July 8, 1850, with a crimson robe and a paper crown, James Jesse Strang was crowned King of Beaver Island.

His coronation completed his youthful ambition to enter into royalty, but it would also result in his assassination.

In Don Faber’s well-researched book, James Jesse Strang: The Rise and Fall of Michigan’s Mormon King, the author declared that he wanted to present “the historical Strang, stripped of myth, demonization, and popular fancy.”

Screengrab of "Failure:Lab | David V. Wenzel" video

We all fail sometimes. No exceptions. 

It's often hard to admit, but failure is an essential part of the human experience. 

That's what Failure:Lab is all about.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A team of eight community partners, including Grand Rapids Public Schools, health providers, and artistic groups are working together on a big project in Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park neighborhood.

The group of organizations, along with help from the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association, are taking five acres of blighted properties and transforming them into new mixed-income homes and apartments, a public high school, and a community center.

"Pressure Makes Diamonds: Becoming the Woman I Pretended to Be"
Courtesy of Valerie Graves

 

You may not know her name, but it’s a good bet you know her work.

Valerie Graves has worked in the creative departments at the nation’s leading advertising firms. She’s been creative director for top Fortune 500 accounts like General Motors, Ford, Burger King, AT&T, Pepsi and more. She’s been a top executive for Motown Records, and she was creative consultant to President Bill Clinton.

Advertising Age named her one of the “100 Best and Brightest” in the industry.

Courtesy of Elizabeth LaPensée

There's an app for just about everything. Proof of that is Honour Water.

It's a new app that teaches you Anishinaabe songs about water. Anishinaabe is the name used by native tribes including the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi and Alquonquin peoples.

If your job involves a cubicle, a computer and any sort of decor that's best described as motivational graphic art, there's a good chance you've had some experience with business jargon.

Maybe you've been asked to circle back around after a conference call or close the loop on an email discussion. Perhaps you've bypassed low-hanging fruit to focus on mission-critical action items.

Or, just maybe, you've implemented corporate best practices to leverage your company's core competencies in order to achieve synergy. 

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