Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

cherryfestival.org

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Traverse City commissioners are considering a proposal to deal with so-called "festival fatigue."

Some residents say there are too many summer festivals in a downtown park called the "Open Space" that runs along Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. They complain about noise, crowds and trash.

Others say the festivals are good for the tourist economy and fun for locals as well.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The remains of dozens of Native Americans were buried during a special ceremony near Mt. Pleasant today.    

The remains had until recently been held by the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Several women shook small rattles as a long line of men and women carried small cardboard boxes containing the remains of 129 Native Americans to a small snow-covered cemetery.    The cemetery has become the final resting place for many Native Americans whose remains were used in research. 

Wreaths Across America / Great Lakes Chapter

Remember, honor, and teach. Those are the goals of the Wreaths Across America program, through which wreaths will be placed on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and at 28 cemeteries across Michigan this Saturday.

David Watts coordinates the event for the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, where this year nearly 9,000 wreaths will be placed, thanks to community donations and sponsorships.

The state Legislature has been busy in its last week of session for the year - from increasing limits on campaign contributions, to issues regarding medical marijuana.

On today's show, we'll get an update from Lansing. Both the state House and Senate passed a voter-initiated law requiring consumers to buy separate policies for abortion coverage. What will this mean for you?

Later in the show, we’ll talk drones. Estimates show there could be some 175,000 unmanned aerial vehicles in U.S. airspace by 2025.

We'll speak to a Michigan entrepreneur who's trying to develop drones for commercial market, later in the hour.

But first, we check in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes. On his mind this week is a "re-tooling" of Michigan's auto industry.

MedoraFilm

It began with a New York Times feature story about a struggling boys' high school basketball team in a tiny town in southern Indiana.

The story of the 0-22 Medora Hornets so gripped a pair of Ann Arbor filmmakers that they picked up and moved to struggling, hardscrabble Medora, Indiana for a full year to follow the team as it fought for just one win.

In doing so, Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn discovered layers and layers of compelling stories, which they have packed into a powerful documentary.

"Medora," which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, is now being screened all around Michigan.

There will be a live screening tomorrow night in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Theater. Additional screenings will be held in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo (see listings here).

Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn joined us today (listen to the interview above).

Watch a trailer for the film below, and here's a link to their website.

MEDORA OFFICIAL TRAILER from beachside on Vimeo.

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Flickr

Leaders at the Detroit Institute of Arts praised the efforts of federal mediators today saying they're working toward a solution that protect's the museum's collection while giving relief to the city of Detroit.

The collection has been seen as a potential source of revenue by some creditors who are poised to lose a lot of money in the Detroit bankruptcy.

More from the DIA's press release:

At a meeting with the mediators on Tuesday, the DIA expressed enthusiastic support for the work that has been done to date, and pledged to help refine and implement the plan in the weeks ahead. The plan engages national and local foundations among other funding sources to create a mechanism for providing cash for the City, while ensuring the present and future safety of the DIA collection. Details of the plan are still in process, as meetings with the foundation community and others continue. The DIA has begun to mobilize its considerable public support to help implement a fundraising strategy that will satisfy the City’s needs, while ensuring the well-being of the museum for the residents of Detroit, southeast Michigan and beyond.

We saw them rise, then fall, then rise again -- small, independent bookstores are making a come-back in Michigan. We'll explore the renaissance on today's show.

And, then, the state is close to wrapping its plans to make programs more accessible to people with disabilities - that's in order to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We'll talk to the state's compliance director later in the hour.

But we start with the first woman to be placed in the top spot of a major automaker. She began her career at General Motors as an engineering co-op student in 1980. 33 years later, Mary Barra has made history by being named the next CEO of GM.

GM made the ground-breaking announcement today that CEO Dan Akerson has moved up his retirement to January 15th after discovering his wife is battling advanced stage cancer.

Michigan Radio’s auto reporter, Tracy Samilton, tells us more about Mary Barra and what this appointment means to America's auto industry.

Photo courtesy of Nicola's Books

Remember "You've Got Mail," The Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy?

Writer-director Norah Ephron says she wanted to make a point about little independent bookstores like Meg Ryan's "Shop Around the Corner" being crushed by the big-chain bookstores, Tom Hanks' "Fox Books."

That was 1998, and many small independent bookstores were indeed fighting for their lives in the face of the big-chain stores.

Now, in 2013, the book-selling landscape has changed. Borders books collapsed in 2011 and Barnes & Noble closed many of its stores.

There is Amazon with its talk of using drones to drop your order at your door in a few years. But guess what? Independent bookstores are enjoying something of a renaissance.

Deborah Leonard, director of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, and Peter Makin, owners of Brilliant Books in Traverse City, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Mary Jo Kietzman

One of Shakespeare's great tragedies is King Lear, the story of an ancient British king who devises a "love test" in hopes of dividing his kingdom equally among his three daughters.

An English professor at the University of Michigan Flint has taken King Lear and, working with her students, set the scene in Flint and turned it into a staged reading called "Lear Reassembled." They'll be performing it December 10th and December 12th.

Mary Jo Kietzman joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

http://www.michiganopera.org/leadership/david-dichiera/ / Michigan Opera Theatre

The man who helped turn the Michigan Opera Theatre into one of Detroit's most prestigious arts centers, is stepping aside as general director after 42 years.

David DiChiera is an institution in Detroit: he started the Opera in 1971 and he's been running it ever since.

And it's thanks to his fundraising efforts that Detroit even still HAS an Opera, given how hard the recession hit the arts.

Now DiChiera is 78, has prostate cancer, and is bringing in a new president and  CEO to run the financial side.

The Heidelberg Project / via Facebook

What was built over several decades, is coming down in less than a year.

Last night, the fifth house in the world-renowned art installation on Detroit's east side was burned.

The Heidelberg Project's Clock House burned last night around 11 p.m., according to the Detroit News:

The suspicious fire tore through the Clock House, near Elba Place and Ellery, about 10:50 p.m. Sunday, according to Battalion Chief Edward Voss. Smoke rolled through the neighborhood, blanketing it like fog. Fire crews arrived within five to seven minutes, but it wasn’t enough time to save the art display, said Voss.

It's the fifth house to be destroyed by arson in the last two months.

Heidelberg supporters wonder if the remaining three houses will be standing at the end of the year.

The three remaining houses, according to the News, are the Dot House, the Numbers House, and the Teddy Bear House.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, and the agency is assisting the Detroit Fire Department in investigating the fires.

The News reports that police have not made specific plans to increase patrols in the Heidelberg area.

Heidelberg organizers have raised nearly $39,000 toward a goal of $50,000 to increase lighting and private patrols in the two-block area.

Michigan Radio's Emily Fox spoke with Guyton after the third house, the Penny House, was burned. Guyton told Fox the fires have inspired him to make more art:

“No matter what happens, the arson fires, the demolitions, that magic in here keeps telling me, do it, do it, don’t stop. Oh, it gives me energy, I’m saying turn it up. I’m like, that’s the best you got?,” Guyton says.

Guyton began the Heidelberg Project in 1986 to call attention to the extreme blight in Detroit's neighborhoods. Anyone who has information about the fires is asked to call the arson unit at the Detroit Fire Department (313-596-2940), or the ATF at 888-ATF-FIRE.

Most of the time the final -ed on words is not pronounced as its own syllable, but then every once in a while, it is.

This week on That’s What They Say, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss tricky -ed endings and the history of this suffix’s pronunciation.

Historically, -ed was always pronounced as its own syllable. In the 18th century, Jonathan Swift voiced his desire to preserve the final -ed  in his book, A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue. Swift wrote, “By leaving our a vowel to save a syllable, we form so jarring a sound, and so difficult to utter, that I have often wondered how it could ever obtain.”

Nowadays, we rarely pronounce -ed  separately. But what about problematic words that can be pronounced either way, like beloved?

“Usually when it is an adjective, you would say it as two syllables,” Curzan explains regarding beloved. “But if it’s a noun, you would say belov-ed and pronounce it as its own syllable.”

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

 


A major holiday performance happens this weekend in West Michigan. Students, teachers and parents at Mona Shores High School have spent thousands of hours preparing for the event, where they create a living breathing, and singing Christmas Tree — that’s five-stories tall, and holds more than 200 student singers.

It’s getting lots of national attention. In 2011, TLC featured the tree on its aptly-titled holiday show, “Extreme Christmas Trees.” This year, it’ll be highlighted on the Travel Channel.

The show is now in its 29th year.

Almost 300 hundred students from Mona Shores High School have been practicing for this show — held at Muskegon’s Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts — since Labor Day.

Rene Passet / Flickr

There was another plot turn in the long story of Detroit's struggles yesterday.

A federal bankruptcy judge looked at all the evidence and declared, yep, the city of Detroit is indeed insolvent.

It's new, for sure, but for many who have lived and worked in Detroit, it's just more of the same.

Derrick May is one the founding fathers of techno music. Detroit was the birthplace of the genre, and May has achieved a lot of success traveling around the world playing shows. (Listen to his breakout hit here.)

user aMichiganMom / Flickr

According to the Detroit News, Christie's Appraisals estimated the market value of the DIA's city bought works at somewhere between $452 and $866 million.

Christie's released the preliminary report today. The full report will be shown to Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr the week of December 16.

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Popular music has had stellar examples of singer/songwriters who met in school...whose partnership began at a very young age.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney met when John was 16 and Paul was just 15. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met in grade school. They were 12 years old and had their first hit record, "Hey Schoolgirl," when they were just 16 years old.

Now we want you to meet a Michigan duo who are getting a lot of buzz for their indie-folk songs, The Accidentals.

The Accidentals are Katie Larson and Savannah Buist, who met at the Interlochen Arts Academy. They are 18 years old, and they joined us today from Traverse City.

Listen to the full interview above.

Parsing used to be restricted to sentences, but now we can parse all kinds of things.

This week on That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan talk about the verbs to parse and to vet.

Parsing originally came from the Latin noun pars, meaning “parts”  as in “parts of speech.” When parse appeared in the English language in the 16th century, it referred to analyzing a sentence syntactically by breaking the phrase down to its parts of speech.

However, by the 18th century, parse came to mean “examining something closely by breaking it into component parts,” or even “to understand.” Now, parse has yet another definition to computer programmers, meaning “examining strings.”

user shirl / wikimedia commons

When you think of "The Amish" what comes to mind?

Horses? Buggies? Long dresses and bonnets? Long beards? No electricity?

Well, yes, there is all of that. But there is so much more to the Amish in America, and here in Michigan, where the Amish population numbers around 11,000.

We wanted to find out more about the Amish -- especially what the rest of us might learn from them.

Consider this: how does a one-room Amish schoolhouse - going only to eighth grade, with only a battery-powered clock in the way of "technology" - how do these schools turn out highly successful entrepreneurs whose firms gross annual sales in the million-dollar range?

I'm joined by Gertrude Enders Huntington joined us today. She’s a retired professor from the University of Michigan. She is the co-author of "Amish Children: Education in the Family, School, and Community.”

*Listen to the audio above.

sideshowmom / Morgue File

Ask anyone here at Michigan Radio who walks by my cubicle: I love my husband, kids and grandson. I love the countryside in County Cork Ireland, and I love Roger Daltrey of The Who.

Why do they know that?

Because all around my desk, I've tacked up photos of my family, of the fields of West Cork, and of my meeting with the legendary Who singer.

It's something I've always done at my desks throughout my career.

But an intriguing study by University of Michigan researchers suggests I might not be doing myself a favor with such "visible expressions" of my personal life.

Joining me is one of the five co-authors of the research paper, set for publication in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at UofM.

Storycorps website.

StoryCorps is celebrating its 10th anniversary of bringing us conversations that move us, make us laugh, make us think...and of course, draw some tears. 

Today, we talk with the founder of StoryCorps, David Isay about their new book "Ties that Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps”.

Zuu Mumu Entertainment / Flickr

All too often, as school districts are forced to cut spending, programs like music get the ax.

And that sorry fact robs students of the chance to learn music, to make music, and leaves one to wonder: Where are the musicians of the future going to come from?

One Ann Arbor Elementary School is teaming up with the University of Michigan School of Music for a unique approach to teaching music...and they are turning to Venezuela for inspiration.

It's called El Sistema.

The program originated in Venezuela, and the idea was to teach disadvantaged children, to help them discoverer the power of music.

I spoke with Professor John Ellis with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where among other things, he is Director of Community and Preparatory Programs - and Horacio Contreras Espionoza, he is a UofM grad student studying cello, and he is an El Sistema teacher at Mitchell Elementary School in Ann Arbor.

Courtesy of the University of Michigan Library

 

There's an exhibit going on now  through December 8 at the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. It's entitled "American Foodways: The Jewish Contribution."

Janice Bluestein Longone is the co-curator of the university's new exhibit.

She has spent more than four decades creating a 25,000-item library of American culinary literature -- one of the largest, most acclaimed private collections in the world.

But, Jan says she was surprised by the outpouring of support she received from the Jewish community.

Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

An open air art installation in Detroit has become the subject of a suspected arson rampage.

It's had 6 suspicious fires in 7 months.

The fires have demolished several homes that are key to the art project, but the artist behind the project says he’s energized by the wreckage and is ready to begin another stage of his art project.

The Heidelberg Project is on the east side of Detroit and takes over two city blocks.

Bruno Postigo / Facebook

That’s “Hollow and Akimbo” on their new EP “Pseudoscience” on Quite Scientific Records.

Their electro-pop is winning this Ann Arbor duo some very warm praise from critics, including some in the UK.

Hollow & Akimbo duo Jon Visger and Brian Konicek joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The historic steam locomotive that inspired the movie, "Polar Express" is back on the rails after four years of renovations.

The effort took a lot of steel, four thousand bolts, a million dollars, and countless volunteer labor hours.

The massive Pere Marquette 1225 in Owosso is one of a few remaining operable steam engines of its size.

Aarne Frobom is President of the Board of Directors for the Steam Railroading Institute. He says the train is a living history lesson.

“Because language change.” Is this a sentence? 

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the changing use of because and slash.

On Tuesday, an article  in The Atlantic by Megan Garber brought attention to a new usage of because. Because can now be followed by a noun, adjective or gerund like in the phrase, “Because Internet.”  

“Because is traditionally a subordinating conjunction, so it requires a clause after it, as in, ‘I’m late because I was watching videos on YouTube,’” Curzan describes. “Or it can be a compound preposition, like, ‘I’m late because of the traffic.’”  

Today, thanks to the evolution of language on the Internet, people are writing and saying phrases like: “I’m late because YouTube,” “I’m not going out because tired,” or “I’m late because running.”

michiganopera.org

Detroit sure has seen its share of challenges in the past

4o years, but all through that time the city has been home to one of the most vibrant regional opera companies in the nation: The Michigan Opera Theatre.

The founder of the MOT is Dr. David DiChiera.

He’s recently been named the 2013 Kresge Eminent Artist. That prize is the Kresge Foundation’s annual lifetime achievement award in the Arts.

It’s been called the most prestigious local prize in the field of culture. David, We welcomed David to the program today.

*Listen to the audio above.

Myra Klarman

There is no questioning the data: Buddhism is a force to be reckoned with. Estimates of the number of practicing Buddhists around the world ranges from 350-million all the way up to 1.6 billion.

 Buddhism is also recognized as one of the fastest-growing religions in the world. A University of Michigan professor has spent the past 12 years putting together what's being hailed as the most authoritative and comprehensive reference on Buddhism ever produced in English. It is "The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism," co-authored by Robert Buswell of UCLA, and Donald Lopez. He is the Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and he is a Distinguished Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan.

FAILURE:LAB / FAILURE:LAB

Bill Gates once declared, “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Of course, we all fail at times. But many of us try to cover those mistakes up, or at the very least, choose not to broadcast our failures.

One Michigan group is looking to change that — not only talking about our shortcomings and errors, but sharing them on a stage. FAILURE:LAB brings together storytellers, talking about when they’ve failed, and gives the audience a chance to reflect on the stories told. Because according to the folks at FAILURE:LAB, failure can help inspire us to take intelligent risks.

FAILURE:LAB is coming to Detroit this Thursday. We talked to Austin Dean, co-founder of the group, about what FAILURE:LAB is, and what it can do for audience members and storytellers alike. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

user MIKI Yoshihito / Flickr

A recent essay in The New York Times poses an intriguing question: Is music the key to success?

A striking list of notables from many different fields have one thing in common: they all played some sort of musical instrument. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who played clarinet and saxophone, Microsoft co-founder and guitarist Paul Allen, and Condoleeza Rice, who trained to be a concert pianist before becoming our 66th Secretary of State all have linked their music training to their professional accomplishments.

We wanted to take a closer look at the impact playing music can have on the way we learn and how we work.

We talked to Siobhan Cronin, a Masters student at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Cronin, who studied economics, French and music as an undergrad, is now working on her next degree in violin and viola performance.

Listen to the full interview above.

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