Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
10:29 am
Mon July 29, 2013

A Saginaw artist tries to make things better, and the town responds

Doug Coombe

An artist makes art and a city responds

The entire city of Saginaw is a canvas for 37-year-old artist Eric Schantz. But the reverse of that statement is also true. Schantz’s body is a canvas for this city that struggles with poverty, unemployment, and violence.

He’s got a giant tattoo with the words “Saginaw Proper” scrawled onto his muscular right forearm, in red lettering with blue embellishments.

“It reminds me every day to make something beautiful out of the pain this city has caused me. The red letters represent the blood that has been shed and reminds me of all the friends I have lost to this city’s violence. Or the suicides and overdoses that are a result of the depressed nature of our reality.”

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That's What They Say
11:23 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Rhetoric: postive, negative, or both?

Calling speech “rhetoric” nowadays is often viewed as an insult, rather than as a compliment. Especially in relation to politics, “rhetoric” is used almost exclusively as a negative term.

On this week’s edition of “That’s What They Say,” Professor of English at the University of Michigan, Anne Curzan, and host Rina Miller discuss the confusion with the word “rhetoric” in public discourse.

According to Curzan, the historical definition of rhetoric is “the art of using language effectively in order to persuade others.” Rhetoric is viewed today as positive in some circles. It’s an art form for those who can speak well, and persuade others with conviction. However, more and more this former art has been viewed in a more negative light.

“By the 17th century, we start to see some use where people are using ‘rhetoric’ to talk about sort of overblown speech, speech that is big words, but maybe not backed up...from there it gets more and more negative, and I think now you’ll hear people use it to talk about words that seem empty to them. It’s just rhetoric," explains Curzan.

So when did “rhetoric” become so closely, and negatively tied with politics? Anne Curzan says:

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Arts & Culture
3:01 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

New art project hopes to lift up Flint's housing image

Artist's conception of 'Mark's House' which was chosen by the Flint Public Art Project and the Flint Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Flint Public Art Project

Construction is scheduled to start Monday on a unique take on Flint’s housing crisis.

Many Flint homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. In response, artists are erecting a floating home in the middle of a downtown Flint parking lot. The faux single family home will rest on a pedestal, covered in reflective material, creating the illusion the home is floating.

Jerome Chou is with the Flint Public Art Project. He says the designers took inspiration from Flint’s legion of abandoned and foreclosed homes.

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Arts & Culture
8:23 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Big event for Camp Grayling's 100th birthday

Camp Grayling

GRAYLING, Mich. (AP) - Camp Grayling is 100 years old.

Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow are participating in events Saturday to celebrate the camp's centennial. There will be military ceremonies, music, food and fireworks. More than 4,000 active Michigan service members are expected to attend.

Camp Grayling covers 230 square miles, primarily in Crawford County in northern Michigan.

Arts & Culture
2:16 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Both art and science, Art Fair features images from under the microscope

Wearing His Heart On His Sleeve
Bioartography Project University of Michigan

Visitors to the Ann Arbor Art Fair saw some unusual art if they stopped by the University of Michigan Health System's booth this week. The Bioartography project features images of cells taken under a microscope.

Researcher Deborah Gumucio is director of the project. She says just about all of the images that doctors, post-docs and other researchers submit are incredibly beautiful, resembling abstract art. A panel of artists sorts through and selects the best.

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Arts & Culture
10:52 am
Thu July 18, 2013

The 40-Year-Old Photo That Gives Us A Reason To Smile

This 1973 photo of five children playing in a Detroit suburb has gone viral on the Internet. The children were Rhonda Shelly, 3 (from left), Kathy Macool, 7, Lisa Shelly, 5, Chris Macool, 9, and Robert Shelly, 6.
Joe Crachiola Courtesy of The Macomb Daily

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:57 pm

In late July 1973, Joseph Crachiola was wandering the streets of Mount Clemens, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, with his camera. As a staff photographer for the Macomb Daily, he was expected to keep an eye out for good feature images — "those little slices of life that can stand on their own."

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5:35 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Michigan's craft beer industry is growing, calling for stricter water control measures

Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

An interview with Scott Graham and Jason Spaulding.

Michigan loves its beer.

That's just about the only conclusion you can make about the news that Michigan is number five in the nation in the number of breweries and eighth in craft beer output.

Scott Graham is the executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild, and he joined us today to talk about the industry’s growth.

And, we also spoke with a Michigan brewer who is calling for tougher clean water standards.

A dispute is bubbling and brewing between environmentalists and business groups over whether to expand wetlands and waterway protections, long-delayed updates of the federal Clean Water Act.

The environmentalists hope these updates will give the EPA more muscle with which to protect our waters.

Many Michigan business groups take the position that this would be costly and would not pack much benefit.

Joining the side of the environmentalists are 20 craft beer brewers, including seven from Michigan. They've written to President Obama to argue that pure clean water is essential to making good beer.

Among the Michigan brewers pushing for stricter water control measures is Jason Spaulding, owner of Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:28 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Photography exhibit shows connections between Detroit and the ancient city of Petra

Petra was established in 312 BC.
Chris Yunker Flickr

An interview with photographer Susan Webb.

To study archeology means to study the activity of humans in the past.

What can we learn from studying the buildings, the artifacts, the cultural landscapes of past civilizations? And how far back in the past do you go? Many centuries ago? Or just a few decades?

Based on a special exhibition that’s in its final few days at the Kelsey Museum of Archeology, perhaps the answer is both.

Photographer Susan Webb’s exhibit “Red Rock and Rust Belt” shows the connections between two cities that are separated by thousands of miles and many centuries: the ancient site of Petra established around 312 B.C. in what is now Jordan -- and Detroit, especially the Detroit of the industrial 20th century.

What can we learn by studying these two cities in side-by-side photographs?

Susan Webb, who has basically had a camera in her hand since her Dad gave her a Kodak Brownie when she was just eight, joined us today to talk about her exhibit.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
4:47 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Report: Metro Detroit immigrants don't follow typical patterns

Global Detroit published a map of foreign-born Metro Detroiters. Immigrants make up eight percent of the Southeastern Michigan area on average.
Credit Global Detroit

A report released today on metro Detroit's foreign-born population shows between five and 15% of people in Southeastern Michigan are immigrants. The study, conducted by Global Detroit and Data Driven Detroit, shows metro Detroit's immigrants don't follow traditional patterns of foreign-born populations in urban areas.

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3:14 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

It was built in Detroit for Civil War Union Army veterans, now some are working to save it

The Grand Army of the Republic Building.

If you've ever driven on Grand River on Detroit's West Side, chances are you've spotted it. The building that looks like a small castle right there on the corner of Grand River and Cass with those crenelated turrets looking like something out of medieval England or France.

The building was a used as a meeting space for a fraternal organization formed for Civil War Union Army veterans - the Grand Army of the Republic. When its last living members were dwindling, the organization left the building.

Fans of the Grand Army of the Republic building will be heartened to hear that it has some champions: three men who are doing their best to save it from the sad list of Detroit's architectural gems that have been allowed to decay or have fallen to the wrecker's ball.

And these three do not have deep-pockets.

Dan Austin is a writer for the Detroit Free Press, and he also runs the Detroit architectural resource

He joined us today to talk about the building.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
12:04 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Ann Arbor approves skatepark, shredding will commence before 'snow flies'

A conceptual drawing of the Ann Arbor skatepark. The park will be built in Veterans Memorial Park later this year.
Ann Arbor Skatepark Facebook

After a long campaign to get it built, the Ann Arbor city council voted to approve a $1 million contract to build a skatepark at last night's meeting.

From the Ann Arbor Skatepark Facebook Page:

Passed unanimously. As soon as contracts are signed, & other details finalized, construction will begin. We skate before the snow flies.

And here's more from the Ann Arbor Chronicle

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Arts & Culture
12:11 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

U of M Professor discovers 'radical' new language in Australia

Aerial view of Lajamanu, where the new language was discovered.
Australian Government

A new language has been discovered in a remote aboriginal community of Lajamanu in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Dr. Carmel O’Shannessy, a linguist at the University of Michigan, first discovered the new language while studying in Lajamanu. The language spoken there is Warlpiri – an aboriginal language unrelated to English.

Over the last decade O’Shannessy has documented the emergence of “Light Warlpiri” or Warlpiri rampaku in the region.

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That's What They Say
8:19 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Nautical expressions in everyday speech

When you give someone "leeway" or tell someone to "pipe down," you may not realize you're using the language of sailors.

On this week’s edition of “That’s What They Say,” host Rina Miller and Professor of English at the University of Michigan Anne Curzan talk about all that sailing has given to the English language.

The more obvious ones for example are: “taking the wind out someone’s sails, being dead in the water, rocking the boat.”

But, did you know the term “to bail something out” is actually a nautical expression?

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Arts & Culture
11:59 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Ford at 100

President Gerald R. Ford
The National Archives

Michigan celebrates what would have been President Gerald R. Ford's 100th birthday this weekend.

Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and attended the University of Michigan in his youth.

Jim Kratsas is the Deputy Director at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. He says the late president's legacy is known around his native Michigan.

“It's a time to celebrate Michigan's favorite son,” says Kratsas.

He says the late president was also deeply involved in the local community.

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5:47 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

University of Michigan teacher climbs Mount Everest

Scott DeRue at the summit of Mount Everest.

An interview with Scott DeRue, a teacher at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

When you think about the school classes that meant the most to you, chances are the ones that had the most impact were the ones that translated into real-world experience.

What could be more real-world than teaching lessons learned in climbing to the summit of Mount Everest?

Scott DeRue teaches at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Emerging Leaders Program and co-directs the Ross Leadership Initiative, so he is all about teaching leadership and team development.

His students will be getting lessons in leadership and teamwork learned the hard way: this past May, Scott DeRue climbed to the summit of Mount Everest.

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5:16 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

The drive-in movie theater celebrates its 80th anniversary

The Ford-Wyoming drive-in movie theater in Detroit.
Jim Rees Flickr

An interview with Philip Hallman with the University of Michigan's Department of Screen Arts and Culture.

Ask any baby-boomer about some of their best memories growing up and chances are good that a drive-in theater figures in there somewhere.

It was a wonderful and uniquely American thing: roll up to the parking spot, perch the little speaker on your window, order lots of food, and watch movies from your car. Kids would go in their PJs and watch movies while lying on the roof. For teenagers in the 50s, 60s and 70s, well, perhaps the movie was a secondary attraction.

This summer marks the 80 year anniversary of the invention of the drive-in movie theater. After a slow start, the trend really took off. Detroit got its first drive-in theater in 1938.

Let's take a trip back in time to the glory days of the drive-in. Joining us is Philip Hallman with the University of Michigan's Department of Screen Arts and Culture.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:14 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

New book tells the story of 5 Michigan nurses and medics caught behind Nazi lines in WWII

Cate Lineberry, author of "The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines."

An interview with author Cate Lineberry.

It's been nearly 70 years since the last bomb fell and the last bullet was fired in World War II, but stories from the war are still being unearthed.

One of these stories is told in the new book "The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines" by Cate Lineberry.

A plane carrying nurses and medics crash lands in Albania behind Nazi lines, and you would not believe what it took to get these Americans to safety.

It's the kind of story that would make a powerful movie. It has been largely hidden and unknown all these years, and figuring in this story are five nurses and medics from Michigan.

Author Cate Lineberry joined us today from New Orleans.

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Arts & Culture
4:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

First Listen: Mayer Hawthorne, 'Where Does This Door Go'

Mayer Hawthorne's new album, Where Does This Door Go, comes out July 16.
Jeremy Deputat Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:46 am

In the course of three studio albums, Michigan-bred soul singer Mayer Hawthorne has refined his gift for songs that emulate and update his home state's Motown sound.

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Arts & Culture
2:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Detroit stars in new Google Maps ad

A screen cap of the new Google Maps ad, featuring Detroit.
Google Maps YouTube

An ad for the new Google Maps app gives some love to the Motor City.

Comerica Park, L.J.’s Lounge in Corktown, Lafayette Coney Island, and even the People Mover make appearances in the new ad, released by Google today.Of course, "Detroit Rock City," Kiss's homage to Motown, serves as the commercial's soundtrack. 

Check out the ad here:

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Arts & Culture
1:29 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Local magazine shows stories of hope in neglected neighborhoods

A collage from the Model D's "On the Ground" summer series.
Model D

A magazine in Detroit is looking to get a new perspective on the Motor City

Model D is a digital magazine that’s been covering Detroit culture, development, and lack thereof since 2005. Now the small-staffed magazine is starting a new project: starting a summer-long series based in Osborn, a community in northwest Detroit.
From Model D’s Claire Nelson:

“What happens when we hang out in a Detroit neighborhood for a period of 90 days? Who will we meet? What will we learn? Can we eat enough at Capers Steakhouse to get some sort of discount?”

(Capers is an eastside joint known for selling its steaks by the ounce.)

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