Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

The Detroit Zoo has a new polar bear named Tundra

Jun 28, 2016
Tundra, the Detroit Zoo's newest polar bear, arrived this weekend from Indianapolis.
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Zoo

On the polar opposite of an Arctic day, the Detroit Zoo officially introduced its newest guest on Monday: Tundra, a 29-year-old polar bear relocated over the weekend from the Indianapolis Zoo. 

"Tundra arrived over the weekend and is acclimating very well to her new environment, said Ron Kagan, executive director for the Detroit Zoological Society, in a statement. "She is sweet and curious and rather sprightly for an elderly bear." 

Muslims break their fast with an Iftar, or evening meal
Norris/Michigan Radio & Amila Tennakoon/Flickr

I’ve always been curious about what it’s like to fast all day long for Ramadan and then break the fast with an Iftar, or evening meal.

Luckily, I can explore my curiosity as part of my job as the arts and culture reporter for Michigan Radio and bring back the information and stories I’ve learned to our listeners.

Ramadan 101

Flint River and water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis is now an important piece of the city's story and history.

It will affect the city and its residents for decades to come.  

Michigan Radio and countless other local and national news outlets have reported various aspects of the crisis, from how it unfolded to how the crisis will affect the city's children as they grow into adults. And that reporting will continue into the foreseeable future, since Flint water is still not safe to drink, unfiltered.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 

We hear about the many ways that Dan Gilbert and the Ilitch family are reshaping downtown Detroit. We hear about the new businesses, bistros, bars and restaurants in Corktown, Midtown. Yet, the question persists: What about the neighborhoods?

 

All around Detroit, there are homeowners who have made the choice to stay, to roll up their sleeves and do for their neighborhoods what the city has not been able to do.

 

Chuck Brooks is one of those homeowners. He joined us on Stateside.

The film focuses on tribes in the midwest
Screen grab of "Our Fires Still Burn"

Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience is a documentary film that follows the lives of Native Americans who are fighting to keep their culture and traditions alive for us here today and for future generations.

Levi Rickert is one of the film's producers. He joined us to talk about Our Fires Still Burn, the resurgence of Native American culture he's seen in his lifetime, and what he hopes people will take away from the film. 

Flickr user Arielle Fragassi/Flickr

Michigan has a rich history of wonderful writers. Among them are more than a few marquee names, but there are so many more whose works have been put on the shelf and are waiting to be rediscovered.

Jack Dempsey and his brother Dave Dempsey are doing their best to call attention to these unheralded Michigan writers with their latest book, Ink Trails II: Michigan's Famous and Forgotten Authors.

The book brings 16 writers' stories to the forefront to help readers rediscover them or discover them for the first time.

Make Music Detroit aims to celebrate music and promote music education.
Courtesy of Make Music Detroit

 

Make Music Days have appeared in 700 cities in 120 countries across the world. The events are inspired by France’s Fête de la Musique, a celebration inaugurated in 1982, and they occur on the summer solstice, June 21. Now, it’s coming to Detroit.

Make Music Detroit will feature more than 100 performers, professional and amateur, at 24 venues, and it will run this Tuesday from noon to midnight.

Mike Woo, the event producer for Make Music Detroit, joined us to discuss how Make Music came to Detroit and their goals for the event.

Courtesy of violashipman.com

Now that we've gotten ourselves past Memorial Day, nice lazy weeks of summer reading beckon. Packing supplies for a day at the beach has to include a book. Here's a great suggestion for a beach read: The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman. It's perfect because it is set in the fictional Michigan beach town of Scoops. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Whiskey Sour

2 oz. bourbon or rye

3/4 oz simple syrup

3/4 oz lemon juice

1 tsp egg white (or more as preferred)

Combine all ingredients in shaker without ice. Shake for several seconds, then add ice and shake again. Strain into any glass you like.

"Who wants the hand that rocks the cradle mixing whisky sours?"

That little gem was one of the arguments to make it illegal for women to tend bar. That's after they'd been slinging drinks throughout World War II. Many of the male bartenders were in the military.

Mendez currently works with Minute Men Staffing Services, a staffing agency located in Southwest Detroit. She says the work environment treated her well, but she felt that as a woman she didn’t have as many advantages as a man would.
DJC

“Let’s go take my daddy out of that place. I miss him why is he there?”

These were the words of a three-year-old Dana whose father had just been detained to be deported.

The mother, Mireya, says the little girl cried every night, saying she wanted her father home and was confused as to why he was in there in the first place, demanding that he is brought home to her. The mother says on one visit to the detention facility, the daughter asked her to break the glass, unbeknown to the child that she would probably never see her father free any time soon.

Courtesy of Robert Downes

 

Bicycle paths are expanding every year in Michigan. In the northern part of the Mitten, there are a bunch of great bike paths and there’s a book to help guide you.

 

Robert Downes’ "Biking Northern Michigan: The Best & Safest Routes in the Lower Peninsula"  describes 1,400 miles of bike paths and attractions along the way.

 

Courtesy of Jeff Smith

Faith is a very personal thing.

For some people, finding a faith that brings their lives meaning takes time and a whole lot of searching.

Bill Moser's family undertook such a journey, and eventually joined the Amish community in their search for a life that reflected their faith. Their story is told in a new book called Becoming Amish.

Beowulf Sheehan

 

What would’ve happened if Lee Harvey Oswald missed and John F Kennedy lived?

That’s the premise of David Means' first novel, “Hystopia.” Means is a fiction writer born and raised in Kalamazoo.

 

Set in and around Michigan, the novel re-imagines the state during the Vietnam War era. Traumatized veterans run amok throughout the state. The novel explores the nature of memory, trauma and history.

 

Means joined us to talk about his new book and his relationship to his home state.

Laith Al-Saadi performing Ed Sheeran's "Make It Rain" on "The Voice"
screengrab

One night early in March, the rest of America discovered what audiences here in Michigan have known for years:  Laith Al-Saadi​ is a musical powerhouse.

That blind audition on NBC's The Voice had stars Blake Shelton and Adam Levine raving about Al-Saadi's voice.

And, as a member of Team Adam, Al-Saadi went on to finish fourth.

The Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan turns 150 years old.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan’s oldest opera house, the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, is 150 years old.

Jere Righter, Artistic Director for the Croswell, joined Stateside to talk about the history and the future of the venue that has seen countless performers, speakers, plays and events over the last century and a half.

Righter says the venue was once used for animal shows, poultry sales, lectures and plays put on by the community. It was also a place for big, national shows and speakers to perform.

Keith Wunderlich

Detroit is celebrating Vernors 150th anniversary this week. That celebration winds up tomorrow, when the city will try to set a world record for most pop drinkers at a time.

Keith Wunderlich, curator of Vernors collectibles, joined us on Stateside today to talk about the iconic company, which started with Ginger Ale.

Catie Newell, Nightly

To many of us, darkness and light are just something you affect by flicking a light switch or snuffing a candle.

But for University of Michigan architecture assistant Catie Newell, light is a condition and a "material."

Courtesy of The Moth

Some fine storytelling is coming to the Wharton Center at Michigan State University.

The Moth Mainstage happens tomorrow night, June 9, at 7:30.

Jay Allison, producer of The Moth Radio Hour, joined us today to talk about the event, the Moth's history and the often overlooked importance of storytelling.

GUEST

Jay Allison is producer of The Moth Radio Hour. He tweets @jay_allison.

Anne Corlett painting in Wyoming
photo courtesty of Anne Corlett

Let's say you're an artist.

You've spent years capturing the beauty of your home state.

And now, a new adventure calls to you: hit the road with your paints, brushes and easel, and capture a landscape from all 50 states.

Do you talk yourself out of this immense undertaking? Or give in to that siren call?

Saugatuck artist Anne Corlett chose to answer that call of adventure.

After three years, 29,604 miles of driving and 164 days away from home, she's done it.

A Vernor's delivery man in 1909.
Courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society

Vernors, the ginger ale that has become one of Michigan’s oldest and most celebrated brands since a pharmacy on Woodward Avenue began offering it in 1866, is a century and a half old this week.

The Detroit Historical Society is celebrating with a full slate of events centered around the Mitten State’s favorite soft drink, including a June 11 party at the Detroit Historical Museum.

That event will feature appearances by James Vernor V and James Vernor VI, the great-great- and great-great-great grandsons of James Vernor, who invented the drink, as legend has it, by accident.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A pre-school art project in Flint is being praised by a world-renowned artist.

As an art project, the class at the U of M-Flint Early Childhood Center created a chandelier from thin strips from painted plastic water bottles.

The Center has plenty of water bottled because of Flint’s lead tainted drinking water crisis.

The two-year olds in the class are among those most at risk by Flint’s tainted drinking water.

Ivan Moshchuk will perform at Orchestra Hall on June 9, in the first solo piano concert presented by ProMusic in over 10 years.
Marco Borggreve

Ivan Moshchuk has been playing piano publicly since he was a young teenager. 

Born in Russia and raised in Grosse Pointe, Moshchuk became the first Michigan artist to win the Gilmore Young Artists award in 2010. 

He's since gone on to perform in concert halls around the world.

Watch Moshchuk perform Prelude in B minor by J.S. Bach, arranged by Alexander Siloti:

Michigan Radio has a new Morning Edition host!

Thousands of Michiganders will now wake up to hear Doug Tribou manning the microphone.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

  

Love Interruption by Liz Cosby, beverage director, Rock City Eatery

2-3 sprigs thyme

1/2 oz simple syrup

1-1/2 oz White Blossom Vodka (this is an infused vodka; other vodkas will change the taste)

1/2 oz Cointreau

2 oz grapefruit juice

Muddle two sprigs of thyme with simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake, strain into ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with remaining thyme.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Symphony has made one of the most important decisions an orchestra makes: selecting a new music director. The search for a new director has taken the better part of four years.

Brazil native Marcelo Lehninger says he felt a “great chemistry” with Grand Rapids' musicians when he guest-conducted in 2015 and earlier this year.

“Every single concert that orchestra plays, you know we need to convey that passion, because that, it’s really what gets to people’s hearts,” Lehninger said.

Richard T. James

The Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education was awarded to Detroit teacher Marilyn McCormick. She was picked out of 1,100 candidates who were nominated by people across the country. McCormick will be recognized during the live Tony Award broadcast on June 12. In addition, the Cass Technical performing arts program will receive a $10,000 grant.

 

What happened to Midwestern history?

Jun 1, 2016
A map of Michigan and Wisconsin
FLICKER USER NORMAN B. LEVENTHAL MAP CENTER/FLICKR / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

What happened to Midwestern history?

 

In places like the West, New England and the South, universities and professors are dedicated to studying regional histories. But in the Midwest, not so much.

 

Jon Lauck, a history professor and author of “The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History,” says the field of Midwestern history used to be robust. Yet, after World War II, the field declined to the point where there was no academic journal or association dedicated to it.

Lauck is also president of the Midwestern History Association. The organization is holding its second annual Midwestern History Association conference June, 1 at the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University.

The Accidentals are Katie Larson, Michael Dause and Savannah Buist
Tony Demin

The Accidentals have been busy since last we spoke in 2013.

All told, the young musicians performed a whopping 230 shows across the country after graduating high school last year.
 

The dynamic Traverse City trio was named one of Billboard Magazine's top seven breakout acts of South by Southwest in 2015.

And now, they've just released their newest EP, Parking Lot.

Stateside 5.31.2016

May 31, 2016

Today, the Stateside test kitchen tried its hand at morel mushrooms. And, we learned about a plan to fix metro Detroit's public transit system.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Warm weather is here across Michigan, and with it brings fresh food out of our gardens. One of those delicious, fresh dishes you can make is morel mushroom conserva. The Stateside Test Kitchen was lucky enough to have Chef James Rigato come into the studio to share his recipe.

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