Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
5:53 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Where do Michigan Radio's story ideas come from?

Nancy Q. is considered a rock star in certain circles
KN

When people find out I work in radio, there are usually a few classic questions they ask.

"How'd you get into it?" (I got my foot in the door as an intern.) "Are you related to Michelle Norris?" (Nope.) "Where do your story ideas come from?" (From different news outlets, TV Shows, books, people, press releases, conversations, and a lot of times from my own curiosity.)

But another place our stories come from is you. We read and listen to the letters and calls you send us, and occasionally, we bite.

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Arts & Culture
1:06 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Stateside: Mitch Albom tackles 'time' in new book

Mitch Albom.
Facebook

As you hurry through your day, checking your watch, checking the clock, trying to squeeze more and more into your waking hours, did you ever stop and wonder...

What would it be like to live without an awareness of time?

How does that constant awareness of time passing, time running out, affect our very existence?

Mitch Albom got to wondering about these very questions.

The result is his latest novel, The Time Keeper.

 Cyndy spoke with Mitch and asked him how he would describe his book.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Idlewild, the "Black Eden," celebrates 100 years

Bathers at Idlewild Beach in 1940
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

They called it the “Black Eden.”

From the 1920’s to 60’s, tens of thousands of African Americans poured into the resort town of Idlewild, Michigan. They came to escape steaming summers in segregated cities, and to see some of the greatest musicians of the age.

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State of Opportunity
11:18 am
Wed September 5, 2012

9-year-old Leah Rice is "Live from the kitchen!"

Leah Rice.
courtesy Melissa and Jeffrey Rice

Today, the State of Opportunity team turned their microphone over to 9-year-old Leah Rice.

She reflects on her family, highlights of her summer and her thoughts on going back to school.

(She was placed in an advanced class, to which she says "uh, Boo-yah!".)

You can hear Leah's story here.

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Arts & Culture
12:21 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Watch your tongue: Why some words are taboo

Taboo words can be so powerful they won’t be uttered.

Michigan Radio's Rina Miller talks with Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan, who specializes in linguistics.

According to Curzan, taboo words tend to cluster around matters such as sex, death, and religion. In fact “occupy” used to be one of those words.

“In the 17th and 18th century this word  fell out of use because it had sexual connotation,” said Curzan.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Documentary wraps featuring Detroit plane crash survivor

screen shot WDIV

Filming has wrapped on a documentary featuring the only survivor of the 1987 plane crash near Detroit.

Twenty-five years after Northwest Flight 255 killed some 150 passengers, Cecelia Cichan is telling her story publicly for the first time.

She was just four years old when she survived the crash that killed her parents and brother. Now she and 13 other lone survivors of commercial crashes are the focus of the film entitled "Sole Survivor."

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Arts & Culture
3:49 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Visitors at the Great Lakes State Fair enjoy new location, miss the butter cow (video)

Great Lakes State Fair visitors play games on the midday.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State Fair in Detroit was canceled two years ago due to budget cuts. This year there's a new fair, with a new name and location. It's privately owned and operated.

The Great Lakes State Fair kicked off in Novi today. Oakland County Commissioner Kathy Crawford was at a preview event last night.

“The old state fair the grounds and everything were familiar to me, that’s what I grew up with, so this is new, but at least it’s here, at least we have a semblance of the state fair. And it’s just young, you know, I know it’s going to grow. And we're very excited to welcome everyone to Novi,” she said.

The fair is located at the Suburban Collection Showplace, in Novi. It has all the essentials - livestock and agriculture exhibits, a midway with rides, games and food, and daily circus performances.

Visitors say it’s pretty good, so far.

"My favorite thing about the state fair is the circus,” said 12-year-old Kera Stoehr. "Because, I want to be an acrobat when I get older."

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Arts & Culture
6:48 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Michigan State Fair revived under new name, "Great Lakes State Fair"

After a two-year hiatus, organizers say Michigan's state fair is back - but it will have a new name and location.

Blair Bowman  runs the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.   That's the expo center where the "Great Lakes State Fair" will be.  It opens to the public on Friday.

The fair will be under a roof instead of in the open. But it will have the same livestock and agricultural exhibits, pie-eating contests, and the like.

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Arts & Culture
5:08 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Rare Nazi railway car gets permanent home in Michigan museum

One of the original Nazi boxcars used to transport Jews
JoJan wiki commons

Construction starts today  on a new exhibit at Michigan's Holocaust Memorial Center. It will showcase what's likely one of the last existing Nazi railway cars.

Millions of European Jews were transported to concentration camps in these boxcars.  Allied Forces later commandeered the trains.  That's according to Stephen M. Goldman, the museum's director.

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Arts & Culture
1:32 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Activist Tom Hayden to commemorate the Port Huron Statement tonight

Tom Hayden, co-author of the Port Huron Statement.
user KCET Departures Flickr

Activist Tom Hayden will be in Port Huron tonight to commemorate the Port Huron Statement.

A group of university students wrote the statement fifty years ago at a UAW retreat center north of Port Huron.

Hayden was one of the main participants, who was in his early twenties at the time.

The 25,000 word document addressed racism, poverty, the Cold War, and the nuclear arms race.

It was one of the first times there'd been a formal call-to-action for students to be part of a movement pushing for social change.

Arts & Culture
3:41 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Michigan author dreams up a deadlier Ann Arbor

In Very Bad Men, Seva is Sen. John Casterbridge's favorite restaurant. Dolan won't say if he's a good guy or not, because "that would be giving it away."
Vasenka via Flickr

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:32 pm

Ask Harry Dolan to take you for lunch at a restaurant he's written about, and he won't disappoint. In downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., on Liberty Street, the vegetarian restaurant Seva serves mushroom sliders and yam fries that both the crime writer and his characters are quite fond of. With any luck, you'll also catch the perfect song playing in the background — "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads.

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Arts & Culture
12:50 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Driving tour gets up close and personal with War of 1812

War of 1812 re-enactors at Fort Malden in Amherstberg, Ontario.
www.fortmalden.ca

The United States and Canada haven't always been on good terms. Two hundred years ago, we were at war. Now there's a collaboration to explain the war  and honor those who died.

And what better way to learn about history  than to retrace its steps? That’s what organizers of a War of 1812-themed driving tour suggest.

The tour includes parts of Michigan, Ohio and southern Ontario.

Nancy Darga is director of Motor Cities National Heritage area.

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That's What They Say
8:54 am
Sun August 26, 2012

A little word can annoy lots of people

Listeners have pointed out that more people are using the word "so" in speech.

Michigan Radio's Rina Miller talks with Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan, who specializes in linguistics.

Curzan says, "These little words are called discourse markers. They're the words that help us organize conversations. Words like so, well, and you know, I mean."

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Arts & Culture
6:20 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Supporters of man detained in Iran host benefit concert

Courtesy: Free Amir Freeamir.org

Supporters of a Michigan man who's been held for a year in Iran will hold a benefit concert in Flint tomorrow.

The Iranian government accuses Amir Hekmati of working for the CIA. The U.S. government denies that.

Ramy Kurdi is Hekmati's brother-in-law, and helped organize the concert. He says money raised from ticket sales will help the family with their legal fees. But he says it's just as much about raising awareness.

"We'd like people to know who Amir is, and that's not a secret," said Kurdi. "He's an outstanding person, outstanding son, citizen, brother, uncle, friend."

Hekmati was sentenced to death in January. There have been reports out of Iran that its Supreme Court has ordered a retrial. But family members say they have yet to get an official notice of that.

The concert is tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the University of Michigan-Flint theater.

Commentary
9:38 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Commentary: Walking 'Ink Trails'

Normally at this time of day I talk to you about some current political or economic shenanigans. And I could talk today about the continuing election-rigging scandal in Grand Rapids, or about the rising unemployment rate across the state.

Well, there will be lots to say about those and many other problems before long. But it’s the last weekend before the final Labor Day holiday. The weather may even be nice enough to go sit on the beach and avoid political ads.

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1:56 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Pure Michigan 'lip dub' video crew films in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti

Lead in text: 
Status Creative, the media firm responsible for the viral "lip dub" video shot in Grand Rapids last year, is at it again. They have teamed up with the Pure Michigan campaign to shoot another lip dub video featuring shots from 50 Michigan cities captured in one week. Here are some pictures of the process when the crew came to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti yesterday.
  • Source: Annarbor
  • | Via: Elaine Ezekiel
Two area landmarks in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti were in the spotlight Wednesday as the Pure Michigan tourism campaign made a stop at Michigan Stadium and the Ypsilanti water tower. When completed, the video will showcase 50 cities throughout the state of Michigan and will have a modified version of the song "Good Time" by Owl City and "Call Me Maybe" singer Carly Rae Jepsen.
Arts & Culture
1:54 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Ann Arbor will decide how to fund public art in Nov.

A public art installation proposed for the Justice Center Lobby approved by the city's art commission in May.
Ann Arbor Public Art Commission City of Ann Arbor

Last night, the Ann Arbor City Council voted to put a four-year art tax question on the November ballot.

AnnArbor.com reports the council approved the question for the ballot 10-0, with council member Margie Teall absent.

City Council estimates the 0.1 mill will cost each homeowner about $11 per year, and accrue $459,273 in the first year.

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That's What They Say
9:19 am
Sun August 19, 2012

The 'ofen' confusing world of English pronunciation

When you say the words soften or often, do you pronounce the "t"?

This week on That’s What They Say, we explore the reintroduction of the silent letters. Michigan Radio's Rina Miller talks with Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan, who specializes in linguistics.

The words "soften" and "often" have gone through some pronunciation changes, says Curzan.

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Arts & Culture
7:35 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Songs From Studio East: With Detroit-based musician Nadir

Logan Chadde / Michigan Radio

The Book of Jonah is the new album from Nadir Omowale.  It’s a blend of soul music, rock, funk and blues. While there are songs about love and relationships, themes of social and political consciousness carry through the album.

“I never felt like I had to fashion myself into one particular style. I grew up on Prince and The Time and Cameo and all that good stuff, and so funk is all deep within my soul. And I grew up in a small town in east Tennessee, so there were country music influences, there was a lot of Van Halen and rock and roll and so I love all of that music," Nadir told Michigan Radio's Jennifer White.

Religious themes are also found in his work. Nadir says growing up within a Baptist family in Tennessee has influenced him greatly.  Although his new album is not as political as his last, Distorted Soul 2.0, he says his interest in politics and culture continues.

"And it's really inspired by a lot of the struggles that we've dealt with here in Michigan, and in Detroit especially, and what I've seen over the last couple of years is so much positive energy building as we're moving forward," said Nadir.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about Nadir's newest album The Book of Jonah, including the song he wrote with guitarist and singer Mayaeni, titled 95 Miles Down the Road.

And click on the video below to see Nadir performing in our studio:

Arts & Culture
11:48 am
Wed August 15, 2012

DIA attendance more than triples after voter-approved millage

The Diego Rivera mural at the DIA. The museum had a good week after their millage passed in three counties.
DIA

Last Tuesday, the Detroit Institute of Arts got a major vote of confidence from area voters when they approved a millage request to fund the museum. Taxpayer support means the museum will have a stable source of funding for the next ten years.

The next day, the museum was free to the residents in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

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