Arts & Culture

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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Seeking Change
9:03 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Learning to talk to children about race

It’s difficult for many people to talk about race.  But, studies show, it’s important to talk with kids about race in order to instill unbiased attitudes.  Racial bias can show up as early as 3 years of age.  As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, I spoke with Sarah Salguera, program director for Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance in Holland. She’s trying to get more parents and caregivers to openly discuss race with kids by heading up the program, "Talking to Kids About Race."

More information on the program and studies about how early on racial bias sets in can be found at Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance's website

That's What They Say
8:29 am
Sun August 12, 2012

That's What They Say: Don't misuse prepositions 'on accident'

If something can happen “on purpose,” then why not “on accident.” If you’re over 40, you probably say, “by accident.”

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

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Arts & Culture
10:17 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

South Haven celebrates top crop at National Blueberry Festival this weekend

Contestants had 60 seconds to eat as much blueberry pie as possible, without using their hands.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Michigan is the largest blueberry producing state in the country, and Van Buren County produces the most blueberries in Michigan.

“It’s natures perfect fruit, if you stop and think about it. There’s not any seeds that you have to deal with. You don’t have to peel it. You rinse it. You eat it. And not only do they taste good, they’re good for you,” Shelly Hartmann said.

Hartmann owns The Blueberry Store in downtown South Haven and a huge blueberry farm, True Blue Farms, in Grand Junction.

At The Blueberry Store you can get just about anything with blueberries in it. “Blueberries aren’t just for pancakes and muffins anymore,” Hartmann said.

I spot blueberry bath soaps, blueberry coffee, frozen and fresh blueberries, blueberries in brats and sausages, chocolate covered blueberries, blueberry candles, dog treats, mustard, popcorn, soda pop, butter, cookies, pancake mix, pie filling, jam, jelly and blueberry whoopee pies. Plus there’s dried blueberries, and even blueberry flavored beef jerky. The list goes on and on.

Hartman says this year’s crop has been affected by the dry conditions, but fared much better than other fruits grown in the region.

The National Blueberry Festival celebrating the region’s top fruit crop in South Haven is nearly 50 years old. Organizers typically expect around 40,000 people to come for the blueberry pancake breakfast, the live music, a blueberry parade and the very messy but very entertaining blueberry pie eating contest.

Here's a video the festival posted on youtube of one of the blueberry pie eating contests Friday afternoon.

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Arts & Culture
4:56 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Ann Arbor may vote on a public art tax

"Untitled" is a water sculpture in front of Ann Arbor's city hall
http://www.a2gov.org/government/publicservices/Pages/aapac.aspx

A public art tax may be on the ballot in Ann Arbor this November. The millage would replace the city's current system of funding art installations.

Right now the city has something called the "Percent for Art" program. It sets aside one percent of the budget on capital projects for art installations.  But here's the thing: that art has to be directly linked to whatever project funded it. For example, a $750,000 water sculpture in front of city hall, paid for with storm water utilities.

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Arts & Culture
4:11 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Watch Grand Rapids swing dance group smash world record

People swing dance in Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday nights during the summer.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

 

It’s not unusual to see a thousand people hanging around and swing dancing at Rosa Parks Circle on any given Tuesday night in the summer. The Grand Rapids Original Swing Society (GROSS) has built a reputation as a fun, safe place for people to dance the night away.

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Arts & Culture
5:09 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Should taxpayers "save" the Detroit Institute of Arts?

Supporters at a rally for the DIA.
Kate Wells

The Detroit Institute of Arts is going broke. 

Museum staff say to save the DIA, they need some $200 million dollars in property taxes from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.

Voters will decide the fate of the museum at the polls this Tuesday. That’s why DIA supporters held a “Save the DIA” rally in Detroit’s New Center Park this week.

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Arts & Culture
1:08 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

New fair will be 'Michigan made'

2008
Bob Vigiletti Michigan Radio Picture Project

This year, a group is hosting a new fair in Michigan they're calling the "resurgence" of the Michigan State Fair.

Dubbed the Great Lakes State Fair, the four day festival will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi over Labor Day weekend from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3.

The state of Michigan used to have two state fairs, one in each peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula State Fair continues to run in Escanaba, where it was established in 1927.

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That's What They Say
8:03 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Grammar advice from a "female professor"

This week on That’s What They Say, we explore gender stereotypes in job titles for women and men. Michigan Radio's Rina Miller talks with Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan who specializes in linguistics.

Curzan says the stereotypes come from our understanding of who does certain jobs.

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Arts & Culture
2:32 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Feds, state kick in $44M to finish Detroit riverfront project

Marc Pasco Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

Efforts to complete a recreational development project along Detroit's east riverfront are getting a $44 million boost from the federal government and the state, reports the Associated Press.

The east riverfront spans 3.5 miles from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park.

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Arts & Culture
9:08 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Kalamazoo reporter wants American election stories...and some gas money

Chris Killian
www.kickstarter.com/

Living in a swing state like Michigan means you're probably already tired of non-stop elections coverage, sound bites and negative ads.

Now, a Kalamazoo freelance reporter wants to offer an alternative...he just needs some help paying for it.

Chris Killian says he'll take a months-long road trip through 11 swing states, getting stories from average people about their politics and their hopes for the country's future.

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Arts & Culture
9:14 am
Sun July 22, 2012

Going 'grammando'

This week on That’s What They Say, we find out whether it’s okay to go "grammando" during a casual conversation. Grammando is a new word used to describe people who correct other people’s grammar, and Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan who specializes in linguistics, kind of loves it.

Curzan, who first came across the word back in March, said that in the online age, fussy bloggers sometimes use grammar as a way to discredit one another.

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Arts & Culture
7:29 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Crews taking down landmark building in downtown Saginaw

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - Demolition has begun on one of downtown Saginaw's oldest buildings.

Crews started work this week to bring down the 145-year-old former Yak's Deli to make way for a new work force services center.

It's one of the last remaining structures on the approximately 2-acre plot that's scheduled to be used for a one-story, 20,000-square-foot Michigan Works center.

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Arts & Culture
6:06 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Gourd muppets to swimming elephants: it's the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Logan Chadde

Every summer, the Ann Arbor Art Fair draws more than half a million people to town.

Tourists come to shop, eat, and see work by artists from around the country.

Meanwhile, gear up for the crowds, the traffic, and the craziest time of the summer.

For four days, downtown becomes a tent city: more than a thousand artists and what seems like just as many vendors.

It can get a little nuts for residents like Lisa Larson. 

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Arts & Culture
5:21 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Funk Brothers bass player Bob Babbitt dead at 74

Bob Babbitt with Joan Baez
Bob Babbitt bobbabbitt.com

DETROIT (AP) - Prominent Motown studio musician and Funk Brothers member Bob Babbitt has died. He was 74.

Motown Museum chief curator Lina Stephens says the bassist died Monday in Nashville, Tenn.

Babbitt's son Joe Kreinar tells The Detroit News his father had been in a hospice and had brain cancer.

Babbitt was born Robert Kreinar in Pittsburgh. He and the Funk Brothers provided a rhythmically and melodically rich background for many Motown hits.

Babbitt laid down bass lines on Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye and Edwin Starr's "War."

Well-known for decades among musicians, Babbitt gained wider public recognition through the 2002 film about the Funk Brothers, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."

That's What They Say
9:12 am
Sun July 15, 2012

Sometimes, you just have to let your noun become a verb

English is evolving, and to keep up with the times, some nouns are becoming verbs.  One such noun-verb is "impact."

"Linguists call this 'functional shift,' when a word moves from one part of speech to another," said Anne Curzan, a professor of English specializing in linguistics at the University of Michigan.

Although this isn't a new phenomenon, technology seems to be having an influence on the switch.  With search engines came the phrase "to Google something," and now we can "friend" or "un-friend" others. 

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Arts & Culture
12:22 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Listeners and readers weigh in about what State of Opportunity should cover next

State of Opportunity Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio's new State of Opportunity project just capped off its busy launch week, and we want your feedback.

We are relying on you for insights, questions and story ideas to help us tell complicated and important stories about childhood poverty in Michigan. Maybe you have a question, comment or a story idea for the project? We'd like to hear it. 

You can always comment on our Facebook page, but you can also connect with us in a deeper way by sharing your insight here. We promise to read all your comments and follow up as needed.

Visit the State of Opportunity website to see what some readers and listeners are already saying.

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