Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia commons

One of the cities that has been in the headlines of late is Hamtramck. The 2.1 square mile city within the city of Detroit is facing a financial emergency and the prospect of once again being under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager.

But facing tough times is nothing new to this tiny but tough enclave. And, starting from its beginning as a home for Polish immigrants, Hamtramck continues to be one of the most diverse communities in the entire state.

We wanted to find out more about the unique history of Hamtramck, and so we turned to someone who was born in Hamtramck.

Greg Kowalski’s family roots in the city go back to when his grandfather first arrived, and he's the chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Commission. He joined us today to discuss Hamtramck’s unique past.

Listen to the full interview above.

It just may be the first honest campaign ad.

A tall, broad-shouldered man in a gray suit speaks directly to camera as he strides through Detroit.

Charlie Brooks is running for mayor.

And he wants to be clear: even with an emergency manager in charge, Brooks still believes the mayor's office plays a crucial role.

“I’ll take long vacations, so I can be well-rested. And each day at 4 p.m., I’ll bring tea to our [emergency manager]. Tea time!”

theharmonyhill.com

It was 2007 when then-Governor Jennifer Granholm launched Michigan's film incentive program.  It led to a burst of big-league movie makers coming here, making films like Ides of March, Real Steel, Red Dawn and OZ-The Great and Powerful. And that led to a growing group of Michigan workers building careers in the film industry, from casting to grips, assistant directing, extras, actors and more.

But Governor Rick Snyder made good on his promise to cap those film incentives, believing they were not a good investment of state dollars. And as many of the movie-makers pulled up stakes, the Michigan workers were forced to either follow them out of state or build new careers here.

Johannah Scarlet, Ray Moran and Aaron Mohr chose to search for a new opportunity and stay in Michigan. They have now switched gears from making movies to hosting live music events in the tiny village of Farwell in Clare County. Their new music venue is called Harmony Hill, and coming up this Saturday there will be a big outdoor music festival called "Oh Hill Yeah," featuring Michigan bands such as Frontier Ruckus.

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week / Facebook

"One price dining, one week, several options."

It may not be the catchiest slogan, but Restaurant Week offers some enticing deals for foodies who frequent downtown Ann Arbor.

From June 9-14, participating restaurants offer lunch specials priced at two meals for $15, or $15 each, depending on the venue. Many lunches include the option of a soup or salad, as well as a main course. 

Dinner deals are $28 for a three-course menu. Similarly, some restaurants offer two dinners for $28.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at Cobo Hall Detroit, June 22, 1963.
50th Anniversary Freedom Walk Facebook Page

Just as his father did fifty years ago, Martin Luther King III will address an expected march of thousands in Detroit.

This year Detroit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the day Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stood before 25,000 people at Cobo Hall in Detroit and declared, "I have a dream this afternoon." This was just two months before the historic March on Washington.

Grand Rapids Public Museum / facebook.com

The Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium is getting a major upgrade.

The planetarium is popular; pulling in about 60,000 visitors a year. But it uses technology that's almost two decades old. GRPM spokeswoman Kate Moore says the upgrade will make a huge difference.

“Right now our shows, not only are they out of date technology wise, but some of the information is not shown in the best way that’s possible. They’re not at maximum capabilities to what, especially students, but also the general public is used to seeing these days,” Moore said.

Orion Music and More's Official Facebook Page

Orion Music + More – Detroit’s newest music festival – took over Belle Isle this past weekend.

Bands blasted metal, rock, electronic dance music – and even gypsy punk –to crowds of tens of thousands.

According to Chris Steffen for the Rolling Stone, the biggest surprise at the festival was a gag by Metallica, the festival’s founders. 

Motor City Pride / via facebook

Michigan’s gay and lesbian community put on their biggest yearly event in Detroit this past weekend.

It was the third year for Motor City Pride in downtown Detroit’s Hart Plaza.

The crowd at this year’s Pride was bigger than ever. It was also diverse, ranging from teens to families with young kids to some older folks.

The events were equally wide-ranging, with everything from drag shows to family picnics.

Jackie Stoll was there with the group Dignity Detroit, which represents Catholic members of the LGBT community.

It’s very interesting to consider some people add an extra syllable to certain words when speaking.

On this week’s edition of “That’s What They Say,” host Rina Miller and University of Michigan Professor Anne Curzan discuss how this difference in pronunciation is fairly new - linguistically speaking.

The word "interesting" is pronounced today with either three or four syllables. Anne Curzan explains the four syllable pronunciation, which often annoys the three-syllable camp, is actually the more traditional pronunciation.

“If you look in the online Oxford English Dictionary…it only has a four syllable pronunciation. If you look in modern standard dictionaries from the last ten years, they will show multiple pronunciations, three and four syllables," says Curzan.

The process of losing a syllable is not rare  in the English language.

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

In a recent piece in Bloomberg, Virginia Postrel (a political and cultural writer) argues that the "cause of art would be better served" if the DIA's major works were in other, 'more deserving' cities.

Her argument:

LinkedIn

When Jimmy Rhoades was 26-years-old, his father was diagnosed with cancer. Rhoades was told he would have between six months and a year left with his dad. He went home, and really got to know his father.

"I found out more about his biography in the last six months of his life than in the previous 26 years," Rhoades said.

With the loss of another family member after his father passed away, Rhoades realized the therapeutic value in having your story heard. 

Facebook

It’s time to "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" as the Cole Porter song goes. And, while you're brushing up on your Shakespeare, you can get in touch with Mother Nature.

It's pretty common to find outdoor summer productions of Shakespeare. But for 13 years Shakespeare in the Arb has been staging the bard's plays outdoors in a different way.

Shakespeare in the Arb is kicking off its 13th season with "Much Ado About Nothing." It's presented by the University of Michigan Matthei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, and the U of M Residential College.

Katherine Mendeloff, a lecturer in the Drama Department of the Residential College, joined us in the studio today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Daily Dot

When you hear the phrase "social media" and think of what that phrase represents--Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr and more--it seems strange to think that not even a decade ago, many of us had never even heard of "social media."

And with so many choices, you can find the social media site that truly reflects your interests and goals for social media networking.

And if you can't find one, you can come up with your own social media site. That is what native Ann Arborites Steve Clausnitzer and Mark Katakowski did with their new site called Hubski.

The two co-founders joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Jack White, in April of 2012
Jack White / Facebook

The Detroit Masonic Temple Association President Roger Sobran announced on Tuesday that the musician Jack White donated $142,000 to the Temple and saved it from foreclosure.

"We are proud to announce that Jack White is the anonymous person who paid the outstanding taxes for the Detroit Masonic Temple," the Temple released in a statement on its Facebook page

Yuba College Public Space / Flickr

Think back to the last time you visited your local library. Did you check out a new best-selling book? Borrow a DVD? Meet your study group? Look something up in the reference section?

Since the early 20th Century, libraries have been a fundamental piece of the services people expect from their cities or counties.

But the library we grew up with is changing. The way we interact with the library and the services it offers is also changing.

With new technologies changing the way we access information, we wondered: what does the future hold for libraries?

Joseph Janes, the Chair of Library and Information Science at the University of Washington and the Founding Director of the Internet Public Library joined us along with David Votta, the Community Engagement Library at Midwest Collaborative for Library Services to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

http://public-art.umich.edu/the_collection/campus/central/92

The Ann Arbor City Council has approved a new public arts ordinance to replace the controversial "Percent for Arts" program. 

Mayor John Hieftje says continuing to find ways to fund public arts is the key to making the city a place where people want to live and businesses want to be. 

Michelle Chamuel, of Ann Arbor, is one of six remaining contestants on NBC's show, The Voice. Chamuel is originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

This is her most recent performance:

People in Ann Arbor and Detroit are excitedly preparing for the second annual Cinetopia International Film Festival, taking place this coming weekend.

The festival debuted in Ann Arbor last year. After a successful trial run, it's back this year and it's larger than before. Films will be screened at venues in Ann Arbor and at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit.

There's no quelling semantic change

Jun 2, 2013

Don’t get too flattered if an admirer calls you unique. In today’s spoken language unique doesn’t mean one of a kind at all.

On this week’s edition of “That’s What They Say,” host Rina Miller and University of Michigan Professor Anne Curzan discuss the semantic changes that strengthen or weaken the meaning of words.

Anne Curzan points out the strength of unique has weakened over time so that one object can be more unique than another.

“For most of its history in English unique has meant one of a kind, or having no peer...if you listen to actual usage, you’ll hear people say that something is more unique than something else, or really unique…at this point for a lot of speakers, unique means unusual," says Curzan.

The word unique is not unique in the weakening of its definition over time. Curzan explains that the word “quell” has also undergone significant semantic change.

DIA

Ever since Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr mentioned maaaaybe putting DIA gems on the table to appease creditors, the you-know-what has hit the fan.

Selling art to pay off debt is a big museum no-no, especially for one as well-regarded as the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Why, museum supporters ask, would any rich donor ever want to give money or art to the DIA again?

What’s to guarantee their gifts won’t just be auctioned off the next time the city needs cash?

And further, if the DIA is blacklisted and other cultural icons sold off, how is a post-bankruptcy Detroit supposed to become a sustainable, cultural, people-drawing city?

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