Arts & Culture

Arts/Culture
8:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

UM professors lead a morel hunt inspired by the music of John Cage

user ladydragonflycc Flickr

What do experimental composer John Cage and Ann Arbor have in common, you ask? Morels. Story goes that John Cage was something of an amateur mushroom hunter, and he used to hunt for morels in the woods around Ann Arbor.

And since Spring means morel hunting season in Michigan, and many mushroom-enthusiasts are out foraging for the delicacy, a group in Ann Arbor is putting a musical twist on the annual spring hunt.

To celebrate what would be Cage’s 100th birthday this year, U of M music professor Michael Gurevich teamed up with U of M mycology professor Tim James for a new kind of morel hunt.

"I thought, as an homage to Cage, let’s create this performance where we tell stories, which Cage really liked to do, while hunting for edible mushrooms in the woods," explains Gurevich.

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Arts/Culture
5:13 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Prison-themed gift shop to open near the old Jackson State Prison

user whatimeantosay morgueFile

The city of Jackson is capitalizing on its long history as the site of a state prison.

In addition to guided prison tours, visitors can now buy prison-related items at the city’s new prison gift shop.

When the Jackson State Prison closed in 2007, it was turned into a live-work space for artists known as the Armory Arts Village. One of the women who lives there, Judy Gail Krasnow, gives guided tours of the historic prison.

She says lots of tourists asked about a gift shop, which didn’t exist. So she created one in the Art 634 building across from the old prison, and built it to look like an old prison cell. Krasnow says the Old Prison Gift Shop was "modeled after the cells at the first prison, which had brick walls, and the doors were those thick, iron bars."

Krasnow plans to sell art made by current and former prisoners through the University of Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP).

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Arts/Culture
4:50 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Macomb County says 'no' to proposed DIA millage

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts wanted to ask Macomb County residents to pay a tax to help bring in much-needed cash for the museum, which has already cut 20 percent of its staff and reduced its budget.

But county commissioners killed the idea.

Wayne County Commissioners last month voted to create an arts authority to look at getting a DIA millage proposal in front of voters.

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Media
11:49 am
Mon April 9, 2012

The story of Mike Wallace as told by his colleagues at CBS

Mike Wallace of CBS News.
CBS News YouTube

There have been many remembrances of indefatigable newsman and U of M alum Mike Wallace in the last 24 hours.

Seymour Hersh writes about being scooped by Wallace in the New Yorker ("The Old Man had shown me his moves, and taken my candy away.")

The Atlantic has posted links to his "greatest hits."

And reporter David Folkenflik put together this Mike Wallace remembrance on NPR. Folkenflik reports on some of the criticisms leveled at Wallace.

"The problem became this," Wallace said. "We became a caricature of ourselves. We were after light, and it began to look as though we were after heat."

But who can remember Wallace best, but his colleagues at CBS News?

Watch below as Morley Safer remembers Wallace with his report, and as Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer is clearly moved.

In the report, Wallace admits to trying to take his own life, and shows how he never held any interest in retirement.

But as the specter of retirement bore down, Mike fought it with customary defiance.

Safer: "Did you feel like it's time to maybe pack it in and reflect?"

Wallace: "Reflect about what? Give me a break. Reflect. What am I going to reflect about?"

The last thought in the report came from Wallace...

"[It's] astonishing what you learn, and feel, and see along the way. And that's why a reporter's job, as you know, it such a joy."

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Arts/Culture
8:35 pm
Sun April 8, 2012

The late Mike Wallace enjoyed his ties to the University of Michigan

Legendary broadcast journalist Mike Wallace died Saturday. He was 93.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Three-quarters of a century after Mike Wallace graduated from the University of Michigan, his name and his contributions live on at the Ann Arbor school.

The veteran CBS newsman died Saturday in New Canaan, Conn., at age 93.

Wallace came to Michigan from Brookline, Mass. He reported for the student-run newspaper The Michigan Daily and did radio work as well, graduating in 1939.

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Business
12:00 pm
Sun April 8, 2012

Snyder will sign bills authorizing sale of Michigan state fairgrounds on Monday

Bob Vigiletti / Michigan Radio Picture Project

In 2009, Michigan hosted its last state fair after 161 years.

It was the second oldest in the country. But the event was losing too much money. Between 1970 and 1995, the fair lost on average 2 million dollars a year. Attendance was down 39 percent over the final eight years. In 2009, Governor Granholm ended all state financing.

Since then, not much has happened with the Fairgrounds. On Monday, Governor Snyder will sign bills which will authorize the state to sell the property. The 157 acre property is located just south of Woodward Avenue. Any money made from the sale of the Fairgrounds will be added to the state’s general fund.

Arts/Culture
10:57 am
Sun April 8, 2012

Mike Wallace, legendary broadcast journalist and U of M alumnus, dies

Mike Wallace ringing a bell at a 2006 Knight-Wallace fellowship event
(Courtesy of KWF)

NEW YORK (AP) — A spokesman says CBS newsman Mike Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on "60 Minutes," has died. He was 93.

CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco says Wallace died Saturday night.

Wallace was on the staff of "60 Minutes" when it began in 1968, and was one of its mainstays from then on.

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Food
6:03 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Reviving a family tradition

Sisters Holly Godbey (left) and Dianne Johns (right).
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Many of us have family traditions that are linked to our ethic or cultural roots.

Earlier this year we asked listeners to share a special family tradition or family recipe. We got recipes from listeners that tie back to their ethic roots, some from Trinidad, Holland and Poland.

And, there was also a little contest. Our winners were sisters Dianne Johns and Holly Godbey. They revived their Lebanese family tradition of baking Easter cookies.

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Arts/Culture
3:02 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Shipwreck discovered in Lake Michigan off the coast of Grand Haven

A shipwreck diving group discovered what it believes is a wreck of a 19th century vessel off the coast of Grand Haven. The discovery was made last October, but announced today.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association found the wreck in 350 feet of water.

They think it might be the wreck of  the St. Peter, a two-masted schooner that sank in 1874. The ship was carrying a load of wheat from Chicago with a destination of Buffalo, N.Y.

More from the Grand Rapids Press:

The ship was named for the Patron Saint of Sailors and, according to its crew, sank about 35 miles off the Milwaukee coast. All of the crew survived.

Craig Rich, another MSRA director, said the ship's location near Grand Haven would be unusual.

“If this is the wreck of the St. Peter, then it drifted east for some time, coming to rest on the opposite side of Lake Michigan, significantly father east than the crew reported,” he said.

Author Interview
6:00 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Dog Heart: A book of poems by Alison Swan

Alison Swan

Alison Swan is a poet and an award winning environmentalist. She's adjunct professor at Western Michigan University.

Not too long ago Swan published her first collection of poetry, Dog Heart. Michigan Radio's Jennifer White sat down with Swan to talk about the new book.

Swan says she finds her inspiration from the wild places of Michigan.

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Arts/Culture
10:20 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

Dexter kids turn to art to get their minds off the tornado

7-year old Ava (left) and her friend paint a banner at the makeshift art studio
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Dexter residents are still dealing with the aftermath of the tornado that through their town earlier this month. To help with the healing process, one woman has set up an outdoor art studio for kids in one of the hardest hit neighborhoods.

Christine Lux's makeshift studio consists of some tables, a tent, and a giant blue tarp to protect the children’s art work and art supplies.

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Author Interview
4:45 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Scott Martelle's new book, "Detroit: A Biography"

Scott Martelle is a journalist and author. His new book Detroit: A Biography chronicles the history of the city from the 17oo's to the present day. He was also a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit News.

Martelle believes there was a point in history when Detroit had an opportunity to diversify its manufacturing.

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Arts/Culture
1:33 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Artpod: Ann Arbor Film Festival turns 50

Opening night marquee at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of Abby Rose Photo

Happy 50th, Ann Arbor Film Festival!

On today's Artpod, we hear from the festival's director, Donald Harrison. We also catch up with two longtime fans of the festival - one: an audience member, the other: a filmmaker - to hear some of their favorite film fest memories.

Festival-goer: "Every year I find at least two or three films that are just amazing."

John Johnson has been going to the Ann Arbor Film Festival since the late 1960s, and considers himself a big fan of the event.

He's such a big fan that when a film he likes doesn't win an award at the festival, he sends the filmmaker a "a few dollars myself and tell them what a great film it was."  He says he's probably done that about four times, three of which have resulted in a letter back from the filmmaker and a DVD copy of the film.

One of his favorite memories was when he saw Claude LeLouch's "Rendezvous" at the 1976 film festival. He says the film "totally blew my mind," left him with goose bumps.

Johnson says every year he finds "at least two or three films that are just amazing, from my point of view." He says it's worth sitting in the theatre for hours to get to the films "that are just amazing that you would have nowhere else to see."

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Culture
10:13 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin supporters rally in Ypsilanti (photos)

Heather Mapstone holds the sign "Justice for Trayvon," at a rally on March 26 in Ypsilanti.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

A crowd wearing hooded sweaters of all colors gathered in downtown Ypsilanti Monday afternoon, one month after the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin of Florida.

The unarmed black teenager was wearing a hoodie when he was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. The man who shot Martin has not been arrested.

 Jeff Clark lives in Ypsilanti, and helped organize the event.

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Trayvon Martin
11:37 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Trayvon Martin rally set for Michigan State Capitol Building

Trayvon Martin
(NPR.org)

Organizers of a rally to protest the shooting death of a Florida teenager hope to attract a few thousand people to the steps of Michigan’s state capitol Tuesday afternoon.

Trayvon Martin was shot and killed a month ago, in an incident which has raised questions about race and self-defense.

O.D. Harris is organizing the rally at the state capitol. He hopes the rally will help end tragedies rooted in ‘stereotyping’.

“We stereotype people based on what their attire is," says Harris, "I don’t want to make it a race thing…we stereotype people based on their names… we stereotype people based on all types of reasons… and we have to stop that.”

Similar protests took place in Kalamazoo, Flint and a handful of other Michigan cities on Monday.

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Film
4:55 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Ann Arbor Film Festival: A conversation with director Donald Harrison

Screenshots from Ann Arbor Film Festival website.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The range of films and videos are diverse. They can be bizarre, funny, or beautiful. It's "art for art's sake," says Donald Harrison, the festival's executive director.

"We're most interested in ideas, and techniques and concepts, and engaging audiences in something that might be outside of their normal viewing experience," he says.

Harrison says the festival will highlight some of the best independent films from years past as well as new films.

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Arts/Culture
4:52 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Ann Arbor Film Fest fans celebrate 50 years of experimental film

The Ann Arbor Film Festival celebrates 50 years of experimental, independent film
user mconnors morgueFile

The experimental Ann Arbor Film Festival kicks off its 50th season Tuesday, March 27.

More than 5,000 films have been screened at the festival over the past five decades. The festival has gone through its ups and downs during that time, too, including cuts to state funding and a high-profile censorship controversy several years ago.

Donald Harrison, the festival’s executive director, says more than 230 films will be shown this time around, many by obscure filmmakers.

"We really encourage people just to have that open mind, that sense of discovery," says Harrison. "We guarantee that people will see things that really affect them in a rewarding way, and of course they’ll see things that maybe they don’t care as much about, but that’s probably someone else’s favorite film in the festival."

We caught up with two longtime fans of the festival - an audience member, and a filmmaker – to hear some of their favorite film fest memories.

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Arts/Culture
8:50 am
Sun March 25, 2012

U of M leads effort to integrate "arts practices" at research universities

Dani Davis

The University of Michigan is leading an effort to get the arts to play a bigger role at research universities.

Reading, writing, and "making" are the skills Theresa Reid wants to see emphasized in higher education.

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Arts/Culture
10:20 am
Sat March 24, 2012

MSU Broad Art Museum pushes back opening, touts "virtual" museum experience

Users use Flickr™ to create a cloud of spatial imagery in the virtual museum
Photo courtesy of the Broad Art Museum

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University will not open April 21st as scheduled due to construction problems. Instead, the contemporary art museum will open sometime this fall.

But for those who just can’t wait to see what the inside of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum looks like, the folks at the Broad have created a “virtual” museum that anyone from anywhere in the world can access:

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Music
1:36 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Terence Blanchard to lead Detroit Symphony series

Derek Bridges wikimedia commons

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has tapped jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard to oversee its jazz series.

The orchestra announced Tuesday Blanchard will curate acts for the Paradise Jazz Series and contribute to community education. The five-time Grammy winner is serving as the Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair.

Orchestra officials say Blanchard will make special guest appearances, serve as a host and at times perform with featured artists. His first appearance at Orchestra Hall in his role will be May 4 for a tribute to the musical relationship between jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie and Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo.

The Paradise Jazz Series is named for the Paradise Theatre, the name of Orchestra Hall during the 1940s after the symphony left and it temporarily closed.

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