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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

States of Motion - Stories by Laura Hulthen Thomas
Wayne State University Press, 2017

Thomas generously gives us the whole messy life. This is deeply satisfying, but you have to pay attention.

-erin / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 


The Flint Institute of Arts has been a center for arts and culture in Flint since it was established nearly 90 years ago, in 1928.

It's the second-largest art museum in Michigan and one of the biggest art museum schools in the nation. Today, the FIA is still growing and evolving.

A listener recently wrote to us with a seasonably appropriate question. Tom from Grand Rapids asks:

"I feel really passionate about supporting farmers and eating locally grown produce. 

Stateside 5.12.2017

May 12, 2017

Today, a Grand Rapids woman encourages people struggling with mental health issues to get out and run. And, the QLINE streetcar in Detroit officially launched service today. We hear why this "sleek, modern streetcar" could be the first step toward improving transit in Detroit.

Stephen Edwards with his mother, Rosalie Edwards, in 1980.
Harlan Underhill / RequiemForMyMother.com

Ann Arbor native and Hollywood composer Stephen Edwards owes his successful career of creating scores for movies and TV to his mother, Rosalie Edwards. She was a well-schooled musician trained at the University of Michigan, so Stephen was immersed in music from a very young age.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week, Artisans of Michigan stops in southwest Detroit, at the Diseños Ornamental Iron company.

In the shop, people are welding fences, bending, hammering orange hot – you know, even hotter than red hot – lengths of steel into ornamental scrolls. Others are grinding down welds, smoothing it out to make it look good, and prepping the sculpted steel for powder coating.

Pegasus Books, 2016

In Lorraine Boissoneault’s book, The Last Voyageurs, the author immerses the reader into the 1977 reenactment of La Salle’s expedition and the perils of the Great Lakes.

Reid Lewis, a French teacher from Elgin, Illinois conceived of the modern odyssey. He wanted to prove that young men could live under the same primitive conditions as the 17th century voyageurs. Starting in Montreal, six adults and sixteen teenagers paddled 3,300 miles down to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Lake Michigan has a way of conjuring up days gone by

May 10, 2017
Tamar Charney / NPR One

Lake Michigan is a giant time capsule. It swallows stuff up and spits it back out somewhere down the line, both in time and place.

All sorts of things get pushed up on the beach by waves in summer and by the freezing and thawing of ice in the winter. When the snow melts in spring, there aren’t that many people combing through the odds and ends in search of lost treasure or even just cleaning up the trash. That means it's easier to see how Lake Michigan is its own special sort of time capsule coughing up treasures up and down the shore.

Mural painted on a wall
wilansky / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

In Detroit, there are all kinds of artists and art projects happening organically. But, the City of Detroit doesn’t really have a vehicle to encourage or develop an arts culture.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

Escape rooms keep gaining popularity. 

You might have heard of them. The interactive game where you and a bunch of friends, or complete strangers, are locked in a room and have to solve a series of puzzles to get out -- oh, and you only have about an hour.  

The scenarios are endless. Think Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones or Jail Break. 

Patton Doyle is the co-founder of Decode Detroit, an escape room with a tech vibe located in Ann Arbor.

Written instructions are clearly written down, and oral instructions are clearly spoken. That leaves us with the question, what are verbal instructions? And just what does verbal mean anyway?

Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth remembers being a little confused by "verbal" back in high school when her classmates started talking about the SAT.

"I didn't understand what the verbal portion of the exam was. I thought, 'Oh, is that part of the exam where they talk?' I didn't take the SAT, so I didn't know," she said.

This perfectly captures the issue with verbal. Is it about language that is spoken out loud, or is it just about words in general?


A mint julep sitting on a red napkin with a bottle of bourbon in the background
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Saturday is the Kentucky Derby. There’s a traditional drink for the “run for the roses.” It’s the mint julep. But finding a well-made mint julep is difficult. So, you should make it yourself.

“The mint julep is all about technique,” said Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings, adding, “You really want to pay attention while you’re making this drink.”

Even at the Derby, it's hard to find a really good mint julep.

Silence: The Musical is showing at The Ringwald Theatre in Ferndale through June 5.
Jennifer Maiseloff / The Ringwald Theatre

For this edition of Theater Talk on Stateside, David Kiley of Encore Michigan joins the show to talk about four productions currently on stage across Michigan. Two are Academy Award-nominated films adapted into musicals (and only one of them is authorized), one is a drama about a single mom's intimate encounter with a U.S. Senator, and another is a Tennessee Williams classic that's making a rare appearance in the state. 

Nancy Paulsen Books / David Frye

An auto accident leaves a little girl with a shattered leg. She spends the next year bedridden in a body cast, wondering if she'll ever be back in school again, back playing hopscotch with her friends.

At the same time, she and her family are trying to build new lives. They are Cuban Jews who fled Castro's Cuba for a new life in New York City.

A listener recently wrote an email about how everyone in her industry says "hone in" instead of "home in."

"Does this equivocation mean that it’s perfectly That’s-What-They-Say acceptable to understand ‘hone in’ as ‘home in,’ and to hear it without cringing?” she asked. 

Our own Professor Anne Curzan had already put a lot of thought into “home in” and “hone in” before we received this email. In fact, she admits that knowing which was correct used to be a point of pride. 


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The next stop in our Artisans of Michigan series is on a residential street in Highland Park, a city that’s within the City of Detroit.

Celeste Smith is using a small hammer to tack down fabric that’s been soaked in a stiffening agent. She’s making a hat. A fancy one for ladies planning to attend a big hat-wearing event.

“I’m getting ready for the Derby,” she says. Smith has been up all night to keep up with demand. “They’re having the Detroit Derby Day here and I also have some clients going to Louisville,” she said. Big fancy hats are a tradition at the Kentucky Derby.

Courtesy of Shannon Zachary

 


Your grandparents' wedding picture. The letters your dad wrote home while he served in World War II. Your great-grandfather's citizenship papers.

These are precious links to our history. History is not so much about the "big names." It's more about what happens to everyday men, women and children.

But how many of us know how to preserve these treasures, whether digital or on ancient paper?

If you say something is coming down the pike, that means it's going to happen sometime soon. But what is this "pike" you speak of?

The answer might be found in your summer travel plans. Especially if you're from Michigan and you understand that summer just isn't complete without a trek down the Ohio Turnpike for a day at Cedar Point.

So, "pike" in "coming down the pike" is simply a shortening of turnpike. That got us wondering though, where does "turnpike" come from?

For starters, it's old. Really old. 


Stateside 4.21.2017

Apr 21, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear why a porn site funded a University of Michigan student's research on monogamous rodents. And, Flint's Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha explains why she's going to this weekend's March for Science.

The prose poems in Kathleen McGookey’s latest collection, Heart in a Jar, oscillate between the elegiac and surreal. “How can we use the poetic imagination to cope with loss?” McGookey asks her reader.  

Courtesy of Theo Katzman

 


Theo Katzman is coming back to Ann Arbor for a one night open air concert featuring a few of the area’s beloved musicians. While Katzman is still the drummer and guitarist with the funk/fusion band Vulfpeck, he’s been promoting his latest solo album, "Heartbreak Hits."

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

  

Constantly in search of new Michigan products for cocktails, Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings found a liquor that was new to her. It’s actually been out for a couple of years. It’s Coppercraft Distillery’s Applejack. Coppercraft is in Holland and has been around since 2012.

The cocktail she decided to mix is the Jack Rose. It’s a classic cocktail which was really popular in the 1920s and 30s. “While other cocktails from that period such as the Martini or the Manhattan have come roaring back, the Jack Rose is still a little bit of an underdog,” Coxen said.

"Motown: The Musical" will be at the Fisher Theatre through April 30.
EncoreMichigan.com

There's a lively professional theater scene happening in Michigan.

With that being the case, Stateside is launching a new regular segment on the show called Theater Talk. It will turn the spotlight on different companies, keeping you up to speed on productions.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Scott Smith Pipe Organs in Lansing repairs, restores, installs, and builds pipe organs. However, Scott Smith says his profession causes confusion for some people, such as a guy he was talking to at a party.

Stateside 4.13.2017

Apr 13, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear about an event designed to train imams and other faith-based leaders to spot the first signs of mental illness. And, we get a sneak peak of the first-ever musical version of "Into the Wild," premiering in Dexter.

Valentine Vodka

Take that, Russia, Poland, France!

Those countries, famous for their vodka, were also-rans against a small Ferndale distillery in the World Drinks Awards for 2017.

Valentine Vodka of Ferndale was named the “World’s Best Varietal Vodka” for the second straight year.

Rifino Valentine, president and founder of Valentine Distilling Company, joined Stateside to explain both the award and the vodka responsible for it.

Conor Ryan plays Christopher McCandless in the new musical "Into The Wild"
Michele Anliker Photography

25 years ago this month, a recent college graduate named Christopher McCandless hitchhiked to Alaska. He then hiked into the wilderness, using an old mountain road called the Stampede Trail.

A few months later, on Sept. 6, a hunter found him dead inside an old bus.

Writer Jon Krakauer told this puzzling story in his book Into the Wild which was later adapted into a 2007 film directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch.

Now, the story of the young man who called himself "Alexander Supertramp" has been turned into a stage musical.

Into The Wild opens tomorrow night (Friday, April 14) at the Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter.

Stateside 4.12.2017

Apr 12, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn that the Red Wings' first outdoor game wasn't in a big stadium. It was at a prison. And, women are more stressed than men, so why do they live longer?

the cover of X: A Novel
Candlewick Press

"One title. One state. And thousands engaged in literary discussion."

That's the motto of the Great Michigan Read.
Every other year, the Michigan Humanities Council announces its choice for the Great Michigan Read. The goal is to give people across the state a chance to connect by reading and talking about the same book. 

This year, the 2017 Great Michigan Read is X : A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon.

Tyehimba Jess has won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his book Olio. It's a book of sonnets, songs and narrative that examines the lives of mostly unrecorded African-American performers. 

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