Arts & Culture

Music
1:53 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Songs From Studio East, with music from Seth & May

Photo courtesy of Seth Bernard and May Erlewine.

Listen to the interview.

Michigan natives Seth Bernard and May Erlewine have a new album inspired by their journey across Ethiopia.

Last year they were invited to join the project “Run Across Ethiopia," of the Michigan-based non-profit On the Ground. A group of eight eventually ran 240 miles across southern Ethiopia and raised over $200,000 to build schools in the coffee growing region of that country.

The album New Flower is based on that experience.

Michigan Radio's Jennifer White interviewed Seth & May. You can see them perform in Michigan Radio's Studio East.

Produced by Mercedes Mejia and Cade Sperlich. Our audio engineer is Bob Skon.

Arts/Culture
3:55 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Artpod: When science meets art

Watershed Monotype 05 Leslie Sobel

Today's Artpod features a story where science and art intersect. 

At a lot of colleges and universities, the sciences are housed on one part of campus, the arts on another. But the two sides will have a chance to meet this week when the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) at the University of Michigan opens its first art gallery.

Sara Adlerstein is a research scientist at SNRE, artist, and curator for the new Art & Environment gallery.  When it comes to environmental issues, she says scientists need to be able to communicate with people outside their field.

"If you’re not able to communicate to the general public, then your work is not all that relevant," explains Adlerstein. "So I’ve been exploring to do that through art; I think art speaks to the heart. With an image you can communicate directly to the heart and make people think about how to educate themselves if they’re interested in the issues."

She hopes the new gallery will show scientists and students that charts and pie graphs aren’t the only way to share their research.

Leslie Sobel will be the first artist featured in the new gallery. She'll be displaying her "Watershed Moment" series, which Sobel says was inspired by vintage survey maps of the Mississippi River and current satellite images of the River from when it flooded last spring.

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Culture
10:31 am
Mon February 6, 2012

MSU professors rate Skechers ad top Super Bowl commercial

Using a five-point grading scale with the clickers, the 23 voting faculty members rated each commercial based on creativity, production and overall quality.
MSU

Michigan State University’s Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing has released their list of top five Super Bowl ads.

Of the 55 commercials, the top five in their analysis were::

  1. First place: Skechers featuring the dog race
  2. Second place: Mars M&M featuring Miss Brown
  3. Third place: Pepsi featuring Elton John and Flava Flav
  4. Fourth place: Doritos with the baby in a slingshot
  5. Fifth place: Chrysler’s Fiat 500 with the sexy Italian woman

This is the 15th year MSU faculty have rated the ads. 23 faculty members rated the ads “based on creativity, production and overall quality.”

Chrysler worked to build on the momentum it started last year with its "Imported from Detroit" ad by airing another "Imported from Detroit" ad featuring actor Clint Eastwood.

The ad aired just before the second half of the game with Eastwood talking about "America's second half" and the comeback of the auto industry and the city of Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press reports the ad might have run into some copyright issues:

Chrysler’s Super Bowl commercial featuring Clint Eastwood is not available on Chrysler’s YouTube channel because of a “copyright claim,” by the NFL.

A spokeswoman for Chrysler said that the company did not remove the commercial, titled “Halftime in America,” and is unsure why it has been removed.

“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NFL Properties LLC,” according to a message on YouTube when a viewer tries to play the two-minute commercial.

A spokesperson for the NFL could not be reached immediately for comment.

 

Arts/Culture
4:01 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

Shh! The Super Bowl commercials are on.

 A group of Michigan State University professors will get together to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.   But unlike most people, they won’t be watching the game, they’re more interested in the commercials.

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Arts/Culture
5:04 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

DIA considers regional tax to support museum

River Court inside the Detroit Institute of Arts
Photo courtesy of the DIA

Metro Detroiters may be asked to pay a tax to help support the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The DIA is in talks with commissioners from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties about a possible regional millage to help support the museum.

There’s nothing definitive yet, but if a 0.2-mill tax went through, it would bring in around $22 million for the struggling museum. Oakland residents would pay $19 annually based on average home sales for 2009; Macomb residents would pay $14; Wayne residents $10.

The Detroit Zoo has received public support through a 0.1-mill tax since 2008.

Annmarie Erickson, executive vice president of the DIA, says the  museum is operating at "bare-bone levels." She says if they can’t secure more money, the museum will go into what she calls a “controlled shutdown”:

"We will lose hours, we will probably lose most of our programming, we will certainly lose visitor amenities. Special exhibits like the very popular "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" - we would no longer be able to afford those."

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Changing Gears
4:44 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Our How-To Guide for making a hardscrabble, gritty, post-industrial documentary about Detroit

The Michigan Central Depot is a must-have shot for any documentary about Detroit.
user trevorpatt Flickr

Detroit is a city that fascinates a lot of people.

Its story is not a simple one, though it has sometimes been a dramatic one. So maybe it’s not surprising that we seem to hear every week about a new documentary film being made about Detroit.

Changing Gears hasn’t had a chance to see all of these documentaries, but we’ve heard about an awful lot of them.

And we’ve noticed some patterns that we thought could be helpful in case you ever decide to make a documentary about the Motor City.

So, here is our DIY guide for how to make a Detroit documentary:

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Kids Health
4:33 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Sex traffickers lured to big events like the Super Bowl

Crowds gather in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.
YouTube indianapublicmedia.org

The Super Bowl this weekend in Indianapolis will attract thousands of football fans and people who like a big party.

It will also lure human traffickers who set up in hotels so paying clients can have sex - sometimes with children.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 100,000 kids in this country between the ages of 12 and 14 are drawn into a life of prostitution every year.

There is an outreach effort trying to connect with teens trapped in that life.

Project SOAP is in Indianapolis this weekend.

It conducted a similar operation before the North American International Auto Show last month in Detroit.

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Arts/Culture
1:33 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Artpod: Film and fashion in Michigan

mconnors, gracey morgueFile

Lots of news packed into this week's Artpod!

We learn about Michigan's burgeoning garment industry, and we get an update on how one of the state's biggest movie studios is doing (hint: not too well.) Plus, we talk with the director of the new documentary, After the Factory.

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Arts/Culture
1:19 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Michigan group travels to Turkey to tout state's emerging garment industry

Could Michigan's garment industry be the next big thing for the state?
user gracey morgueFile

A small group of Michigan designers and economic development officials are headed to Turkey for a week-long trade trip.

The group believes Michigan’s garment industry is up-and-coming, and they hope the trade trip will spur on partnerships with Turkey’s textile suppliers and buyers.

Eleanor Fuchs believes the garment industry "has the potential to be a multi-million if not billion dollar industry here in Michigan."

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Midwest Migration
9:29 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Leaving Michigan to make ends meet

Changing Gears' Midwest Migration” project is featuring the stories of former Midwesterners – people who have left region since the recession of 2008.

Name: Tanna Sherril
Midwest Home: Michigan
New Home: Oxford, MS

I initially left my home state of Michigan over the summer of 2009 so I could find summer work. I had spent the entire previous summer looking for a job in and around the county I had grown up in, but to no avail, mostly due to my inexperience.

I found a call-center job in Tulsa, OK. I was being paid well over minimum wage and made a sales commission. After three months, I made my way to Mississippi, following my father. I have since been attending University of Mississippi, and have been working in food service to make ends meet.

I wish I could move back to the Midwest. There's nothing really keeping me here once I am done with my degree. I basically just have to follow the jobs. If I could find a reasonably secure, well-paying job in Michigan or the metro-Chicago area, I would be overjoyed. I miss my family, and I miss the Midwestern culture. The winters are better in the South. But, I've never quite felt at-home here.

This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. Add your story here.

Music
10:47 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Soul Train creator, Don Cornelius, dies of apparent suicide

Don Cornelius being interviewed by Herb Kent in 2011.
screen grab from YouTube

Don Cornelius, the smooth talking creator of the popular dance television show Soul Train, died today at the age of 75.

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius was found dead at his Sherman Oaks home Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement sources said police arrived at Cornelius' home around 4 a.m. He apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing.

The sources said there was no sign of foul play, but the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating.

Soul Train was a springboard for new Motown artists in the 1970s.

NPR's Michele Norris tweets, "Soul Train showed us what to listen to, what to wear, how to dance, how to VIBE, how to be unapologetically fabulous. RIP Don Cornelius."

Cornelius hosted the show from 1971-1993 and coined the show's famous introduction:

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Arts/Culture
7:45 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Music partnership blossoming between New York's Lincoln Center and Grand Rapids

Cathy Holbrook has been St. Cecilia Music Center's Executive Director for 6 years.
Lindsey Smtih Michigan Radio

The Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center in New York City is partnering with a music center in Grand Rapids.

The prestigious center in New York will produce at least three concerts at St. Cecilia Music Center beginning this year. St. Cecilia Music Center was created 130 year ago in downtown Grand Rapids.

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Arts/Culture
3:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

"After the Factory" looks at life in post-industrial Detroit

user RichL morgueFile

A new documentary focuses on two cities: Detroit, Michigan and Lodz, Poland.

After the Factory” looks at how the two cities are trying to reinvent themselves in a post-industrial age.

Philip Lauri is the film’s director. He says cities around the world are struggling to answer the question: What happens after industrialization and manufacturing leaves?

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Arts/Culture
3:33 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Detroit Symphony Orchestra offers free webcasts of concerts

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is offering enhanced webcasts of its concerts this season.

A "Live from Orchestra Hall" webcast will be held tomorrow night January 28, beginning at 7:50 p.m. Participants have to register before watching.

More from the Associated Press:

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is introducing a new webcast player designed to make online concert viewers feel as if they're in Orchestra Hall.

More than 30,000 people from over 40 countries are expected to view Saturday's high-definition "Live from Orchestra Hall" webcast.

The DSO says it's the only U.S. orchestra to offer a free series of webcasts.

The Symphony says the webcast player "mimics the actual interior" of Orchestra Hall. Dimming controls allow the virtual viewer to adjust lighting.

Saturday's webcast will feature a performance of Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4.

The piece will be highlighted on a live repertoire tracker, and live program notes will post below the viewing window with trivia about the piece and the artists.

Here's a promotional video from the DSO about it's webcasts:

Arts/Culture
3:56 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Report shows Michigan's arts & culture sector generates $462M in economic activity

Dani Davis

A new report suggests that for every $1 Michigan invests in arts and culture, $51 is pumped back into the state’s economy. 

The Creative State Michigan report is based on data gathered from 10% of Michigan’s nonprofit arts and culture sector. It shows that 211 organizations generated $462,791,322 dollars in economic activity.

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Arts/Culture
9:29 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Detroit Science Center still looking for funds, bank asks for liquidation

The Detroit Science Center is seeking $10 million in order to reopen its doors, according to Crain's Detroit Business.
Detroit Science Center

When the Detroit Science Center closed its doors last September because of cash shortfalls, officials there said they would reopen in early October.

It proved to be wishful thinking.

The Center continues to look for ways to drum up enough money to reopen.

Crain's Detroit Business' Sherri Welch reports that one bank is calling for liquidation:

Sources tell Crain's that Citizens Bank of Flint is demanding the Detroit Science Center board bring in liquidators so that the bank can recoup some portion of the money owed to it by the science center through the sale of its contents.

Citizens holds the debt on a $1 million credit line which is bundled with a $4.8 million mortgage tied to the science center's 2001 expansion.

The bank did not return messages left Thursday afternoon.

Welch says sources tell her that GM and Ford have "promised money to help bail the science center out." $10 million is being sought to cover debt and operating expenses for both the Detroit Science Center and the Detroit Children's Museum.

The Detroit Children's Museum, which is housed in the Detroit Science Center, closed its doors earlier this month. A message on their Facebook page posted on January 19 says, "we are still working on a reopening plan with Detroit Public Schools. Please stay tuned for more details."

Arts/Culture
5:38 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

African American history and culture in southwest Michigan

www.caaahholland.org

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, Holland, Michigan’s black population experienced a 20 percent growth in the last decade.

This week a new Center for African American Art and History opened in Holland, Michigan. 

Ruth Coleman is the center's director. She always wanted to see her African American culture representing in her community. 

Coleman hopes people in the Holland area come to the center to learn more about black culture.

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Arts/Culture
1:19 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Public radio program 'On Being' focuses on Detroit

The "Feedom Freedom Growers" working in Detroit (photo posted on the "On Being" website).
Amy K. Senese www.amysenese.com

It seems the entire nation is watching what will happen in the Motor City.

A new documentary opens this weekend looking at Detroit as the epicenter of the fallout of the new global economy.

And now, in their latest episode, the public radio program On Being uses Detroit to look at rebuilding.

The program's producers write the program is:

A Detroit you probably haven't seen in the news. It's a city of vigor — a place where neighbors are reimagining work, food, and the very meaning of humanity. To meet these people is to gain perspective on all of our work, and how we might imagine possibility in our own community.

The program includes conversations with 96 year-old social activist Grace Lee Boggs about reinventing society.

You can listen to the program below, and let us know what you think. Write a review of the On Being episode in the comments section.

Arts/Culture
12:02 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

'Detropia' makes debut at Sundance Film Festival this weekend

The filmmakers say if people only take away the message that Detroit has problems after watching 'Detropia,' then "we've failed at our job."
screen grab from YouTube video

Yes, yes... there are a lot of abandoned buildings and sad reminders of better times in Detroit.

While some artists come to Detroit to gawk at the "ruin porn," as Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra has pointed out, the filmmakers of the new documentary "Detropia" say they hope people take away something other than a sense of awe at the decay.

Co-directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady say they want their audience to understand the people who stayed behind in Detroit:

"Initially when we went there, we were just looking for this Phoenix story. We were hoping that there were people on the ground there that were really just going to fix the place. But after spending a couple years filming there, and spending time with our characters we realized that was really just a very dishonest story," said Grady.

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Arts/Culture
12:39 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

More than 60,000 flock to DIA's Rembrandt exhibit

Head of Christ, Rembrandt van Rijn, oil on oak panel, c. 1648-50. Staatliche Museen Preussicher Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Photo courtesy of the DIA

The current exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts is shaping up to be the museum’s most popular exhibit in recent history.

Pam Marcil is director of public relations at the DIA. She says attendance at "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" has been "really overwhelming almost. We’ve had about 60,000 people to date."

She says the “exhibit has brought in 3,500 new and renewed memberships to the museum.

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