Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

robertafking.com

His name was Noah. He was born with cerebral palsy. When he was 17, he lost his battle against infections that had ravaged his lungs.

Noah's mother, Roberta King, is from West Michigan. She has shared the story of her son's life in her new memoir He Plays A Harp.

“It’s a joy to me to bring him to people that never knew him. And I think through that I feel a little less of the loss,” King said.

The story starts with the Noah’s conscious decision to die and then walks through his parent’s journey in dealing with the loss.

“A lot of parents experience the birth of their children. And, gratefully, not a lot experience their death,” King said. “I wanted people to know what that was like to walk your child from one place to another.”

*Listen to full show above. 

Peter Wege.
Steelcase

"Do all the good you can for as many people as you can for as long as you can."

- Peter Melvin Wege

The Former Steelcase Inc. chairman and philanthropist Peter Wege died at his home in Grand Rapids yesterday.

He was the son of Peter Martin Wege, who founded Steelcase more than a century ago. Steelcase and rival office furniture manufacturers Haworth Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. anchored the Grand Rapids area's economy for decades.

Peter Melvin Wege created his foundation in 1967. It has given away millions, much of it in his hometown.

More about Wege from his obituary:

Wikimedia Commons

Every movement has its landmarks and history, and that holds true for the gay rights movement.

LGBT history has landmarks in New York, with The Stonewall Inn, Christopher Street, and the theater district.

San Francisco has the Castro and Market Districts, and the San Francisco City Hall where Harvey Milk was assassinated.

Chicago has the Old Town Triangle District and the home of early gay rights leader Henry Gerber.

But what about Detroit? LGBT historian Tim Retzloff says there is a rich history of Detroit’s gay community that has not been properly told.

Retzloff corrected that omission with the dissertation that earned his PhD from Yale: two volumes, 680 pages, taking an exhaustive look at gay life and history in Detroit and its suburbs from 1945 to 1985.

“Detroit had a different story than what you are finding in New York and San Francisco, or even the other cities that had been done,” Retzloff said.

You say potato and I say ... well, that depends.

On this week's edition of That's What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan investigate the  various pronunciation of commonly used words.

Pure Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - The National Cherry Festival is getting underway in Traverse City, with the opening weekend featuring a return appearance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and several events linked to the region's growing reputation as a foodie haven.

On Saturday, the headliner is a "Blues, Brews and BBQ" program featuring beers and ciders from Michigan microbreweries and a wide selection of barbecues, with some recipes featuring cherries.

Wikimedia Commons

“Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our nation whole.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act outlawed discrimination against African Americans and women.

Leslee Fritz, deputy director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, joined Stateside to reflect on this moment in history and its connections to Michigan.

“It really is the foundational act of so much of the law that we rely on today,” Fritz said.

Fritz said John F. Kennedy really began the process, and Johnson saw it through. The Civil Rights Act led to the Voting Rights Act the following year, as well as the Fair Housing Act, and the Americans with Disability Act.

When the act became law, it was right in the middle of Freedom Summer, the effort to register black voters in Mississippi. Fritz said that the University of Michigan provided the largest number of volunteers for that effort.

Fritz added that Michigan has a proud history of being very progressive. There are a number of people who played key roles, both in the activist effort as well in the legal efforts to get the Civil Rights Act passed. Michigan voters in 1963 approved a new state constitution that set up the first civil rights commission in American history.

“We should be proud of that legacy and frankly, we should be doing a better job today of living up to it,” Fritz said. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

- Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom. 

user: Wystan / Flickr

The 90th anniversary of a Ku Klux Klan rally in Jackson, Michigan is approaching.

On July 4, 1924, 100,000 KKK members marched in a two-mile-long procession.

Joellen Vinyard, a professor of history at Eastern Michigan University, joined Stateside to talk about the history of the Klan in Michigan.

Vinyard said Michigan was fertile ground for Klan recruiters in the early 20th century. As the auto industry grew, white and black southerners traveled north for jobs. Immigrants also came into the state looking for jobs, and most of them were Catholic.

“The Klan in Michigan was as anti-Catholic as it was anti-black,” Vinyard said.

Vinyard said the Klan’s stated aim was to “keep America safe for Americans,” and its members viewed Catholics as a threat to democracy and the Protestant way of life they believed American was based on.

She added that Klan members were not ashamed to be affiliated with the group. Many marched without their hoods. Coca-Cola even openly sponsored one of their rallies.

However, as the country moved into the Great Depression, the Klan began to lose popularity. Scandals were unveiled, funding was being mismanaged, and people began to feel betrayed by some of their own.

Vinyard says we need to study the history of the Klan and understand who they were. 

“The Klan in Michigan in the '20s, it was a grassroots movement. It’s a reflection of democracy in action,” she said. 

*Listen to the full story above. 

–Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom.

Michigan Historical Center

A $1 million grant is going to the Michigan History Foundation.

It's from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and will help the Michigan Historical Museum revamp its 25-year-old exhibits.

But the grant is also meant to focus on racial equity. The money will be used for the museum's "Sharing Michigan's Untold Stories" project. Some of that will include stories of the indigenous tribes who where here before the Europeans came. 

Sandra Clark directs the Michigan Historical Center. She is working to incorporate diverse stories and voices into the museum.

The expression 'one off' is not a one of a kind expression.

This week on That's What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan inquire about the concept of 'one off' and its origins.

According to Curzan, 'one off' first shows up in 1934, and it means 'made or done as only one of its kind', and it's not repeated - it's a one-off product, a one-off event. Its origins are British, but has been in use in American English since the 1980s.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This Saturday, a unique museum experience will open in Michigan.

“Cell Block 7” at the state prison in Jackson will officially open to the public.  The museum is located in the old Southern Michigan Correctional Facility. The cell block was closed in 2007.  

The museum will chronicle the history of state prisons in Jackson, which dates back to the 1830s.    

Michelle Chamuel fan page / Facebook

His name is Arjun Singh. He's a 24-year-old student at the University of Michigan.

Singh has teamed up with former U of M student Michelle Chamuel to produce an extended-play recording called "The Drift."

And if that name and voice ring a bell, they should.  Chamuel came in second on season four of "The Voice."

With virtually no promotion, the EP hit No. 2 on the iTunes electronic charts.

And the title track of "The Drift" features more Michigan talent, including rapper Isaac Castor of Saline High School. Castor and Arjun Singh joined us today.

 Listen to the full interview above.
 * This segment originally aired on February 18, 2014.

People bit by the media bug everywhere

Jun 26, 2014
Reem Nasr / Michigan Radio

Journalism is considered to be one of the most influential, glamorous and attractive professions in Pakistan.

The same craze to work for media seems to be in the U.S. too.

It’s usual to see young people from different professions blindly jumping into journalism in Pakistan, but it’s really amazing to find the same craze for my beloved profession in the U.S. too.

On Being / Flickr

Grace Lee Boggs celebrates her 99th birthday this week.

The Detroit woman is an icon of the Black Power, civil rights and labor movements.

She was born to Chinese immigrant parents in 1915. Eventually, she became one of the only non-black and female leaders in the Black Power Movement.

A new film about Grace Lee Boggs, "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," will debut on the PBS series "POV" on June 30.   

Filmmaker Grace Lee joined Stateside today.

Grace Lee is not related to Grace Lee Boggs but said their names brought them together when Lee created a film called "The Grace Lee Project," which explored the many facets of Asian American women and the common name of Grace Lee.

“I knew that when I met Grace Lee Boggs that I would have to make a longer film about her someday,” Lee said.

And that’s what she did. Lee said what really drew her in was the idea that evolution is part of revolution, a comment made in a lot of Grace Lee Boggs' writing.

“I think the ability to really reflect on what a certain movement has given us and where there might be contradictions and where you can sort of move forward from that has really been helpful for me in my own life,” Lee said.

Lee said that what she hopes viewers take away from the film is that the story is not just an evolution of Boggs, but of the story of Detroit and the United States.

“I think it is really important for us to know these stories that may not necessarily be so familiar, but they are just sort of under the surface,” Lee said.

You can read more about the film on PBS website here.

*Listen to full interview above. 

http://www.performancenetwork.org/
The Performance Network Theater

Michigan’s theater community took a hit a few weeks ago, when an iconic professional theater in Ann Arbor suddenly shut down.

Audiences showed up for the evening performance only to find a note on the door, saying everything was canceled indefinitely.

In a panic, the theater community rushed to come up with a plan, any plan, that could save it.

“When the locksmith showed up, the writing was on the wall.”

May was a busy month for Carla Milarch.

Wikimedia Commons

This year brings the 20th season for the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.

Since its founding, the non-profit professional theater group has brought the bard to thousands of theater lovers in southeast and mid-Michigan.

The new season will run July 17 to August 17.

Janice Blixt is the artistic director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival.

“For the 20th season we decided to go big or go home, so we are going big,” Blixt said on Stateside.

You can find the full schedule and all details on their website.

*Listen to full interview above. 

Moiz Karim is a visiting journalist from Pakistan, working in the Michigan Radio newsroom for three weeks.
Reem Nasr / Michigan Radio

During my 25-day stay in Michigan, I found public media working for a mission, which is progress of the society, not money and power.

I am a Pakistani journalist and currently work at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor, Michigan, under the journalist exchange program by the International Center for Journalists.

The people of Michigan and people of my home country face some common problems, especially issues related to health, broken roads, bankruptcy, crime and others. But I never saw public media reporters and editors take sides on these issues. Nor did I see them blame all the problems on the government.

From what I saw, public media teaches their society about their responsibilities and duties towards resolving the issues.

Play ball!

Even when we are not talking about baseball, we are often using the language of baseball.

On this week's edition of That's What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan explore baseball terminology and the expressions that are commonly used, even though the reference may have nothing to do with baseball.

826 Michigan/Facebook page

    

Most kids in the state are on summer break. And, while the year wrapped up with final tests, and end of year activities, one group of students celebrated the end of their school by becoming published authors.

826 Michigan is a nonprofit organization that supports students in developing their writing skills and helps teachers inspire students to write. This year the students worked with English Language Learner students and teachers at Ypsilanti Community High School.

This book is called Enjoy! – Recipes for Building Community. It includes essays, letters and recipes from the students and from chefs and other members of the local food community.

Joining us today were Liz Sirman, an ELL teacher at Ypsilanti Community High School, Lucy Centeno, one of the student writers from Ypsilanti Community High School, Ari Weinzweig, co-owner and founding partner of Zingerman’s.

Courtesy of Megha Satyanarayana

This week, you may have heard me on the radio asking people a question.

What song saved your life? It's not something people are asked very often, but I've found that it gets some pretty intense responses

So, here's the last piece in the series. Megha Satyanarayana is a reporter with State of Opportunity. 

Even though today is the "official" last day in the series, I want to hear from you. Do you have a song that saved your life? Tell us the story! Call and let us know at 248-962-3806. And you can also use the #songsavedme on Twitter.

Steven Davy / flickr

Michigan singer and songwriter May Erlewine’s seventh full-length album “Where We Are” was released today on Earthwork Music.

May tells Stateside that writing the album was a bit of a challenge, as life threw her many curve balls.

May and her husband, Seth Bernard, lost two close friends and a grandmother, and then discovered they were pregnant with now four-month-old Iris Betsy, 

“The album is sort of a time capsule of that experience and that time,” May says. “I just sort of sat down with the feelings each day and just let it flow through."

Katy Perry / Facebook

All this week I'm doing a special series about music. 

Why? Read this.

I'm asking people a pretty personal question: What’s the song that saved your life?

So far, people have told us why R. Kelly, Bryan Adams (he sang "Summer of '69") and Billy Joel are so important to them. 

Disa Grove's song helped her see herself in a new way. Grove grew up near Los Angeles and moved to Michigan last fall.

You get a taste of a bigger story as people mention the songs that saved their lives, such as this one - Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams.
User: Klaus Hiltscher / flickr

Today we’re starting a new series about music. We’re calling it "What’s the Song That Saved Your Life?"

Stateside’s Kyle Norris asked a lot of people that question. She found that sometimes they have an immediate answer. And other people really have to think about it.  Kyle talked with folks at a bowling alley in Wayne, Michigan, and shares their responses.

*Listen to full interview above.

All this week we’re going to hear from people who say one song saved their life. And we want to hear from you. Do you have a song that saved your life? Tell us the story! Call us and let us know at 248-962-3806. And you can also use #song-saved-me on twitter. Stateside's Kyle Norris produced our series, and she may even use your story on the air.

Bryan Adams Official / Facebook

There's a reason I've been asking this question.

I do a lot of reporting where I interview artists and people in the arts communities about why the arts matter.

I believe there is great value in these kinds of stories. But I realized I wasn’t talking nearly enough with non-artists about how and why the arts have mattered to them. I felt that if I couldn’t highlight why the arts mattered on an everyday level to everyday people, then I wasn’t serving our listeners very well.

Then I remembered a quote. 

“We all have a song that saved our lives in junior high,” someone great once said. (It may have been said by a famous person or by one of my friends – I really don’t remember, so apologies to the person I should credit.)

When I heard that quote I immediately knew my song. It was “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure in seventh grade at Holland Woods Middle School in Port Huron, Michigan. The sound of squeaky shoes in hallways came instantly flooding back and so did memories of my crushes at the time. I remembered my fierce love for my friends, and snapshots of what worried me. That's to say, a lot came back, by simply remembering one song.

Greetings!

In emails and letters, we address a lot of people who are not dear to us as
"dear."

On this weekend’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller talks with University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan about greetings and closings used in the age of the email.

The use of "dear" has been the default salutation, going back to the 17th century, when it became the polite form for letters as in "Dear Sir" or "Dear Madam," says Curzan, but there are less formal salutations by using words such as ‘hi’ to open an email or letter.

Credit Wikimedia

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Casey Kasem, the smooth-voiced radio broadcaster who became the king of the top 40 countdown, has died at age 82.

Danny Deraney, publicist for Kasem's daughter, Kerri, says Kasem died Sunday morning.

Kasem's "American Top 40" began on July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles. The No. 1 song on his list then was "Mama Told Me Not to Come," by Three Dog Night.

Inside the Arab American National Museum.
www.accesscommunity.org

DEARBORN, Michigan – The Arab American National Museum plans to host Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for a tour, meetings with community leaders and town hall-style event.

The museum in Dearborn says the visit is planned for Monday, including remarks by Snyder around midday. 

Dearborn has large Arab and Muslim populations. The museum says Manal Saab, who is on the museum's National Advisory Board, invited the governor to visit.

Brendon Connelly / Flickr

Michigan destinations are working their way into these lists: Saugatuck was voted No. 1 Summer Weekend Escape in America in a recent USA Today reader poll. And a somewhat obscure Upper Peninsula drive got on a top 10 "Best U.S. Road Trips" list.

Ellen Creager, a Detroit Free Press Travel writer, says the big reason for the publicity is the Pure Michigan campaign. However, don’t limit yourself to “Cool Places to Visit” lists when choosing your next Michigan vacation spot.

Moiz Karim is a visiting journalist from Pakistan, working in the Michigan Radio newsroom for three weeks.
Reem Nasr / Michigan Radio

I am Moiz Karim, a journalist from Pakistan.

I work for Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as Radio Pakistan, as an editor in Islamabad.

Before Radio Pakistan I had worked for different regional and national newspapers and a newswire. I started my career at a local weekly newspaper and worked my way up to national dailies.

Green Alley Project

When you close your eyes and think of an alley, what do you see?

Trash? Junky cars? A place where danger lurks?

Or do you see a place where people might stroll? Perhaps car-free? Certainly cleaned up.

That's what Sue Mosey sees.

She's president of Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit community-development group that is working to transform gritty urban alleys in Midtown Detroit into something that is green, something you would want to walk through, and something that helps with urban revitalization.

Mosey said the alleys in Midtown Detroit were in very bad condition, some even collapsing. Mosey said the group worked with the Department of Public works to help with underground repairs.

“Since we are going to have to redo them anyway, we figured why not make them green and sustainable and beautiful,” Mosey said.

They repave, rebuild, and add lighting to the alleys, as well as other projects to make them more attractive and safe for the city.

“It’s an opportunity to reuse something that is usually seen more as a negative and create something unexpected and really positive and people really respond to that,” Mosey said. 

*Listen to full interview above. 

Elliot Rodger's shooting rampage near the University of California Santa Barbara campus claimed the lives of seven people, including his own.

His hate-filled videos and "manifesto" expressed a sense of male sexual entitlement that struck a deep chord with women around the world.

Almost immediately after the May 23 shooting rampage in Isla Vista, women took to Twitter to share and vent about their experiences with sexual fear, harassment and sexual assault.

#YesAllWomen has been exploding since it erupted May 24.

Women are sharing thoughts such as:"#YesAllWomen because apparently the clothes I wear is a more valid form of consent than the words I say".

And from Aimee Mann: "The cops who asked me,"well, what were you wearing?" when I reported an attack and attempted rape.#YesAllWomen"

Stateside wanted to get the thoughts on #YesAllWomen from a dad. How should dads be talking to their sons? How can dads help today's women feel more secure around men?

Doug French is the co-founder of the Dad 2.0 Summit, and co-creator (with his ex-wife) of the blog "When the Flames Go Up", about co-parenting after divorce.

French said he was very surprised by the tweets. “I had no idea,” he said.

French added that dads should be talking with their sons about the issue, so that when they become men they will respect women. However, he said that just talking will not suffice.

“You can talk to your kids as much as possible about this sort of thing, but the thing that trumps that is example and the sheer quantity of examples that they see,” French said.

He added that where the dads can come in is stopping the systemic misogyny that is learned.

“One of my favorite tweets is the tweet that said, ‘I started reading #YesAllWomen because I have a daughter. But it became more apparent that it’s more important because I have two sons,’” French said.  

*Listen to full interview above.

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