Arts & Culture

Stateside
3:07 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Exploring "Ballroom Culture" in Detroit

The cover of Marlon M. Bailey’s book.
UM Press

What is “Ballroom Culture”? Well, a surface definition might be a culture that centers on a competition where black LGBT individuals dress, dance and vogue - competing for prizes and trophies.

But there is more to Ballroom Culture as my next guest spells out in his new book "Butch Queens Up In Pumps: Gender, Performance and Ballroom Culture in Detroit.”

Marlon Bailey is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies at Indiana University. And he brings another perspective to his writing -- that of a black gay man who grew up in Detroit and who was deeply involved in Ballroom Culture.

Listen to the interview above.

Arts & Culture
11:30 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Heidelberg Project surpasses fundraising goal for security

The Clock House is no more. It was burned along with several other structures in the world-renowned Heidelberg Project.
The Heidelberg Project via Facebook

The world-renowned urban art installation in Detroit's east side has met its fundraising goal for additional security.

Five houses in the Heidelberg Project were burned down in the last year - three remain.

The Project's effort to raise money for lighting, security cameras, and security patrols has exceeded its goal of $50,000. As of this writing, they've raised $51,330 in their online campaign.

There have been no arrests related to the fires dating back to May, but local and federal officials are investigating.

Tyree Guyton founded the project in 1986 as a response to urban decay in his neighborhood. The city initially attempted to stop the project by tearing buildings down, but once the area gained national and international attention, and attracted tourists, the city embraced the community art project.

Stateside
4:34 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Latest survey tells us how many of our teens actually smoke, drink, and take drugs

The University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research has been conducting this study for 36 years.
United Nations Photo

How many of our teens actually smoke, drink, and take drugs? And what kinds of drugs and tobacco products are they using?

That's what the University of Michigan and the National Institute on Drug Abuse seek to learn in their annual surveys of 40,000 to 50,000 teens in grades 8, 10, and 12.

The latest Monitoring The Future survey was released today.

Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator for the project, joined us today. He’s with the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

Stateside
3:35 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Michigan musicians record Christmas CD to support children in need

It's December. That means the airwaves are filled with Holly Jolly Christmases, White Christmases, Jingle Bell Rock and that ever-present Little Drummer Boy.

So, in the interest of public service, we thought we'd present a way for you to hear some fresh holiday music, performed by Michigan artists. The CD is called "A Michigan Christmas of Hope."

Holy Cross Children's Services will receive every penny of money raised from the CD. It's one of the largest private providers of specialized schools and children's services in Michigan.

Devin Scillian is best known as the anchor on WDIV-TV in Detroit. But, he's also built quite a following as a singer-songwriter. And, joining Devin is Russ Russell of Holy Cross Children's Services. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Culture
11:12 am
Wed December 18, 2013

A friendship starts after radio story touches Ann Arbor woman

Keisha had never had a real Christmas tree until she met Judy.
user myeyesinthemirror deviantart

For the next few days we're featuring stories of ordinary listeners who read or heard a story on State of Opportunity and decided to give some of their resources or time as a result. We know many of you have done the same. If you've got a story to share or an idea of how people could help let us know here. If you need ideas of what you could do, check out the resources page. We'll update it with  listener suggestions as they come in.

One of the big reasons people pause in their lives and reach out to someone else is because they feel emotionally moved by someone's story.

That happened to an Ann Arbor woman after hearing the story of Keisha Johnson on Michigan Radio.

In her piece "Life on public assistance, a personal story," Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra introduces us to Johnson who is working hard to create a good home for her children - something Johnson didn't always have as a child.

Judy and her husband were getting ready for their day in their home. But they paused to hear the story: 

"After I heard that, I said to him, you know, something really is motivating me to try to meet this woman."

And so she did. Head on over to the State of Opportunity site to hear more about Keisha and Judy's friendship.

Arts & Culture
4:20 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Stateside: Historic Christmas feasts, festivities

These hungry youngsters are partaking in a historic tradition
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

A conversation with Bill Loomis about Christmas feasts of yore.

(Editor's note: The piece originally aired on December 20, 2012) 

Holiday feasts have increased in both complexity and decadence since their 19th century beginnings.

Bill Loomis of the Detroit News spoke with Cyndy about some historic festive spreads.

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Stateside
5:09 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Remembering one of the biggest tragedies in Michigan 100 years later

The town of Calumet.

An interview with historian Steve Lehto.

This month marks the 100 year anniversary of one of the saddest chapters in Michigan history. It’s called The Italian Hall Disaster, a terrible tragedy that happened on Christmas Eve, 1913, in the Upper Peninsula town of Calumet. Someone yelled "Fire!" in a packed hall and the resulting stampede killed 73--60 of them children.

It happened during the Copper Country Strike, one of the most painful chapters in Michigan's labor history.

The Copper Country Strike of 1913 and the Italian Hall Disaster is the subject of new documentary called “Red Metal,” soon to air on PBS. It is drawn from a book about the disaster called Death’s Door, written by Steve Lehto. He’s a historian with ties to the Copper Country that go back to that bitter time.

Steve Lehto joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Mon December 16, 2013

South African children's choir brings big voices to Michigan

The Key of Hope children's choir takes the stage in Michigan this month. That girl in the center? You've got to hear her sing.
Rebecca Guerriero Michigan Radio

Hear from the kids themselves - and get more of their music - by listening to the full story.

This next story seems right for this time of year.

A children's choir is in Michigan this month ... from South Africa.

They're from the outskirts of Durban, a beautiful port city that also has one of the worst AIDS epidemics in the world.

Many of the kids in the choir are orphans. Several have HIV themselves.

It's their first time in the U.S., and they're traveling around the state all this month to raise money for friends and family back home.

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That's What They Say
8:51 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Auto-antonyms: Words that mean their opposite

It seems hard to believe that we as speakers can tolerate a word meaning two opposite things at the same time.

Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan reveal some auto-antonyms, or words that mean their opposites, on this week’s edition of That’s What They Say.

Curzan begins with an example that Jesse Sheidlower, the North American Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, shared with her.

In the sentence, “Mary and her partner had just moved in upstairs, and their boxes lay on the kitchen floor still unpacked,” unpacked is an auto-antonym. It should mean there’s nothing in the boxes, but it actually means the boxes are full.  

“For many of us, in that sentence unpacked means un-unpacked,” Curzan explains.  

The list of auto-antonyms continues. The verb dust can mean “to put dust or sugar on” or “to take dust off.” Similarly, the verb sanction can mean “to permit or to allow with legal authority” or “to impose a penalty on,” which suggests not permitting.

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Arts & Culture
1:46 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Ford set to digitize material for online museum

The Henry Ford

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Ford and the Henry Ford museum are taking their collection of historical documents, photos, video and other items and digitizing them so they can be shared online with the public.

The Detroit Free Press reports that among the 14 million items accumulated in the Ford archives in Dearborn is the resignation letter Henry Ford sent to his board of directors in 1945, in which he said he needed time to pursue personal interests. They also have sketches, ad campaign materials and video.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Combating 'festival fatigue' in Traverse City

cherryfestival.org

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Traverse City commissioners are considering a proposal to deal with so-called "festival fatigue."

Some residents say there are too many summer festivals in a downtown park called the "Open Space" that runs along Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. They complain about noise, crowds and trash.

Others say the festivals are good for the tourist economy and fun for locals as well.

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Arts & Culture
4:17 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

A final resting place for the remains of dozens of Native Americans

The beginning of a procession carrying the remains of dozens of Native Americans to a cemetery in Mt. Pleasant
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The remains of dozens of Native Americans were buried during a special ceremony near Mt. Pleasant today.    

The remains had until recently been held by the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

Several women shook small rattles as a long line of men and women carried small cardboard boxes containing the remains of 129 Native Americans to a small snow-covered cemetery.    The cemetery has become the final resting place for many Native Americans whose remains were used in research. 

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Arts & Culture
11:04 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Michigan veterans honored with wreaths this Saturday

8,468 wreaths will be laid on the graves of servicemen and women at the Great Lakes National Cemetery on Saturday, as part of Wreaths Across America
Credit Wreaths Across America / Great Lakes Chapter

Remember, honor, and teach. Those are the goals of the Wreaths Across America program, through which wreaths will be placed on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and at 28 cemeteries across Michigan this Saturday.

David Watts coordinates the event for the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, where this year nearly 9,000 wreaths will be placed, thanks to community donations and sponsorships.

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Politics & Culture
4:33 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, December 12th, 2013

The state Legislature has been busy in its last week of session for the year - from increasing limits on campaign contributions, to issues regarding medical marijuana.

On today's show, we'll get an update from Lansing. Both the state House and Senate passed a voter-initiated law requiring consumers to buy separate policies for abortion coverage. What will this mean for you?

Later in the show, we’ll talk drones. Estimates show there could be some 175,000 unmanned aerial vehicles in U.S. airspace by 2025.

We'll speak to a Michigan entrepreneur who's trying to develop drones for commercial market, later in the hour.

But first, we check in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes. On his mind this week is a "re-tooling" of Michigan's auto industry.

Stateside
3:07 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Ann Arbor filmmakers document a struggling high school basketball team

Assistant Coach Rudie Crain talks to the Medora team.
MedoraFilm

Cyndy Canty interviews filmmakers Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn.

It began with a New York Times feature story about a struggling boys' high school basketball team in a tiny town in southern Indiana.

The story of the 0-22 Medora Hornets so gripped a pair of Ann Arbor filmmakers that they picked up and moved to struggling, hardscrabble Medora, Indiana for a full year to follow the team as it fought for just one win.

In doing so, Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn discovered layers and layers of compelling stories, which they have packed into a powerful documentary.

"Medora," which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, is now being screened all around Michigan.

There will be a live screening tomorrow night in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Theater. Additional screenings will be held in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo (see listings here).

Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn joined us today (listen to the interview above).

Watch a trailer for the film below, and here's a link to their website.

MEDORA OFFICIAL TRAILER from beachside on Vimeo.

Arts & Culture
2:00 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Detroit Institute of Arts praises initial work by federal bankruptcy mediators

Flickr

Leaders at the Detroit Institute of Arts praised the efforts of federal mediators today saying they're working toward a solution that protect's the museum's collection while giving relief to the city of Detroit.

The collection has been seen as a potential source of revenue by some creditors who are poised to lose a lot of money in the Detroit bankruptcy.

More from the DIA's press release:

At a meeting with the mediators on Tuesday, the DIA expressed enthusiastic support for the work that has been done to date, and pledged to help refine and implement the plan in the weeks ahead. The plan engages national and local foundations among other funding sources to create a mechanism for providing cash for the City, while ensuring the present and future safety of the DIA collection. Details of the plan are still in process, as meetings with the foundation community and others continue. The DIA has begun to mobilize its considerable public support to help implement a fundraising strategy that will satisfy the City’s needs, while ensuring the well-being of the museum for the residents of Detroit, southeast Michigan and beyond.

Politics & Culture
5:17 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

We saw them rise, then fall, then rise again -- small, independent bookstores are making a come-back in Michigan. We'll explore the renaissance on today's show.

And, then, the state is close to wrapping its plans to make programs more accessible to people with disabilities - that's in order to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We'll talk to the state's compliance director later in the hour.

But we start with the first woman to be placed in the top spot of a major automaker. She began her career at General Motors as an engineering co-op student in 1980. 33 years later, Mary Barra has made history by being named the next CEO of GM.

GM made the ground-breaking announcement today that CEO Dan Akerson has moved up his retirement to January 15th after discovering his wife is battling advanced stage cancer.

Michigan Radio’s auto reporter, Tracy Samilton, tells us more about Mary Barra and what this appointment means to America's auto industry.

Stateside
1:30 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Independent bookstores are enjoying a renaissance

Inside Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of Nicola's Books

Remember "You've Got Mail," The Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy?

Writer-director Norah Ephron says she wanted to make a point about little independent bookstores like Meg Ryan's "Shop Around the Corner" being crushed by the big-chain bookstores, Tom Hanks' "Fox Books."

That was 1998, and many small independent bookstores were indeed fighting for their lives in the face of the big-chain stores.

Now, in 2013, the book-selling landscape has changed. Borders books collapsed in 2011 and Barnes & Noble closed many of its stores.

There is Amazon with its talk of using drones to drop your order at your door in a few years. But guess what? Independent bookstores are enjoying something of a renaissance.

Deborah Leonard, director of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, and Peter Makin, owners of Brilliant Books in Traverse City, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:24 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

What if Shakespeare's 'King Lear' took place in Flint?

A group photo of the class.
Mary Jo Kietzman

One of Shakespeare's great tragedies is King Lear, the story of an ancient British king who devises a "love test" in hopes of dividing his kingdom equally among his three daughters.

An English professor at the University of Michigan Flint has taken King Lear and, working with her students, set the scene in Flint and turned it into a staged reading called "Lear Reassembled." They'll be performing it December 10th and December 12th.

Mary Jo Kietzman joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
3:24 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

After 42 years, the hero of Detroit's Opera steps aside

David DiChiera has made the Michigan Opera Theatre his life's work. Now, he'll be handing some of those reins off to a new CEO.
http://www.michiganopera.org/leadership/david-dichiera/ Michigan Opera Theatre

The man who helped turn the Michigan Opera Theatre into one of Detroit's most prestigious arts centers, is stepping aside as general director after 42 years.

David DiChiera is an institution in Detroit: he started the Opera in 1971 and he's been running it ever since.

And it's thanks to his fundraising efforts that Detroit even still HAS an Opera, given how hard the recession hit the arts.

Now DiChiera is 78, has prostate cancer, and is bringing in a new president and  CEO to run the financial side.

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