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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Courtesy of Ice Dreams Sculptures

For most of us, working in subzero temperatures doesn’t sound like the dream job. But the cold doesn't seem to bother World Championship ice carver Tajana Raukar.

Raukar is the owner of Ice Dreams Sculptures in Plymouth. It's cold in her studio, and she's wearing full on winter gear. 

Stateside 1.10.2018

Jan 10, 2018

Today on Stateside, the state says there's enough money to keep the Children's Health Insurance Plan running until summer. And, in the midst of uncertainty, a science advisor to the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team says the new cleanup standard for PFAS chemicals errs on the "side of caution." Also today, country-rock and jazz artist Jill Jack reflects on two decades of making music in Michigan.

Michael Hacala

Fans of singer-songwriter Jill Jack know she's been a mainstay of Detroit’s music scene for over two decades.

Back in October, she released her 12th full length album These Days, a nod to the Jackson Browne tune.

At the 2017 Detroit Music Awards, Jack was recognized for Outstanding Americana Artist/Group, Outstanding Americana Vocalist and Outstanding Jazz Recording for "Pure Imagination."

Stateside 1.9.2018

Jan 9, 2018

Today on Stateside, a law professor says Attorney General Bill Schuette has failed consumers. Schuette strongly disagrees. And, we discuss the game-changing effect of being able to see mental illness.

Eyewear Publishing, 2017

Cal Freeman’s newest collection of poems, Fight Songs, has nothing to do with ‘The Victors’ or ‘Victory for MSU.’ Instead, his poems are about unsung, little-noticed lives, about underdogs, about animals, plants, and nature.

DENVER BRONCOS

It’s game day in Denver.

Before the Broncos start playing football, players are announced as they sprint onto the field through a smoke-filled tunnel shaped like three wild, galloping horses.

 

This pregame ritual is only a couple minutes long, but for an NFL team, it’s a really big moment. 

“It is on a national stage a lot of times,” says Liz Coates, Game Entertainment Manager for the Broncos.

“It’s what TV uses when they’re rolling out … highlights,” she says. “A lot of that footage gets used.”

MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL LEAGUE / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Theater Talk is back for the New Year.

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside today to bring the latest look at productions from professional theater companies around the state.

As the New Year begins, he also shares his thoughts on the state of professional theater in Michigan, including what he says is its biggest challenge: awareness.

Stateside 1.8.2018

Jan 8, 2018

Today on Stateside: Will a rare indoor velodrome become Detroit's newest Olympic breeding ground? And, "mediocrity will perpetuate mediocrity," so how do the Red Wings break free? Also today, a trans opera singer discusses his risky decision to follow his dreams. 

On this week's edition of That's What They Say, English Professor Anne Curzan joined us from Salt Lake City, Utah where she attended the American Dialect Society's annual meeting. 

Each year, the ADS gathers to choose a word that best represents "the public discourse and preoccupations of the past year."

Before we reveal the word that dominated 2017, we feel it's necessary to assure you that there's nothing false about this report.


Rob White / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

In this era of texting and tweeting, we’re at risk of losing some of the marvelous words that add texture and meaning to conversation and writing.

A good place to begin to up our collective language game is by checking out the newest list from the Wayne State University Word Warriors. The group dug around in the linguistic cellar to recover neglected words that deserve a place in 2018.

Yes, 2018 has arrived! Time to look back at some highlights from West Michigan’s music scene in 2017 as well as looking forward to some artists generating attention as the new year unfolds.

Top West Michigan musicians of 2017

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say this was a banner year musically for the west side of the state, which already had produced stars like BØRNS, a native of Grand Haven who continues to electrify the pop scene from his new home in Los Angeles.

Stateside 1.2.2018

Jan 2, 2018

2018 feels like a monumental year in politics. Today on Stateside, we discuss which way Michigan voters will swing. Also today, a psychologist explains why we're so easily fooled by fake stories online. And, we hit the streets to capture some of our fellow Michiganders' hopes and dreams for the new year.

Author Doug Stanton
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The last American troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973.

America's direct intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end, after many bloody years, and 58,220 American lives lost.

Afterward, the nation, and those Vietnam veterans, had a tough time processing and talking about this war that did not end with victory.

Mixtape: Colin Stetson, Stef Chura, and Royce da 5’9”

Dec 19, 2017
Courtesy of artists

Today on Stateside, we take an end-of-the-year listen to music from Detroit-area artists. Our guides, as always, are Paul Young, publisher of Detroit Music Magazine, and Khalid Bhatti, the magazine's executive editor. 

Listen to the full conversation above, or read highlights below.

Colin Stetson, “All This I Do for Glory” from All This I Do for Glory

Today on Stateside, an economist explains why "the average family doesn't really get a whole lot" from the $1.46 trillion tax overhaul. And, the mastermind behind Jumanji gives his take on the updated film version. We also learn why it's not hard for foster kids to just disappear, and what a Traverse City author is doing to try to change that. Finally, we learn why it's important to recruit black, male teachers.

If you're someone who likes to mull things over, consider this question our holiday gift to you.

When you mull something over, must "over" always be part of the equation? Or can you leave it out and simply mull something?

Take a second to mull that over.


Courtesy of Emma Weinstein

On Sunday, there will be a staged reading of a new play called Come My Beloved. It's described as being about race, intimacy, and Detroit.

The play chronicles a Friday night in the lives of three black and Jewish couples at different points in time.

The playwright and director is Emma Weinstein, and she joined Stateside today.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

You don’t have to have a password, or pull a secret lever, or push a button for entry, but the Sidebar in Grand Rapids definitely has that speakeasy feel. The address is available: 80 Ottawa Avenue NW, but finding it is a little tricky. Hint: go down the steps toward the pizza place.

Wystan / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

104 years ago this month, some 400 miners and their families were at a Christmas Eve celebration in Calumet in the Upper Peninsula. 73 men, women and children would not live to see Christmas Day.

We know this tragedy as the Italian Hall Disaster and the 1913 Massacre, born out of the depths of a long and bitter miners' strike.

Today on Stateside, we discuss why the heat on MSU has gone from "zero to 100." We also talk to subjects of the new documentary on Flint that looks for "inspiration in the wake of desperation." And, we answer this MI Curious question: Why do so many international Olympic figure skaters train in Michigan?

“Inspiration in the wake of desperation.” That’s the theme of a powerful documentary called For Flint.

In the film, director Brian Schulz shows the foundation for a rebuilt Flint can be found in the lives of its neighbors.

Jeremy Daniel

There's no shortage of Christmas productions this season. And, as always, David Kiley of Encore Michigan tells about a few of the latest happening around the state. 

Listen above to hear his take on the following:

There's examples all over the the place of people using "there's" before a plural noun. In fact, we just gave you one.

A listener named Bill from Kalamazoo recently wrote to us about this. He's noticed all kinds of people, including broadcasters, using "there's" in front of words that refer to multiple things such as "thousands" or "many" instead of using "there are."

He says, "As an old guy, it drives me crazy. Especially when said by a 'professional' who should know better."

Bill, all we can say is guilty as charged.


There is just so much to process, so much to, well, not to sound old, but growing up we just never would have anticipated this level craziness.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are celebrating the reopening of a downtown landmark.

The Capitol Theatre has been closed for nearly 20 years.

But thanks to a $37 million restoration, the theater is once again opening its doors.

“What makes this building special actually is the connection that the community has had with it for nine decades,” says Jarret Haynes, the executive director of the Whiting theater, which will manage the Capitol Theatre.

The New Press, 2017

There are accepted historical “facts” which do not hold up to closer scrutiny. One of those is that slavery was something that happened in the South, not the North. That is simply wrong.

A new book examines examples of Northern slavery, focusing on the early days of Detroit.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Earlier this year, Stateside traveled to Plymouth to visit Planet Marimba. That’s the workshop of Matt Kazmierski. It’s actually the garage at his home. When we arrived, he was working on a practice marimba which basically is a scaled back marimba with no resonator which makes it quieter.

If you’re a college music student, getting into a studio to practice can be a challenge. But, if you’ve got a practice marimba, you can practice at home and not disturb the neighbors.

Courtesy of Tasha Stielstra

Many call skiing to mind, or ice skating, when thinking about winter in Michigan. A growing number of Michiganders, however, envision a team of dogs pulling a sled through snow-covered forests and fields.

Dog sledding is getting more popular in Michigan, with more and more people seeking out places like Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Racing & Adventures in McMillan, in the Upper Peninsula.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Tuesday marked the release of NPR's Book Concierge List, an annual book guide produced by NPR critics, reporters, and member stations.

To accompany that list, Michigan Radio has compiled a list of our book reviews from 2017. 

Check it out below!

This month, we’ll look back at three of 2017’s “Under-the-Radar” albums by West Michigan bands; three terrific recordings folks might have overlooked.

The Turnips - StopWatchTimeDrop

Tamar Charney / NPR One

When I moved from Tennessee to Michigan, winter hit me like a ton of bricks, or maybe it was a full body ice cream headache.

Remember how winters used to be really, really cold? One day you’d wake up and there was no doubt – fall was gone. Winter had arrived. Suddenly the wind rushed straight from the arctic and smacked you in the face. Snow piled up around you, and your eyes stung from the cold.

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