Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Stateside 9.13.2017

Sep 13, 2017

What happens if a mysterious company becomes the Monsanto of marijuana? That answer comes today on Stateside. And, we hear former Governor James Blanchard explain why he supports Gretchen Whitmer for governor.

street performance
Courtesy of the National Theatre of Ghana


The magic of theater is coming to Michigan in a new, unique form. Starting today through Sunday, the University of Michigan Center for World Performance Studies hosts the National Theatre of Ghana

The centerpiece of this residency is a series of open-air performances of the Tennessee Williams one-act play 10 Blocks on the Camino Real. Written in 1948, it’s the story of an American sailor struggling to survive in a poor foreign town.

Stateside 9.12.2017

Sep 12, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear state House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, break down the House of Representatives' legislative priorities for this session. And, we learn why Howell is considered the KKK capital of Michigan.

Courtesy of Buddy Moorehouse

The scenes of white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, including the Ku Klux Klan, led many to think about these groups in our state.

Michigan Radio listener Zachary Jones from Ypsilanti was ahead of the game. He submitted the following question to our MI Curious team back in June:

Why is Livingston County considered the KKK capital of Michigan?

Courtesy of Encore Michigan

Theater around Michigan this week ranges from a modern French farce to a show about an exotic dancer’s death in Detroit.

To talk about those shows and everything in between, David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside for today’s rendition of "Theater Talk."

Stateside 9.11.2017

Sep 11, 2017

Today on Stateside, we revisit the day Muhammad Ali went to Ground Zero. And, we learn why one researcher think's Amazon's second headquarters competition is a "red herring."

Drawing of the World Trade Center obtained from Yamasaki & Associates.
Archives of Michigan

Most of us remember where we were 16 years ago today when the twin towers came down in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The buildings, once a towering representation of New York's financial district, became a massive pile of concrete and twisted metal in less than two hours.

The time has come again for University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan to offer her opinion on another round of language disputes.

Every September the editors of the American Heritage Dictionary send a ballot to panel members, asking about usage issues.

Curzan and around 200 others are tasked with voting "yea" or "nay" on the way we've been using words like "cohort" and "hoi polloi."

Nic Morgan holding drink
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s hard to find. The address is 80 Ottawa Avenue NW in Grand Rapids.

But unless someone has told you about it, you probably would never realize that once you take those concrete steps down from the sidewalk, enter a door into an entryway, turn your back to the pizza place, and enter yet another door, you’ve arrived.

This is SideBar. It’s a tiny 18 seat bar where people who love craft cocktails gather.

Stateside 9.7.2017

Sep 7, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear about a bitter brotherly feud, and how Kellogg's Corn Flakes reimagined American breakfast. And, we learn about Detroit's "Femology," a collaborative space tailored to businesswomen.

Stateside 9.6.2017

Sep 6, 2017

As state lawmakers get back to work, we learn why auto insurance and pension reform top the Lansing agenda on today's Stateside. Also, an emphasis on STEM and skilled trades is all the rage these days--but what about the value of a liberal arts education?

Author Oummu Kabba and her father Brima Kabba
Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

It’s never too early to begin following your passion.

That’s true for ten-year-old Oummu Kabba of Kentwood, one of Michigan’s youngest published authors. Schuler Books of Grand Rapids has published four of her books already.

Seth Thompson/Revue​


Each month, Stateside checks in with John Sinkevics, the editor and publisher of Local Spins, a site that covers West Michigan’s music scene. Sinkevics discusses new artists, their backstories and what makes their music great.

Recently, two listeners, including one named Ruth, asked us what's going on with "ruthless." For starters, a ruthless action is one that's clearly without ruth, but can an action also be full of ruth?

The answer is  yes, something can be ruthful, but here's a better question -- have you ever actually used that word?

There's no need to be ruthful if your answer is no. In the Corpus of Contemporary American English, there are over 2,000 instances of "ruthless" and zero instances of "ruthful."

But ruthful wasn't always such a pariah.

picture of kelly church holding cradle board
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Soon, the entire park-like area we’re in will echo with the sound of pounding, metal against wood. It’s nearly a ringing or gong-like sound.

But first, Jeff Strand strips the bark from a black ash tree log. Then he takes out a knife and scores the end of it, a sort of pie wedge cut.

“So that the undergrowth rings have relief, so they’ll come up out of it as I’m crushing the growth rings. The ax is for crushing the fibers in between the growth rings and when you do that, they release,” Strand explains.

Stateside 8.31.2017

Aug 31, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn Michigan has the highest ratio of robots to workers in the country, and what that could mean for the humans in our state. We also learn if the small town of Benzonia is ready for gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, and how rule changes and safer equipment could save football from itself.


The Crystal Café in Benzonia has been a popular breakfast spot for 20 years. The restaurant serves standard diner fare like corned beef hash, but also gets creative with dishes like Hawaiian omelets and bread pudding French toast.

Thomas Wright is the new owner of Crystal Café, but just a year ago, he was a server here. He moved north from Ann Arbor with his fiancé, and they were enjoying the Up North life and planning their wedding.

Then, last summer, out of the blue, the owners of the café said they wanted out of the business.

garrison keillor

In July 2016, Garrison Keillor wrapped up 42 seasons of hosting the public radio favorite A Prairie Home Companion.

The show resumed that October with Chris Thile as its host.

Those of you who've missed Keillor's inimitable voice and style can take heart. He is taking a break from retirement and going on the road with the Prairie Home "Love & Comedy" Tour.

Stateside 8.29.2017

Aug 29, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a filmmaker who wants the U.S. Census Bureau to stop classifying Arab Americans as "white." And, we learn how political consultants are getting into the "fake news" business.

a stone wall

Every study abroad program offers a chance at discovery. You get to explore a different country and its unique cultural traditions, history, and cuisine.

A group of students from Washtenaw Community College (WCC) took that discovery to a whole new level when they uncovered priceless Roman artifacts during an archaeological dig at an ancient Roman fort in England.

Wayne State University Press, 2016

The poems in Zilka Joseph’s second book, Sharp Blue Search of Flame, sear with poignant images and brilliant diction. Whether she’s reinventing myths from Jewish and Hindu Indian culture or commenting on the contemporary American scene, this poet speaks with the authority of lived wisdom. The range of experiences she captures spans from physical pain to erotic joy. Though troubling, even terrifying at times, this world we inhabit still holds great beauty, Joseph insists.

A young listener named Cam recently asked us why "Mrs." has an "r" in it, even though it's pronounced "missus."

Great question Cam. Since "Mr." is pronounced "mister," it's pretty easy to understand where that "r" comes from, but the "r" in "Mrs." is a different story.

It starts with "mistress."

We know what you're thinking. All we're going to say is that mistress is a very complicated word, and we only have time for just a tiny bit of its etymology.

Stateside 8.25.2017

Aug 25, 2017

Today on Stateside, an expert explains what doesn't add up about Major League Soccer's business model. And, we hear from the editor of a new neighborhood guidebook that gathers stories from voices around Detroit.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We've been thinking about the kind of people you might like to meet. We talk with a lot of authors, musicians, politicians and policy wonks. But, what about artisans? They're the people who use their hands and hearts to build things that we use.

The next stop in our “Artisans of Michigan” series is Zimnicki Guitars in Allen Park, Michigan.

Stateside 8.24.2017

Aug 25, 2017

Fake polls are a thing, so how can you tell the difference? That answer comes today on Stateside. Also today, farmers explain why the local food movement makes it a "great time" for young people to go into agriculture. And, we learn why cyclists and swimmers will be towing a piano from Flint to Mackinac Island this weekend.

Stateside 8.23.2017

Aug 23, 2017

Today on Stateside, the mayor of Kalamazoo says donor money helps the city reach its goals after being "abandoned" by the state.  And, we learn how "shady ladies" celebrate emerging female authors in style.

Azeezah Ford will be moving to Honor, MIchigan in Benzie County to start farming  at Wild Things Farm
Courtesy of Azeezah Ford

In Stateside’s series of conversations with young farmers in Michigan, some of the farmers we've talked to are working on their families' farms, carrying on a tradition that has spanned generations.

Azeezah Ford is a young farmer taking a different path. Ford grew up in Detroit, and early next year she'll begin full-time farm work in Benzie County in northern Michigan.


An engrossing book, delicious food, and sparkling conversation. Put all that together in Detroit and you've got the Shady Ladies Literary Society.

Group founder and Detroit-based writer Amy Haimerl, author of Detroit Hustle, and Ashley Shelby, whose novel South Pole Station will be featured at the society's upcoming meeting, joined Stateside on Wednesday.

Kramchang / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

What’s lighting up stages in Michigan this month?

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside today to give his take on productions from professional theater companies around the state.

Evidence suggests that some people are throwing up their hands, and others are grabbing their dictionaries when confronted by the multiple forms of a word that describes someone who has graduated from a school.

We should point out that this "evidence" is purely anecdotal. But that doesn't mean it's not worth exploring.

So what do you call a former student? 

The conundrum here stems from the fact that there are two forms of the word in question, one masculine and one feminine.