Arts & Culture

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.

Read more
Arts & Culture
2:21 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Only 3 house installations remain after latest Heidelberg Project fire

The Clock House burned last night.
The Heidelberg Project via Facebook

What was built over several decades, is coming down in less than a year.

Last night, the fifth house in the world-renowned art installation on Detroit's east side was burned.

The Heidelberg Project's Clock House burned last night around 11 p.m., according to the Detroit News:

The suspicious fire tore through the Clock House, near Elba Place and Ellery, about 10:50 p.m. Sunday, according to Battalion Chief Edward Voss. Smoke rolled through the neighborhood, blanketing it like fog. Fire crews arrived within five to seven minutes, but it wasn’t enough time to save the art display, said Voss.

It's the fifth house to be destroyed by arson in the last two months.

Heidelberg supporters wonder if the remaining three houses will be standing at the end of the year.

The three remaining houses, according to the News, are the Dot House, the Numbers House, and the Teddy Bear House.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, and the agency is assisting the Detroit Fire Department in investigating the fires.

The News reports that police have not made specific plans to increase patrols in the Heidelberg area.

Heidelberg organizers have raised nearly $39,000 toward a goal of $50,000 to increase lighting and private patrols in the two-block area.

Michigan Radio's Emily Fox spoke with Guyton after the third house, the Penny House, was burned. Guyton told Fox the fires have inspired him to make more art:

“No matter what happens, the arson fires, the demolitions, that magic in here keeps telling me, do it, do it, don’t stop. Oh, it gives me energy, I’m saying turn it up. I’m like, that’s the best you got?,” Guyton says.

Guyton began the Heidelberg Project in 1986 to call attention to the extreme blight in Detroit's neighborhoods. Anyone who has information about the fires is asked to call the arson unit at the Detroit Fire Department (313-596-2940), or the ATF at 888-ATF-FIRE.

That's What They Say
8:50 am
Sun December 8, 2013

How to pronounce words ending in '-ed'

Most of the time the final -ed on words is not pronounced as its own syllable, but then every once in a while, it is.

This week on That’s What They Say, Host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss tricky -ed endings and the history of this suffix’s pronunciation.

Historically, -ed was always pronounced as its own syllable. In the 18th century, Jonathan Swift voiced his desire to preserve the final -ed  in his book, A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue. Swift wrote, “By leaving our a vowel to save a syllable, we form so jarring a sound, and so difficult to utter, that I have often wondered how it could ever obtain.”

Nowadays, we rarely pronounce -ed  separately. But what about problematic words that can be pronounced either way, like beloved?

“Usually when it is an adjective, you would say it as two syllables,” Curzan explains regarding beloved. “But if it’s a noun, you would say belov-ed and pronounce it as its own syllable.”

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:38 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Muskegon is home to America's tallest, singing Christmas tree

At Mona Shores High School, students make up the five-story christmas tree.
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

 


A major holiday performance happens this weekend in West Michigan. Students, teachers and parents at Mona Shores High School have spent thousands of hours preparing for the event, where they create a living breathing, and singing Christmas Tree — that’s five-stories tall, and holds more than 200 student singers.

It’s getting lots of national attention. In 2011, TLC featured the tree on its aptly-titled holiday show, “Extreme Christmas Trees.” This year, it’ll be highlighted on the Travel Channel.

The show is now in its 29th year.

Almost 300 hundred students from Mona Shores High School have been practicing for this show — held at Muskegon’s Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts — since Labor Day.

Read more
Arts & Culture
5:26 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Detroit music legend Derrick May says bankruptcy is just a new angle to an old story

May at the 'Free Your Mind' festival in 2009.
Rene Passet Flickr

There was another plot turn in the long story of Detroit's struggles yesterday.

A federal bankruptcy judge looked at all the evidence and declared, yep, the city of Detroit is indeed insolvent.

It's new, for sure, but for many who have lived and worked in Detroit, it's just more of the same.

Derrick May is one the founding fathers of techno music. Detroit was the birthplace of the genre, and May has achieved a lot of success traveling around the world playing shows. (Listen to his breakout hit here.)

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:07 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

3 things to know about Christie's preliminary report on the DIA

user aMichiganMom Flickr

According to the Detroit News, Christie's Appraisals estimated the market value of the DIA's city bought works at somewhere between $452 and $866 million.

Christie's released the preliminary report today. The full report will be shown to Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr the week of December 16.

Read more
Stateside
3:39 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Meet indie-folk group The Accidentals

Katie Larson and Savannah Buist
Facebook

Popular music has had stellar examples of singer/songwriters who met in school...whose partnership began at a very young age.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney met when John was 16 and Paul was just 15. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met in grade school. They were 12 years old and had their first hit record, "Hey Schoolgirl," when they were just 16 years old.

Now we want you to meet a Michigan duo who are getting a lot of buzz for their indie-folk songs, The Accidentals.

The Accidentals are Katie Larson and Savannah Buist, who met at the Interlochen Arts Academy. They are 18 years old, and they joined us today from Traverse City.

Listen to the full interview above.

That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Nowadays you can parse all kinds of things

Parsing used to be restricted to sentences, but now we can parse all kinds of things.

This week on That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan talk about the verbs to parse and to vet.

Parsing originally came from the Latin noun pars, meaning “parts”  as in “parts of speech.” When parse appeared in the English language in the 16th century, it referred to analyzing a sentence syntactically by breaking the phrase down to its parts of speech.

However, by the 18th century, parse came to mean “examining something closely by breaking it into component parts,” or even “to understand.” Now, parse has yet another definition to computer programmers, meaning “examining strings.”

Read more
Stateside
2:07 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Learning more about the Amish in Michigan

user shirl wikimedia commons

When you think of "The Amish" what comes to mind?

Horses? Buggies? Long dresses and bonnets? Long beards? No electricity?

Well, yes, there is all of that. But there is so much more to the Amish in America, and here in Michigan, where the Amish population numbers around 11,000.

We wanted to find out more about the Amish -- especially what the rest of us might learn from them.

Consider this: how does a one-room Amish schoolhouse - going only to eighth grade, with only a battery-powered clock in the way of "technology" - how do these schools turn out highly successful entrepreneurs whose firms gross annual sales in the million-dollar range?

I'm joined by Gertrude Enders Huntington joined us today. She’s a retired professor from the University of Michigan. She is the co-author of "Amish Children: Education in the Family, School, and Community.”

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
4:42 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

How co-workers view 'personal expressions' of their colleagues at work

Nearly half of the Detroit workforce lack the basic skills needed by employers
sideshowmom Morgue File

Ask anyone here at Michigan Radio who walks by my cubicle: I love my husband, kids and grandson. I love the countryside in County Cork Ireland, and I love Roger Daltrey of The Who.

Why do they know that?

Because all around my desk, I've tacked up photos of my family, of the fields of West Cork, and of my meeting with the legendary Who singer.

It's something I've always done at my desks throughout my career.

But an intriguing study by University of Michigan researchers suggests I might not be doing myself a favor with such "visible expressions" of my personal life.

Joining me is one of the five co-authors of the research paper, set for publication in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at UofM.

Newsmaker Interview
4:40 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

StoryCorps celebrates its 10th anniversary

Screenshot.
Storycorps website.

StoryCorps is celebrating its 10th anniversary of bringing us conversations that move us, make us laugh, make us think...and of course, draw some tears. 

Today, we talk with the founder of StoryCorps, David Isay about their new book "Ties that Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps”.

Stateside
4:37 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Ann Arbor school finds a creative way to teach kids music

The Detroit Symphony musicians and the DSO management have agreed to meet
Zuu Mumu Entertainment Flickr

All too often, as school districts are forced to cut spending, programs like music get the ax.

And that sorry fact robs students of the chance to learn music, to make music, and leaves one to wonder: Where are the musicians of the future going to come from?

One Ann Arbor Elementary School is teaming up with the University of Michigan School of Music for a unique approach to teaching music...and they are turning to Venezuela for inspiration.

It's called El Sistema.

The program originated in Venezuela, and the idea was to teach disadvantaged children, to help them discoverer the power of music.

I spoke with Professor John Ellis with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where among other things, he is Director of Community and Preparatory Programs - and Horacio Contreras Espionoza, he is a UofM grad student studying cello, and he is an El Sistema teacher at Mitchell Elementary School in Ann Arbor.

Stateside
4:31 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Jewish contribution to American cooking

Part of the cover of the More than Matzo Balls cookbook by the 2010 National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis Section.
Courtesy of the University of Michigan Library

 

There's an exhibit going on now  through December 8 at the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. It's entitled "American Foodways: The Jewish Contribution."

Janice Bluestein Longone is the co-curator of the university's new exhibit.

She has spent more than four decades creating a 25,000-item library of American culinary literature -- one of the largest, most acclaimed private collections in the world.

But, Jan says she was surprised by the outpouring of support she received from the Jewish community.

Stateside
4:12 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Heidelberg fires in Detroit energize Tyree Guyton to make more art

Emily Fox Michigan Radio

An open air art installation in Detroit has become the subject of a suspected arson rampage.

It's had 6 suspicious fires in 7 months.

The fires have demolished several homes that are key to the art project, but the artist behind the project says he’s energized by the wreckage and is ready to begin another stage of his art project.

The Heidelberg Project is on the east side of Detroit and takes over two city blocks.

Read more
Stateside
3:36 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

An interview with Ann Arbor electro-pop music duo Hollow & Akimbo

Hollow & Akimbo
Bruno Postigo Facebook

An interview with with music duo Hollow & Akimbo.

That’s “Hollow and Akimbo” on their new EP “Pseudoscience” on Quite Scientific Records.

Their electro-pop is winning this Ann Arbor duo some very warm praise from critics, including some in the UK.

Hollow & Akimbo duo Jon Visger and Brian Konicek joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
12:40 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Pere Marquette 1225 back on the rails after four years

Maiden run of refurbished Pere Marquette 1225
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

The historic steam locomotive that inspired the movie, "Polar Express" is back on the rails after four years of renovations.

The effort took a lot of steel, four thousand bolts, a million dollars, and countless volunteer labor hours.

The massive Pere Marquette 1225 in Owosso is one of a few remaining operable steam engines of its size.

Aarne Frobom is President of the Board of Directors for the Steam Railroading Institute. He says the train is a living history lesson.

Read more
That's What They Say
8:05 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Because language change

“Because language change.” Is this a sentence? 

On this week’s edition of That’s What They Say, host Rina Miller and University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan discuss the changing use of because and slash.

On Tuesday, an article  in The Atlantic by Megan Garber brought attention to a new usage of because. Because can now be followed by a noun, adjective or gerund like in the phrase, “Because Internet.”  

“Because is traditionally a subordinating conjunction, so it requires a clause after it, as in, ‘I’m late because I was watching videos on YouTube,’” Curzan describes. “Or it can be a compound preposition, like, ‘I’m late because of the traffic.’”  

Today, thanks to the evolution of language on the Internet, people are writing and saying phrases like: “I’m late because YouTube,” “I’m not going out because tired,” or “I’m late because running.”

Read more
Stateside
4:38 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

The Michigan Opera Theatre is a gem in Detroit

David DiChiera is the founder of the Michigan Opera Theatre.
michiganopera.org

Detroit sure has seen its share of challenges in the past

4o years, but all through that time the city has been home to one of the most vibrant regional opera companies in the nation: The Michigan Opera Theatre.

The founder of the MOT is Dr. David DiChiera.

He’s recently been named the 2013 Kresge Eminent Artist. That prize is the Kresge Foundation’s annual lifetime achievement award in the Arts.

It’s been called the most prestigious local prize in the field of culture. David, We welcomed David to the program today.

*Listen to the audio above.

Pages