Arts & Culture

Music
1:51 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

Striking DSO musicians schedule holiday concerts

Musicians with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra perform at a church in Bloomfield Hills to raise support for the strike.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The striking Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians will play three holiday concerts outside of Orchestra Hall. The musicians have been on strike since Oct. 4, and since then have played several concerts in metro Detroit to raise awareness and money for the strike.

DSO management has cancelled concerts at Orchestra Hall through Nov. 28.

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History
10:33 am
Mon November 15, 2010

The "golden era" of state capitol building

A big reason Elijah E. Myers' design for the Michigan State Capitol won was because it was going to be the cheapest to build.
Michigan Capitol Collection

Michigan Radio's Lester Graham put together this slideshow about the construction of Michigan's State Capitol in Lansing. After the Civil War, many state capitols were built. Graham reports domes were a common feature to show allegiance to the Union (the dome on the U.S. Capitol was constructed during the civil war).

FILM
12:50 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

Michigan Film Festival this weekend

(from left to right) Girbe Eefsting, John Acdespres, and Jen Pider prepare at the UICA for the Michigan Film Festival.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

A celebration of Michigan-made films starts Friday night in Grand Rapids. The second annual Michigan Film Festival runs through Sunday. The films are winners of other film festivals across the state or were recommended by college film programs.

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DSO Strike
7:11 am
Tue November 9, 2010

DSO cancels more concerts

Photo Courtesy of ZUU Mumu Entertainment

Amind a continuing strike by its musicians, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has canceled concerts through November 28th.  The Associated Press reports:

Arts on the Road
2:57 pm
Sun November 7, 2010

Artists profile the route between Toledo & Detroit

"Bittersweet" by Nancy Patek

 

Three female artists have spent two years road-tripping around the small, often rural towns between Toledo and Detroit. They've talked to anyone they met.

Martine MacDonald is one of the artists. She says, “People have a deep connection to the area in which they live and work."  She also says the people they've met have been incredibly open and willing to share their stories with the artists.

The art exhibit is called “Toledo to Detroit: A Curious Journey on the Old Indian Trail." It’s at the Biddle Gallery in Wyandotte until November 13th. 

musician obit
3:32 pm
Sat November 6, 2010

Opera Legend Dies

Acclaimed American mezzo-soprano and soprano Shirley Verrett has died at age 79, in Ann Arbor.  New Orleans-born Verrett was one of the top black opera singers of the 1970s and 1980s. She taught at the University of Michigan.

Here's a great excerpt from a speech she once gave to her students:

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Music
2:11 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians, management resume talks

DSO musicians perform at a church in Bloomfield Hills to raise support for the strike.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians have been on strike for a full month. Concerts have been canceled through this weekend. But now comes word that both sides have agreed to enter informal talks to try to end the work stoppage.

Here's the latest proposal that was on the table to deal with a $9 million budget gap:

Musicians proposed a temporary 22 percent pay cut.

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra Strike
11:31 am
Fri November 5, 2010

Talks resume over DSO contract

ZUU Mumu Entertainment/Creative Commons

Informal discussions have resumed between striking members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and their managment.  In seperate statements released today, both sides said the talks are aimed at getting the

Music
11:09 am
Fri November 5, 2010

Detroit Female Rapper Tackles Social Issues

Detroit's own, Invincible

The rapper Invinciple recently lobbied successfully for MTV-U to air her independent video, Ropes. The song is controversial because it deals with suicide and depression. Invincible once seemed poised to “make it” in the record industry in the Big Apple.  Instead, she chose to go back to Detroit and rap about tough social issues that matter to her.

She'll talk with Dick Gordon on The Story, Friday night at 8 pm.

Check out her video "Ropes," that addresses the issues of suicide:

Food
6:50 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

First "restaurant week" underway in Grand Rapids

It's restaurant week in GR
restaurantweekgr.com

A number of Grand Rapids restaurants are booked this weekend thanks to the new event celebrating great dining at a reasonable price.

San Chez sous chef Daryl Rector prepares for the night shift. "We've got verduras y tortas for the vegan crowd. It's a spicy black beans & quinoa cakes with roasted vegetables and this avo-cumber sauce," Rector explains. "That's a fake yogurt that we make with avocado - basically puree that, add acidity and sweetness and you can't really tell the difference between that and yogurt."

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Election 2010
5:28 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

Arts advocacy group gives thumbs up to Governor-elect Snyder

Artist studio
Photo courtesy of Dani Davis

Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy group, says Michigan's governor elect is a champion of the arts.

In Republican Rick Snyder's plan to reinvent Michigan, he talks about "restoring funding for the arts." State funding is currently around $2.5 million, down from $26 million in 2001.

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Reviving closed schools
7:32 pm
Wed November 3, 2010

Workshop will help developers buy, repurpose school buildings

Cooley High School in Detroit. The school was one of many recently closed by DPS.
user chuckjav Creative Commons

Detroit Public Schools officials are working to educate developers on strategies for purchasing and re-using closed school buildings.

The school system will host a workshop later this month in collaboration with an historic preservation non-profit. Potential buyers will get information about possible uses for the buildings, as well as information about tax credits, codes and the purchase process.

Karen Nagher heads Preservation Wayne. She says school buildings can be a great buy:

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Arts/Culture
3:13 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Writing helps heal

Russ Hicks
Russ Hicks

Russ Hicks has recently experienced the death of his spouse and the loss of his job of 22 years. The thing helping him cope, is his writing. Two big changes recently happened to Russ Hicks.

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Music
2:21 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Ann Arbor hosts 50th anniversary celebration of experimental music festival

Members of the original ONCE festival gather at a loft
Makepeace Tsao Tsao Family

Musicians, composers and academics from around the country will be in Ann Arbor this week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ONCE festivals.

Five composers from Ann Arbor - Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, George Cacioppo, Roger Reynolds, and Donald Scavarda - created the ONCE festival because they wanted their music to be heard and they wanted to push the boundaries of contemporary music.

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ARTS
4:05 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

Writing helps one man heal from some big life changes

Writing helps Hicks "make connections" between his past & present
Courtesy Russ Hicks

Two big changes recently happened to Russ Hicks. His wife Carol was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.

“I tell you right after Carol died I was completely rudderless and almost berserk. There was a time, a week afterward, at work where they said ‘you 'gotta go home and we'll drive you home!'”

Shortly after that, Hicks got laid off from his job of 22 years at a factory warehouse.

“And so here I am, within a year’s time I’d lost my wife and my job.”

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Arts
4:40 pm
Sat October 30, 2010

Soup, salad, & micro-funding

Catherine Hadler

Several Detroit artists have started what they call “an experiment in micro-funding.”  Once a month they host a public dinner that costs five dollars. During the dinner, several local groups pitch ideas for a creative project they’d like to do.  Diners vote on the proposals and at the end of the night the winning project takes home the money raised from dinner.

 

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Arts
3:34 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

New program trains arts leaders in Grand Rapids area

Modern dance company Wellspring celebrates its 30th anniversary this year
Amelia Falk Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers

35 arts organizations in west Michigan have been picked to be part of a new two-year training program run by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The goal of the program is to teach arts leaders how to fundraise better and attract new board members, among other things.

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The politics of music
12:54 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

An update on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike

DSO musicians perform at a church in Bloomfield Hills to raise support for the strike
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

There’s a big fight going on at Orchestra Hall. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians have been on strike for nearly a month, and they say management's proposed cuts are unreasonable. Haden McKay, a DSO cellist, calls it "the most extreme attack that’s ever been made on an orchestra in the United States."

The DSO is one of the top ten orchestras in the country, but it's saddled with a multi-million budget deficit. Both sides agree that cuts need to be made, but that's about all they agree on. Here's where things stand:

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Old art, new job
11:01 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Crafting a career out of woven rugs (slideshow)

Petrie learned how to weave at the nonprofit Cross Village Rug Works. She says anyone can learn how to weave if they have patience and like to work with their hands.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Cross Village in northern Michigan is like a lot of small, rural towns in the state, where money is tight and jobs are scarce. And when winter comes around and all the tourists are gone, the outlook is even bleaker. So a group of women started up a cottage industry of rug making to help locals sustain themselves through the lean months.

23-year old Jasmine Petrie wears her hair in pigtails and has tattoos on her back and arms; she looks more like a rock star than a rug weaver.

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Rebuilding Detroit
10:26 am
Wed October 20, 2010

Artists seek a room of their own in Detroit (audio slideshow)

Artist kt Andresky teamed up with the 555 gallery to purchase a 40,000-square foot building for $21,000. The building will be turned into a live/work space for artists.
Jennifer Guerra Reporter

Struggling artists generally don't make a lot of money, so they tend to live in grittier parts of the city where rent is really cheap. Inevitably, they spruce things up, more people move in, rent goes up, and artists are priced out. To ensure that doesn't happen to them in Detroit, a group of artists are taking matters into their own hands.

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