Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Monks playing dungchen / Dechen Phodrang monastic school, Thimphu

A new study will create a digital sound map of religion in Midwestern cities by collecting sounds of worship – sounds like Gregorian chant, Muslim calls to prayer, and Native American chants.

The Religious Soundmap Project of the Global Midwest is led by Amy DeRogatis, an associate professor of religious studies at Michigan State University, and Isaac Weiner, an assistant professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University.

Flickr user Matt Taylor / Flickr

Albums, polka-dots and teddy bears aren't typically what you see as exterior house decor, but they've become a staple on Heidelberg St. in Detroit as part of the Heidelberg Project. The project is an outdoor community art environment created by Tyree Guyton.

It began when Guyton was a student at the College for Creative Studies in the 1980s. 

After a professor asked him what he wanted to achieve with his work, he had a vision.

"I was able to see using art as a medicine," said Guyton, "to take what was there and to transform it into something very whimsical."

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers
Courtesy of Joe Hertler

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers are releasing their latest album, Terra Incognita, today. The eccentric six-piece band from Lansing and Kalamazoo often perform wearing fur coats and Hawaiian shirts, and front man Joe Hertler likes to sport rainbow angel wings or the state flag as a cape.

shelf of wine bottles
Flickr user Geoffrey Fairchild / Flickr

Can you refrigerate red wine? Or should you? Chief wine and restaurant critic for Hour Detroit Magazine Chris Cook says maybe.

According to Cook, both white and red should be ideally kept at a temperature between 40 and 55 degrees, or the typical temperature found in wine cellars.

Craig Bernier

Craig Bernier’s collection of short stories, Your Life Idyllic, is the winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award.

Seven of the nine stories in the book are set in metropolitan Detroit — mostly Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties, Bernier said. One story is set at Ford’s Rouge Plant. It focuses on a man who feels trapped within his dad’s blue-collar life. 

Michigan Radio and Olympia Entertainment will welcome America's favorite storyteller, Garrison Keillor, to Detroit on Saturday, May 30, 2015 for a special live broadcast performance of A Prairie Home Companion.  The show will take place at the historic Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.

The May 30 show will feature live performances and comedy skits by Keillor and the Prairie Home cast. Keillor will weave local humor into the show and share his signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon," with Detroit audiences.

Valentine’s Day was yesterday, and maybe you’re still aglow from the candle-lit dinner you shared with your beloved at a fancy French restaurant.

Maybe you’re thinking about how, after the cheese plate, the chocolate mousse and a whole lot of wine, you finally got up the nerve to whisper “I love you.”

Just then the music swelled, and you waited with bated breath for your beloved’s response:

"Telefunken!" from Facebook fan Chris B.
Chris B. / Facebook

Just about every day of the year has something for some niche group out there.

Do you like peanut butter? There's a day for that.

Don't like to wear socks? Wave your sock-free freak flag every year on May 8.

Today is our day. 

a portrait of the band with instruments
Courtesy of Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys

Michigan natives Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys are spreading the love of music this Valentine's Day. Their latest album Ionia will be released on Saturday.

The album was recorded in the then-home of Lindsay Lou and her husband, who is the mandolin player for the band. Since then the band has moved to Nashville.

Lou says the move was motivated by stories they heard from friends about the music community there. While Michigan has many gifted young people that inspire creativity and collaboration, Lou says they're often spread throughout the state. She says Nashville provides more of a central community of musicians to feed off of each other's artistic energy.

author reading from her book in studio
Michigan Radio

One title, one state and thousands of readers getting caught up in literary discussion. That's the Great Michigan Read, a biennial program of the Michigan Humanities Council.

The 2015-16 winning book is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

It was a 2014 National Book Award Finalist along with being named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by the Washington Post, Time Magazine and Amazon. Michigan Radio program director Tamar Charney reviewed it earlier this year.

Why we must grieve

Feb 12, 2015

All this week on Stateside, in our series Living with Death, we're talking to people about how the process of death and dying has changed. Today we talk about why we must grieve when someone we love has died.

Imagine if your friends referred to you as “the death lady.” That’s what Kim Parr’s friends like to call her and honestly, she has mixed feelings about the nickname.

How do you get in a good relationship and stay in it? You could say, that is one of life's $64,000 questions!

And, it is a central question driving the characters in a collection of short stories by West Michigan author Lisa Lenzo. 

The book is Strange Love. The stories take us through the lives of Annie Zito, a divorced mom and her daughter Marly. The book was also on the 2015 list of Michigan Notable Books.

We originally aired this story on Valentine's Day, 2012.

It packs a lot into three minutes: young love, religious intolerance, small town bigotry, and the difficult life decisions we all have to make. 

It ends with a high school reunion that changed everything.

73-year-old Judith Narrol and 74-year-old Ed Storement were married on Valentine's Day, 2012.  They tell us they couldn't be happier. 

Michelle Chamuel's latest album, "Face the Fire," is out today. Chamuel was previously the lead singer of Michigan-based band Ella Riot, and more recently Chamuel gained fame as runner-up on season four of "The Voice."



If you really, really love history – of if you really, really love Ludington – then having a 19-day event called "History Prize" in the Lake Michigan town of 8,000 sounded like a great idea.  

For less ardent fans, however, the concept of three weeks of exhibits, collections, and "living history" tours put on by historians competing for cash prizes may have been less than thrilling. 

Either way, it's not happening now. At least, not in Ludington.

You’re sitting on the couch, about to settle in for some serious Netflix binge watching, when you see it.

A huge, hairy spider is skittering across the floor in front of you. As it gets closer, you raise your foot, ready to quash the little beastie in its tracks.

Hold on. You can’t quash a spider, can you? Shouldn’t you squash him? Or maybe you should squish him. What about squooshing him?

Actually, we’re not sure that last one is really a word.

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - One of the country's top Islamic leaders is holding prayers away from his Detroit-area mosque as his relationship deteriorates with board members.

The Detroit Free Press reports Imam Hassan al-Qazwini led prayers Friday at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan and Ohio researchers are building a "sound map" of religion in Midwestern communities to explore religious diversity in a novel way.

Religious and comparative studies professors from Michigan State University and Ohio State University received a $30,000 grant from the Humanities without Walls consortium. It's funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

mconnors / MorgueFile

Walk the aisles of any wine shop or grocery store, and check out the wines crowding the shelves.

Chances are, most of the offerings come from the U.S., France, Italy, and Australia. 

But Hour Detroit Magazine's chief wine and restaurant critic, Chris Cook, says don't ignore the wines being produced in Spain.


After a life of loving music, Grand Rapids graphic designer Dana Nyson has released his very first EP. It’s called “So Far.”

Nyson decided to pursue his passion at 50 years old, when he signed up for music lessons with teacher James Hughes, one of the owners at Triumph Music Academy in Grand Rapids.

But he had one big problem to overcome: Playing in front of his teacher, James.

Amelia Kanan / Flickr

Comedy Central is the home of some pretty creative comedy series, including Workaholics and Broad City. Now the network has ordered up a pilot for a new show called Detroiters, to be set in the Motor City.

Former Detroiters Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson are behind the show. Richardson is a new cast member of Veep on HBO, while Robinson has been a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live.

Jimmy Hoffa on WESW-TV's Morning Exchange program sometime between 1971 and 1975.
WEWS-TV / YouTube

A new documentary digs into one of the most compelling and best-known unsolved crimes in American history. 

"Killing Jimmy Hoffa" is being released ahead of the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of the famed labor leader after a meeting at a Bloomfield Township restaurant.

Detroit is the birthplace of techno music. Its creator is Juan Atkins, known as the “godfather of techno,” and after more than three decades in the scene, he’s still performing and making new music. Stateside’s Emily Fox spoke with Atkins about the legacy of Detroit techno. Atkins' latest album, under the name “Model 500” is out today. It’s called “Digital Solutions.”

Help! I'm covered in snow! (Ann Arbor, MI)
Mike Perini / Michigan Radio

More than a foot of snow fell on much of Michigan after a major winter storm that lasted around 28 hours.

To get a quick sense for how much snow fell and where it fell, MLive's Andrew Krietz created this map with data from the National Weather Service.  

The storm started on Sunday, February 1, 2015. Monday was a “snow day” across much of the state as schools and businesses closed for the day - even U of M had a snow day - a rare event. 

The word “hat” wears many hats in the English language. 

Figuratively speaking, of course. 

So how did one of our favorite winter accessories become part of so many idioms and metaphors?

Hang on to your hats, while we take a closer look.

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) - The pope has elevated a historic church in suburban Detroit to the status of minor basilica.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit says that Pope Francis awarded the honor to the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak.


DETROIT (AP) - The chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts is scheduled to visit Detroit's cultural center area, including the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Jane Chu's planned tour on Monday includes the Sugar Hill Arts District and the Woodward Garden Block. She's also set to visit the art museum and speak with reporters there.


The subject of diversity in the performing arts takes center stage in Detroit this weekend at the 2015 SphinxCon.

The annual conference is hosted by the Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based, national non-profit that promotes diversity in the fine arts.

“It speaks to Sphinx’s mission for the arts to be representative of our diverse society,” says Abigayl Venman, Sphinx director of artistic affairs. “And really strive for the arts to be relevant to all facets of our community.”


From wife carrying contests to polar bear dives, people in Hancock will be celebrating this weekend. Why? Because it's halfway through winter and time for Heikinpäivä, a celebration of the Finnish culture in Michigan.

According to Dave Maki, the assistant editor of the Finnish American Reporter, Finland only began celebrating Heikinpäivä after the Finnish-Americans started the tradition here in Michigan.

Last week, we told you about Rebecca Scherm, an emerging Ann Arbor author who has broken into the literary scene with her novel Unbecoming

As Kate Wells explains: