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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Corner of a library with bookshelves and a study table
Blue Mountains Library / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 


 

The National Endowment for the Arts came up with its Big Read program to draw communities together. 

 

The idea is to choose a book and get people reading, talking, and sharing ideas. 

JEFFREY SMITH / FLICKR - HTTP://BIT.LY/1XMSZCG

It’s time for another edition of Theater TalkDavid Kiley, editor-in-chief of Encore Michigan, joined Stateside to preview and review plays around Michigan.

Johnson's Sambo Princess prints hanging in the exhibit
Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson

 


 

Detroit artist Paul Johnson has produced a lot of work that explores the female form — a curvy, tiny-waisted, large-and-drooping-eyed figure. 

It's no trifle that we received two emails within two weeks about the word "trifle." The first one came from a listener named Matt who writes:

"Something insignificant is often described as 'a mere trifle.' At the same time, something that could be very challenging is said to be 'nothing to trifle with.' How did we end up with such different meanings for the same word?"

As English Professor Anne Curzan was researching Matt's question, a colleague who also wanted to know more about trifle sent her an email with the subject line "Because I'm triflin'." 

Coincidence or kismet? We're pretty sure it's the latter.


Stateside 4.20.2018

Apr 20, 2018

Is Michigan on the brink of an all-out stink bug invasion? That answer today on Stateside. We also hear why pundits say legalizing pot now won't keep Democrats from the polls.

cocktail and bottles of liquor
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings wanted to mix a drink to honor one of Michigan’s distillers.

“Our friends out at Long Road Distillers in Grand Rapids just won a big award. They were named ‘Best of Class’ for their 'Old Aquavit’ at the American Distillers Institute.”  (See award winners here.)

Stateside 4.19.2018

Apr 19, 2018

Today on Stateside, we hear the story of Henry Ford's push to grow soybeans in America, and we learn some environmentalists have a blind spot when it comes to being allies of native people.

Stateside 4.17.2018

Apr 17, 2018

Today on Stateside, we hear Desiree Linden explain how training in Michigan helped her conquer a wet, windy Boston Marathon. And, a Senegalese mother discusses her aim to empower African immigrant families in Detroit.

Jean Grae and Quell Chris.

Each month, we take a listen to new music from Detroit-area artists brought to us by Paul Young, founder and publisher of Detroit Music Magazine, and Khalid Bhatti, the magazine's executive editor. Our featured artists this month are: the duo Jean Grae and Quelle ChrisTunde Olaniran, and Mexican Knives.

Three female Mariachis
Anahli Jazhmin / Courtesy of Mariachi Femenil Detroit

If you close your eyes and picture a Mariachi band, you might see something like this -- sombreros, ornate black suits, stringed instruments -- all worn and played by mustachioed men.

A group called Mariachi Femenil Detroit is working hard to broaden that image and bring gender equality to the genre.

An eggcorn is a word or phrase that occurs when someone re-interprets a word in a way that makes sense and allows them to understand its components.

For example, someone might say "all intensive purposes," when what they really mean is "all intents and purposes." Or "escape goat" instead of "scape goat."

Anne Curzan has been thinking about an eggcorn she heard on the radio recently. During an interview, a person said "halfhazard" instead of "haphazard." 

It's an it's easy mistake to make. Does anyone actually know what a "hap" is?


A figure walking away down a street.
Screengrab of Hamoody Jaafar's film Detroit Diamond

Tomorrow, the Grand Rapids Film Festival will screen the short film Detroit Diamond. The film is about a young mother addicted to heroin. The state is working to take away her son.

Hamoody Jaafar, who directed the film, and Michael R. Flores, who wrote its screenplay, joined Stateside to discuss the script’s very personal inspiration, its all-female cast, and why Detroit Diamond is not just set in Detroit but was filmed in the city and uses nearly all Detroit actors.

Stateside 4.10.2018

Apr 10, 2018

Today on Stateside, we hear about a national report card that shows Michigan schools are below average, and Detroit schools are worst. Also today, a meteorologist predicts this cold April will turn into a "nice, warm" May and June, and we check in with 2018 gubernatorial candidate Bill Cobbs.

Jeffrey Smith / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It’s time for another edition of Theater Talk. David Kiley, editor-in-chief of Encore Michigan, joined Stateside to preview and review plays around Michigan.

Courtesy of Michael Gustafson

On the first day that Michael Gustafson and his wife Hilary opened Literati Bookstore in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, something possessed him to place a typewriter on a table for anyone to use.

That was in the spring of 2013. Since then, Gustafson’s “public typewriter experiment” has yielded a treasure trove of notes: some droll, some heartbreaking, some witty, some poignant.

As designated word nerds, we here at That's What They Say whole-heartedly admit that sometimes we do things in our spare time that are a bit, well, geeky. But also pretty fascinating.

For instance, English Professor Anne Curzan has been been working on a project that traces changes in the New York Times style guide. She's been perusing stylebooks from the beginning of the 20th century to the present to see what has changed over time.


Lester Graham/Michigan Radio

We like to talk with people who make things we use. This time we make a stop in Jackson.

Chris Maples has been making ice fishing rods for a couple of decades. His company is called Frozen Puppy Custom Ice Rods

He designs the rod handles and hand ties everything. He makes the kind of rods that he likes, but he's open to what his customers want. Listen to his story above.

University of Wisconsin Press

Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota were rich hunting grounds for a young man in the early part of the 20th century. He wasn’t hunting game. He was in search of lumberjack songs.

Imani Mixon in front of childhood home
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

There are a few basic steps journalists take when reporting. Pick a newsworthy topic. Track down the facts. And then talk to people out in the community what they think about it.

But what if you flipped that script?

What if, instead of asking the questions, you let people in the community decide what’s worth talking about?

That’s the idea behind MorningSide 48224, a community-produced podcast from Michigan Radio and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

the band nessa
Nessa

Let’s talk about Celtic music. Nessa, a Southeast Michigan band, re-imagines the ballads and dance tunes of the old Celtic world, bringing in a wide range of musical styles.

The ensemble is led by Kelly McDermott, who plays the flute and sings. She joined Stateside to talk about her musical influences, Celtic fusion, and the release of her new EP, Travel Walk to Celtica, produced by Brian Bill.

Courtesy of Safia Hattab

Hope College is a small, private liberal arts college near Holland, in West Michigan.

It was founded in 1862 in partnership with the Reformed Church in America, so its Christian identity is central.

Safia Hattab, a freshman at Hope studying English and computer science, brings a different perspective to the school of over 3,300 students: she’s Muslim. Hattab turned her experience of being Muslim in West Michigan into an award-winning essay titled “Through the Dome.”

Stateside 4.3.2018

Apr 3, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn nearly 20% of Michigan third-graders have been subject of maltreatment investigations. And, we discuss a state project aiming to combat the rising suicide rate in men.

The Bootstrap Boys

John Sinkevics, editor and publisher of LocalSpins.com, joined Stateside today to bring us the latest from West Michigan’s music scene.

This month he brings us music from two Grand Rapids bands — The Crane Wives and The Bootstrap Boys — that submitted videos to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. He also discusses the new release from Grand Rapids based group Chain of Lakes.

Students in a school auditorium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Some teachers at Orchard View High School in Muskegon say that the media paints their city as a place riddled with gun violence, bad public schools, and poverty. So they wanted to find a way to help their students see and take part in something positive in their community.

The teachers and school administration are looking to poetry to do that.

As the final school bell of the day just rang at Orchard View High School recently, some students made their way through hallways covered in artwork from current and former students.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A unique collection of Inuit art is being given to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. More than 200 stone sculptures and prints from the Inuit people on Baffin Island in Canada, just west of Greenland. The collection is valued at $2.5 million. There are additional funds to endow an Inuit art program. These gifts from from Phil and Kathy Power.

The story behind the collection is as interesting as the art itself. Phil Power gave Lester Graham a tour of the collection in this extended version of the interview.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Tammy Coxen was coughing.

“I did a really stupid thing,” she said, explaining, “I told my friends, ‘It’s been great; I haven’t gotten sick all year.’ Now, I have a cold.”

There’s a drink for that. Well, there wasn’t, but Coxen, of Tammy’s Tastings, came up with one.

“This is Tammy’s Cure-All,” she said between coughs.

Her inspiration was trying to put all the things people say are good for fighting a cold: orange juice, ginger, lemon juice, and honey.

A black and white photo of Rabindranath Tagore
Wikimedia Commons - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

As controversy swirled around Bob Dylan's 2017 Nobel prize for literature, some argued that Dylan wasn't even the first songwriter to win the prize. That honor may belong to Indian songwriter, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore.  

Stateside 3.28.2018

Mar 28, 2018

Today on Stateside, a reporter describes why he thinks Karen Spranger's time in office will go down in history as the "most bizarre" era for Macomb County politics. And, we learn about a Michigan woodworking company "reclaiming trees and lives" with an ex-felon mentorship program.

Casa de Rosado / Facebook

Turning shame into pride.

That’s the idea behind an exhibit of black velvet paintings. It’s called “Black Velvet: A Rasquache Aesthetic,” and it’s happening at the Latino Cultural Center in Detroit's Mexicantown.

Stateside 3.27.2018

Mar 27, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn what you need to know about the arrest of Larry Nassar's former boss, and what it means for Michigan State University. Also today, we discuss an eclectic mix of shows from theaters across Michigan and take a listen to new music from Detroit-area artists.

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