Arts/Culture

WNPR Arts and culture reporting focuses on the world of ideas in fine art, crafts, writing, music, theater, performance, design and creative activities that make us unique and make us human

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

Setting into your movie theater seat for "Mad Max Fury Road" you are treated a series of trailers that remind you how many movie screens this year will be taken up with new iterations of old franchises. There's a new Jurassic Park movie coming and a new Terminator.

But Mad Max is a little different. The franchise had lain dormant since and the movies are the work of a single auteur, George Miller, who begot Mad Max and, at age 70, has reimagined parts of it for this latest installment.

Blues Magoos

The psychedelic era made a huge impact on pop culture in the 1960s. Art, fashion, movies, and music all felt the impact of psychedelia. A blast from the psychedelic past comes to New Haven on Friday night. 

Frankie Leon / Creative Commons

News about other countries tends to focus a lot more on what’s wrong with a place, than what’s going right.

Recently, reports about the earthquake in Nepal, kidnappings in Nigeria and Islamic extremism in Iran have dominated the news.

Andrei Taranchenko/flickr creative commons

Haines, Alaska is a small town situated in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle. It's home to abundant wildlife and the scenery is breathtaking. Haines has a population of about 2,000. There's a public radio station there and a weekly paper called The Chilkat Valley News, where Heather Lende's been writing obituaries for the last two decades. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

From Mozart to Radiohead, Sybarite5’s eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style is turning heads throughout the music world: “…that impassioned playing, those hard-driving rhythms, the blissed-out faces of the mostly young audience…Genuine, spontaneous…excitement” (The Washington Post). 

Public Domain

The Boston Public Library is working with local and federal law enforcement to find two missing pieces of artwork worth more than $600,000.  It’s not clear if the works by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer were stolen or misplaced.

Public Domain

Gustav Mahler stood five-foot-four.

That doesn’t quite place him at the absolute bottom of the Famous Composer Vertical Comparison Scale (Grieg was a tad shorter, as was Ravel), but it’s strange to think that the man who created some of the most thunderously colossal symphonies the world has ever known, who famously said that each symphony should “contain the whole world,” stood just a few centimeters above Mickey Rooney.

When the final episode came, after weeks of accolades and tributes to his genius, David Letterman made sure he punctured the emotion of the moment with a little old-fashioned, self-deprecating sarcasm.

PHOTOGRAPHED BY BECKY LUIGART-STAYNER

On the Food Schmooze® menu this time… Faith's new Frozen Dark & Stormy Cocktail, along with Anthony DeSerio's Ginger Beer Piña Colada… our new go-to burger—the 

Chris Boland / Creative Commons

It's been more than 40 years since Graham Nash first sung with David Crosby and Stephen Stills.

Bengt Nyman / Creative Commons

Looking every inch a silver-maned patriarch of Biblical grandeur, Sonny Rollins, the 84-year-old genius of the jazz tenor saxophone, was especially elated last weekend to receive an honorary doctor of music degree from the University of Hartford at graduation ceremonies on its West Hartford campus.

Summer Travel Tips

May 19, 2015
Jon Rawlinson/flickr creative commons

On this fresh edition of The Faith Middleton Show, Amy Farley of Travel + Leisure magazine and all her best summer travel tips. She'll reveal which websites deliver when they claim they can forecast future ticket prices so you know when to buy. And she'll tell us how to travel to Cuba.

Algis Kaupas

The late cellist and teacher Ettie Minor Luckey will be remembered at an event later this week. She was an enthusiastic proponent of the arts along Connecticut’s shoreline.

Transcending Gender Roles Across Cultures

May 18, 2015
Jean-Paul Remy / Creative Commons

As our culture continues to progress, one elephant in the room that seems to be growing harder to ignore is our views on human sexuality. The traditional model of two mutually exclusive gender identities, male and female, is becoming increasingly outdated as we hear about people in our communities and around the world who fall somewhere in between the two (or outside the boxes entirely). Despite the threat of social exclusion and sometimes deadly persecution, stories of those who dare to embrace their own identity continue to increase in number.

Nathan O'Nions/flickr creative commons

I've just had a crash course on how to get rid of stuff because I'm in the middle of moving to, wow, three separate locations in Connecticut, New York City, and Orient Point on The North Fork of Long Island.

That's what led me to a consignment expert, and a de-cluttering expert, who we lined up for today's show in case you face your own "transition situation."

Courtesy David Foster

Blue legend B.B. King died Thursday at the age of 89. Connecticut blues singer and former club owner David Foster had a decades long friendship with King, and played with him as recently as last year.

Yusuf Syed

If you listen to public radio, you probably know her name. If you don’t listen to public radio, then you probably know her name from the massively popular Serial podcast. Julie Snyder is the senior producer of This American Life and she’s the co-creator of that show’s spinoff podcast, which told the story of Hae Min Lee's murder in 1999 and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed.

A Mississippi car accident in 1937 cut short the life of Bessie Smith.

She was just 43 years old. But she'd already established her legacy as "Empress of the Blues" — a pioneering American performer who demanded respect and equal pay in a world dominated by men and controlled by whites.

She'd also achieved a degree of infamy for her boozing, her brawling and her sexual appetites.

Mark Walerysiak

The "cultural ninjas" are back at it, weeks after stealthily transforming five empty storefronts into beautiful, impromptu art installations. Now, Bristol's Art Squad is tackling abandoned properties.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Sometimes being in the right place at the right time -- with your radio tuned into WNPR -- can lead to unexpected connections...

When WNPR's Where We Live first met Stanley Maxwell, we asked musicians Andy Chatfield, Mark Crino, Eric DellaVecchia, and Evan Green to explain the origin of their unusual name. 

Rev Stan/flickr creative commons

David Letterman reinvented television. He's irreplaceable. He was a comedic revolution. According to President Obama, Letterman is "a part of all of us."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Some conversations about public media, and the role of public radio stations in particular, have been making their way across social media this week. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For the past fourteen years, Mark Crino, Evan Green, Andy Chatfield, and Eric DellaVecchia have been performing under the name Stanley Maxwell. They’re a Connecticut-based quartet with a jazz-meets-rock-meets-funk sound that’s bound to get you off your feet. The four of them recently joined us in our Studio 3 to share some of the music that’s kept them all together for so long.

It seemed as if he'd go on forever — and B.B. King was working right up until the end. It's what he loved to do: playing music, and fishing. Even late in life, living with diabetes, he spent about half the year on the road. King died Thursday night at home in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old.

sybarite5.org

This may seem like flagrant nepotism, but in fact it’s only mild and forgivable nepotism:

There will be remarkable musical event next Sunday, May 24, at the new downtown Infinity Music Hall and Bistro in Hartford.

A Glimpse Into The Dark Side of Technology

May 14, 2015
Charis Tsevis/flickr creative commons

We all depend on technology and its vast, positive potential on everything from poverty to medicine, but there’s a flip side. As we gear up for the Internet of Things, with greater connections come greater risks. 

After 26 seasons of giving life to nincompoops, do-gooders, and even God, actor Harry Shearer has announced he'll be leaving The Simpsons. A stalwart of the show, Shearer has voiced central characters such as Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Reverend Lovejoy and Principal Seymour Skinner.

In a tweet sent in the wee hours of Thursday, Shearer said he was leaving "because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work."

Web App Finds Outdoor Art Around New Haven

May 14, 2015
David Sepulveda

Alexander Calder, Swoon, BiP, and Claes Oldenburg are among the artists whose works make up the rich tapestry of outdoor art in New Haven. And if you’re not sure where they are?… There’s a web app for that.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

As a child prodigy, the now adult, prodigious drummer Johnathan Blake made an appearance on “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,” the legendary children’s series on PBS created and hosted by Fred Rogers.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A lot of interconnected things were happening in the 1990s, an oncologist and hematologist  named Mitchell Gaynor discovered through a Tibetan monk, the so-called singing bowls and began incorporating them into the guided meditation and breathing work he did with his patients.

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