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

Steve Sobczuk / Flickr Creative Commons

You're probably no stranger to the Morning Zoo if you were in your teens or twenties in the 1980's. Developed after the death of disco left  Top 40 stations with a big hole to fill, the Morning Zoo revitalized early morning radio with a fast-paced improvisational style that for the first time broke down barriers between news and entertainment.

The Scramble Goes Clear

17 hours ago
Aaron Stroot / Creative Commons

This weekend, HBO premiered a documentary about the Church of Scientology that has been generating headlines and controversy for months. What new information was learned from the film? This hour, we talk with someone who has written extensively about the church.

Also, a "religious freedoms" bill was signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Some businesses in the state are already receiving backlash from customers who won't do business in the state because of the law. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is expected to announce an executive order that will ban state-funded travel to Indiana. However, Connecticut is one of 19 other states with similar religious freedom laws on the books.

South African comedian Trevor Noah will become the new host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, stepping into the role Jon Stewart has filled for 16 years.

Confirming reports of his new job Monday morning, Noah tweeted, "No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!"

Chion Wolf

Our topics today involve censorship, transgression, and reconciliation. 

Earlier in the week, The Nose panelists started talking about China's "dancing grannies" problem. This sounds like a Monty Python sketch, but it's real. In China's public squares, droves of people --most of them women and most of them with a little snow on their roofs -- assemble and dance, in various styles, to various kinds of music. 

Wonderlane/flickr creative commons

Listen to our show featuring ideas and inventions. We invite you to tell us what you've invented or would like to see invented, and to share your ideas on improving some aspect of life.

The FX series Justified, which is in its sixth and final season, is based on the novella Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard. Leonard was an executive producer of the series until his death in 2013. The show's creator and showrunner, Graham Yost, says he has made it his mission to stay as true as he can to Leonard's vision and storytelling style.

Yale University Art Gallery

Africa Salon, Yale University’s first contemporary African Arts and Culture Festival, starts Friday night. It's part of a larger initiative to advance the university’s focus on the continent.

What's In a Name?

Mar 26, 2015
Natalie Maynor / Creative Commons

Author Michael Erard is interested in how and why we name things - especially non-human objects and animals - and how naming affects our perceptions and behaviors toward those objects.

He spent a lot of time researching how different subcultures name things - including rock musicians, scientists and Maine lobstermen, because naming tells you a lot about what's going on in a particular culture.  

Goodbye to All That

Mar 26, 2015
Rob Choucroun / Creative Commons

Socio-technological bulletin:

I have decided to get rid of my CDs.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I believe it’s time. I’ve pretty much crossed over to the download/streaming side, and I just don’t play the discs much anymore.

Bob Jagendorf / Flickr Creative Commons

Everyone’s heard of Coney Island -the Wonder Wheel, the side shows, the miles of sandy beach.

Yet, most of us have never seen it except through the eyes of others, including artists and filmmakers who used it as a prism through which to shape their view.

And, what they saw was a place with both lovers and con men, natural beauty and bawdy amusement, social inclusion and class boundaries.

Coney Island is not an easy place for them to define, so they portrayed what they saw - but also what they wanted it to be.

Beverley Goodwin / Creative Commons

Rust is all around us. It's in our cars, our homes, our infrastructure. It's also the subject of Jonathan Waldman's first book, Rust, which introduces us to the people who fight it.

We tell you how to make an easy, lemony chicken saltimbocca done on the stovetop in minutes. If you want a "jump in the mouth," you've just discovered the right, easy, quick, and delicious recipe combining flavors I love; chicken, fresh lemon juice, sage, and crispy prosciutto.  It's part of our focus on cooking light using global flavors. 

Ojah Media Group

Long before Cassandra Wilson became an iconic and iconoclastic diva, her preternaturally beautiful voice and naturally charismatic way with phrasing and lyrics earned her comparisons with Billie Holiday, the most deeply expressive and tragically doomed jazz singer of the 20th century.

Will K. Wilkins

In recent days, a famous piece of public art in downtown Hartford was apparently defaced. Several boulders in Carl Andre's Stone Field Sculpture had been mysteriously spray painted with bright colors, as though by utility workers.

Residents and various officials combined efforts to clean the boulders early this week.

Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons

Before cyber-bullying was even a term, one person was experiencing it from the internet world mercilessly: Monica Lewinsky. Nearly 20 years after her affair with President Bill Clinton was discovered and she became the internet's target, she is returning to public life. Last week, she gave a TED Talk and addressed the scandal and its aftermath directly.

Also, the City of Hartford is restoring damage to a well-known sculpture that was unknowingly marked by work crews with orange paint.

Finally this hour, a look at the new album by Kendrick Lamar, which has been the talk of the town among rap fans and critics alike.

Eric Heath / Creative Commons

The bill comes, and I don’t even think about it. If the service was slow or superior, friendly or fumbling, I do my quick and mindless math, and write down a tip of 20 percent.

Sometimes, a bad experience might cause me to shave off a buck or two, but I know I’m probably still leaving more than the next customer. And why shouldn’t I, really? I know that restaurant workers rely on tips to even get up to the minimum wage the rest of the world makes. I’m right about that - right?

The most visible part of Starbucks' campaign to get customers talking about race — putting the slogan "Race Together" on coffee cups — has come to an end.

In a memo sent to all Starbucks employees Sunday, CEO Howard Schultz wrote: "This phase of the effort — writing 'Race Together' (or placing stickers) on cups, which was always just the catalyst for a much broader and longer term conversation — will be completed as originally planned today, March 22."

Colin McEnroe

Starbucks is trying to start conversation about race relations in America, led by baristas across the nation. The effort has had mixed reviews.  

Moyan Brenn/flickr creative commons

My motto on The Book Show is: Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join me and my book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

Katrina Leskanich

"Walking on Sunshine" topped music charts worldwide in 1985, catapulting the British band Katrina and The Waves to stardom. 

Wikimedia Commons

A true story: the first time I heard George Harrison’s 1970 song “My Sweet Lord,” I was listening to the radio over at the apartment of a friend of mine. I said to my friend, “That sure sounds a lot like the Chiffons’ ‘He’s so Fine.’” Shortly thereafter, I read that the owners of the copyright to “He’s So Fine” had decided to sue Harrison. After a protracted legal battle, they won their case.

Starbucks' campaign to get people talking about race has already birthed a very public, very cringeworthy conversation about race. Jay Smooth, a radio DJ and video blogger, was on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes Tuesday night, discussing the coffee company's "Race Together" campaign with fellow guest Nancy Giles, a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning.

Enric Martinez/flickr creative commons

Alex Province says his grandmother in Spain turned out fantastic chicken stew using white wine and garlic in one pot. We tell you how it's done… Jeff Vernon of Connecticut's Chamard Vineyards in Clinton stops by with a bottle of chardonnay and we explain how to use a little wine to make an instant pan sauce

Guillaume Laurent / Creative Commons

Kyle Eastwood, a hard-swinging bassist and gifted jazz and film score composer, continues to carve a brilliant career all his own, an ongoing success story that makes the day for his proud father, the legendary Hollywood actor/director, Clint Eastwood.

Mallory ODonoghue

As March Madness tips off on Tuesday, excitement over college basketball can be seen everywhere on UConn's Storrs campus.

Nowhere is the creative energy around basketball culture more apparent on campus than at the exhibit “In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art” at the William Benton Museum of Art.

StevenW./flickr creative commons

It's not part of the farm-to-table movement, that's for sure. Turns out there are people who keep chickens now as part of their pest control strategy. The eggs these chickens lay are only a side benefit, we're told; this group of chicken owners lets their birds run loose across their yards and fields because chickens love to dine on ticks. Where deer, rodents, and rabbits are plentiful, Lyme ticks are also plentiful since these animals are known carriers. We'll ask our regular contributor, Dr. Todd Friedland of Windham, Conn., whether the chicken eggs are safe for humans when the birds have been ingesting high quantities of Lyme ticks.

Community, producer Dan Harmon's increasingly self-aware sitcom, has become less and less about a band of community-college misfits and more and more about being a television show. Perhaps it's fitting that a show about being a show continues its odd life with a move from NBC to Yahoo Screen, where the first two episodes are now available.

Lewis Hine (1874-1940) / Wikimedia Commons

Shade tobacco came to Connecticut in 1900 from the island of Sumatra, which was beginning to dominate the world of cigar wrappers. The leaf had a light color, delicate texture, and mild flavor that cigar lovers love.

So it seemed like a good idea to grow it somewhere besides Sumatra and the artificial shade concept developed in Florida in the 1890s. Connecticut growers tried it on one-third of an acre in Windsor in 1900, and the result was so good that farmers, in an un-Yankee-ish burst of headlong passion, planted 50 acres in 1901.

The industry grew like shade tobacco -- that is, fitfully -- and woven into its life were the stories of the latest set of immigrants willing to work in cheap and concentrated bursts. We tell you as many of their stories as we can.

Just once per century, the date and time line up with the first 10 digits of the mathematical symbol pi (π). Saturday at 9:26:53 is the big moment.

Pi has perplexed and puzzled mathematicians for millennia. We learn it in school as having something to do with circles, but it turns up as the solution to lots of other problems, even when there are no circles involved.

Hindu Holi Festival Brings Spring Colors to Waterbury

Mar 13, 2015
John Humphrey / WNPR

Washington Park was still covered in snow this past Sunday, but that did not deter festival-goers from gathering to celebrate Holi, the Hindu spring festival, and the start of their new year.

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