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Arts and Culture

A bike from Ascari Bicycles in Brooklyn, NY.
NAHBS 2018

Handmade bicycle builders and enthusiasts gather in Hartford this weekend for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. It's the first time the show has been held in New England.

Monomarv / Flickr

From ancient mixtures of boiled goat fats and ashes to modern artisanal soaps with calendula and coffee grinds, humans have been inventing clever ways of cleaning themselves since the very beginning.

Netflix

During last week's Super Bowl, Netflix announced the surprise release of the third installment in the already-super-unconvential Cloverfield film franchise... that night. Was it a genius, disruptive publicity stunt? Or was it an unceremonious, direct-to-streaming dumping of a subpar sequel? Or maybe it was both?

And speaking of unconventional: The official presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were unveiled this week. The likenesses are being heralded as a milestone in black portraiture. But, predictably, not everyone agrees.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

This hour: a lesson in public history. How are towns and cities across Connecticut and the Northeast engaging residents with the past?

We check in with a team of experts and historians. We look at examples of locally driven projects and initiatives, and consider their impact on community building and sense of place.

Do you feel a strong tie to your community’s history? We want to hear from you. 

Uli Rahms / Flickr

The word bastard hasn't always been meant to offend. Used simply as an indication of illegitimate birth at first, the label bastard didn't bring with it shame or stigmatization until long after it first appeared in the Middle Ages.

Brand new portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama — wearing matching calm, strong expressions — were revealed on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, elbows in his knees, leaning forward with an intense expression. The background, typical of a Wiley painting, is a riotous pattern of intense green foliage.

"Pretty sharp," Obama said with a grin.

Sony Pictures Classics

There are nine movies nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards. And, as of this week, The Nose has seen eight of them. We saw Get Out way back in last March. We saw Dunkirk over the summer. We went to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at night. And this awards season, we've gone to Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird and Steven Spielberg's The Post and Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread.

Ashbridge Studios (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Ahh, the big floral holiday is almost upon us. Valentine's Day is one of the biggest flower-giving days of the year. It's estimated more than 250 million roses are sold on this day alone, traveling from as far away as Chile. And while roses are thought of as the go-to Valentine's Day flower, there are other blooms that make nice alternatives to the rose.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Who's afraid of the Bix bad Beiderbecke?

Hartford has an amazing jazz history, and Colin has a lot of jazz musician friends. This hour, a little onstage jazz party.

Colin and the panel look to make jazz accessible to mere mortals. They talk about what makes jazz jazz, invite the audience to sing, and teach the audience to scat.

Composer Nathan Fletcher.
Courtesy Nathan Fletcher

A short-form chamber opera composed by Connecticut native Nathan Fletcher recently premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Fletcher’s music blends traditional classical styles with influences from musical theater and film.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour: "the search for William Grimes."

We talk to author and film producer Regina Mason about her quest to find her great-great-great-grandfather -- a New Haven resident and runaway slave. 

Faces of Ancient Europe / Flickr

In looking to our past, a curious trend appears. A vast amount of mankind's great accomplishments in art, music, science, technology and language seem to emerge from a relatively small number of cities:  Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Rome, Calcutta, Vienna, and Silicon Valley-- just to name a few.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Southeast Connecticut.

Coming up, we tour the 300,000-plus-square-foot facility. What makes its exhibitions so critical today? 

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Tucked away in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery is an ornate gravestone bearing the names of William Wirt Winchester, his infant daughter Annie, and Sarah Lockwood Pardee -- Winchester’s wife, who outlived her firearms magnate husband by some 40 years.

NEON Rated

I, Tonya is a big, brash, brightly-colored, quirky comedy that happens to be telling a story that's ultimately kind of super sad. It's that mixture of tones -- a cinematic style seemingly at odds with the film's content -- and its Oscar-nominated performances by Margot Robbie and Allison Janney that have earned the movie a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Nose picks it apart.

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