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

hartfordsymphonyblog.com

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is asking its players to take a big pay cut. Meanwhile, the musicians are looking for a better deal, and wonder, "How do you build the symphony by cutting it?" 

theridernewsletter.org

From 1901 to 1953, Indian motorcycles were manufactured in Springfield Massachusetts. But the first Indian motorcycle, the first prototypes, were actually built in Middletown, Connecticut.

@darth/twitter

Last week's Republican debate created chaos on the internets:  Trump insulted Fox's Megyn Kelly, which naturally led to ladies live tweeting their periods at the wanna-be President. And a new slang was born: "Cuckservative."  

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With ongoing tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, life for musicians there can be challenging. Israeli political and military control over most of the West Bank can mean a separation between Palestinian artists and their audience. In Jerusalem, that sense of isolation can be even more acute. 

It's a Left-Handed Show

Aug 13, 2015
Andreas Levers / Creative Commons

Lefties have been scorned as evil, and celebrated as superior. But, like so many things in life, being a southpaw is not so easily defined. 

Susan Meiselas/Three Guineas Fund Project

A collaborative art installation created by ten women incarcerated at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. 

Chris Prosperi

It's a salad celebration… The BLT... the super fast and easy buffalo chicken… crab Louis… Moroccan chicken with pan-fried, pistachio-crusted goat cheese… salads for all tastes… salads designed to make you happy!

Börkur Sigurbjörnsson / Creative Commons

Today, our show about poo.

First, the 'no-poo' movement. Before the last century, people washed their hair a lot less often than we do today. A little Castille soap, an egg yoke for extra shine, and one hundred strokes with a boar bristle brush would do the trick. It wasn't until John Breck introduced his golden shampoo that everyone wanted to have the long lustrous locks of a Breck Girl. Today, 'no-poo' converts are going back to the basics and they say they're hair has never looked so good.

Courtesy of Chuchito Valdes

If Cuban pianist Chuchito Valdes is intimidated by the burden of being the heir apparent to his family’s dynasty of world-renowned keyboard kingpins, you’d never know it from his regal virtuosity and royal touch and tone crowned by a majestic expressiveness that can hurl sonic thunderbolts and release endless torrents of joy.

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."

Rob Dozier / WNPR

This past weekend, over 50,000 people gathered in downtown Hartford to celebrate their cultural heritage.

Ed Schipul/flickr creative commons

Athletes have always used their elevated platform to advance products and ideas. After a game winning play, it's almost expected to hear the star thank either God, the Lord, and/or Jesus. But you won't hear that from Houston Texan running back Arian Foster. He just came out as an atheist playing football for a NFL team in the bible belt. How will that play out?

Sean Benham/flickr creative commons

So we know that everyone in the world is covering the end of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show today. We know that you’ve probably already listened to an hour or two of radio about Jon Stewart on this very station today.

But the thing is, we’re gonna miss Jon Stewart too.

Connecticut Craft Beer: A New Industry is Brewing

Aug 7, 2015
Chion Wolf

To say Connecticut is known for its world class craft beers is not accurate-- at least not yet. But a bold band of merry (and quite innovative) beer brewers from cities all around are on a mission to change that, one small batch at a time. With nearly 40 in-state breweries currently in operation-- a ten fold increase from the number we had only six years ago -- the Connecticut craft beer industry is booming.

After 16 years of honing a unique brand of political satire that has been much copied, but rarely equaled, Jon Stewart signed off for his final episode of The Daily Show with a list of guests who either helped create the jokes or were on the receiving end of them over the years.

"Guess what?" Stewart opened. "I've got big news. This is it."

The 52-year-old comic announced last winter that he would be stepping down from the Comedy Central powerhouse, with Trevor Noah set to take over the hosting duties.

Juanibb / Creative Commons

I have seen the future of music.

I think.

I’m speaking here of Apple Music, the new music streaming service just introduced by our good friends out in Cupertino.

FBI

More than 25 years ago, one of the most infamous art heists in history occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. On Thursday, federal law enforcement officials released new surveillance video from the eve of the heist that shows a possible "dry run" of the theft.

wecometolearn/flickr creative commons

Travis Hugh Culley is an author and a playwright. He holds an MFA in writing from the Art Institute of Chicago, which is remarkable, since Culley was illiterate until about age 17. 

thomaschapin.com

The Litchfield Jazz festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend. Friday's opening night will include a special tribute to Connecticut jazz legend Thomas Chapin, who died of leukemia in 1941.

Talk to the Hand: The Puppet Show

Aug 5, 2015
Artisphere/Creative Commons

Who doesn't love puppets?

From the Muppets to Edgar Bergen to the Thunderbirds, they defined our childhoods. Today they're taking over the theater with "Hand to God," "Avenue Q" and "The Lion King." Many people don't know it, but Connecticut has long been a center of puppetry in the United States.

Summer Corn

Aug 5, 2015
PROliz west/flickr creative commons

It's a corn celebration… Chris Prosperi's corn cakes… Alex Province's corn salad... garlic bread corn on the cob... corn with bacon, shrimp, avocado, and lime… it goes on and on, featuring one of the greatest gifts of summer… corn!

Avery Sharpe

When Avery Sharpe, the standout standup jazz bassist, was a little boy growing up in the still segregated South, he’d often tag along with his mother, a gifted gospel pianist and devout member of the Church of God in Christ, when she played sacred music everywhere from emotionally powerful services in sanctified churches and tabernacles to fervent tent revival meetings.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Mystic Seaport hosted its 30th annual marathon reading of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick aboard the Charles W. Morgan last weekend, America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat. 

Does Your Dog Really Know How You Feel?

Aug 4, 2015
Chion Wolf / /WNPR

Our show is all about "man's best friend." 

Dogs are, generally, cute and cuddly and many of us adore them. But what's the science behind our puppy love? We talk with researchers and reporters who study whether or not our dogs are as intuitive as we sometimes think they are or whether they are just "dumb as a dog."

Ginny/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.

Matt Clark/Creative Commons

The Litchfield Jazz Festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year, and we’ll be broadcasting from the site of the festival’s jazz camp - which exposes young musicians to some of the best instructors in the world of jazz. The festival is also celebrating the groundbreaking Connecticut composer and saxophonist Tom Chapin - we’ll hear from those who remember him.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is extending the contract of its music director, who last year became the orchestra's youngest conductor in a century.

The story of hitchBOT — the robot that had visited Europe and New York City, but couldn't make it out of Philadelphia in one piece — may not be over. A Philadelphia tech group is offering to rebuild the robot and hoping to repair their city's reputation.

A kid-sized robot that's built around a plastic bucket and sports a friendly LED face, hitchBOT had been on a mission to travel from Massachusetts to San Francisco, relying on the kindness of humans it meets along the way.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Internally, NPR has debated when and where it is appropriate to swear. If the President of the United States says the N-word, should it be bleeped on the radio? Can a public radio host swear on a podcast? There are lots of questions about offensive language in 2015, with so many different mediums and changing social norms.

We also discuss news that Vice President Joe Biden might be looking for a promotion to the Oval Office.

Finally, is Yelp in a "death spiral"?

After a bunch of really nice humans helped a hitchhiking robot traverse the length of Canada and most of Germany, the robot was going to try to make it from Massachusetts all the way to California.

HitchBOT is the brainchild of two Canadian social scientists. As Frauke Zeller and David Harris Smith explained it in a piece for the Harvard Business Review, it was an experiment meant to spark a discussion "about trust, notions of safety, and about our attitude towards technology."

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