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

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's not too often I get to write a song with Colin, but I love when it happens. We had about two hours until showtime when Colin dropped off the lyrics to the song we wanted to use as an intro to our show about bees -- specifically about how bees are trucked to different locations throughout the country. I could hear the tune in my head right away.

Announced, the cast is: The Star Wars franchise has announced the cast for the upcoming Episode VII movie.

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow will join the cast of the new movie. The three stars of the original films — Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill — will reprise their roles as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, respectively. Also back are Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Kenny Baker as R2-D2 and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, a panel of local artists join us for an in-depth conversation about social consciousness and the arts. Together, they share how visual and performing arts have been and continue to be used as vehicles for positive change. 

Duke Ellington didn't consider himself a jazz musician.

He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."

Liz / Creative Commons

From Faith Middleton: The emotional cuts of daily life are endured by all of us, but one of the most frequent cuts, rejection, can lead to profound consequences -- four different psychological wounds. According to our show guest, Dr. Guy Winch, The Squeaky Wheel blogger for Psychology Today, "Rejections elicit emotional pain so sharp it affects our thinking, floods us with anger erodes our confidence and self-esteem, and destabilizes our fundamental feelings of belonging." 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Having Colin McEnroe write the introduction for every day's show is always a surprise. I never know what kind of sound effects I'll need, or who else will be voicing it with me. This introduction was no exception.

Alpha/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired April 16 and 19, 2014.

The Paleo diet emphasizes the basics: meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and nuts. It's based on the foods our Paleolithic ancestors ate. The diet has also been touted as the solution for food allergy relief and better health. But healthy eating shouldn't mean you have to give up flavor. 

My first hint that a recent column on diversity in late-night TV had made an impact came when I saw a tweet from an old acquaintance.

He runs a website and blog devoted to covering television and had decided to write a post based on my audio story on late-night TV. He then sent out a Twitter message with the headline:

Need a good laugh? Try Chicago.

The Humor Research Lab at the Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado Boulder (and doesn't that sound like it was created by The Onion?) concocted an algorithm to rate America's funniest cities.

Humor researchers calculated factors like the number of working comics and comedy clubs per capita, funny local tweeters and visits to funny websites. They asked people to assess what they called their "need for levity."

Quilt: Tiny Desk Concert

Apr 26, 2014

It's right there in the band's name, but the music of Quilt is truly a tapestry. Its songs are made of small bits of verses and choruses that, heard individually, may not seem to fit. But in the hands and voices of this band, they stitch together beautifully. Interweaving harmonies and guitar lines from Anna Fox Rochinski and Shane Butler set the tone for these tunes — soft and benevolent, dreamy and quivering, with poetry that's thoughtful and playful. The opening song at this Tiny Desk Concert, "Arctic Shark," questions and enchants.

The Connecticut Historical Society, 1988.136.2

On July 16, 1870, a devastating fire destroyed the main building of the Meriden Britannia Company, in Meriden, Connecticut, an internationally famed producer of silver-plated ware. The 700-foot-long building employed over 900 people, including 100 women, all of whom were left temporarily without work. However, the building was fully insured, the loss was fully covered, and rebuilding began immediately, while work continued unabated at the company’s six other factories.

theseathesea.com

Singer-songwriter duo Chuck e. Costa and Mira Stanley of The Sea, The Sea visited WNPR recently and played a brand-new song not available on their brand new debut album, Love We Are We Love. It's called "Let It Be Said," and you can listen to it below from their recording session for WNPR's Where We Live.

Jeremy Keith / Creative Commons

It’s time for the next installment in our new series featuring local artists and musicians. This hour, we hear from folk-pop duo Chuck Costa and Mira Stanley of The Sea, The Sea. Their debut album, Love We Are We Love, dropped earlier this year. Both recently stopped by our studio to talk about and perform some of their new songs.

Later, we hear a tale from the sea. Kate Moore served as Keeper of Bridgeport’s Fayerweather Lighthouse for most of the 19th century. A Bridgeport historian and Coast Guard Ensign will tell us about her heroic and inspiring devotion to Long Island Sound’s busy seaway.

Chion Wolf

You have to trust us. 

Because I realize that a show about the Eastern Hemlock doesn't sound that sexy. In fact, we've done tree shows in the past after which I have said, "Let's not do any more tree shows." But we think we've got something here. 

First of all, this our third show working with Bob Sullivan, a writer who, in the past, has been able to make just about any topic exciting. Second, this is a story with a villain, a cottony, crawling, feeding life form called the wooly adelgid. You want something you can hate without the tiniest tremor of remorse? We're going to give it to you. 

Third, this little villain is striking right at a major player in the natural cycles that can either slow or accelerate climate change. Fourth, we're going to be talking about the souls of trees. Trust us. 

The Wadsworth Atheneum

The Wadsworth Atheneum celebrates spring this weekend with the 33rd annual Fine Art and Flowers event, a fundraiser for the Hartford museum. It's a unique concept: over 40 florists and garden clubs have been selected to create a floral arrangement inspired by a masterwork in the Wadsworth's permanent collection.

Robert Ellis On World Cafe

Apr 23, 2014

Robert Ellis and his road band perform songs from his fine third album, The Lights From the Chemical Plant, in this World Cafe session. After his last record, 2011's Photographs, Ellis wanted to push his music in less of a country-oriented direction, so he worked on the new album with producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings Of Leon).

Fox has started to release images of the Simpsons from the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me," which is — get this — the 550th episode. That means you could watch a different episode of The Simpsons every day for roughly a year and a half, weekends and weekdays, before you ran out of new ones.

13 Jazz Artists Awarded Over $1.7 Million

Apr 23, 2014

Yesterday, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced the recipients of its 2014 Performing Artist Awards, including 13 jazz and improvising musicians, who will receive at least $1.7 million in unrestricted grants in total.

J. Barry O' Rourke / Ali Ryerson

“We’ve switched over to the dark side for real now.” No, that’s not an ominous utterance from Dick Cheney. It’s the celebrated flutist Ali Ryerson joking on the phone when discussing her touring quintet’s contemporary, plugged-in sound that marks a giant switch for her from the modern mainstream palette that has long been a hallmark of her acclaimed artistry.

Charles Haynes / Wikimedia Commons

The more I read about The Dallas Buyers Club, the less I like it, which is too bad because I really like that movie.

First, I read the that film's portrayal of Ron Woodruff, the hard-bitten homophobe who gradually softens is wrong. Woodruff was, according to friends and family, comfortably bisexual. He never had to go through the transition you see in the film.

Molly Elliott/flickr creative commons

Today's show has aired on three previous dates, most recently on December 5, 2013.  

From Faith Middleton: If your schedule is rushed, have we got a cookbook for you! The Good-to-Go collection of about 300 recipes is a winner with adults and children. It's also the perfect cookbook for transitioning kids in a first apartment, or for kids in college.

Ed Wierzbicki / CPBN

It was evident from Saturday’s grand finale of "Hartford Loves Poetry: A Community Celebration" that the city loves the sound and soul of its many voices. It was also proof that people are thirsty for authentic human stories told aloud by their neighbors that creatively reflect ancestry and history.

Thangaraj Kumaravel/flickr creative commons

Our Earth Day celebration: a gift certificate for you to White Flower Farm. Litchfield's famed garden center, White Flower Farm, thanks you for supporting WNPR with a $25 gift certificate for you toward any store or online purchase.

Javie Delgado, Flickr Creative Commons

It's hard to improve on the poet, Rilke, who wrote, "Love consists of this, that two solitudes meet, protect, and greet each other." But did Rilke have to deal with Angry Birds and Snap Chat?

peasap/flickr creative commons

Today's show has aired on six previous dates, most recently on April 15, 2014.

We'll get you in the mood to explore our state with the author of Insiders' Guide to Connecticut, the best state guide on the market. It's pure pleasure cover to cover. And we'll send the book to your door.

End May Be Near For Hartford Cabaret Series

Apr 20, 2014
David Borawski

Dan Blow, the noted Hartford-based fashion designer who creatively refashioned himself into one of the city’s most industrious and illustrious concert producers, plans to pull up stakes in Hartford to live in the Bahamas; shutter his clothing business, sell his elegant Woodland Street condo, and in a severe blow to the local music scene, perhaps end his enormously popular Music@Japanalia series held primarily in his West End boutique.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month, Hartford’s very own Asylum Quartet visited WNPR's Where We Live to talk about and perform some music. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Photographer Chris Capozziello has been photographing his twin brother Nick for years. Despite being twins, there was a major difference between these two: Nick was born with cerebral palsy; Chris was not.

The photography of both brothers’ is featured in the book The Distance Between Us. The story it tells is about how both Capozziellos are living and coping with Nick’s condition. Both join us to talk about their project.

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