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

When Melissa Harris-Perry refused to host her eponymous MSNBC talk show in late February, she said she was stepping back because over the past few weeks she had been "silenced." Shortly afterward, she and her network confirmed they had parted ways.

From the start, Harris-Perry and her employers had very different explanations for why things went south. Harris-Perry said her show was being undermined; MSNBC says it, like other shows, was temporarily affected by the election season.

TheMorningNews.org

Starting next week, the nation will turn its eyes to basketball, to college basketball, and its annual March Madness tournament.

But... not quite all of the nation.

jessicameyermusic.com

The music of women composers will be featured in several concerts this week. 

Martin Zeman

  

On Fred Hersch’s 2014 trio masterwork, Floating (Palmetto Records), the superb pianist/composer opens the session’s creative floodgates with "You and the Night and the Music," infusing the song with streaming contrapuntal lines whose richness, fluidity, and invention make it seem as if there were actually two pianists playing simultaneously.

Sir George Martin, the music producer who signed the Beatles to a recording contract in 1962 and was their intimate collaborator as they together transformed popular music, died Tuesday at the age of 90.

Martin's death was confirmed by Adam Sharp, his manager in the U.K. In a statement, Sharp said:

Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening, Tuesday March 8th. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support.

"The Native American wizarding community was particularly gifted in animal and plant magic, its potions in particular being of a sophistication beyond much that was known in Europe."

That's what J.K. Rowling writes in the first of a four-part essay series, collectively called History of Magic in North America. "The most glaring difference between magic practised by Native Americans and the wizards of Europe was the absence of a wand."

MilkADeal / Flickr

The Thighmaster, the Chop-O-Matic, the George Foreman Grill and the Clapper: Products which are all part of American consumer culture and which were all introduced through infomercials. But as online shopping increases and traditional television watching decreases, are we beginning to see the end of these high-energy, late-night shows?

Listen To The Music

Mar 4, 2016
Ky / Creative Commons

One of the first things I did with the money I made from my part-time job as a teenager was to buy the next album on my wish list of new music. All my friends did the same, knowing that our growing collection was as much about  who we were and what we wanted to be as it was about the music. 

Sam Petherbridge / Creative Commons

Like most of the media landscape, public television is changing. The massive hit Downton Abbey wraps up this weekend, and Sesame Street is now premiering new episodes on HBO! But behind the scenes, broadcasters are taking part in an auction to sell of parts of their over-the-air signal. Most of the population has cable so they won’t be affected, but nearly 15 percent of people watch TV with an antennae.

New Britain Museum of American Art

An exhibition of prints by surrealist artist Salvador Dali opens Friday at the New Britain Museum of American Art

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Shafida Kamal is 16. She had just moved to this country and then immediately started her freshman year at Bulkeley High School this fall. At the very beginning, it was rough.

Thomas Chapin

In a heart-wrenching, unforgettable performance, Thomas Chapin -- a gaunt, desperately ill, but still brilliant and resilient 40-year-old cutting-edge saxophonist/flutist and composer -- played his final concert on February 1, 1998, to a loving SRO audience of friends, family, and fans at Cheney Hall in Manchester.

Havana will meet the Rolling Stones later this month.

The band has announced they'll play a free open-air concert in the Cuban capital on March 25.

That will make them "the most famous act to play Cuba since its 1959 revolution," the Associated Press reports.

Just over 200 years after Jesus died, in 240 A.D., someone made a wall-painting of a woman in a house in the ancient city of Dura Europos, now in modern Syria.

Almost seventeen centuries later, in the 1920s, Yale archeologists found the painting while excavating Dura. 

John Haley / Connecticut Historical Society

This hour, a panel of experts and historians gives us an in-depth look at the life and legacy of Beatrice Fox Auerbach, owner and CEO of Connecticut's most beloved department store, G. Fox and Co. 

You can say this for Sunday night's Oscars: It seemed like a lot of it was going to be about inclusion or lack thereof, and it was.

Dan McKay / Flickr Creative Commons

When I hear the word "diorama," the first thing I think of is Mr. Mack’s fifth grade class and painting hills and grass and clouds and a fence into a shoebox and making little cardboard cut outs of Lassie and the boy she loved. God, I hated that stuff.

The second thing I think of is a place like the Peabody Museum in New Haven and their incredibly, obsessively, over-the-toply detailed dioramas of the plant and wildlife of Connecticut.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

The show moves to the Elm City for its annual snort of/at The Oscars, this time from the lobby of The Study at Yale in front of a live audience numbering in the dozens!

Yale University Art Gallery

Yale University Art Gallery is celebrating the centennial of the art movement known as Dada with a series of events, a major exhibition, and a Dada Ball.

Walter Watzpatzkowski via Flickr.com / Creative commons

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been to a half-dozen live musical performances.

Personal Creations / Creative Commons

It's Friday night and I want to go to the movies. But, I don't know how to choose from fifteen or so movies before me. I can quickly knock out a few I don't want to see, leaving me with the final gems. How to decide? I check the reviews of my favorite critics.

Not everyone feels that way. 

Actor Samuel L. Jackson of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" once took issue with New York Times film critic A.O. Scott. Jackson encouraged his Twitter followers to help Scott find a new job after Scott wrote the following in his review of the movie:

Here's What People Are Doing Sunday Night To Avoid Watching The Oscars

Feb 25, 2016

If you're tired of overwhelming whiteness at the Academy Awards, you're in good company. Famous people and normals alike have expressed indignation over the fact that for the second year in a row, zero people of color were nominated for any acting award.

When you edit a blog called "Goats and Soda," and you read a story about a goat locked in a car in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Oxford, Mass., and you learn that the goat turned on the hazard lights and wipers, pooped on the driver's seat and ... drank an old cup of soda, you have no choice.

You have to cover the story.

Daniel Oines / Creative Commons

Jules Feiffer wrote that in the early days the fans of either Superman and Batman could be separated out in terms of how neurotic or secure they felt. If you felt downtrodden and insecure, you liked Superman, the realization of all your hopes and dreams.  If you were a little more sure of your place in the world, you'd root for Batman, who took his lumps but typically bounced back.

mikecaseyjazz.com

A gifted young man with a horn, a vision, and a dream, saxophonist Mike Casey is in championship form for his “biggest gig yet as a leader” when he performs with his swinging, crisply interactive trio on Friday, February 26, at 8:30 pm at Old Lyme’s prestigious Side Door Jazz Club. 

louisck.net

If there is a through line to this week's Nose, I would have to call it trespass.

In the remarkable third episode of Louis C.K.'s from-out-of-nowhere filmed theater web series thing "Horace and Pete," the two characters (and there are very nearly only two) played by Laurie Metcalf and C.K. are working out the nature of trespass, as it appears in the Lord's Prayer. As adulterers, they are each trespassers. (But then, we are all trespassers.) And they are both aware that, in trespassing in order to seek pleasure, they create their own hells.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, Kristina Newman-Scott sits down with us for the first time since becoming Connecticut's director of culture in 2015. We find out how things are going in her new position, and take your questions about local arts and culture. 

T. Charles Erickson

Hartford Stage's current production is maybe Shakespeare's most popular play. This hour, Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak joins us to talk about his neorealist version of "Romeo and Juliet."

Longwharf Theatre

Sadie Delany, 103, and Bessie Delany, 101, were daughters of a former slave and grew up in the Jim Crow South. 

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