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

Chris Huggins/flickr creative commons

Humor, like pornography, is famously difficult to define. We know it when we see it, but is there a way to figure out what we really find funny—and why?

Robert Whitman

Regarded as one of the most imaginative and athletic dance companies on the planet, Pilobolus thrives on taking audiences where the rest of the dance world dares not.

Jeff Cohen

As the inaugural season of Serial comes to an end, speculation about the second season heats up. What will the story be about? Will it be another crime mystery?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In the age of Snapchat and Instagram, smartphones and tablets, it’s almost impossible to imagine a time when horses carted around darkrooms, and photo portraits took several hours, rather than a few minutes or seconds.

But such a time existed. And one Connecticut photographer is set on bringing it back. 

Mike Oliveri/flickr creative commons

Carving birds? Knitting sweaters? Paper cutting? Blowing glass? If you're a crafts person, paid or unpaid, please call and tell us what it adds to your life.

chorusangelicus.com

In 1990, when five-time Grammy Winner Paul Halley left NYC for the northwest corner of Connecticut, he formed the acclaimed children's choir Chorus Angelicus, and it's adult counterpart Gaudeamus. 

The Meadows Brothers Perform at WNPR

Dec 12, 2014
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut-based music duo The Meadows Brothers recently visited WNPR's Where We Live to perform and record some live music. 

Finding a Home For Connecticut History

Dec 12, 2014

The Connecticut Historical Society moved into its current headquarters building at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford in 1950. However, the organization pre-dates the move to this location by more than 100 years and it had several earlier locations.  The CHS was founded in 1825 and is one of the oldest state historical societies in the country.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

If you've ever seen a photograph from the Civil War era, there's a good chance it was created using a process known as tintype photography. These pictures are honest and organic in nature, and they're beginning to make a comeback within the modern photography world. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Pope Francis changed our plans for The Nose today when it was revealed informally that the souls of animals may go to heaven. In fairness, the Pope was consoling a boy whose dog had died but nonetheless, the pronouncement kicked off a larger conversation that ranged from the outreach Christian wing of PETA - who knew there was one - to the National Pork Producers Council.  

Andy Fell/flickr creative commons

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. 

NBC

Unless you were marooned on an ice floe last week, you know that NBC brought forth its second live broadcast of a musical in as many years.

Welcome to the first meeting of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it's going to work: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. And about a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Ready? Here we go:

Look Into My Eyes / Creative Commons

In his new book, Jealousy, Peter Toohey explores the lesser talked about side of the green-eyed monster. That is, he takes a look at some of the ways that jealousy can actually be good for us. 

This hour, Peter joins us for a panel discussion about jealousy's impact on creativity. We take a look at how the emotion has fueled some of society's greatest books, plays, songs, and paintings -- and discuss what these works, in turn, tell us about ourselves. 

Lynn Gardner/flickr creative commons

That was our test—could anyone tell Robert Landolphi's recipes were gluten free? None of us could, nor could anyone else who tried them. All we know is that they're delicious, and well they should be. Landolphi, head of culinary operations at UConn, says he spent 14 years perfecting these recipes after his wife was diagnosed with celiac disease.

Facebook

For even as distinguished a venue as New Haven’s Firehouse 12, presenting the iconic, brilliant, forever bold 87-year-old alto saxophonist/composer Lee Konitz in separate shows at 8:30 and 10:00 pm on Friday, December 12, is a real coup.

Sons of Anarchy is probably the most macho drama on television, featuring a gang of gun-running, porn-making bikers.

But the biggest moment of the final season has featured a woman: Gemma Teller (played by Katey Sagal), mother to biker club president Jax Teller. Gemma admitted killing Jax's wife, Tara, and lying about it, which started a gang war.

When Gemma finally came clean, Jax insisted she pay the ultimate price.

John Henderson / Creative Commons

WNPR has an experimental radio project and we want you to get involved. The idea is simple: we provide a theme; you call our hotline and tell a story.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Colin McEnroe has been working for an age to get Winterpills to appear on his show. A new album was recently released by the band, Echolalia, allowing WNPR a perfect reason at last to bring in members Philip Price and Flora Reed.

Sky Arts / sadieandthehotheads.com

Elizabeth McGovern doesn't want her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, to overshadow her identity as a musician. But she does admit it drives people to come see her band. Sadie and the Hotheads have just released a new album, Still Waiting. They'll be at Hartford's Infinity Hall on December 14.

It turns out that Joni Mitchell keeps the same hours as the Morning Edition staff. She recently showed up at NPR's studio in Culver City, Calif., just before midnight to discuss Love Has Many Faces, a four-disc collection of songs dating back to the 1960s.

In the new film Top Five, Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a standup comedian who has starred in a series of blockbuster comedies as a catchphrase-spewing character called Hammy the Bear.

When Top Five begins, Allen has given up the Hammy movies, given up drinking and is trying to reshape his career with his new dramatic film about a Haitian slave rebellion. Like Allen, Rock says he has had doubts about his own career.

JJ Georges / Creative Commons

Casting is an underrated art. There used to be an Academy Award for it, and there probably still should be. We honor actors, but not the people who pick the perfect actor for the role, so that actor doesn't have to act quite so much.

"Downton Abbey" is immaculately cast, and the choice of Elizabeth McGovern to play Cora, the Countess of Grantham, seems especially nuanced and inspired. Cora is an American Jew, a transplant to English nobility, who wears all the status and tradition comfortably without fully buying into it. McGovern herself is a transplant, married to a British director for 22 years, long enough to slip effortlessly into Cora's skin.

Ken Hawkins / Creative Commons

The Scramble reacts to new developments in the University of Virginia case of alleged sexual assault and Rolling Stone’s concern about some its reporting. 

Then there's a second magazine story: what’s behind the mass -- and we do mean mass -- resignations at The New Republic. Most of its full-time staff and stable of contributing editors quit on the same day. Why?

Phil Whitehouse / Creative Commons

It seems that all too often, bosses get a bum rap from their employees. But why?

This hour, we talk to management expert Bruce Tulgan about his new book, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems. We learn about some of the challenges managers come up against in the workplace, and find out some of the best ways to handle them.

Busy Sidewalks and Wonderful Memories

Dec 5, 2014
The Connecticut Historical Society, Ephemera Collection

Right after Thanksgiving, G. Fox & Company decorated their magnificent store. People from across the state drove into Hartford just to marvel at the marquee. In the 1950s it featured big candles and colorful boxes. However, the marquee most people remember was the charming Colonial Village. The village included small replicas of Colonial churches and houses from across Connecticut. The front display windows were also festive and inviting. Children pressed their noses to the glass to get a better look at the brightly lit mechanical ice skating animals.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Work songs can be found around the world, sung by a variety of laborers from field workers to fishermen. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We. Are. Obsessed. When you watch the news, scroll through Facebook, check in on Twitter, everybody always seems to be talking about the same things: From Peter Pan to Bill Cosby, from cronuts to Kardashians, from Michael Brown to Serial, we are increasingly collectively obsessed. What's behind that? Speaking of obsessions, we'll also take a long look at hate-watching last night's live Peter Pan on NBC, and how they dealt with Native American stereotypes.

Connecticut Lyric Opera

Grand opera returns to Hartford after a five-year hiatus.

Shubert Theater / Facebook

This year marks the 100th anniversary of New Haven’s Shubert Theater. 

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