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Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Walt Disney’s hit film "Black Panther" broke new ground as the first mainstream superhero movie with a predominantly black cast and plenty of strong leading women. The film’s music also opens new doors: introducing authentic African sounds into an action-packed Marvel movie score. Central to those sounds is the talking drum from West Africa which can be heard sailing above many of the orchestral and choral arrangements.

Now that it has permission from the Massachusetts high court, the Berkshire Museum says it will start auctioning off part of its art collection next month.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Last fall, President Donald Trump announced that he wanted the federal government to stop funding the National Endowment for the Arts. Reaction to that proposal was swift and bipartisan -- and in fact, in the budget that passed last month, there’s not a cut, but a tiny increase in arts funding. 

Samite playing flute
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Samite Mulondo went from a refugee camp in Kenya to collaborating with Paul Simon. This hour, the musician and Uganda native joins us in the studio to share his story and his music.

Courtesy of Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives

Wesleyan University is celebrating one of its own this month as it honors former U.S. Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur.

Sara Wise

Xhenet Aliu may be new to the literary world, but she’s already one of the most well-received authors of 2018. A native of Waterbury, Conn., Aliu’s critically acclaimed debut novel, Brass is a byproduct of growing up in the Brass City.

Arthur Caranta / Flickr

They may not look like R2D2 or BB8, but in 2018, robots are an important part of our world.

This hour we talk about ​automation—new advances in “smart” technology during a period of time that’s been dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Roman Vanur / flickr creative commons

Consciousness has been an elusive enigma for philosophers and scientists alike for about as long as there've been philosophers and scientists.

And, while it's long been thought that artificial intelligence would bring us the next big breakthroughs in our understanding of consciousness, A.I. authority David Gelernter has a different idea entirely.

He looks for answers to these fundamental questions in, instead... literature.

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.

Andy Fleischmann - State Representative for West Hartford and Co-Chair of the CT General Assembly Education Committee.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state Supreme Court ruled last month that the way Connecticut funds public schools doesn’t violate the state’s constitution.

Mort Walker, the renowned comic strip artist best known for his cartoon depicting the high jinks of the loafing Army private "Beetle Bailey," died Saturday at the age of 94 at his home in Stamford, Conn.

Walker drew Beetle Bailey as a daily comic strip for 68 years, making him the longest-running artist in the medium's history, according to a statement from King Features, which performed the original syndication for the strip.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Xhenet Aliu is a native of Waterbury, CT, a city that once hosted a strong brass manufacturing industry.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Brian Dunnigan is a web designer and co-founder of the Hawthorn Watch Co. in Vernon, Connecticut.

Coming up, we discuss the inspiration behind his business and talk about Connecticut’s role in manufacturing the hands of time.

But first: mastering the skills of traditional craftsmen.

We hear how an exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society celebrates the bond between artists and their apprentices.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

What happens when a river fills with ice?

An Ode To Ink

Jan 17, 2018
Cranberries / Flickr

From ancient scrolls to modern toner cartridges, ink (in one form or another) has been around for millennia. And while we may take it for granted now, it was for much of that time a precious and coveted substance.

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