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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Joe / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Forty years ago, on February 10, 1978, a WJR radio personality saw something overhead as he and his wife were heading to the airport. He called the station and host Warren Pierce put his colleague Mark Avery on the air.

Harry Willnus, a UFO researcher, heard Avery call into the station and called home to have his family record the conversation.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

If you spend much time in Detroit at all, you’ve likely seen this guy’s work.

Jordan Zielke is a sign painter with Motown Sign Company. But he didn’t start out doing that. He went to school for fine art. He left that behind and hasn’t looked back.

“I feel great about it,” he said, laughing.

Zielke said he had a hard time finding meaning and purpose in fine art. But, in commercial art and sign painting in particular, the purpose is clear and the rules are definite.

Courtesy of Chris Andrews

Chris Andrews, a native of Suttons Bay, walked 3,200 miles across the United States back in 2016.

His motivation, he said, was to spread “a simple message about finding balance in how we use our digital devices.”

Courtesy of Michael Hyacinthe and Kevin Kammeraad

You can help kids read books. And you can help as they draw pictures. But an app created in West Michigan blends the two together. It’s called Wimage, from the combination of “words” and “image.”

It’s being taken into classrooms where students are able to combine their imaginations with the app’s technology. And it’s also being used in art therapy, to help wounded veterans heal through art.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we turned the microphones over to Katie Byrd, Taylor Williams, and Nadia Davis, three seniors from Belleville High School.

They’re participants in the Gender Consciousness Project, a women’s empowerment group for high schoolers in the greater Detroit area.

Time now for our regular check-in on the West Michigan scene with John Sinkevics, editor & publisher of the LocalSpins.com.

This month, he brings us three rocking bands - a super-group, a "rock en español" band and an Americana-fueled, roots rock group, each out with new music.

Let's say you're sending someone an email, maybe to thank them for visiting you in the hospital. Would you say "I appreciate you taking the time to stop by" or "I appreciate your taking the time to stop by"?

Believe it or not, some people have pretty strong feelings about which of these sentences is correct. For many of us though, it's the kind of thing that gives us pause.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Groundhog Day can go one of two ways. If that rodent sees his/her shadow, we’re in for six more weeks of winter. If not, spring will arrive early. We’ve got recipes using nearly the same ingredients to be prepared either way.

“So depending on what happened with that darned groundhog, then we’ll know whether we need to drink another hot toddy to keep us warm for six more weeks of winter or whether we can start looking ahead to summer,” quipped Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings.

A new book from Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley is a compilation of essays examining the lasting legacy of slavery
Courtesy of Wayne State University Press

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley joined Stateside today and read from her new book The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery.

Courtesy of Saladin Ahmed

Metro Detroit native Saladin Ahmed has been writing for years. From poetry to short stories to novels, he has experimented in many genres. Ahmed’s most recent medium is graphic novels. He produced a comic book series called “Abbott.” It follows Elena Abbott, a hard-working African-American journalist in 1972 Detroit.

Stateside producer Mike Blank recently spoke with Saladin Ahmed at a book signing at the Vault of Midnight in Detroit.

When it comes to spelling, we've all got a word or two that makes us absolutely bonkers.

It's no wonder. We've got a slew of silent letters. Instead of an f, we sometimes use "gh" or "ph." There are letters like c and k that make the exact same sound, except when they don't.

Let's face it, English isn't exactly known for consistency.

William Rapai
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Tremendous beer has “become part of the soul of our state.”

That’s what William Rapai told Stateside host Lester Graham at Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor the other day.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

We’re downstairs at Elderly Instruments in Lansing. There’s a lot of talent inside these walls. (See a previous Artisans of Michigan from Elderly here.)

“This place is like an incubator, really. You can bounce ideas off everybody. It’s pretty fertile ground in here and you get to see just the best examples of historic instruments and you get to see what the good stuff is,” Steve Olson said.

Under his Cone Tone company, Olson has designed a resonator guitar which can be played acoustically or plugged in.

Courtesy of guest

 

The 35-minute, four-movement concerto by Michigan State University associate professor of composition Zhou Tian caught the ear of The Recording Academy, and it led to a Grammy nomination for him. 

Credit Jeffrey Smith/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

David Kiley of Encore Michigan brings us five new productions from professional theater companies around the state.

Chatter House Press, 2017

 

Literature and popular culture haven't been particularly kind to single women. 

Just think of those common terms "spinster" or "old maid."

 

Writer Maureen Paraventi is taking that mean-spirited term and turning it inside out to come up with a modern look at women who choose not to marry.

 

Her new book is "The New Old Maid: Satisfied Single Women."

 

Paraventi, a Detroit-based journalist, novelist, and playwright, joined Stateside to share the story.

On the page, it looks like "indict" and "edict" should sound a lot alike. And yet, when you say these two words out loud, it's like being trapped in an episode of the Patty Duke Show

Don't feel embarrassed if you've ever mispronounced "indict" to sound more like "edict" or "verdict." Your only fault was the assumption that English always makes sense.

Why does our language insist on making things so complicated? In this case, the answer comes with some interesting stories about the history of spelling.


Photo courtesy of Solis family

Martin Huron Solis Jr. is the first Michigan resident to be inducted into the Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame Museum in Alice, Texas.

Solis was born in San Antonio in 1929 and began playing the guitar at age six. 

Iguana Books, 2017

Lawyers are not known for their clarity, and Joseph Kimble knows this well.

Kimble was a professor of legal writing at Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School for 35 years. He has since switched gears and written a children’s book about a windbag whose highfalutin' talk causes trouble and confusion for kids. He joined Stateside to discuss the inspiration behind Mr. Mouthful Learns His Lesson

Coxen holding a snifter of hot toddy
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

When you come in from the frigid temperatures we’ve been experiencing, mixing up an ice cold cocktail might not seem the best way to end the day. What you really want is something warm.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings says that’s why we have the hot toddy.

Simon and Schuster, 2005

 

 

Just weeks after 9/11, twelve Army Special Forces commandos secretly got themselves to the mountains of Afghanistan.

They were the first American troops on the ground in Afghanistan post 9/11.

Alexis Rockman

 

 

He’s been widely praised for his paintings about natural history and ecological history.

 

Now, New York artist Alexis Rockman has turned to Michigan’s treasure — the Great Lakes.

 

His new show, "Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle," opens at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Jan. 27.

Mixtape Detroit: Nolan the Ninja, Bonny Doon, and Karriem Riggins

Jan 16, 2018

 

 

2017 is in the books, and Detroit Music Magazine has put together the annual "best of" lists.

 

Guiding us through some highlights are Paul Young, founder and publisher of Detroit Music Magazine, and executive editor, Khalid Bhatti.

Stateside 1.15.2018

Jan 15, 2018

Oprah talked about rape survivor Recy Taylor at the Golden Globes. Today on Stateside, we talk to the Michigan historian who's been researching and telling Taylor's story for the last 15 years. Also today, MSU's Broad Museum spotlights two important Michigan artists.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

Eat Pomegranate Photography / Courtesy of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

 

 

Two iconic Michigan artists are in the spotlight, thanks to an important exhibition at the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

 

The works of Jim Shaw and the late Mike Kelley are being displayed in an exhibition at the MSU Broad called "Michigan Stories: Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw." It is running through February 25th.

 

Danielle McGuire

It was an electrifying moment at last week's Golden Globes when Oprah Winfrey put the spotlight on a black woman from Alabama named Recy Taylor. In 1944, as she was coming home from church, Recy Taylor was kidnapped and raped by six white men. They left her blindfolded by the side of the road and threatened to kill her if she told anyone what had happened. She did anyway. Nevertheless, justice was never served.

English doesn't use very many infixes, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. 

Here's the thing: they're out there, but most of them aren't fit for print or our airwaves. We'll come back to that. 

Wondering what exactly an infix is? Here's a hint -- they're related to a pair of other grammatical elements that may a bit more familiar. 


smcgee / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Fifth Annual North American Conference on Video Game Music is coming to Ann Arbor. As you’ll hear in the interview above, music has come a long way since Tetris or Mario Brothers.

Today, games such as Halo and Destiny include hours of lush arrangements.

Courtesy of Hajjar Baban

Hajjar Baban is the 2017 Detroit Youth Poet Laureate. She was also a finalist in the 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate Program.

Baban joined Stateside today to talk about her process, and to read her poem, “portrait of my grand / father as another kurdish man i never met.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Outside of Grand Ledge, at the end of a long driveway tucked away among the trees, we found a house and a large steel barn, the workshop of our latest featured artisan, Allen Deming of Mackinaw Watercraft.

He’s been building monocoque strip built boats as a full-time pursuit for ten years. Monocoque strip built is basically a single hull canoe or a kayak or other vessel made from strips of wood glued together and then sealed with fiberglass and epoxy.

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