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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Teens who live in a college town like Ann Arbor can feel a lot of academic pressure to get all As or get into the best school. 

So how does this quest to be perfect affect the way teens think of themselves?

Cammi Tirico found out she got into her dream school back in December. But the story she wants to tell isn’t about that day.

A couple of things can clearly be two things. For many people though, a couple of things can include three or even four things. 

That's because the phrase "a couple of" has some elasticity to it.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The distilled spirit pisco has become popular once again in the U.S. because of the craft cocktail movement. Chile and Peru are the countries of origin for pisco, however each country has its own versions.

So, what does that have to do with Michigan?

tvol / www.flickr.com

The Board of Directors of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) announced Wednesday it had “terminated its relationship” with Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder, following staff allegations of mistreatment and racial bias. Borowry-Reeder had been put on leave earlier this month.   

 

kids these days episode 7
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A heads up before we get started: we do talk about the existence of drugs… and vaping specifically. It may not be suitable for younger listeners. If you or a friend are trying to quit vaping, check out some resources to help.

 

We know there can be serious consequences to vaping. So why do so many teens continue to do it? 

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

As the nation grapples with how its institutions treat people of color, the surge in conversations about how systemic racism exists in our social structures isn’t confined to the criminal justice or health systems. It’s also affecting the arts community, including in Detroit, where current and former staff and volunteers at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) have formed public campaigns asking for change at these institutions.

Cars, planes, cameras and people have been zooming around for decades with a lower-case "z."

These days, with so many of us working from home, many of us find ourselves doing a different kind of zooming -- one that may require a capital letter.


Daguerreotype of Strang attributed to J. Atkin
Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The United States faced growing turmoil in the mid-19th century as technological change, abolitionist and religious movements and westward expansion altered American society. Out of the fracture and fervor emerged an unexpected king: a lawyer named James Jesse Strang. He claimed he was a prophet and the new head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, moved his followers to Beaver Island and declared himself the monarch of a Mormon “utopia” in northern Lake Michigan.

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

 

 

Let’s talk about teens and phones.

Cell phones have always been there throughout their lives.

They use them all the time, but may never talk about how they use them. The unspoken rules, expectations of social media; how phones impact relationships.

The Detroit Institute of Arts
flickr user Quick fix / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Board of the Detroit Institute of Arts has issued a statement of support for its beleaguered director, Salvador Salort-Pons.

Salort-Pons has come under harsh criticism by a group of former and current employees at the DIA, who say he has fostered a racially insensitive culture that pays lip service to the need for diversity and inclusion, without taking meaningful action.

Salort-Pons is also accused of sidelining the involvement of senior staff with decades of experience, many of whom are women. 

DIA

A group of former and current staff at the Detroit Institute of Arts say Director Salvador Salort-Pons should be removed from his post. 

What do eggs, Old Norse, semitrucks, and cleaners have in common?

Nothing that we know of, except that we talk about all of them in this week's That's What They Say. 


Marsha Music's father Joe Von Battle in his record shop and recording studio on old Hastings St. in the Black Bottom neighborhood.
Picture and caption courtesy of Marsha Music / https://marshamusic.wordpress.com/page-joe-von-battle-requiem-for-a-record-shop-man/

Before the construction of Interstate 75, the Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods in Detroit were hubs for Black life and culture. Paradise Valley, in particular, was known as an arts and entertainment district that drew people to from all over to hear artists like John Lee Hooker, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, and Sam Cooke. 

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A note before we get started: we talk briefly about depression and suicide in this episode. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, we have a list of resources available to help on our website.

 

Part of being a teen is realizing that things are not as simple as they seem.

That there’s a darker side to the world that maybe you’re just seeing for the first time.

It’s also a time when — some of us, hopefully — figure out ways to navigate that.

Languages are full of patterns. They're also full of words that break those patterns.

A listener named Dave Gee sent us a question about "eleven" and "twelve" which appear to belong in the pattern-breaking category. 

teens holding LGBTQ+ flags
Katie Raymond / Katie Raymond

Before we get started we want to let you know that we talk about sex in this episode. Just a heads up.

A kid sends a text to his parents. The text was only two words. It said: "I’m homosexual."

Their mom texted back to say “I love you, let’s talk about it later.” And the kid wrote back: 

“No. Let’s not talk about it later. This is a one time event. Sorry.”

Auto-antonyms are words that can hold two, generally opposite, meanings at the same time. Once you know what they are, you’ll start to see them everywhere.

“Dust” is a good example. You can remove dust, like dusting a shelf, or you can add dust, like dusting a cake with powdered sugar. 

It's possible for phrases to work this way too.


Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Books about race continue to dominate best seller lists. Weeks after outrage spilled into the streets over the killing of George Floyd, readers - mostly white readers, it seems - are trying to learn more about the work of anti-racism. Clearly, as many have pointed out, reading alone is not enough.

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A note: We talk briefly about depression and suicide in this episode. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, we have a list of resources available to help here.

Kids these days are stressed. Really. They’re a lot more stressed than generations before them.

Millions of teens have an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Mira is one of those teens. She’s a sophomore at Community High School.

Listening to someone talk about the incidence of particular types of incidents could leave anyone feeling baffled. We've even had a listener ask us whether people have started using "incidence" as a hybrid of "incident" and "instance."

We don't think so. However, since we're talking about homophones here, it's likely people are just confused. 


As stories of police brutality and anti-police brutality protests continue to dominate the headlines, you may have noticed some people placing the blame on “a few bad apples.”

However, as a listener named Louis Finkelman recently wrote to us, this expression “has changed its meaning 180 degrees in the past few decades.”

Sydney James stands in front of a mural of Malice Green
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

When Detroit artist Sydney James set out to create a mural of Malice Green, a Detroit man killed by police in 1992, she wanted to represent him not as a man, but "as a monument."

In James' mural, titled "Way Too Many," a black-and-white Green is pictured holding a long makeshift scroll. On it are the names of other Black Americans who have died at the hands of police. The list, too long for one piece of paper, spans multiple sheets that wind around Green and the entire 3,500 square foot wall. Written in bold at the bottom of the final page is the phrase “& Countless Unnamed." 

Band members standing on stage
Mark Samano

Many clubs and bars opened last weekend since stay-at-home orders have gone into effect, and musicians are eager to return to work and play for an audience. One of the venues to open last weekend for the first time was The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor.

The Blind Pig reduced its occupancy to 100 people, giving concert-goers more room in the small space. Masks are also required for entry.

On stage at the club last weekend was Sabbatical Bob, a local funk band.

Teacher standing in front of a classroom of children.
Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says schools should prepare for in-person instruction this fall. We’ll talk about what those plans could look like, even as the governor cautioned that things may change. We’ll also hear teenagers from Michigan Radio's newest podcast, Kids These Days, about how they are thinking and talking about race with their families. Plus, a Michigan musician and producer talks about a new song simmered in the same elements that have brought so many Americans to protest in the streets in recent weeks.

the album cover of Nadir Omowale's single "Run"
Original Artwork by Jabarr Harper

Like many artists and activists right now, artist and producer Nadir Omowale has been reflecting on and reacting to the protests against police brutality happening in Michigan and across the country. It inspired Omowale to finally release a song he's been working on for years. It’s dropping on Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the end of slavery in America. He’s been working on the song since 1998. It’s called “Run.”

students protesting in Ann Arbor
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Three weeks after police killed George Floyd, teens have been out on the streets to protest police brutality and systemic racism.

Some people may wonder: why? What is motivating teens to step out, to speak up, and to demand change?

To try and answer that, let’s move out of the streets and into the home for just a moment.

Were you aware that "unawares" is a thing people say? 

Maybe you've seen it recently it in relation to COVID-19 – things like "The governor's announcement caught some people unawares," and "We have no excuse to be caught unawares in an outbreak.

We wanted to know, where did that "s" come from?


Exterior of Bookie's Club 870
Joe Sposita / detroitpunkarchive.com

Detroit is well known for its pivotal role in shaping soul music during the 1950s and 1960s. What’s lesser known is that in the 1970s, the city’s slew of small bars also played a major role in forming the punk scene. Detroit writer and radio journalist Rob St. Mary just finished producing a new 2-LP album called The End of the Night (1967 to 1983). He pulled the music from the Detroit Punk Archive, a website that he created and maintains, as well as some previously unpublished recordings and stories. 

In the weeks and months that have turned our world upside down, we've been watching headlines for words and phrases that keep coming up.

One we've noticed in coverage of COVID-19 is "cut and dried." Now, there are plenty of things we can literally cut and dry, including flowers, meat, and wood.

You know what's not always cut and dried though? Issues and answers. Metaphorically speaking, of course.


Behind the Scenes of The Wretched film
Courtesy of Brett and Drew Pierce

Though some COVID-19 restrictions are loosening, Michigan’s movie theaters are still closed. One alternative? Catching a film at a drive-in, a pastime that might just be making a comeback—and providing artists with a new way to connect with audiences.

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