Arts & Culture | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

family members inside a van decorated with eid decor
Nisa Khan for Michigan Radio

On Sunday, Muslims across the world celebrated the end of Ramadan, a month-long time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. 

With Governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order in effect, Ramadan as a whole has looked a little different this year. In Dearborn, families displayed Ramadan lights as a way to brighten spirits during the coronavirus shutdown, since friends and extended family were unable to gather together to break fast during an evening meal known as the iftar. In Detroit, Mosques set up virtual connections across YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, and more to bring members together during Ramadan.

"A Strange Loop" actors on stage
Joan Marcus

Detroit native and Cass Technical High School alum Michael R. Jackson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize this year for his off-Broadway musical A Strange Loop. Jackson's show is a kind of meta-musical whose central character is writing a musical himself. It’s an effervescent mix of traditional Broadway songs with gospel, R&B, and a heavy dose of Liz Phair. It is also the first musical to win the Pulitzer without making it to Broadway.

In a game of pool, if it's your turn and the cue ball is behind the eight ball, you're in trouble. But what does it mean to be "behind the eight ball" off the table?

This week's topic comes from a listener named Clem Hawes. He says, "This [phrase] does not mean that you're behind in a temporal sense, but now I hear formulations such as 'X was behind the eight ball in responding to the pandemic,' meaning slow or inactive."


Stevie wonder at the piano
Pete Souza / The White House

Happy birthday to you, Stevie Wonder! The Michigan soul legend was born 70 years ago Tuesday in Saginaw, and has been filling our lives with wonder ever since.

Stevie Wonder’s career began at an incredibly young age. He was just 11-years-old when he signed to Motown Records. WDET host Ann Delisi joined Stateside to talk about Wonder’s prodigious career and life.

Man holding bass in a national park
GVSU New Music Ensemble / Flickr

Have your daily walks around the block lost their luster? Do you long to be transported to somewhere with spacious skies and purple mountains majesty? A new record from Grand Valley State University’s New Music Ensemble called Dawn Chorus does just that by taking listeners on a sonic trip to some of  the country’s most beloved national parks.

people on a zoom chat with the words house calls at the top
University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities

Without gallery openings or open studios, artists are heading online to connect with their audience. A new YouTube series from the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan is giving them a platform to do just that. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued another extension to Michigan’s stay-at-home order this past week. This time, through the end of May.

That may or may not explain why people have been sending us questions about what it means to go "stir crazy" lately.


Tides rise and fall. Believe it or not, we can tie tides to the discussions of loans and toilet paper during this strange time, when so many of us are being asked to stay at home.

headshot of Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga
Congress.gov

Today on Stateside, tensions surrounding reopening Michigan's economy are deepening. Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga fills us in on his concerns and priorities. And, we take a look at how the cancelation of the annual Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan could impact the local economy. 

This past week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order until May 15th. That means an extension of the cabin fever making the rounds.

Symptoms of cabin fever include irritability, restlessness, and anxiety. It's treatable with long walks or runs, jigsaw puzzles, Zoom meetups with friends, or anything else that keeps you from climbing the walls.


two people sit on a porch decorated with lights
Razi Jafri

Tonight is the first night of Ramadan, a month where Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. Normally, people would gather with friends and extended family to break the fast at an evening meal known as the iftar.

The stay at home order means Muslims in Michigan are having to limit their festivities to immediate family. But that isn't stopping people in Dearborn from spreading a little light during the holy month. We talked to documentary filmmaker Razi Jafri about a contest to find the best Ramadan light displays in the city. 

a photograph of a brick building in Detroit with a mural on the side of it
Carlos Diaz / Courtesy of Six Feet of Distance

Despite being more digitally connected than ever before, the COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings have still left many of us feeling isolated. To counter the radical separation we’re all contending with right now, a group of artists and curators in Detroit created a web project called "Six Feet of Distance: Meditations and Resources on Art and Social Practice."

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a lot of questions about testing for the novel coronavirus – including some that are grammar-related.

A listener named Alan Ardanowski asked: "If someone gets a positive test result for COVID-19, do they test 'positive' or test 'positively?'"


Two loaves of bread
Sara Molinaro

You’ve probably seen at least one or two homemade loaves of bread on your social media feeds as most of us are stuck at home in quarantine. Maybe you’ve even tried making a loaf of sourdough or challah yourself. So, why are so many people turning to bread baking in these uncertain times? We posed that question to expert baker Sara Molinaro. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended Michigan's stay-at-home order this past week. That has many of us wondering when we'll return to normalcy. 

However, others might be wondering when we'll return to normality.

The "normality" vs. "normalcy" debate is an old one. Given these strange times though, what's old is new again.


neon sign says laugh
Unsplash

The news these days is filled with some pretty heavy stuff. One of the horrible ironies of this time is that, in a moment when we could all desperately use some humor, social distancing has made funny harder to find. The bars and venues are all shut down, but Michigan comics are finding new ways to reach their audience while figuring out what funny looks like during a global health crisis.

a laptop computer with a zoom call on it
Gabriel Benois / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Michigan's local governments are moving public meetings online. Hackers took notice and are heckling and streaming inappropriate content on the calls. Plus, we talk with two comedians about finding humor in uncertain times.

We've been taking a look at some of the words that have been popping up in headlines in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

This week we thought we'd talk about the phrase "flying by the seat of our pants," since that's the state that so many of us find ourselves in during these unprecedented times.


To combat the spread of COVID-19, we're staying home and staying safe here in Michigan. Being cooped up though, especially as the weather gets nicer, has some of us feeling like we're going bonkers.

As such, we thought we'd give you something else to think about by taking a look at the word "bonkers."


illustration of an arena with a scoreboard that says michigan march movie madness
Paulette Parker

All our dreams of March Madness office bracket pool glory were quashed after the NCAA canceled their annual men’s and women’s basketball tournaments amid the COVID-19 outbreak. To fill the void, Stateside stepped in with a bracket of their own: the Michigan March Movie Madness tournament.

We asked Michigan Radio’s Instagram followers to help us find the most quintessentially Michigan movie. It started out with a list of sixteen films set in, filmed in, or about Michigan. After a week of intense competition, we have a winner! 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

You can’t go to your favorite cocktail bar. It's closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. But, you might have a few bottles in your house. What can you make with what you have?

Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings thinks it’s time to improvise a little. To put her idea to the test, she put a selection on her table and asked Lester Graham to choose some of them and she’d make a drink.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There's a bracing herbal, minty, chocolaty, funky, bitter Italian liqueur (an amaro) called Fernet Branca. It became wildly popular among people who work at bars. It's often used in cocktails, but if you're a bartender visiting another bar, your colleague might pour you a shot as a greeting, a bartender's handshake. During these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, let's call it a "bartender's elbow bump."

At a time when so many of us are being asked to hunker down in our homes, we've been getting questions from listeners about the word "hunker."

Suffice to say, we'll be hearing this one a lot more in the weeks and months to come.


illustration of an arena with a scoreboard that says michigan march movie madness
Paulette Parker

Normally around this time of year, basketball fans would be poring over their March Madness brackets. They’d be using sophisticated statistical analysis, or the tried-and-true gut feeling, to guess which teams would advance to the Final Four. But there will be no office bracket pool this year. The NCAA canceled its Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments over concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Erin Zindle and the Ragbirds performing at a Live from the Birds Nest concert
Courtesy of Erin Zindle

The ban on public gatherings due to the coronavirus outbreak has hit a lot of sectors hard. One group grappling with how to make a living now is musicians, who rely on live concerts for most of their income. With bars and venues shuttered, some artists are now getting creative about reaching their fans from an appropriate social distance.

Adobe Stock

As the nation begins to cope with the coronavirus pandamic, Michiganders are doing their part by staying home. Social distancing is key to slowing the spread of the virus, but being stuck at home can be, well, a bit boring after a while.

To help cope with the monotony, we put together a list of Michigan books and authors for you to check out while you practice social distancing. Peruse the list below, and if you see anything you like, consider ordering it online from your local bookstore.

a black and white photo of Semaj Brown
Courtesy of Semaj Brown

There are some things we can understand through facts. And then there are some things that we may understand better through feeling. Poet Semaj Brown has spent most of her writing life with a foot in both worlds.

In her passionate, evocative writing, the natural world and her community intertwine and connect in surprising ways. As Flint's first poet laureate, she's formalized her educational work, while acting as a kind of medium and mirror for the city's response to its water crisis.

The phrase "head honcho" is used to refer to people at the top: CEOs, presidents, directors and such.

However, "honcho" on its own means "leader." In other words, the head of something. That means, as is often the case in English, this commonly used phrase is redundant.

 


When we say we don't know jack about something, it's not immediately clear that we're toeing the line with taboo territory.

Allow us to explain.


four of the drag queens from MI Drag brunch
Michigan Drag Brunch

On Sunday mornings, the West Michigan brunch scene gets served a meal full of realness, thanks to the drag queens of Michigan Drag Brunch. The project is the brainchild of producer and CEO Trevor Straub and performer Gabriella Galore. They said the project started as a way to bring the drag scene to an earlier morning crowd in Grand Rapids.

Pages