Arts and Culture

Arts & Culture
1:08 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

A genocide survivor and MSU poet pursue healing through writing

In Rwanda, July 4 marks the end of the annual mourning period to remember victims of the 1994 genocide.
Credit Flickr/Jolly Jolson

While we’ll be celebrating Independence Day here in America tomorrow, halfway around the world the date also marks a national holiday in Rwanda, though it’s a much more somber occasion.

July 4 is Rwanda's Liberation Day and it marks the end of the country’s official mourning period for the more than one million people who were murdered during the genocide there in 1994. And this year, of course, is the 20th anniversary of those horrific 100 days.

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Arts & Culture
1:04 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Cranbrook exhibits decades of Warhol album covers

'Count Basie', 1955, was Andy Warhol's first celebrity portrait.
©2014 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / ARS, New York, NY. Reproduced by permission of Sony Music Entertainment

Andy Warhol is perhaps the most recognizable name in 20th century American art. One factor in his popularity is the many album covers he designed. As a graphic design artist, Warhol’s album works date back to the late 1940s.

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Arts & Culture
1:31 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Book Review: 'Love in the Time of Cholera' by Gabriel García Márquez

“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” And with that poignant line, Gabriel Garcia Marquez begins his masterpiece “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

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Arts & Culture
2:21 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Hats off to Michigan-made Stormy Kromers

The Stormy Kromer draws a crowd of unique and devoted visitors to its store in Ironwood, Michigan.
Credit Courtesy of Stormy Kromer

While many of us are enjoying summer after this year’s long and harsh winter, others are using the season to prepare for the coming cold.

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Arts & Culture
1:53 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Symposium highlights Michigan's role in modern architecture

The Michigan State Medical Society building in East Lansing is a leading local example of modern architecture.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The history of 20th century design in Michigan isn’t just about automobiles. After World War II, Michigan was a hub for architects who broke away from the neo-classical shapes inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The era of modern architecture lasted about 30 years and produced many structures still seen today.

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Arts & Culture
2:44 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Broad celebrates legacy of Sun Ra

Sun Ra at New England Conservatory, February 22nd, 1992
Credit Pandelis Karayorgis- Wikimedia Commons

The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival takes place in East Lansing this Friday and Saturday. There will be live jazz downtown from a variety of groups and the Broad Art Museum is participating as well with a unique event.

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Arts & Culture
11:45 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Kids Read Comics

Kids Read Comics is a free event and offers a variety of activities such as workshops and panels about reading and making comics.
Credit http://mlatcomics.com

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature Kids Read Comics, a Michigan nonprofit that promotes comics for building youth engagement and creativity. This weekend marks their fifth annual Kids Read Comics celebration at the Ann Arbor district library.

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Arts & Culture
1:00 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Remembering the Freedom Summer of '64 with Lynn Jondahl

Preview the documentary 'AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Freedom Summer' Wednesday June 18 at the Communication Arts and Sciences Building.
Credit George Ballis/Take Stock

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of a tragic and historic turning point in the fight for civil rights. The night of June 21, 1964, three young civil rights workers were shot and killed near the community of Philadelphia, Mississippi.  They were there organizing and working to register African-Americans to vote during 10 violent and controversial weeks remembered as the “Freedom Summer.” 

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Arts & Culture
12:33 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Summer Circle Theater building a permanent home

Lela Ivey and Mark Schenfisch star in the MSU Summer Circle Theatre production of 'What I Did Last Summer'.
MSU Department of Theatre

This week the Summer Circle Theatre at Michigan State University is entering its 54th season, putting on student productions of plays outdoors around the MSU Auditorium and Fairchild Theatre. This summer marks a change for the company as it will be the last season of its nomadic existence. Work has begun on a permanent home for Summer Circle.

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Arts & Culture
11:21 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Moviemaking in Michigan: A producer's role on a small-budget film

Richard Jewell is producing the film 'Eastern Market'.
Credit Courtesy - Richard D. Jewell

Current State’s Scott Pohl is following the production of a movie in Michigan. He’s back with our latest installment on the team that’s putting together the Detroit-based film “Eastern Market”.

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Arts & Culture
11:47 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Neighbors in Action: The Homeless Angels

The Homeless Angels aims to share the stories of the homeless with the larger Lansing community.
Credit The Homeless Angels

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature The Homeless Angels, a new Lansing-based organization that does outreach and referrals primarily for street-based homeless people.

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Arts & Culture
1:17 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

'Moth' brings true storytelling to Wharton

'The Moth Mainstage' comes to the Wharton Center May 28.
Credit themoth.org

A group of outstanding storytellers will be in East Lansing for a show at Michigan State University’s Wharton Center Wednesday night. "The Moth Mainstage" brings a live performance of The Moth Radio Hour program to audiences all over the country.

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Arts & Culture
12:14 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Memorial fund for Rite Aid shooting victim

Michael Addo was killed last Monday at the Rite Aid pharmacy in Frandor.
Credit Courtesy photo

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the local effort to raise funds for the funeral and family of Michael Addo, the pharmacist who was shot to death at the Rite Aid in Frandor last Monday.

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Arts & Culture
11:57 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Director previews 51st EL Art Festival

The 51st annual East Lansing Art Festival is Saturday and Sunday.
Credit http://elartfest.com/

The East Lansing Art Festival returns this weekend for its 51st run. The two-day event in the city’s downtown core features more than 180 artists and musicians. For many long-time attendees, the East Lansing Art Festival signals the unofficial start of summer.

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Arts & Culture
1:32 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Book Review: Matthew Bell's latest novel

Credit http://www.mdbell.com/inthehouse/

Sometimes the literary world can suffer from a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. We all know this story made famous by Hans Christian Andersen, of the ridiculous Emperor tricked into wearing nothing and the underlings around him too afraid to point out that he is only in his underwear. In the mind of the Emperor he is adorned in the greatest attire, but in reality there isn’t much left for the imagination.

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Arts & Culture
11:25 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Neighbors in Action: House of Promise

Credit http://www.thehouseofpromise.com/

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature one woman’s effort to turn her passion for addressing the horrors of human trafficking into action.

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Arts & Culture
11:34 am
Mon May 12, 2014

“Oh say, can you see…We stand on guard for thee”: exploring a hypothetical US-Canada merger

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The United States and Canada face a lot of problems, but getting along with each other, for the most part, isn’t one of them. Canada is our biggest trading partner, the border is long and mostly safe, and millions of Americans and Canadians live and work in each other’s countries. But could America and Canada be even closer?

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Author shares his Detroit’s food finds, both grand and humble

Credit Courtesy - History Press

What is a food lover to make of Detroit? Michigan author Bill Loomis says he “went behind the graffiti and the ruins” to explore the city’s “food ways”, from its established Coney Island vendors and Eastern Market to more recent hipster bars and “pop up” restaurants, bakeries, taverns, so-called “underground” destinations and fine dining all over Detroit.

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Arts & Culture
12:28 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Pakistani artist brings projects to Broad Art Museum, streets of EL

Imran Qureshi agreed to create the 'crack art' project called 'Fragmented' on the sidewalks and streets of East Lansing.
Scott Pohl, WKAR

A world-renowned artist from Pakistan got more than he bargained for when he accepted an invitation to display his work at MSU’s Broad Art Museum. Current State’s Scott Pohl spoke with Imran Qureshi yesterday. Broad Art Museum curator Alison Gass has wanted to bring Imran Qureshi to East Lansing practically from her arrival at the museum two years ago.

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Arts & Culture
12:26 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

After fire seven years ago, Owosso's Lebowsky Center reopens

The Lebowski Center in Owosso has colorful new seats following the 2007 fire.
Courtesy Owosso Community Players

 


Seven years ago, a fire badly damaged the Lebowsky Center, home of the Owosso Community Players. A major refurbishing project has been completed, and on Friday night, there’s a grand opening gala to celebrate the completion of work.

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Jackson prison museum planned for 'Cell Block 7'

Jackson's Ella Sharp Museum has partnered with the Michigan Department of Corrections to open a museum in Cell Block 7 of the state prison there.
Credit Courtesy of Ella Sharp Museum

 

    

At the Southern Michigan Prison near Jackson, Cell Block 7 housed thousands of inmates beginning in the 1930s.  Prisoners had been convicted of crimes ranging from liquor law violations to murder. Soon, that same cell block will be transformed into a museum that tells Jackson’s story as perhaps Michigan’s best known correctional center, which at one time was the largest walled prison in the world.

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Arts & Culture
4:07 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Art fair gives voice to older foster children looking for homes

Michigan has just over 13,000 children in its foster care system.  Most are living in  licensed homes, but many live with relatives who are either licensed or unlicensed to provide care.  Still others are in child caring institutions.

May is National Foster Care Month and as part of that observance, one mid-Michigan agency is sponsoring an exhibition of artwork made by foster care children in search of adoption.

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Arts & Culture
1:40 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Visiting novelist Chris Moore finds humor in the dark

Christopher Moore will give a talk and sign books at Schuler Books in the Eastwood Towne Center on Saturday.
Credit Courtesy - http://www.chrismoore.com/

Most people don't travel to Venice and think of sea monsters, but most people, aren't novelist Christopher Moore. Set against the backdrop of Venice,  Moore’s latest novel blends together Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and "Othello" with Poe’s "The Cask of Amontillado." Throw in a people eating sea monster, humor and some bawdy prose and you have Moore’s "The Serpent of Venice".

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Arts & Culture
1:33 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Book Review: Kurt Vonnegut: Novels 1976-1985

Credit Courtesy - Library of America

Listen: One of my writing heroes is Kurt Vonnegut and for four years I had his home phone number sitting on my desk. That blessed number was a present from a friend of mine and every day it taunted me, teased me. When Vonnegut died in 2007, I threw the number away. I never had the guts to call it. So it goes.

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Arts & Culture
1:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Notable Books author returns home to celebrate Michigan letters

Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series currently includes ten volumes; Hamilton discusses letting the character 'rest' while he develops works that do not include Alex.
Credit Courtesy of Steve Hamilton


On Saturday, the Library of Michigan Foundation will hold its annual Night for Notables event, honoring the authors of books that were named Michigan Notable Books for 2014. The keynote speaker at tomorrow’s event is Steve Hamilton.  His book “Misery Bay” was a Michigan Notable Book for 2012.

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Arts & Culture
12:59 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Sedaris, Glass highlight new Wharton season

A couple of weeks ago, Scott Pohl told us about “Once” and “Annie” being on the Broadway schedule; today, he reveals some more of the big hits coming to town.
Credit Flickr - nobara hayakawa


MSU’s Wharton Center announced part of their schedule for the 2013-14 season two weeks ago. Now, the rest of the schedule is out, and Current State’s Scott Pohl is back with more on the shows coming to Wharton.

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Arts & Culture
12:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Neighbors in Action: An update on Art for Charlie

'Where the River Cleaves' by Sam Knecht is the winner of the first annual Spirit of Michigan competition as a part of Art for Charlie Foundation.
Credit Courtesy of artforcharlie.com

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we have an update on Art for Charlie, the East Lansing-based non-profit that works to improve hospice care for children and bereavement services for families who have lost a child.

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Arts & Culture
12:10 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Local municipalities turn to public art for placemaking

'Meridius Prime' by metalsmith artist Tim Higgins is the latest in a series of public art projects being unveiled in mid-Michigan communities.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

If you live, work or just drive through Meridian Township, you’ve probably noticed the large metal sculpture in the roundabout at Marsh and Hamilton Roads. The work, entitled “Meridius Prime,” is a 14-foot tall piece commemorating the Michigan Meridian, the north-south baseline by which the state was surveyed in the 19th century. The sculpture is part of a plan to install public art that relays a community’s “sense of place.”  The artwork is a project of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

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Arts & Culture
12:46 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Book Review: 'The Way North' edited by Ron Riekki

Credit Wayne State University Press

Reviewing a literary collection can feel a lot like reviewing a local talent show.

It can be hard to sum up the entire experience, since every act is unique, and it is unfair to compare the performers to each other; even though we all do it, no matter what the focus of the talent show is or the age of those involved. And like that talent show, literary collections tend to have their writers who take your breath away and make you lean forward in your chair, as well as the ones who make you wonder what you’re missing on TV. "The Way North" is a collection showcasing some of the leading voices in the Upper Peninsula literary movement.

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Arts & Culture
11:37 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Virginia Poet Laureate shares work with Michigan audience

Poets Anita Skeen (left) and Sofia Starnes discuss their latest projects and the closing of the RCAH Center for Poetry's Spring Poetry Festival.
Credit Emanuele Berry/WKAR

Each year, in honor of National Poetry Month in April, MSU's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities’ Center for Poetry brings a series of poets to campus to conduct readings and workshops with the public. Current State spoke with Poetry Center Director Anita Skeen and Virginia Poet Laureate Sofia Starnes about this year’s festival, and both read from their works.

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