Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Fri April 24, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Rob Klajda of The Lash

Rob Klajda sings and plays the citern today in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

For 20 years, Lansing music fans have enjoyed what’s been described as the “celtic mayhem” of The Lash. Tonight, the group will perform for the last time. They’re calling the show “One Last Paycheck”. It’s at The Avenue Café in Lansing. Jen Sygit will open the show at 9 p.m.

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Arts & Culture
11:31 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Award-winning poet Carolyn Forché brings “poetry of witness” to MSU

Carolyn Forché will talk about her four books of poetry at 3 pm today in room W449 of the MSU main library.
Credit Courtesy The Poetry Foundation

While poetry is often thought of as a way to capture the beauty of the world in words, it has also long been a vehicle for political dissent and social criticism. From Walt Whitman to Pablo Neruda, many of the world’s most famous poets frequently drew inspiration for their poetry from their politics. Carolyn Forché is carrying that legacy of socially engaged poetry into the 21st century.

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Arts & Culture
11:21 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Book Review: Farran Smith Nehme's "Missing Reels"

Blogging is one of the greatest things to happen to the art of writing. In a blog, a writer is free to do whatever they want. They can experiment with form or subject matter, and build a readership without worrying about the approval of an agent or publisher. It can also be a launch pad for a career.

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Arts & Culture
11:17 am
Thu April 23, 2015

A2SO season finale features Mahler’s magnificent “Fifth”

Aaron Berofsky and Kathryn Votapek will perform with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Saturday night.
Credit Courtesy Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra presents its season finale at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium this Saturday at 8 p.m. The concert will be broadcast live on WKAR 90.5-FM. The program features works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Gustav Mahler.

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Arts & Culture
11:18 am
Wed April 22, 2015

MSU’s “Latin IS America” mirrors cultural, political changes

The MSU College of Music presents its third annual "Latin IS America" series through May 2nd at various campus venues. Artistic director and associate professor of music Ricardo Lorenz oversees the festival.

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Arts & Culture
11:27 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Wharton schedule includes “Book of Mormon,” “Sound of Music”

'The Sound of Music' will be at the Wharton Center next February on its way to Broadway.

There’s always a lot of excitement when MSU’s Wharton Center announces its schedule for the coming season, and today, the slate of shows for 2015-16 is being released. The Broadway schedule always leads the way at Wharton, and the shows coming to East Lansing include some that are new to town, one major program that will be here before heading to Broadway, and the return of “The Book of Mormon.”

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Arts & Culture
12:12 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Public radio favorite Ira Glass brings dance show to East Lansing

Ira Glass (center) brings 'Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host' to East Lansing this weekend.
Credit David Bazemore

If you’re a public radio fan, chances are you know and love Ira Glass, host of the popular weekly show and podcast "This American Life". The show started at WBEZ in Chicago in 1995, and in the 20 years since has become one of the world’s most popular public radio programs. It’s even made its way into pop culture, showing up on tv shows like "Saturday Night Live", "30 Rock", and "Orange is the New Black".

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Arts & Culture
12:09 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Brad Cole, Chris Edrington and Erin Sax

Chris Edrington (left) and Erin Sax (center) join Brad Cole (right) in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Brad Cole is our Live Music Friday guest today on Current State. We’ve heard from him and his friends Erin Sax and Chris Edrington during the show today. The trio performed yesterday at the Broad Art Museum and at a Pump House concert in East Lansing last night.

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Arts & Culture
12:02 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Essayist Jack Lessenberry to keynote Rally of Writers

Jack Lessenberry keynotes A Rally of Writers in Lansing this weekend.
Credit Courtesy Michigan Radio

The 28th Rally of Writers is Saturday in Lansing. The annual one-day conference will bring together leading Michigan writers like “Bootstrapper” author Mardi Jo Link, author and WKAR book reviewer Lev Raphael and others with audiences who love reading and aspire to write themselves. The keynote speaker will be Jack Lessenberry, whose essays on Michigan politics are seen in publications across the state and heard on our Michigan Public Radio Network sister station in Ann Arbor, Michigan Radio.

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Arts & Culture
11:37 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Lansing Trio re-imagines Bach masterpiece

Tigran Shiganyan

This Sunday at 3 p.m. at Lansing’s First Presbyterian Church Molly Grove Chapel, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series presents a single work. It’s Johann Sebastian Bach’s seminal keyboard composition, “Goldberg Variations”, a one-hour study in melody and invention unsurpassed since its 18th century creation.

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Arts & Culture
11:13 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Poet comes to EL to promote literary arts in Detroit schools

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring poetry! This is National Poetry month and poetry-related events are taking place in cities across the country. That includes MSU’s Spring Poetry Festival right here in East Lansing. One of this year’s guests is Terry Blackhawk, an award-winning Detroit poet who is also the Executive Director of InsideOut Literary Arts Project.

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Arts & Culture
11:04 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Public Poetry Announcement: Billy Collins

Credit Flickr - maxeagar

April is poetry month and it seemed like the perfect time to bring back our occasional series of Public Poetry Announcements. In keeping with the weather, we have a spring themed poem.

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Arts & Culture
11:43 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Capitol City film festival to feature ‘Keep GM’ story

Credit Monica Reida / Flickr

One of the most dramatic chapters in recent Lansing history involved the groundbreaking effort to ‘Keep GM’ that began in 1996.   Former Mayor David Hollister remembers well the day General Motors’ executive Ed Donovan shared with him “some good news and some bad news.” After the 100th birthday of Oldsmobile, the company wouldn't have any new product for Lansing. 

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Arts & Culture
11:31 am
Fri April 3, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Brendan Doherty

Brendan Doherty (right) was joined by Jen Sygit to perform in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is Brendan Doherty. He’s an Irish guitarist-folk singer who’s new to East Lansing, after a life of performing all over the world. He’s joined today by a local favorite, Jen Sygit.

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Arts & Culture
12:43 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

MSU Cello Plus series combines music and film

Suren Bagratuni
Credit WKAR file photo

The MSU College of Music’s Cello Plus series returns to Fairchild Theatre this Monday night at 7:30. WKAR will be there with a live broadcast on 90.5 Classical. Cello professor, string department chair and series founder Suren Bagratuni presents four diverse programs over the course of the week.

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Arts & Culture
12:37 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Book Review: Graeme Simsion's "The Rosie Effect"

It’s pretty common to hear people complain about the impact TV has on society. It ruins young minds. It contributes to obesity. It shortens attention spans. But while there’s plenty of talk about how bad television is for humans, no one ever talks about the influence it has on books. Exhibit A: "The Rosie Effect" by Graeme Simsion, which is the sequel to his New York Times bestseller "The Rosie Project".

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Arts & Culture
11:28 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Giant mural to capture Lansing’s early REO heritage

Artist Tony Hendrick works on a quarter panel of what will be a 58-foot mural celebrating the history of Oldsmobile in Lansing.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Forty years ago, Lansing said goodbye to a proud piece of its civic identity. In May 1975, the Diamond REO truck factory on Washington Avenue closed its doors, ending seven decades of Oldsmobile production in Lansing. Today, just one of those original buildings remains, and it will soon be adorned with a work of art celebrating the Oldsmobile era. It’s a mural, and when it’s finished, it will measure 56 feet long by 28 feet high.

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Arts & Culture
11:06 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Actor’s bowling shoes immortalized on Michigan-made website

Credit davemaddensbowlingshoes.com

Remember "The Partridge Family", the iconic 1970s singing TV family? Their manager, Reuben Kincaid, saw their potential and his guidance allowed them to travel around in a converted bus, making music. Well, that manager, Reuben Kincaid, was played by actor Dave Madden. Today we’ll hear from a West Michigan man who saw the potential in a pair of shoes that once belonged to Dave Madden.

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Arts & Culture
11:30 am
Tue March 31, 2015

MSU exhibit features ArtPrize finalist

The exhibition 'More or Less' includes pieces from Henry Brimmer's first Art Prize entry, 'Touch Wood'.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

MSU assistant professor of Advertising and Public Relations Henry Brimmer has gained some notoriety for his entries in the Grand Rapids ArtPrize. Brimmer was an ArtPrize finalist last year for a work called “There’s Something Happening Here”, made up of silhouettes on the roofs of downtown buildings. It later came to Old Town Lansing for a while. An exhibition of his works is opening today at the MSU Nisbet Building.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Fri March 27, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Abbey Hoffman

Abbey Hoffman performing live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is singer-guitarist-songwriter Abbey Hoffman. If you were listening a couple of weeks ago when Donny Brown was our Live Music Friday guest, Abbey was here to accompany him. She’s here today as a solo artist. She’s released a solo album called “This Too Shall Pass”.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Thu March 26, 2015

MSU Theatre presents psychological thriller “Bug”

The MSU Department of Theatre’s production of “Bug” starts tonight and runs this weekend and next. It’s a psychological thriller by Tracy Letts, who wrote “August: Osage County.” The show deals with themes of trauma, paranoia, and trust.

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Arts & Culture
11:22 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Steppin’ In It frontman Joshua Davis steps out on “The Voice”

Joshua Davis of the band Steppin' In It is a contestant this season on NBC's 'The Voice'.
Credit joshuadavismusic.com

One of Lansing’s top bands in recent years has been Steppin’ In It. For a long time, they played a weekly gig at The Green Door. Now, fans are following the exploits of singer Joshua Davis. He’s competing on NBC’s “The Voice” this season.

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Arts & Culture
11:33 am
Tue March 24, 2015

MSU Opera director preview's Handel's "Xerxes"

Melanie Helton is directing the MSU Opera production of Handel's 'Xerxes'.
Credit Courtesy - MSU College of Music

George Frederic Handel's opera "Xerxes" comes to the Fairchild Theatre stage this week. The MSU College of Music opens the production tomorrow night, with additional performances Friday through Sunday.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Mon March 23, 2015

EL exhibit features Spike Lee movie posters by MSU grad

'Movies and Messages: The Movie Posters of Art Sims' can be seen at the MSU Museum through April 30th.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

When a new movie comes out, one of the crucial marketing elements is the poster. The images, the words, even the fonts can be crucial to the studio’s hopes of getting moviegoers into the theatres. The MSU Museum currently has an exhibition of posters designed by Art Sims, a native Detroiter who has worked extensively with filmmaker Spike Lee on posters for his movies. Along with the posters, you can see books filled with Sims’ earliest visions for each of the projects, and how those ideas evolved into the final product.

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Arts & Culture
12:05 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

REACH Studio Art Center opens Lansing’s first youth gallery

The REACH Studio Art Center's youth gallery will be open Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. to see the exhibition of works by young artists.
Credit Joy Baldwin

Last night, hundreds of people headed to REO Town for the opening of Lansing’s first youth art gallery. The show featured the work of students from REACH Studio Art Center, a nonprofit community arts center.

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Arts & Culture
11:49 am
Fri March 20, 2015

LIVE MUSIC FRIDAY: Randy Napoleon

Randy Napoleon plays guitar with drummer Nick Bracewell and bassist Joe Vasquez live in WKAR's Studio S.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Our Live Music Friday guest today is guitarist Randy Napoleon. He’s recorded a couple of CD’s, “Between Friends” and “The Jukebox Crowd”, he’s played on dozens of other recordings and has toured extensively, notably with Freddy Cole.

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Arts & Culture
11:17 am
Thu March 19, 2015

National Book Award winning author devotes career to young readers

Jacqueline Woodson's speech is at 7 p.m. in MSU's Erickson Hall KIVA.
Credit http://www.jacquelinewoodson.com/

An award-winning author of books for young readers is coming to East Lansing this week. Jacqueline Woodson's 30 books for young adults, middle graders and children have won a multitude of awards including a National Book Award in 2014 for “Brown Girl Dreaming”. The MSU Department of Teacher Education is bringing her in for a talk tonight.

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Arts & Culture
11:12 am
Thu March 19, 2015

John Schneider on cultural exchange trip to Cuba

John Schneider (right), with Current State guest host Melissa Benmark.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

For almost 25 years, Lansing and mid-Michigan connected through John Schneider's column in the Lansing State Journal. He left the paper in 2012, but new columns appear regularly. Recently, readers took in an account of John’s visit to Cuba, where he encountered “breathtaking scenery and warm people.”

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Arts & Culture
11:08 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Classical music schedule includes Ann Arbor Symphony, Dali Quartet

The Dali Quartet
Credit http://www.daliquartet.com/

The classical concert season is in top gear right now, with old favorites and new music coming to our area this week. Current State's Peter Whorf sat down with the Dali Quartet yesterday to talk about their upcoming performance with the MSU Wind Symphony.  They’ll play Joel Puckett’s work entitled "Short Stories" tonight at the Wharton Center.

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Arts & Culture
10:36 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Book Review: Josh Malerman's 'Bird Box'

"Bird Box" by Josh Malerman scared the pants off me. Please don’t think I’m saying this lightly. While horror movies can terrify me for days, horror books rarely have the same punch for me. Usually, they feel predictable, formulaic, like something conjured from an old episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" minus the wit or surprises.  But "Bird Box" was different, and it was terrifying.

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