Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Terry Johnston | Grand Rapids Symphony

This weekend marks the final concert of the season where the Grand Rapids Symphony will be led by incoming Music Director Marcelo Lehninger. WKAR’s afternoon classical host has more with the Maestro.


W. Kamau Bell photo
Courtesy photo

Stand-up comic W. Kamau Bell has long made his mark by making people laugh while addressing serious matters of race. His most recent TV project is “United Shades of America” on CNN.


Is Oscar Racist?

Feb 24, 2017

The 2016 Academy Awards were marred by the accusation that Hollywood was filled with racism and the lack of diversity. 

The 2017 Academy Awards have an entirely different look.

Bill Mechanic is a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters and the producer of Hacksaw Ridge, which has 6 nominations.

Jeff Wray is a professor in the college of Arts and Letters and a film maker. 

Ozay Moore, Mikeyy Austin, and Sareem Poems standing together
Katie Cook / WKAR-MSU

Some new things are happening in Reo Town.

Lansing rapper Mikeyy Austin is one of the minds behind Reo Town Sessions, a monthly event that highlights local artists and connects them to the community.


Image courtesy of Mark Rucker

During Black History Month, WKAR explores issues, events and perspectives involving the black experience.

WKAR’s Jamie Paisley spoke with African-American opera singer Mark Rucker who started in Chicago under a teacher with interesting classroom discipline techniques.


Jamie Paisley

It’s the third longest running revival in Broadway history. This week, Cabaret’s national tour is in residency at the Wharton Center. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley spoke with two members of the cast after Tuesday’s opening night, Jon Peterson (Emcee) and Mary Gordon Murray (Frau Schneider).


Rusalka | Meropolitan Opera

Feb 19, 2017
Kristine Opolais underwater playing the role of Mary Zimmerman
Photo by Kristian Schuller/Metropolitan Opera

Sat. Feb. 25 at 1pm on 90.5 FM WKAR Radio | Kristine Opolais stars in the role that helped launch her international career, the mythical Rusalka, who sings the haunting “Song to the Moon.” 

We talk with Edward McClelland about his book examining the way we talk, “How to Speak Midwestern."

YouTube - Black Violin

During Black History Month, WKAR will be exploring issues, events and perspectives involving the black experience.

They meld two seemingly diverse musical styles: classical music and hip hop. Meet one of the members of Black Violin, the string duo coming to the Wharton Center this Friday Night.


Inlet Dance Company

The Wharton Center’s new production, Among The Darkest Shadows, deals with the issue of human trafficking. Yesterday, WKAR’s Jamie Paisley spoke with some of the creators (which you can explore by clicking here) and today, brings us deeper into the fictional setting of the show: Shadowtown.


Bob Hoffman

It’s about as far away from Swan Lake as you can get. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley spoke with the creators of a stage work about human trafficking, and a warning that some of the following deals with sex trafficking.


I Puritani | Metropolitan Opera

Feb 12, 2017
Diana Damrau on stage as Rosina
Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Sat. Feb. 18 at 1pm on 90.5 FM WKAR Radio | The art of bel canto will take center stage in Bellini’s lyrical jewel. 

Jimmy Katz

All this week, the MSU College of Music has welcomed an Israeli jazz musician to jam with their students and do a tour around Michigan schools. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley has more with Anat Cohen.


Credit: J. Henry Fair — Timothy Muffitt

An extended interview with guitarist Sharon Isbin and Maestro Timothy Muffitt about her upcoming projects, creating unique concert opportunities, and learning more about why Maestro Muffitt chose the pieces he did for the upcoming "From Spain to the Americas" concert February 11th at the Wharton Center.
The original version can be found here.


Photo by J. Henry Fair

For the first time in 87 seasons, the Lansing Symphony will be joined by a guitar soloist, and she ranks amongst the greatest guitarists of all time.


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