culture

Arts & Culture
12:53 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Documentary focuses on 'Reel Bad Arabs'

Dr. Jack Shaheen
Credit www.reelbadarabs.com/

“Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People” is a documentary film inspired by the book of the same title by Dr. Jack Shaheen. It chronicles the stereotypical depiction of Arabs in movies and on television. Next week, on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, Shaheen will attend a screening of the film on the MSU campus.

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Arts & Culture
12:14 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Book Review: 'Andrew's Brain' by E.L. Doctorow

When your mind often swims in the written words of others, sometimes the water can get a bit muddy. You don’t mean for this to happen, but plots might intermingle in your head, characters might meet up even though they are in different stories and sometimes, honestly, you might point the finger at a possible murderer, not realizing right away that they are from another book and, of course, perfectly innocent. That is sometimes how my brain works.

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Arts & Culture
12:19 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Renegade Theatre Festival offers first glimpse of new works

Melissa Kaplan and Chad Badgero say spoken word artists and soap box performances are a small sample of what will be at the Renegade Theatre Festival this weekend in Old Town.
Credit Courtesy - Renegade Theatre Festival

The Renegade Theatre Festival will be back in Old Town Lansing for a ninth year this week. On Thursday through Saturday, there will be a variety of theatrical events in several Old Town locations, and a number of local theatre companies are again taking part.

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Arts & Culture
1:36 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Michigan wines getting better with age

Guest wine judge Courtney Casey samples a collection of local wines at the 37th annual Michigan Wine Competition at MSU.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

As the farmed cherry harvest in Michigan is finishing up, viticulturists are preparing to collect grapes in a couple of weeks. Michigan’s wine industry is in a state of steady growth. 

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Arts & Culture
12:34 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

EL considers special fee to foster public art

East Lansing boasts of abundant public art, like 'Cassiopeia' on Grand River Avenue.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

The city of East Lansing bills itself as the "City of the Arts." City officials are considering a measure that some say could strengthen that image. On Wednesday, the city council is expected to take up a proposal dubbed the "Percent for Art."

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Arts & Culture
2:57 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Book Review: Christopher Moore's 'The Serpent of Venice'

Moore takes on rewriting Shakespeare in his new novel 'The Serpent of Venice.'
Credit www.chrismoore.com

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” While some would take this quote from Shakespeare as merely insightful into human nature, author Christopher Moore takes it as gospel. Moore’s character named Pocket turns out is the very same fool from the great Bard’s “King Lear.” And this fool is the wisest person in any throne room.

Pocket first appeared in Christopher Moore’s wonderful satire “Fool,” reinventing the classic Shakespeare tragedy from the perspective of this intrepid character. In that novel, Pocket is the mastermind for the undoing of King Lear and his two wicked daughters.

Now Pocket has returned in a new book, “The Serpent of Venice.” In this comedy adventure Pocket is stuck in Venice, and it begins with him trapped in a cellar preparing to experience a slow and horrible death. From there the story grows to include mermaids, a best friend named Othello, a merchant named Shylock and a villain named Iago, who really doesn’t have a chance against a brain like Pocket’s.

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Arts & Culture
2:24 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Novel: Murder on the MSU campus

McGiveron says the project took two years of diligent writing to complete.
Credit www.rafeeqmcgiveron.com

Rafeeq McGiveron is not just a counselor at Lansing Community College, he is also the author of new book about a murder set on the MSU campus titled "Student Body."

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Arts & Culture
12:36 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

RoadBelly offers colorful coverage of Michigan food and drink

The cover of RoadBelly Magazine's fourth edition.
Credit roadbelly.com

The passions of farming, cooking, brewing and much more are all a part of RoadBelly Magazine. The Grand Rapids based publication is about to enter its second year as it expands its scope beyond western Michigan.

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Arts & Culture
12:53 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Tilted Axes to shred Detroit

Credit Courtesy of Patrick Grant

Detroit-area native, composer and musician Patrick Grant has created seasonal musical celebrations in his adopted home of New York City. His event titled "Tilted Axes" rung in the winter equinox of 2012 with dozens of electric guitarists hooking portable amplifiers to their belts and walking the streets of Manhattan to observe winter's arrival.

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Arts & Culture
1:14 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Detroit mass mobs look to fill pews, coffers

Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Detroit.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Starting this past spring, Detroiters and suburbanites have gathered in growing numbers at historic Detroit Churches. They’ve been named the ‘Detroit Mass Mob’ and have been imagining the past while building toward the future.

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Arts & Culture
1:39 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

'City of the Arts' boasts Musee du Towelette Humide

The oldest specimens in curator John French's Moist Towelette Museum are from 1963.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Every year, thousands of people from around the state and elsewhere visit a museum in the Lansing area: the state of Michigan Historical Museum downtown perhaps, or the dynamic new Broad Art Museum in East Lansing are two that come to mind.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Mon March 31, 2014

MSU brings cathartic stories of failure to Wharton

MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis will be one of the speakers at Failure: Lab.
Credit www.msuspartans.com

Earlier this year Current State’s Emanuele Berry introduced listeners to Failure:Lab. The event asks presenters to share a story of failure with the world.

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Arts & Culture
12:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

MSU prof recaptures iconic African images

Darcy Greene's photos were taken in 2012. The MSU Museum exhibition runs through April 27.
courtesy of Darcy Greene

The exhibit Revisiting Verger’s Dahomey: A Photographic Contrast is currently on display at the Michigan State University Museum. The show presents a comparison of the images of Pierre Verger, the French photojournalist who immersed himself in the lives, customs, and beliefs of the people of Dahomey, now Benin, West Africa.

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Arts & Culture
1:32 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Feminist musician Near reflects on activism, career

Holly Near encourages youth to take ownership of activism.
Credit Flickr - majunznk


March is Women’s History Month, and a pioneer of the women’s movement will be here on Friday. Holly Near has been combining music and activism since the 1960s.

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Arts & Culture
12:36 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Porgy and Bess leads on playing the iconic characters

'Porgy and Bess' was originally an opera that featured an entire cast of classically trained African American performers.
Credit courtesy of Michael J. Lutch

The Tony Award for best Broadway musical revival in 2012 went to “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”. The company touring the country with “Porgy and Bess” is in East Lansing this week for eight performances at MSU’s Wharton Center.

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Arts & Culture
12:53 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Local project to use selfies to redefine beauty

At a workshop on March 25th, girls will discuss ideas of how beauty is perpetrated by the media, and how those standards are impossible to achieve.
Credit Flickr - Laurence Vagner

Starting next week, a new project will encourage girls to redefine their understanding of beauty and boost self-esteem, through Selfie. The workshop titled “The Art of the Selfie: How Selfies Create Confidence” is  a collaboration between the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, the 60/50 Project, and the East Lansing Public Library.

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Arts & Culture
12:56 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Lights, camera, pie: film documents town devoted to pie

Longtime mid-Michigan artist Jane Rosemont is making a documentary called, "The Pie Lady of Pie Town."
Credit Flickr - oh estelle

Art, like life, goes through phases and changes. A longtime mid-Michigan artist who relocated to New Mexico a few years ago is exploring the inspirations there and has just come out with her first short film. Many listeners will be familiar with Jane and Dick Rosemont. He was one of the forces behind Flat Black and Circular, an East Lansing record shop, and she was a fine arts photographer.

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Arts & Culture
1:35 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Book review: Donald Lystra’s “Something That Feels Like Truth”

Scott Southard states that the collection of stories portrays relationships on the cusp of disaster, or just past it.
Credit Donald Lystra

Traditionally, short stories are birthed out of what-ifs.

What if you go to Mars and find dead relatives? What if a sea monster confuses a fog horn with a mating call? Both of those examples, by the way, are from master short story writer Ray Bradbury.

In Donald Lystra’s latest story collection “Something that Feels Like Truth,” he does  something very different from Bradbury. In many ways, his Michigan short stories are not what-ifs but episodes. They are brief glimpses into the lives of real people, and each is at a turning point or a moment of self-realization. These are character studies focused more on the emotional impact of a moment than on a surprising plot twist.

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Arts & Culture
3:27 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Statewide poetry event features creativity competition

Eric Hammerstrom says for some students, Poetry Out Loud is their first time in the spotlight.
Credit Flickr - zdenadel

High Schoolers from across the state will convene in East Lansing on Friday for the annual Michigan Poetry Out Loud Championship. At the event, students will recite famous works from memory.

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Arts & Culture
1:39 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Exploring the magic of the Great Lakes through personal stories

Walter Blake Knoblock says that he chose to center his project around the Great Lakes because there is nothing quite like them in the world and everyone can relate to stories about the lakes.
Credit Flickr - terrydu

Most people who live in the Mitten State have fond memories of time spent at one of the Great Lakes. Those memories are what fuel The Great Lakes Book Project. The book captures over 20 personal stories about life along the shoreline, exploring the powerful bond people across the region and the world have with the Great Lakes. Current State's Emanuele Berry speaks with the books publisher and editor Walter Blake Knoblock.

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Arts & Culture
1:23 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Author explores America's self-help culture

Lamb-Shapiro talks about the complexities of self-help at the individual level, as it is both empowering and a tremendous responsibility.
Credit Simon & Schuster

 

From the supermarket check-out, to any bookstore best-seller section, to TV seminars and your smart phone, Americans are deluged with opportunities for self-improvement. We spend in the tens of billions of dollars annually, hoping to end co-dependency, cultivate our spirituality, improve our sleep. The list is endless.

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Arts & Culture
11:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Book Review: Jim Harrison's 'Brown Dog: Novellas'

Southard says the character Brown Dog is representative of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Credit Grove Press

In Michigan one of the things we all accept are the supposed differences between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. The stereotypes haunt the residents of both regions: rural versus urban; those who are stressed versus those who are relaxed; those happy with money versus those happy in long underwear.

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Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Voices of Experience: Rabbi Morton Hoffman of East Lansing's Shaarey Zedek Congregation

Rabbi Morton Hoffman says there's now a pattern of intermarriage between Jewish individuals and people from other religions, or even with no religion at all.
Credit Flickr - Rocky Romero

We all know people in our community who we feel are extraordinary for their memorable life experiences or their sacrifices.  Maybe for their success or their service, and for the insights that result from those experiences.

Getting better acquainted with extraordinary people is the focus of Current State’s ongoing series, Voices of Experience.

Rabbi Morton Hoffman was the head of Congregation Shaarey Zedek from 1983 until 2000, and then again for a few years until 2003 when he re-retired.

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Arts & Culture
12:40 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Resolution Center of Central Michigan

Credit Courtesy of Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan

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 Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan (RSCCM). The Lansing-based non-profit offers peaceful conflict resolution services for businesses, individuals and schools in six Mid-Michigan counties.

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Arts & Culture
12:52 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

1491s tap Native American heritage for laughs

The 1491s is a sketch comedy group based in the wooded ghettos of Minnesota and buffalo grass of Oklahoma.
Credit 1491s.com


The 1491s describe themselves as “a gaggle of Indians chock full of cynicism and splashed with a good dose of indigenous satire.” The five Native American artists create work that will make you snicker, but will also make you think.

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Arts & Culture
12:36 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

MSU comics forum celebrates breadth of artform

The MSU Library Special Collections is the largest public collection of comics in the world.
Credit Courtesy of MSU Comic Book Forum

Comic lovers from across the state will converge in East Lansing  this week for the annual MSU Comics Forum. This year’s event features an artist alleyway, panel discussions and keynote speaker Stan Sakai.

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Arts & Culture
1:22 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Exploring Michigan’s decades-long relationship with Japan

Biwa Lake in Shiga, Japan
Credit Flickr - rockriver

In 1968, Michigan Governor George Romney signed an agreement with the governor of Shiga Prefecture, which is one of Japan’s 47 state-like territories, to create a sister state relationship. The cultural partnership between the two states is one of the longest-running in the country and is still going strong today.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:19 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Current State #200 | November 12, 2013

Today on Current State: medical marijuana; American perceptions of climate change; new Lansing Arts Council director, and an MSU documentary on cross-cultural exchanges.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:45 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

MSU documentary explores cross-cultural challenges

 


Travel adventures, culture shock and honest conversations are all topics brought up in a new documentary that follows four American students, one from MSU, and four Chinese students as they travel through China.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:14 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Exploring U.S. culture and identity through hair

Candacy Taylor
Credit http://taylormadeculture.com/

Each year Americans spend billions on hair: curling it, dying it, and adding extensions. To achieve our ideal look, we turn to the sacred space that is the salon. Candacy Taylor, Archie Green award recipient at the American Folklife center, has traveled to salons around the U.S. since 2006.

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