culture

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.

Feminist musician Near reflects on activism, career

Mar 20, 2014
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.

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.

Local project to use selfies to redefine beauty

Mar 18, 2014
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.

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

Mar 17, 2014
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.

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.

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.

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.

Author explores America's self-help culture

Feb 28, 2014
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.

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.

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.

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.

1491s tap Native American heritage for laughs

Feb 25, 2014
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.

MSU comics forum celebrates breadth of artform

Feb 20, 2014
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.

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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