Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Jakeli Swimmer in front of his classroom.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Of the nearly 16,000 enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, fewer than 300 can fluently speak the Cherokee language. Most of those speakers are over the age of 50 and think their heritage language is on the brink of extinction.

Paula Poundstone On 39 Years Of Funny

Oct 26, 2018
Michael Schwartz

Paula Poundstone got her start as a stand-up comedian nearly four decades ago at open mic nights, meticulously planning out her jokes but invariably ad libbing. Over the course of her career in comedy, she has worked to strip away the scripted nature of her routines to become truly improvisational. She has also let her witty humor wander farther and farther from the stage, as a voice actor, NPR quiz show personality, author and most recently podcast host. Poundstone is the author of "The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness" and the host of the weekly podcast "Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone." 

These Women Are Giving Voice To A Prison Sentence

Oct 26, 2018
courtesy of Susannah Long

There is some scripture that inmates at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women can deeply relate to: stories about women who suffer at the hands of abusers and decide to fight back, and text that exalts God despite challenges and pain on earth. When musician and prison volunteer Susannah Long started a songwriting workshop in the facility, she used this scripture as the jumping-off point for inmates to express their lived experience by creating their own songs. 

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot celebrate Halloween this week with a few of their favorite genre-spanning scary songs. Plus, we hear a selection of scary tunes nominated by listeners from around the country. And, Jim and Greg review the debut album from rock band Greta Van Fleet.

Mamie Flemons (Dom's Grandmother)
From Flemons Family Collection

The second season of Dom Flemon's American Songster Radio podcast is released today, Friday, October 26.

In this episode of American Songster Radio, Dom discusses the song “Black Woman” and revisits the lives of figures like Bridget “Biddy” Mason and “Stagecoach” Mary Fields.  He also shares his own version of “Black Woman,” performed live on stage.

Dom Flemons
Tim Duffy / Music Maker

This is episode two from season two of American Songster Radio.

Black Cowboys
Tim Duffy / Music Maker

This is episode three from season two of American Songster Radio.

Charles Henry Flemons (Dom's father) in Texas with Cousin Slick
From Flemons Family Collection

This is epsidoe four from season two of American Songster Radio.

Black Cowboys
Tim Duffy

This is episode five from season two of American Songster Radio.

Dom Flemons' "Black Cowboys"
Tim Duffy

This is the sixth and final episode from season two of American Songster Radio.

WATCH "Black Woman" By Dom Flemons Video Premiere

Oct 25, 2018
Vania Kinard
Tim Duffy

WUNC is proud to present the world premiere of the video for "Black Woman" performed by Dom Flemons. The song was explained in the first episode of Season 2 of the American Songster Podcast and is included on Dom’s “Black Cowboys” release on Smithsonian Folkways.

Pasta Party Bracket - Final Round

Oct 25, 2018

This is it! All month you’ve voted for your favorite pasta styles in our Splendid Pasta Party bracket, and we’re down to the Final Round: Spaghetti vs Rigatoni. Vote for the Final Round below.

FINAL ROUND VOTING IS OPEN NOW THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 2018. Vote below. We'll announce the bracket winner on November 1, 2018.

Vote Now!

The Storm After the Storm

Oct 24, 2018

Doctors in Puerto Rico are outraged at the government’s unexpected decision to declare the Zika crisis over in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Plus, communities in Houston and North Carolina struggle to put their homes and lives back together.

America’s Identity Crisis Over Torture

Oct 23, 2018
Flickr/Creative Commons

Liberal democracies like the United States agree that the use of torture is abborhent, distasteful and wrong. Our very identity rests on the understanding that we uphold human rights and do not engage in the cruel savagery of older or other governments. And yet the use of torture in this country, and the ways in which those in power have justified it, goes back as far as our founding. 

Banner Logo for American Songster Radio Season Two Preview Episode
Tim Duffy / Keith Weston / Music Maker / WUNC

The cowboy is an icon of American culture. But the popular image of the white cowboy skews our perception of what kind of Americans did—and do—cowboying work. 

The American West after the Civil War was a dynamic and ethnically diverse place. As many as a quarter of the cowboys during the frontier era were African Americans.  

Photo of Amy Ray
Carrie Schrader

Singer-songwriter Amy Ray is bringing her new album Holler to Durham next week.

In One Wartime Moment, A Family Is Forever Changed

Oct 19, 2018
Courtesy of Abigail DeWitt

In occupied France, one sister travels to Paris to audition for a spot at a conservatory, while two others stay behind at the family home in Normandy. The D-Day invasion that leaves one of them dead and the others traumatized in their various ways shapes the entire family for multiple generations and across two continents. 

 After most fans had retired their copies of “Ziggy Stardust,” John Elderkin whipped out his pen and decided to write a sequel to the legendary David Bowie album. This desire to tell stories along with his love for music would meet in a band called Mad Crush.

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Emmy-winning music supervisor Susan Jacobs. Over her 30 year career, she's worked with directors like Spike Lee, David O. Russell and Robert Altman on placing music within movies. Most recently, she made the jump to television with HBO's Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies. Jim and Greg talk to Susan about the effects of great music on screen and how she convinced Led Zeppelin to let her expertly use the band's music in Sharp Objects.  

Who Gets to Vote?

Oct 18, 2018

Approaching 2018’s midterms, the country has its eyes locked on Georgia’s governor’s race. It’s a close contest between Stacey Abrams, a former state congresswoman who could become the first-ever black female governor in America and Brian Kemp, a tough-talking Trump loyalist with a penchant for the Second Amendment. The race has become a battleground for many of America’s most pressing concerns about democracy – from voter suppression to election security.

Many North Carolinians have witnessed firsthand the wealth and grandeur of the Vanderbilt family at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. And while the stories of Cornelius, and other Vanderbilt men are well known and documented, less is known about the Vanderbilt women.

The Julia Child Awards are given every year at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The recipients are honored for their role in pushing American food into new realms and changing the way we look at cooking. Part of the award is that the winners all donate objects from their lives that help tell the story of their careers. Those items - notebooks, menus, cooking equipment, even typewriters - go into the museum’s collections, to be immortalized.

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are more than just TV chefs. They’ve been in business together for almost 40 years. They opened a quirky, little restaurant called City Cafe that helped to redefine the restaurant scene in Los Angeles. Today, they have a wildly popular group of Mexican restaurants called Border Grill and they’re active philanthropists. On top of all of that, Milliken and Feniger are the most recent winners of the Julia Child Award - the first team to ever receive the award.

The Smithsonian is filled with wonderful artifacts and exhibits. For lovers of food and food media, the most amazing of them may be Julia Child’s kitchen. We're not talking about a replica or a model of her kitchen. Literally, her entire kitchen lives in the museum - every counter, every knife, every gadget. For Lisa McManus, who leads all the equipment testing at America’s Test Kitchen, it’s like Valhalla. She talked with Managing Producer Sally Swift about Julia’s way with tools.

A picture of The War and Treaty
David McClister

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery station, WUNC Music.

The rapper Oddisee has made a name for himself around the world producing his own brand of hip-hop. His style ranges from the 2011 album “Rock Creek Park,” which celebrates the genre with nostalgic samples and few words, to his most recent studio album “The Iceberg,” featuring lyrics that chip away at racism, sexism and the systemic forces that divide society.

Pasta Party Bracket - Round Two

Oct 17, 2018

Our Pasta Party Bracket pits our fans' most searched and enjoyed pasta styles head-to-head in a three-round bracket. In Round One, fans voted for rigatoni, orecchiette, spaghetti and fusilli to move forward. One of the matchups was really close (see Round One results below).

photo of singer Anthony Hamilton holding a cigar
photo LeAnn Mueller

His soulful songs may be reminiscent of Sam Cooke, but Anthony Hamilton refuses to be put in a box. He was discovered while cutting hair at a barbershop in Charlotte and was signed to Uptown Records, but it took him 10 years and several failed record deals to finally establish himself as a solo superstar.

Valeria Watson

The Appalachian region is an expansive stretch of hundreds of thousands of miles from the mountains of New York to Mississippi. It is home to more than 25 million people who celebrate diverse cultural traditions, yet its stereotype as a region filled with poor, white farmers still looms large. In the 90s, writer Frank X Walker coined the term “Affrilachia,” to chip away at those stereotypes and render visible the life and work of a more diverse array of residents.

Georgia O'Keeffe, NCMA, Female Artists
Permission granted NC Museum of Art

More than 35 of Georgia O’Keeffe’s works make up “The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art” exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art opening Saturday. O'Keeffe lived for nearly 100 years, and was one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century.

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