Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Jenna Glass in front of a book shelf
Courtesy of Jenna Glass

In the fictional world of Seven Wells, women are treated as possessions and forced to produce male heirs to continue the hereditary monarchies in their patriarchal society. There is magic in Seven Wells, but men have more magical powers than women, and women’s magic is considered dirty and shameful.

photo of Zach Meeker and Jim Waddelow in front of an orchestra
Raleigh Little Theatre

When “West Side Story” debuted on Broadway in 1957, it was an instant hit. The new take on “Romeo and Juliet” set in 1950s New York City earned seven Tony nominations in its first year.

By 1961, the musical was turned into a movie that was equally successful and took home 10 Academy Awards.

Album Cover
Demon Records

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. On this episode, Chapel Hill drummer Rob Ladd tells us why he loves Don Dixon's 'Girls L.T.D.' from the album 'Most Of The Girls Like To Dance But Only Some Of The Boys Like To.'

The Unpaid Cost of Elder Care

May 17, 2019

As the population of Americans over 65 rises, families increasingly are choosing to place loved ones in long-term assisted care facilities called residential care homes. With around-the-clock caregivers and individualized attention in a single-family-home setting, these smaller, more intimate alternatives to the traditional nursing home seem like the perfect place for Mom or Grandpa. They're more affordable, too. But that affordability masks an ugly truth: Workers doing the day-to-day work of caring for America's older adults are being exploited.

Harriet Tubman is an American legend. History books know her best as the architect of the underground railroad, but she was also the brains behind a dangerous expedition during the Civil War.

She may have also had a rich and complex love life, but the details of that for now are mostly fictional ones, portrayed in the new historical novel “The Tubman Command” (Arcade/2019).

an artist rendering of Omisade Burney-Scott wearing headphones
Artist: Wutang McDougal / Courtesy of Omisade Burney-Scott

Omisade Burney-Scott felt alone as she approached menopause. There were no resources to help guide her through this transition — nothing like the Judy Blume novel “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” that helped her through puberty. So Burney-Scott decided to create a resource of her own: “Decolonizing the Crone,” a multimedia project that collects the stories and experiences of women over 50.

Sound Opinions: Paisley Underground

May 15, 2019

In early '80s Southern California, a new kind of music was brewing that blended the psychedelic sounds of the ‘60s with the modern day punk ethos. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reflect on the Paisley Underground movement. They’ll discuss the prominent bands like The Bangles, explore what made the scene so special and explain its impact on indie rock.

What if someone was given a diagnosis that they have “six to live.” No one knows if it will be six days, six weeks or six months. Author Carrie Knowles uses this premise as a starting point for her short story “SIX” featured in her latest collection “Black Tie Optional: 17 Stories” (Owl Canyon Press/2019).

Jennifer Brookland

Sam Frazier is a Greensboro-based singer, songwriter and musician with two solo CDs under his belt in addition to collaborations with some of the area’s top talent. The lyrics in his original songs move between silly and soulful, as his poetic storytelling speaks to our all-too-human nature. 

The Greensboro Bound Literary Festival has come a long way in just three years. The event was the brainchild of book lover Steve Colyer who thought that with the Triad’s rich literary scene, Greensboro needed its own book festival.

Courtesy of Chuck Liddy

Chuck Liddy stumbled into a career as a photojournalist after he found out he could walk into  high school football games for free if he had a camera around his neck. But the photography enthusiast had already converted a bathroom in his house into a darkroom and enjoyed experimenting with the camera his dad had taken into the Vietnam War. Once Liddy was on staff at a newspaper, he began a career of taking risks and adopting the new technology of the day, from digital cameras to drones.

Ms. Connie B was a dream come true for her father. He was a gospel singer who loved to harmonize. Unable to rely on local performers, he prayed to father children who could sing so that he could have his own singing group.

An image of Ben Folds Five
Autumn de Wilde

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. This week, former Local 506 owner and Motorco booker Glenn Boothe tells us why 'Where's Summer B.?' by Ben Folds Five brings him back to a certain time in Chapel Hill. 

When Tasers Fail

May 9, 2019

Tasers are on the duty belt of nearly every American police officer. Their manufacturer, Axon Enterprise Inc., has long promoted the device as extremely effective at helping police resolve dangerous situations without using their guns. But a yearlong investigation by APM Reports shows Tasers are often less effective than the company has claimed. And just as Tasers can save lives when they subdue suspects, when they don’t, the outcome can be deadly. In Vermont we explore what happened when police using Tasers failed to subdue a mentally ill man.

a giant cube made of white plastic pipes with blue film negatives making up the sides
Courtesy of Christina Lorena Weisner

The River Cube will marry art and science in its 275-mile journey down the Neuse River. The cube itself is made of found aerial footage of an unknown river system, and while it goes on its journey down the river, a team alongside it will collect scientific data, including photographs and water samples.

Sharon Van Etten, Opinions on Jamila Woods

May 8, 2019

Edgy folk-rocker Sharon Van Etten is busier than ever. After quitting the music industry four years ago, she’s now back and experimenting with new sounds, like the vintage synthesizer that lives in her New York City rehearsal space. Sharon joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for an interview and performance of music from her latest release, Remind Me Tomorrow. They also review the new record from Chicago singer and poet Jamila Woods.

Southern Nights

May 8, 2019
Edgar Oliver
Sarah Stacke

Edgar Oliver falls from grace at a military academy. 

Sheri Holman learns secrets about her Southern Gothic aunts.

Chuck McDew is imprisoned in Louisiana and charged with treason.

Illustrated graphic of Sonic South
Ginnie Hsu

The Southern Oral History Program is guided by the philosophy that “you don’t have to be famous for your life to be history.” Since 1973, it has collected 6,000 interviews that document the American South.

A giant face puppet surrounded by people holding red sticks
Courtesy of Paperhand Puppet Intervention

Artists Jan Burger and Donovan Zimmerman met while working together on the Haw River Festival in Saxapahaw. Burger thought it would be fun to create a puppet show for the fourth graders who attended the educational program, and he asked Zimmerman to help him. This collaboration led to the birth of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention, a project that uses cardboard, bamboo, papier-mâché and other assorted items to create giant puppets, masks and shadow plays.

A photo of Tristan Parks in a performance
Unifyed Visuals

Artist Tristan Parks has spent so much time in communion with James Baldwin in the past year that he says he is “sure Baldwin is annoyed” with him at this point. Baldwin, of course, passed away more than three decades ago, but his spirit, words and philosophy are very much alive in Parks’ new performance-art piece, “They Do Not Know Harlem: In Communion with James Baldwin.”

Ashley Christensen
James Beard Foundation

Chef Ashley Christensen's comfort food at Poole's Diner in North Carolina and the modern Israeli cuisine at Zahav in Philadelphia took top honors Monday night at the James Beard Awards, which many consider to be the Oscars of the culinary world.

So often, conversations regarding healthy eating go straight to health matters below the neck - things like weight management, heart health, managing cholesterol and diabetes.  But some doctors believe that we should be focused on feeding what’s above the neck – our brains.  Dr. Drew Ramsey calls himself a nutritional psychiatrist. He’s an avid researcher of the connection between food, brain function, and mental health at Columbia University – and, he’s a farmer. Contributor Shauna Sever spoke to Dr. Ramsey about his work and how we can work more brain-boosting foods into our diet.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a monthlong effort to increase awareness and education about the importance of recognizing mental illness and providing the support needed to those affected. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, The Splendid Table is producing two shows focused on the connection of food to mental health. This content is presented in partnership with Call to Mind, a new mental health initiative from American Public Media to foster open conversations about mental health.

A Flight Attendant, a Refugee and a Preacher

May 6, 2019
Faye Lane
Roger Ho

Faye Lane is a flight attendant who is taught the meaning of gratitude by a passenger.  Pha Le's father is presumed dead but returns to smuggle his family out of South Vietnam and eventually to America.  Wayne Reece is just starting out as a preacher when a pool hall detour opens his eyes to a whole new world.

NOTE: When offensive or FCC-prohibited words appear, they are bleeped and listed in the Content Advisory.  Sensitive content will be given an on-air caution and will be noted here in the description.  

Restoration Underway On Nina Simone's Childhood Home

May 6, 2019
A clapboard house sits on a hill in the town of Tryon, NC
Courtesy of BPR News

On a day far in the past now, you might have heard the mellow tone of a piano emanating from between these walls on East Livingston Street. But that was a different day with a preacher's family who have long since left this place.

What you might hear today is hammering or the scraping of paint, all in service of a restoration project to preserve the home and honor its most famous ex-tenant: the late music and civil rights icon Nina Simone.

poster of avengers
Marvel

Superhero movies can be a massive money maker for Hollywood. Marvel movies, in particular, continue to break their own records, including the latest “Avengers: End Game,” which raked in more than $1 billion dollars globally opening weekend.

a black-and-white picture of Jon Shain with his guitar and FJ Ventre with his bass
Stephen Houseworth

Durham-based guitar player Jon Shain and bassist FJ Ventre have known each other since high school. They have played music together on and off for more than three decades, and Ventre has played on or produced all of Shain’s CDs.

An image of The Kingston Trio - Tom Dooley single
Capitol Records

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. On this episode, musician Joe Newberry talks about the legacy of the song "Tom Dooley." It's a song that was made famous by The Kingston Trio, but has been covered by artists ranging from the Grateful Dead to the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Do you remember how old you were when you first showed interest in food or cooking? Do you have fond memories of spending time in the kitchen with parents, grandparents and other family members? According to the KidsHealth website, cooking helps kids learn basic math concepts, build language skills, boost confidence, explore their senses, and encourage an adventerous palate. The folks at America’s Test Kitchen are also big fans of getting kids into the kitchen.

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