Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

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.

Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking
by Bonnie Frumkin Morales with Deena Prichep

Priya Krishna is a young star of a food writer. Her mother Ritu Krishna runs software development teams, is a terrific home cook and a self-taught sommelier. Together they wrote the book Indian(-ish): Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family to document Ritu's recipes and tell the story of their family. Francis Lam sat down with the mother and daughter at Priya's apartment in New York City to talk about cooking and writing together.

Sound Opinions: Band Reunions

May 2, 2019

Summer is coming…and that means a slew of music festivals and arena concerts around the country. Many bands hit the road for reunion tours, often times without all their original members. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore whether or not it’s sacrilegious to see a band missing its key original members. They’ll also share some of their favorite band reunions, ones that lived up to or even surpassed the originals.

Image of John Singleton
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

Hollywood trailblazer John Singleton died earlier this week at the age of 51. The director is best known for his 1991 film "Boyz n' the Hood," for which he became the first African American and youngest person to receive an Oscar nomination for best director. Critics credit Singleton as one of the first filmmakers to document the humanity and complexity of life in South Central Los Angeles. Singleton died just one month after the murder of Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle, another artist whose work was strongly rooted in South LA.

For our episode Mothers & Daughters, Francis Lam visited with Priya and Ritu Krishna, the daughter/mother team behind the wonderful new cookbook, Indian(-ish): Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family.

Monumental Lies

May 1, 2019

This show originally was broadcast on December 8, 2018. The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, but the Confederacy didn't completely die with it. Monuments, shrines and museums are found throughout the South. We teamed up with Type Investigations to visit dozens of them and found that for devoted followers they inspire a disturbing – and distorted – view of history: Confederate generals as heroes. Slaves who were happy to work for them. That twisted history is also shared with schoolchildren on class trips. And you won't believe who's funding these sites to keep them running.

Photo courtesy of Michael Malone

After writer Samia Serageldin lost her mother, she traveled to Cairo to go through her belongings and remember the woman she thought she knew intimately. Yet when she read through journals her mother had kept as a young bride and throughout her life, Serageldin realized there was much she had never considered or understood about her. Along with co-editor Lee Smith, Serageldin put a prompt out to Southern writers she admired: Discover what you know, or do not know, about your mother. An anthology of essays aptly named “Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood From the New South” (University of North Carolina Press/2019) is the result. 

a photo of two women with a tractor in a field
Joanne Hershfield

Once criminals have served their time, they are released and expected to return to being productive members of society. But what resources are in place to help them do so? The documentary “Benevolence: A Journey From Prison To Home ” follows five women as they try to reintegrate into society while working on a farm in Alamance County.

Enter to Win Indian-ish by Priya Krishna

Apr 30, 2019

May 2019 Giveaway

Every month, The Splendid Table helps listeners equip their kitchens, stock their pantries, and fill their bookshelves. This month, one winner will receive one (1) copy of Indian-ish by Priya Krishna with Ritu Krishna. The retail value of the book is $28.00. Enter before May 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, by submitting the form below.

A Turkish Menu for Ramadan

Apr 30, 2019

 

Photo (clockwise from top left): Mung Bean and Onion Salad, Strained Lentil Soup,
Festive Meatball and Chickpea Stew, Stuffed Bread

 

Have you ever paid $10 dollars to see a movie in the theater only to walk out long before the credits? Or cozied up on your couch with all intention to watch the latest streaming movie, but you just couldn’t make it through to the end?

A photo of Madame Gandhi
Nolwen Cifuentes

There are not many women working behind-the-scenes in the music industry doing things like production and engineering work. Electronic music, in particular, is male-dominated, even though the genre is starting to break into mainstream pop music.

Image of singer Caitlin Linney
Caitlin Linney

Los Angeles-based artist Caitlin Linney grew up in an environment that could not be more different from Hollywood. Linney was raised on 10 acres of farmland in Efland and attended Carolina Friends School, where her imagination was nourished and her creativity encouraged. That environment fostered confidence and a passion to try things that today make her blush — like singing original songs in front of her whole school when she was just in sixth grade.

An image of Doc & Merle Watson
Jim McGuire

We've teamed up with Come Hear NC on a podcast series that explores North Carolina music one song at a time. This week, Chatham County Line's Dave Wilson tells us why he loves 'Southbound' by Doc & Merle Watson.

Sun Studies
Maria Albani

WUNC Music is excited to be presenting a sneak peek of the new EP from Sun Studies – the new solo endeavor from Reid Johnson of Schooner. Johnson says that ‘Sketches’ was recorded ‘bare bones’ style as the songs were fresh to him and then built up more after he had time to sit with them. Fans of Schooner will recognize Reid’s unique baritone vocals and exquisite use of reverb on this set of beautiful and reflective new songs.

"No amount of money ever bought a second of time," says Tony "Iron Man" Stark, patient zero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, midway through the new Avengers: Endgame.

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