Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

photo of Bill Ferris and Marcie Cohen Ferris
photo courtesy of Bill Ferris

William Ferris is known around North Carolina as a folklorist — a man whose passion is to chronicle the stories, music and culture of the American South. His love for documenting his communities began as a boy.  At 12 years old, he was given a camera and began to take photographs around his neighborhood in Warren County, Mississippi. There are tales of young Ferris taking a reel-to-reel recorder to record hymns at church. 

 Harper Watters (The Houston Ballet) dancing
photo courtesy of Nu Arts Productions

Saturday morning dance classes around the country are filled with little girls dreaming of becoming the next Misty Copeland. But what happens when a young boy dreams of becoming the next Mikhail Baryshnikov?

'We do this because the world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning.'  - Sandra Cisneros
Courtesy of Keith Dannemiller

Sandra Cisneros is best known as the author behind the literary classic “The House on Mango Street,” a book that has been translated into over twenty languages. She has penned poetry, short stories, novels and essays. These days, beyond writing, the acclaimed author is spending a lot of time listening. 

Portrait of Max Roach, Three Deuces, New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1947.
William P. Gottlieb / Library of Congress

North Carolina-born jazz musician Max Roach carved out a creative legacy in music that spanned genres. Roach grew up in New York City and during the 1940s he drummed alongside artists like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. 

His recordings were innovative and during the civil rights movement, even political. To honor Roach, Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center is hosting a restaging of Roach’s “We Insist! Freedom Now Suite” recording.

From the 'Pop América, 1965-1975' exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art

Many people associate pop art with American artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, but there were many contributions to the movement from outside the borders of the United States, notably from Latin American artists. A new exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University called “Pop América, 1965-1975” shares the work of artists from the Americas, from Tierra del Fuego up to Anchorage. 

The red line: Racial disparities in lending

Feb 17, 2019

It’s been 10 years since the great housing bust and lending is back for some Americans, but not for others. In dozens of cities across the country, lenders are more likely to deny loans to applicants of color than white ones.


On this episode of Reveal, we dig into the new redlining.

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Tift Merritt
Alexandra Valenti / Sacks & Co.

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

Cartoons, Cleanups, and Close Calls

Feb 15, 2019
Ijeoma Oluo
Heather Immor

Matthew Diffee decides to become a cartoonist.

Ijeoma Oluo realizes that a school teacher was trying to be charitable.

Tara Clancy lives a dual lifestyle growing up in Queens and The Hamptons.

Nancy Finton narrowly escapes an attacker.

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. 

Courtesy Tom Merrigan's Hot Raccoons

Raccoons. For many, they are scheming trash denizens and a neighborhood scourge. But musician Tom Merrigan has a deep and mildly obsessive relationship with the creatures and shares their propensity for night roams and mischief. His band name, Tom Merrigan’s Hot Raccoons, is a tribute to that bond. 

Transitioning from economics to art, this Cameroonian sculptor is inspired by the environment around him.
Courtesy of Jean Michel Dissake

Jean Michel Dissake was an economics student at the University of Douala in Cameroon when he made a radical shift: He left school and spent the next nine years living in the forest. He spent his days interacting with the trees and the river, and this deep connection with nature spawned an artistic passion and a career as a sculptor. 

Sound Opinions: Songs About Writers

Feb 14, 2019

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore literature’s influence on popular music and how famous scribes like Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and more get name drops. They'll share some of their favorite songs about writers.

Five Years on Nauru

Feb 14, 2019

We unravel how refugee families destined for Australia ended up stuck in an immigrant detention camp more than a thousand miles away on the tiny island nation of Nauru. And why, after years of confinement, kids are succumbing to a surreal mental illness spreading through the camp like a contagion. This episode is a collaboration with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s show “Background Briefing” and reporter Olivia Rousset.

Courtesy of Sonali Dev

Romance novels made up almost a quarter of the U.S. fiction market in 2016, second only to general fiction. Some people may think of the genre solely as Harlequin-published books with a man who looks like Fabio on the cover. But romance fiction encompasses more than this stereotype. 

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

Screenshot from the award-winning film, 'Minding The Gap.'
Courtesy of Kartemquin Films

Bing Liu documented skaters in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois for more than a decade. Through the years, that footage became a complex documentation of youth culture featuring two young men who open up about the pressures of adulthood, abusive families, and modern masculinity. 

Duke University Office of Communications

It's been 50 years since nine black students at Duke University took over the Allen Building on campus to protest segregationist university policies and bring attention to the needs of black students.

As a little girl in Taiwan, Jan-Ru Wan grew up expressing herself not by speaking but through making things. Creating art and working with material allowed her to connect her feelings to the world around her. 

WUNC Music launches a new series this week that explores North Carolina Music one song at a time.  All year we’re asking people from the music community to come and talk about a song that they think says something about our home state.    North Carolina is home to ground breaking artists spanning gospel to indie rock, old time to metal, country to hip hop, beach music to straight ahead jazz.  We’ll bring in musicians, writers and club owners to talk about the songs they love.  You may be surprised by some of their choices.

Mandy Aftel, author of Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, uses a drop or two of essential oil to transform things like ice cream and tea. "It's very special to have something where one drop -- which is this consolidated, precious, wonderful essence of something -- can change things," she says.

Serves 2: recipes for cooking couples

Feb 12, 2019

For some couples, cooking is an intimate activity that brings them closer by preparing food with one another. Whether you're looking for menu ideas for Valentine's or just a casual night-in, we pulled together some of our favorite recipes that are built for two. (Some may actually serve four or more, but that just means you'll have leftovers - or maybe a midnight snack!)

APPETIZERS 

Photo: Chantell Quernemoen

The Moth: Live on Martha's Vineyard

Feb 11, 2019
Buddy Vanderhoop
Amanda Kowalski

It is not uncommon for police officers to have side jobs as security guards. But for former Raleigh police officer Joe Winters, his side job was more like a passion. From the early 1940s to the mid ‘70s, Winters was both a full-time cop and a concert promoter. 

Photo of the band Chicken Shack
Courtesy of Chicken Shack

Andrew Dillon  grew up in Jackson, Mississippi where blues was not just a style of music, it was part of the culture and lifestyle. His father raised him in a house where music, instruments and performance were part of their everyday lives. It is no wonder Dillon brought that tradition with him to North Carolina. 

Lasting Impact

Feb 8, 2019

In Oregon, the concussion protocols that were supposed to keep high school athletes safe end up falling short for a star quarterback.

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Chris Ying is one of the founders of the food magazine Lucky Peach, and is the editor of an essay collection called, You and I Eat the Same. The subtitle of the book explains that the writings within consider the countless ways food and cooking connect us to one another. So Francis Lam asked Ying to come on the show to talk about it.

Here's a thing we seem to all have in common - lunchtime is disappearing. From to once-sacred lunch and siesta cultures to #saddesklunch, lunchtime, as a time to recharge and live a life worth living in this beautiful world in community with friends and family, looks like it's on its way out. Bee Wilson is a food historian and the author of the forthcoming book, The Way We Eat Now.

This essay by Tienlon Ho is excerpted from You and I Eat the Same by Chris Ying (Artisan Books Copyright © 2018).

Book editor Chris Ying discusses both the connective and oppressive power of global foods with Francis Lam in this interview.

"One Seed Rules Them All"
By Tienlon Ho

The Japanese tradition of raising and eating wasps

Feb 8, 2019

Edible insects are often talked about as a possible "food of the future" - but what does insect eating actually look like in the here and now? Guest producer Soleil Ho is the food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and writer of Meal: Adventures in Entomophagy. She went to Kushihara, a mountain village in Japan where wasps are a seasonal delicacy, to learn more about the region's traditional eating of insects. 

Let's say you owned a restaurant, which means you're in the business of making customers happy. Would you insist that the customers have to eat the food while it's hot, with exactly three shakes of hot sauce, and always with an iced tea? Probably not. However, some places do put strict rules on how their food should be enjoyed. For example, Louis' Lunch, the legendary burger joint in New Haven, Connecticut.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with author Geoff Edgers about his 2019 book Walk This Way: Run-DMC, Aerosmith, and the Song that Changed American Music Forever. They discuss how Run-DMC's 1986 collaboration with Aerosmith came about, and trace its impact. Plus, a review of soulful singer-songwriter Emily King's latest album, Scenery.

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