Arts & Culture

David Kiley of Encore Michigan brings us five new productions from professional theater companies around the state.

The name “America” was drawn from the first name of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who died in 1512. But the first inhabitants of what we now call “North America” call it "Turtle Island."

A new video game called Thunderbird Strike lets players protect Turtle Island, particularly from the oil industry.

 


 

He’s been widely praised for his paintings about natural history and ecological history.

 

Now, New York artist Alexis Rockman has turned to Michigan’s treasure — the Great Lakes.

 

His new show, "Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle," opens at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Jan. 27.

It was an electrifying moment at last week's Golden Globes when Oprah Winfrey put the spotlight on a black woman from Alabama named Recy Taylor. In 1944, as she was coming home from church, Recy Taylor was kidnapped and raped by six white men. They left her blindfolded by the side of the road and threatened to kill her if she told anyone what had happened. She did anyway. Nevertheless, justice was never served.

President Trump and his supporters say they want to "make America great again," but just what that means and what part of America's past they refer to as "the greatest" is unclear.

Given our nation's turbulent history when it comes to the treatment of people of color and women, there are some who feel that slogan is not meant to include them.

For most of us, working in subzero temperatures doesn’t sound like the dream job. But the cold doesn't seem to bother World Championship ice carver Tajana Raukar.

Raukar is the owner of Ice Dreams Sculptures in Plymouth. It's cold in her studio, and she's wearing full on winter gear. 

Lance Werner, the executive director of the Kent District Library, originally thought he’d become an FBI agent. Instead, he’s just been named the Top Librarian in the Nation by Library Journal. Werner is the first Michigan librarian to receive the honor.

“I’m so proud to represent Michigan and to kind of bring us into the national spotlight,” Werner told Stateside. “In my opinion, Michigan’s libraries are among the best in the world, and I think it’s great that everybody’s kind of watching us now.” 

 

It's Wednesday, so it's time to talk Michigan History. This week, we observe the anniversary of the 1945 assassination of State Senator Warren G. Hooper.

 

Mark Harvey, state archivist, along with Scott Burnstein, Detroit mafia historian and author, and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's Capitol bureau chief, joined Stateside to help tell the story.

 

Fans of singer-songwriter Jill Jack know she's been a mainstay of Detroit’s music scene for over two decades.

Back in October, she released her 12th full length album These Days, a nod to the Jackson Browne tune.

At the 2017 Detroit Music Awards, Jack was recognized for Outstanding Americana Artist/Group, Outstanding Americana Vocalist and Outstanding Jazz Recording for "Pure Imagination."

Cal Freeman’s newest collection of poems, Fight Songs, has nothing to do with ‘The Victors’ or ‘Victory for MSU.’ Instead, his poems are about unsung, little-noticed lives, about underdogs, about animals, plants, and nature.

Theater Talk is back for the New Year.

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside today to bring the latest look at productions from professional theater companies around the state.

As the New Year begins, he also shares his thoughts on the state of professional theater in Michigan, including what he says is its biggest challenge: awareness.

Thirty years ago this week, on January 5, 1988, the last train left Michigan Central Station. That moment marked the end of nearly 75 years of Michiganders catching trains at the once-proud station.

Dan Austin, who has written three books about Detroit history and founded HistoricDetroit.org, and Mark Harvey, state archivist from the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to discuss the station's legacy.

In this era of texting and tweeting, we’re at risk of losing some of the marvelous words that add texture and meaning to conversation and writing.

A good place to begin to up our collective language game is by checking out the newest list from the Wayne State University Word Warriors. The group dug around in the linguistic cellar to recover neglected words that deserve a place in 2018.

Yes, 2018 has arrived! Time to look back at some highlights from West Michigan’s music scene in 2017 as well as looking forward to some artists generating attention as the new year unfolds.

Top West Michigan musicians of 2017

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say this was a banner year musically for the west side of the state, which already had produced stars like BØRNS, a native of Grand Haven who continues to electrify the pop scene from his new home in Los Angeles.

“He errs who thinks Santa enters through the chimney. Santa enters through the heart.”

So said the founder of the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Midland, Michigan.

Yes, you read that right. There is such a thing as Santa school, and the one in Michigan is the longest-running in the country. With students coming from as far as Australia and Denmark, it’s known as the “Harvard of Santa Schools.”

There's no shortage of Christmas productions this season. And, as always, David Kiley of Encore Michigan tells about a few of the latest happening around the state. 

Listen above to hear his take on the following:

“Inspiration in the wake of desperation.” That’s the theme of a powerful documentary called For Flint.

In the film, director Brian Schulz shows the foundation for a rebuilt Flint can be found in the lives of its neighbors.

Two Japanese figure skaters who train in Metro Detroit have had their Olympic moment.

Japan's Miu Suzaki and Ryuichi Kihara finished 21st in the pair skating short program – unfortunately not good enough for them to make the finals. They also competed in the team event, where Japan finished fifth overall.

Time for us to listen to some new music from Detroit area artists.

Our guides are Paul Young, founder and publisher of Detroit Music Magazine and executive editor Khalid Bhatti.

DeJ Loaf - “Changes”

You've probably heard of the Trail of Tears, when more than 4,000 Native American men, women, and children died in a series of forced removals from their homeland in the Southeastern U.S. to present-day Oklahoma. They were members of the Cherokee, Seminole, Muscogee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations.

But there was another Trail of Tears much closer to us. It's the Sandy Lake Tragedy of 1850. Hundreds of Ojibwe people died as the U.S. government tricked them into leaving their homes in the Upper Great Lakes and traveling to northern Minnesota. 

It's known as the Chippewa Trail of Tears, and the Wisconsin Death March.

A music lover can likely pinpoint the moment a song or a lyric crashes its way into your young consciousness. And then things are never the same.

For writer Daniel Wolff, that moment happened in 1965, when he first heard Bob Dylan.

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside to talk about a few of the latest theater productions happening around the state. 

Michigan singer-songwriter Joshua Davis released a new studio album, The Way Back Home, on Oct. 13.

The album comes some two and a half years after NBC’s The Voice introduced the rest of America to Davis, who had already built a strong fan base throughout his home state.

Davis joined Stateside to talk about his music and his inspirations.

Imagine being a little kid, driving home late at night with your dad.

You drop off to sleep, more or less, but you're awake enough to feel your dad scoop you up, carry you into the house, and gently tuck you into bed.

Now imagine that dad is NHL legend Gordie Howe, and he's tucking you in just a short time after he thrilled thousands of Detroit Red Wings fans cheering for Mr. Hockey at Olympia Stadium.

The last American troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973.

America's direct intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end, after many bloody years, and 58,220 American lives lost.

Afterward, the nation, and those Vietnam veterans, had a tough time processing and talking about this war that did not end with victory.

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