Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

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Education has been front page news since the beginning of 2017. From the controversial appointment of the new United States Secretary of Education to Tuesday’s Wisconsin Primary for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, all eyes are on education. This week we’re featuring stories about the importance of educatio - not from those making decisions at the top, but the importance of those in the classrooms. Educators, we salute you.

When new presidents address Congress for the first time, they can scarcely be said to be making a first impression. In recent years, even the youngest presidents have become familiar to everyone in the country via their careers, their campaigns and the constant attention of the media.

First, know that Yiyun Li is not exactly a comforting author. Those who have read her fiction may recognize her tone: calm, but not soothing, matter-of-fact, yet dreamlike; a voice dedicated to seeing the world clearly and without sentimentality. Across two collections of short stories and two novels, this voice is both chilly and elegant, like a 19th-century Russian novelist, or a snowfall. Paired with Li's legion of characters — often near-biblically afflicted with a deep powerlessness — the overall effect can leave you with a mix of wonder, awe, and pain.

In the 1950s and '60s, if there were any children's books in a house, at least one of them was likely to be a Little Golden Book. With their golden spines and brightly colored pictures, they begged to be grabbed off a shelf by a curious child — which is exactly what their creators intended. Those beloved books celebrate their 75th birthday this year.

First introduced shortly after the start of World War II, many of them — such as The Tawny Scrawny Lion, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, and The Poky Little Puppy — have become classics.

When Anna Taylor got her U.S. patent for false eyelashes in 1911, it's doubtful she could see far enough into the future to know that trying to make lashes look longer and fuller would turn into a multimillion-dollar industry.

Black parents across America have long instructed their children on navigating discrimination and avoiding its sometimes deadly consequences. But for black immigrant Muslims, this conversation takes on an entirely different dimension.

Doug Wamble On Piano Jazz

Feb 24, 2017

Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Doug Wamble grew up listening to the Southern gospel, country and blues traditions of his Tennessee home.

A young woman meets a prince and falls in love. That sounds like the start of an old fashioned fairy tale, but in the movie A United Kingdom it's the start of a diplomatic firestorm. The film tells the story of Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama, who married in 1948. Williams was a typist in London; Khama was heir to the throne of Bechuanaland, or modern-day Botswana.

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The Academy Awards are this Sunday. And the playwright and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda is up for best original song for this. It's called "How Far I'll Go" from the film "Moana."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MOANA")

There are 10 films nominated for Best Picture at this Sunday's Academy Awards. Only one is a musical — and it has a good chance of winning. If La La Land does take home the honors, Justin Hurwitz, who wrote the music that is so central to the film, will probably take to the stage alongside director Damien Chazelle, his friend since their college days at Harvard. (Hurwitz is also nominated for three Oscars himself: for Best Original Score and twice for Best Original Song.)

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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