Arts & Culture

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

It's well-known that Dear Leader was crazy about movies. What's less known — at least in the West — is that infamous North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il was so crazy about them that he kidnapped a South Korean actress and a movie director in 1978 and forced them to work for him for years. That story is the subject of a new documentary called The Lovers and the Despot.

Dave Harrison / Flickr

Milwaukee documentarian Chip Duncan has profiled presidents, football coaches and humanitarian crises.  For his latest project, he returns to another subject he's visited in the past – the English author C.S. Lewis, known especially for his Chronicles of Narnia. 

Jim Wildeman

One of the greatest symbols of freedom for Americans is our flag. However, there are other objects which hold a story just as complicated and powerful as our standard.

In this case it is a card table turned writing desk which belonged to Phillis Wheatley, first Black Poet to publish a book. In this edition of Radio Chipstone, contributor gianofer fields speaks with Sarah Anne Carter of the Chipstone Foundation about a fairly common piece of furniture with an uncommon connection to history.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

As we mourn the golf great Arnold Palmer, we acknowledge another contribution he made to our culture: the tasty and refreshing iced tea and lemonade beverage that carries his name.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Last year, Lake Effect introduced you to John Garofolo, the editor of a collection of photos by the late war photographer and Shorewood native, Dickey Chapelle. Chapelle was the first US female war correspondent killed in action. But before her death in the early days of the Vietnam War, Chapelle lived an extraordinary life, taking distinctive pictures that showed both the cost of war, and the personal side of it.

A pointy-headed professor. A hand-painted heron. A steel fist rising in the air. These are all works of American art, of a sort — but you can't go to a museum to see them. You go to your local bar or craft brewery.

They're examples of beer tap handles, a business that's expanded in tandem with the explosion of growth in the craft beer industry. As craft brewers try to make their brews stand out in an increasingly crowded field, they're driving the expansion of a singular business: custom-made snazzy beer taps.

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Every year, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation honors people throughout the country with a fellowship grant of $625,000, awarded over five years. The so-called "Genius Grant" was given to 23 people this year, who were honored for their originality, insight and potential.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

Michael Brosilow

For the past 6 years, The Milwaukee Repertory Theater has kicked off their mainstage season with a large scale musical. With productions ranging in style from Cabaret to The Color Purple to Assassins to Next to Normal, area audiences have come to expect something sweeping and tuneful as the company’s season gets underway.

The chuga-chuga sound is one any dairyman would want to hear — daily. It's the sound of milking machines collecting the white liquid, which is turned into edible products that support their farm.

For Greg and Ana Kelly, the chuga-chuga sound means fresh milk from their flock of 80 milking ewes — milk to be made into cheeses and caramel at their Gallant, Ala., sheep farm, named Dayspring Dairy.

371 Productions

Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Dothan, Alabama. Butte, Montana. Laredo, Texas.

These aren't names synonymous with a large Jewish presence. In fact, many would be surprised that there actually is Jewish life in those places. 

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Many Americans are familiar with the astronaut heroes of the 20th century space race — names like Gus Grissom and Neil Armstrong. But who did the calculations that would successfully land these men on the moon?

Several of the NASA researchers who made space flight possible were women. Among them were black women who played critical roles in the aeronautics industry even as Jim Crow was alive and well.

For those of us who grew up in Santa Fe, N.M., there are few figures that loom larger than Zozobra. I mean that literally, as much as figuratively: The 50-foot-tall marionette is as familiar as Santa Claus — only, instead of stealing away with cookies and milk, Zozobra ends its holiday each year by being ritualistically burned to death before a crowd of tens of thousands of screaming people.

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