Arts and Culture

I first noticed it in a neighborhood of Boston aptly called the "Innovation District." On a crumbling corner of an old brick building, there was a gaping hole created by about 15 missing clay bricks, filled in with about 500 Lego blocks.

I was determined to find out who the artist was.

"I don't know!" I was told by folks working in the building. Their property manager had no clue, nor did the people at Lego. "If you hear, let us know," said brand relations manager Amanda Santoro.

Jason Michael via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9fEAzN

Baby Boomers like to thumb their nose at Millennials for being entitled narcissists who refuse to grow up, and Millennials tend to poo-poo the Boomers because they're out of touch old folks. But one group seems to get left out of the conversation entirely. Today, what ever happened to Generation X?

Then, many people would rather just say nothing than take a stab at saying something shallow, boring, or potentially offensive, but small talk does have its merits. So what are they? 

The American Trucker: A Playlist

Mar 7, 2016
Kent Kanouse via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5oEJxb

Picture this: the nation listens spell-bound - to a stand-off on the interstate between state police, the national guard and an organized group...helicopters swirl in the sky. The rebels are angry, they're fortified by heavy machinery, a truckload of explosives and are threatening to break through every blockade the cops set up. 

Sean Hurley

 

Vladimir Popov is known around Waterville Valley as the opera singing chairlift operator.  Although Popov sings strictly in the mountains now, as he told NHPR's Sean Hurley, he once sang in the world's great opera houses.

Hoffnungsschimmer via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/fuPPuF

Four more women just joined the federal defamation suit being brought against Bill Cosby. Even as fans and colleagues and celebrities distance themselves from the once beloved Cosby, there's still the question of how to handle his comedic legacy. Today, can you separate an artist's work from their deeds? Plus, when was the last time you really got into a new album or musician? If you're an adult, it's probably been a while. We're speaking with a life-long music lover about how to keep growing your musical tastes. 

11.01.15: Incognito, Jedis, & Daylight Savings

Oct 30, 2015
Leo Reynolds via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6pobVe

Michael Fosberg grew up in a middle-class white family – and didn’t discover until his early 30s that his biological father was black. Today, a conversation about race, identity and personal discovery with actor Michael Fosberg. Plus, whether you’re looking forward to brighter mornings or dreading the dark afternoons, daylight saving time is happening on Sunday. We’ll debunk the myths of daylight saving time., starting with its origins.

Eric Leslie via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8k4TM2

Kids grow up so fast…and it turns out that girls are growing up even faster. Why is this generation of girls going through puberty much earlier than previous ones? Plus, a conversation about magic, the occult, and rock n’ roll – from Robert Johnson’s mythical deal with the devil, to the coded messages in Led Zeppelin songs, we’ll talk about the dark spiritual rebellion that gave rock its musical edge. And, a conversation with one rock star who traded success for autonomy, and a career making kids music.

Kent Wang / https://flic.kr/p/tiQF7

On January 16, 1920, Americans took their last legal drink for 13 years. In New York City, gadflies wore black clothes and funeral robes in anticipation of the Volstead Act kicking off Prohibition at midnight. Reporters for the Daily News imagined the last words of John Barleycorn: “I’ve had more friends in private and more foes in public than any other man in America.” 

Michael Winters

If you’ve been to Sonny’s Tavern in Dover, New Hampshire on a Tuesday night, you could be forgiven for feeling like you’ve stepped into a New Orleans jazz club. The eight musicians that make up the Seacoast-based Soggy Po Boys bring the brassy music of Nawlins to Dover on Tuesday nights and to bars and other stages all over the seacoast—and sometimes, if you’re up for it, you can even join them on stage and make music with the band. The Soggy Po Poys are set to release a new album tomorrow at Book and Bar in Portsmouth.

Lucius Brings Uniquely-Styled Indie Pop to N.H.

Sep 16, 2015
Photo courtesy of ILoveLucius.com

Lucius, the five piece indie pop band, formed in Brooklyn, NY, is playing tomorrow night at the Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Lucius flips the script on the traditional pop configuration of men prancing out front and girl singers in the back. Instead, a pair of identically-dressed women front the band, and the three fellows mostly stay out of the way. We spoke with one of those guys, multi-instrumentalist (and Concord, N.H. native!) Peter Lalish.

www.flickr.com/photos/fhgitarre/

It's official - 2015's song of the summer is "Cheerleader" by OMI. So now that horse race is over, what about an anthem for Autumn? And how do you even make that choice?

If a summer song needs to be fun, upbeat, and sound good blasting from car windows at Hampton Beach, what qualities define a memorable fall tune?  Pumpkin-related lyrics?  Wistful melodies, and acoustic guitars?  We asked three music industry insiders to tell us what they think 2015's (Unofficial) Song of the Fall should be and why -  and here's what they had to say.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

Coiled in jars of half-evaporated alcohol, hundred year-old snake specimens glow under soft lights. Nearby, the last cougar killed in New Hampshire sneers with lifeless eyes, early taxidermy technique making it look more like a stuffed toy than a once-live animal. But these attractions are nothing compared to the man-eating clam and four-legged chick, staple oddities at the Woodman Museum.

niXerKG via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/qkds1e

Lots of organizations use 5ks and "fun runs" to raise money for charity – few involve sitting on a couch for hours at a time.  Today, how a super-fast, bizarre style of video-game playing has become a fundraising cash cow. Plus, we’ll celebrate the 30th anniversary of the video game industry’s most lucrative character of all time: Mario! Then, as the Daily Show’s “Senior Muslim or Foreign Looking Correspondent,” Aasif Mandvi helped Americans laugh at their own prejudice. We’ll hear why he almost refused the job. 

9.08.15: A Neurodiversity Primer & Miranda July

Sep 8, 2015
Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8tZ5YG

The CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Today, the author of a new book on the science of autism gives us a primer on the neurodiversity movement. Then, Miranda July may be known for her quirky role in the 2005 film Me and You and Everyone We Know but the actress and artist has since written a debut novel which borrows heavily from her personal life. 

New Hampshire Magazine/Matthew Lomanno

The New Hampshire theater community is mourning the loss of one of its pillars.

Beth Ann O’Hara passed away Wednesday morning. She was 73.

O’Hara founded the New Thalian Players, with whom she produced and directed 50 plays over 25 years.

She was known simply as “mom” to countless aspiring Granite State actors.

A service will be held Friday in Manchester.

O’Hara was the mother of four daughters, including actress and comedian Sarah Silverman.

Credit Dr. Seuss Collection in the Mandeville Special Collections Library at UCSD / bit.ly/1DQg5PW

While you’re probably familiar with The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs & Ham, and the dozens of other world-famous Seuss books, there is one chapter of Geisel’s professional history that remains relatively unknown.  Before he was world famous for his children’s books, Dr. Seuss employed his rich imagination and skillful illustrations for another purpose- convincing Americans to go to war.

Amadscientist via Wikimedia Commons / http://bit.ly/1IKjA9n

Tomorrow marks the fortieth anniversary of the longest running film in continuous release ever – The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Today, a critic deconstructs how the long-running cult classic introduced the LGBTQ community to the mainstream. We’ll also hear from the organizers of a Rocky Horror convention on the appeal of midnight showings and fishnet stockings in America’s rural and suburban towns. 

Marius Watz via Flickr CC / //flic.kr/p/2xBqFt

Fifty-five years ago, Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird gave the nation a glimpse of the deep south. Soon afterwards the author and the town that inspired the classic book disappeared from public imaginations. Today, we take a look at the conflicted history of a town that produced two great American authors. Then, the skill, planning, and access required to successfully dupe the art world easily captivates the public imagination. We’ll explore the meticulous effort behind some of the greatest art frauds. And, few people realize the danger works of art can face while safely housed inside a museum – from docents.

Courtesy of the Glessner House Museum in Chicago.

About seventy years ago, a North Country woman was one of the earliest proponents of forensics and an  analytical approach to crime investigation best known to many from the television program CSI. 

From the archives this week, former NHPR arts producer Phillip Bragdon caught up​ with Karl Drerup after he won the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award in 1989.

When Karl Drerup and his wife Gertrude first came to their little house in Thornton in 1946, it was the end of a very long journey – one that started in 1930 when Drerup left his native Germany to study in Italy. After Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, a return to Germany was impossible. Gertrude was Jewish, and Karl had designed anti-government posters. The Drerups took refuge first for several years in the Canary Islands, and finally settled in New York City in 1937.


Michael Brindley for NHPR

An iconic part of Laconia’s downtown will soon be reborn.

In a deal announced this week, the Belknap Economic Development Council will purchase the historic Colonial Theatre for $1.4 million.

The city will loan the group the money to buy the theater, and assist in raising the $15 million needed for renovations.

The Colonial opened in 1914, but has been shut down since 2001.

Justin Slattery, executive director of the Belknap Economic Development Council, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about plans for the theater.

Via The Thing in the Spring Website

An arts fair in Peterborough this weekend is aimed at the more budget-conscious arts consumer. Broke, the Affordable Arts Fair, features locally crafted work all priced under fifty dollars. The fair is being held this Saturday as part of the annual Thing in the Spring music festival.

Mary Goldthwaite-Gagne is co-founder of the fair, and she joined Morning Edition to talk about the event.

What's the idea behind the fair?

Seacoast Charter School

An Arts and Music Charter School on the Seacoast that had faced closure is now likely to stay open.

The Seacoast Charter School has been trying to raise money to stay open since it learned its current lease from Sanborn Regional School District in Kingston wouldn’t be renewed.  The school needed to raise $125,000 by the end of May to lease a new space in Stratham. 

Seacoast Charter School Principal Peter Durso says the school met that goal through the efforts of teachers, parents, and some deep pocketed youngsters.

Courtesy of New Hampshire Audubon, Concord, New Hampshire.

In his groundbreaking work The Birds of North America, John James Audubon brought together the art world and the outdoors in a new way. It served as both a scientific record of North American bird species and a landmark in how to represent wildlife in art.

What’s less well known is the massive project Audubon took on after The Birds of North America.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

  Jane Chu, the nation’s top arts leader, was in New Hampshire this week.

Chu is chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Her visit to the Granite State comes as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

NHPR Morning Edition producer Michael Brindley caught up with Chu during her visit to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.

As you’re going around talking to people, what are you learning about the arts here in New Hampshire?

windishagency.com

The Juan MacLean will be playing live at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth at 9:00 pm tonight (April 29th). Tickets and more information on the show can be found at this link.

When you think of electronic musicians, DJ's that spin thumping dance tracks to swarms of sweaty dancers at A-list parties, do you think of Dover, NH?

Next week Dartmouth College will showcase the work of its digital artists, from animators and game designers to those developing interactive pieces and even fashion.

Lorie Loeb is a professor in Dartmouth’s Computer Science department and director of its digital arts program. She joined Weekend Edition with a preview of the 4th annual Digital Arts Exhibition, known as DAX. It takes place Tuesday, April 28th from 7-10 pm.

Governor Maggie Hassan and the New Hampshire Writers' Project announced the four inaugural inductees to the New Hampshire Literary Hall of Fame Wednesday. The Hall of Fame will be housed as a permanent exhibit and artifact collection at SNHU's Learning Library on the school's Hooksett campus.

Writers' Project Board President Rob Greene and SNHU's Dean of the Shapiro Library, Kathryn Growney, stopped by NHPR's studio to talk about the inductees and the New Hampshire Literary Hall of Fame.

Miranda July: The First Bad Man

Feb 19, 2015

Miranda July. Maybe you know her from her quirky and charming 2005 film “Me And You And Everyone We Know,” which won the special jury prize at Sundance – but since then she’s made a second film, a book of short stories, a messaging app, and has performed all over the world, and now she’s written a novel.

July’s debut novel The First Bad Man continues her skill at revealing uncomfortable moments and unexpected truths … in a very funny way.

Sean Hurley

For the first time in their history, the Shakers at Sabbathday Lake in Maine have authorized production of an authentic Alfred Shaker Chair.  While the Shakers will oversee the process, the actual chair will be made by Adam Nudd-Homeyer of Sandwich [Adam's story can be heard here].  

The village at Sabbathday Lake itself is not surprising.  An 18th century New England colony of red barns and white meeting houses clustered around a four story homestead where the last 3 living Shakers in the world reside.

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