Arts & Culture

• Check out our list of New Hampshire museums, galleries, performance venues & independent bookstores, sorted by region.

• You can also find art exhibits, book readings, live music and more on our Public Events Calendar.

Writers On A New England Stage: Diana Gabaldon

Aug 28, 2015
David J. Murray / ClearEyePhoto.com

On today’s show, it’s Writers on a New England Stage with scientist turned novelist Diana Gabaldon, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Gabaldon is author of the phenomenally popular Outlander series – an addictive blend of historical fiction and fantasy based on the premise of time travel. Outlander plays with the past, overthrows traditional gender roles, and has inspired a cable television series that Buzzfeed called, “The Feminist Answer to ‘Game of Thrones.’ ” Her latest novel is the eighth in the Outlander series, Written in My Own Hearts Blood.

Chris Lott via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/fBHKmY

Grocery lists, to-do lists, guest lists – human beings seem compelled to put things into manageable order…but the result can be anything but mundane.  We take a look at some of the most memorable lists ever written – from Walt Disney’s un-used dwarf names, to a day in the life of  country legend Johnny Cash. And, we’ll talk with a computer scientist who will forever be remembered not for his AI research, but as inventor of the emoticon. Plus, a writer attends her first autopsy, and says Hollywood gets it all wrong.

8.19.15: The Case Against C8 & The Power of Two

Aug 19, 2015
Roadsidepictures via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/53XEWe

C8 - it’s a chemical you may or may not have heard of.  And yet…“99.7% of Americans have some amount in their blood. It’s a manmade chemical that didn’t exist a century ago.” Today, an investigative reporter dives into chemical giant DuPont’s role in a tobacco-industry scale cover-up of the dangers of C8.  And, the myth of the lone genius gets knocked down by an exploration of creative duos. We’ll find out why artistic and scientific breakthroughs often come from dynamic collaborations.

8.17.15: The Fight That Changed TV & The Speechwriter

Aug 17, 2015
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures / http://bit.ly/1MtHysd

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago is remembered for protests and violence, but one radical decision that came out of that convention has changed the nature of debate in this country. Today, how the face-offs between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley turned television debates into a blood sport. We’ll also speak with a speechwriter for Mark Sanford, the South Carolina governor who added “hiking the Appalachian trail” to our lexicon. 

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.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

Such a Groke via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/bXHWh

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are living at home with their parents. There are many opinions as to why - but perhaps parental techniques are partly to blame. On today's show: can over-parenting ruin confidence? Then, the value of teaching kids to cook, and how coloring books - for adults, mind you - are on the rise. And finally, we take a look at the more political side of well-beloved Dr. Seuss.

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. 

In 1989, NHPR humanities reporter Robbie Honig profiled The Golgonooza Letter Foundry & Press. This small shop in the village of Ashuelot was opened by two poets from Boston who shared a passion for letterpress printing.

“We started with making type for ourselves, for our own poetry books," said Golgonooza co-founder Julia Ferrari. "But also, making a living by making books for other people too. We didn’t want to just go out and have to work somewhere else and then come back and do our art. We felt that if we could possibly do our art at the same time, we would be learning how to get better at what we did.”

By 1989, the shop was producing artisanal books that fetched up to thousands of dollars apiece.

Keep reading after the story for my conversation with Julia. But first, from the archives this week, here’s Honig's report from the Golgonooza Letter Foundry & Press in 1989.


Dennis Jarvis via Flickr CC / bit.ly/1PkMiA1

At 5,525 miles, the US and Canadian border is the longest and friendliest in the world, but the long relationship between the two nations is not without conflict. Today, a history of US-Canadian skirmishes and why a war between neighbors isn’t out of the question. Then, with immigration a focal point in the presidential primary circuit, a commentator takes a tongue in cheek look at the rarely talked about immigration crisis that’s playing out north of the border. Plus, researchers in Virginia may be turning a long held belief about early America on its head. 

artubr via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/q3MSiP

Pro sports have been plagued by doping scandals for years. The next sport up for scrutiny? Video games. Today, randomized drug testing comes to electronic gaming. Also, a new publishing niche: coloring books for adults.  We’ll find out why an increasing number of grownups are finding time to color in between the lines.  And a debate on the pros and cons of a controversial literary device – the sometimes clever, often groan-inducing pun.  

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

The Merge Show

Aug 6, 2015

The English language is awash in portmanteaus, words or sounds that merge together to create something new. Spoon and fork combine to make spork, breakfast and lunch join to create brunch. Merging words, sounds or celebrity names is easy. Other types of mergers? Not so much.  Today’s show is all about what happens when two things become one - and from traffic lanes, to company buy-outs, to organ transplants, we’ll discover that merging is anything but simple.

Stephanie Sicore via Flickr CC / //flic.kr/p/5amX9E

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are living at home with their parents. There are many opinions as to why - but perhaps parental techniques are partly to blame. On today's show: can over-parenting ruin confidence? Then, the value of teaching kids to cook. And finally, we take a look at the more political side of well-beloved Dr. Seuss.

8.04.15: Tattoos & Lists of Note

Aug 4, 2015
Megan Tan for NHPR

Grocery lists, to-do lists, guest lists – human beings are compelled to put things into manageable order…and sometimes the result is anything but mundane. Today we look at some of the most memorable lists ever written – from Walt Disney’s un-used dwarf names, to a day in the life of country legend Johnny Cash. Plus, we’ll talk about tattoos in the workplace, and how gender stereotypes play into how people perceive ink.

8.03.15: Drones, Autopsies, & Let's Be Less Stupid

Aug 3, 2015
Ars Electronica via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/chvytS

Drone war proponents say that unmanned aircraft save American lives -- but what's life like for drone operators? On today's show, a look at drone fatigue. Then, brain fitness. Does taking fish oil, and playing brain fitness video games actually help with memory loss? And finally, a forensic turn! Autopsies are pretty cool, but Hollywood may have them all wrong.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

steve lodefink via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/2EkUtq

We are of course smack in the middle of summer, a great time to get out and play lawn games like croquet, cornhole, or bocce – games that have survived in some cases for thousands of years. Today we dig in to those games, along with some alternatives that are on the rise. Then, technology has altered the way we experience the present and past – so we ask, are iPhones really ruining summer camp? And, according to a recent analysis, pop music is getting stupider. But, does music have to be smart to be good? 

7.19.15: The Museum Show

Jul 17, 2015
Chris Ford via Flickr CC / //flic.kr/p/8RLhut

Most high stakes crimes require skill, bravado and planning…but few stir the public imagination or require the meticulous efforts of fine art frauds. Word of Mouth goes behind the scenes of the museum world, starting with a story about the extreme lengths art forgers will travel to dupe their marks. Then we take a look at the many dangers art can face….inside the museum. And, museums use digital and forensic technology to solve complicated art mysteries. Sometimes, it’s just old fashioned detective work…we’ll talk to a costume historian and dress detective about her work here in New Hampshire. Join us for a day at the museum.

Where Were You: The Mekons

Jul 16, 2015
Press Photo / http://billions.com/mekons

We're better off crafting our own things in isolation. The best times when the band has really been? When we thought nobody was that interested in us, so I think that's when the really creative moments have come about, when we didn't think there was anything at stake, when we could just do what we wanted. - Jon Langford

Rumor has it, they once asked a bass player to leave because he was too good.  

Alex Proimos via Flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/crwVJd

Is authenticity really essential to educational and scientific value? Now, advanced 3D printing gives museum curators the option of keeping rare artifacts safely kept away -- while providing no less science or history to visitors. On today's show, we talk about 3D printing at the Smithsonian. Then, a job you probably didn't know existed:  a costume historian, a woman who makes mannequins for museums to show historic textiles on. But she's also somewhat of a dress detective. And finally, a British rock band that has been together for nearly 40 years -- no breakup, no scandal, no drug addiction. It's the Mekons, the coolest band you may have never heard of. 

American author Erskine Caldwell was born in Georgia in 1903. His most famous novel, 1932’s Tobacco Road, boldly addressed the South’s inequalities during the Great Depression.

“He was writing about racial relations when one did not write about racial relations," said Phillip Cronenwett of Dartmouth College in 1989. "He was writing about the difference between the rural wealthy and the rural poor when one did not talk about that sort of thing.”

This week, we’re taking a fresh look at Caldwell, whose writing depicted what he saw as the realities of society – however unpleasant those realities might be.

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. 

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