Arts & Culture

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

My grandfather worked in coal and copper mines for 26 years doing back-breaking, dirty work that allowed him to support a family of nine children, purchase several acres of land, and become a community leader. (For several years leading up to World War II, he was the head of the Republican Committee in Rock Springs, Wyoming.)

Mona Haydar is a Syrian-American artist from Flint, Mich. She wears a hijab with pride. She's been a performance poet for 13 years, writing about love, trauma, loss and joy.

When Jewish couple Mikey Franklin and Sonya Shpilyuk hung a "Black Lives Matter" banner from the window of their condominium, they hoped to voice their solidarity with the social justice movement. Instead, the backlash to their small act of resistance was swift. Two days later, their car was egged and toilet paper was strewn across a tree in front of their property.

Back in 2010, science writer Rebecca Skloot published a book that sounded like science fiction — except it was real. Skloot told the story of how a tissue sample from a young African-American woman in Baltimore, taken without her knowledge or consent, went on to become "immortal." Her cells contributed to scientific breakthroughs across disciplines and around the world, and they even went up with some of the first space missions.

In 1978, Ina Garten was working for the White House Office of Management and Budget, and felt like it was time for a change. When she came across a newspaper ad for a food store for sale in the Hamptons, she bought it. That store — the Barefoot Contessa — grew into a career, a series of cookbooks and a popular show on the Food Network.

And yet, after all that success, she's somehow still barefoot. We've invited her to answer three questions about footwear.

Carrie Brownstein has made a name for herself as creator and star of Portlandia and as one-third of the beloved riot grrl band Sleater-Kinney, whose seminal album Dig Me Out recently turned 20. But before all that, Brownstein was just another music fan — and as she tells NPR, her local record store, Rubato Records, was the site of an awakening.

She's rusted, her spokes are melted, and her gas tank is peppered with holes. Not the typical description of a motorcycle found in Milwaukee's Harley Davidson Museum. However this is not your typical bike.

Art Montes

We’re only a few short weeks away from our Ex Fabula season finale, the Season 8 Ex Fabula ALL STARS StorySlam on May 18th! That’s right, the time has flown by and soon the May flowers will greet us along with the gaggle of Audience Favorites from Season 8, who have some “Unfinished Business” they’d like to share. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature the stories that won these tellers the velvet crown, and giving you a taste of what you can expect on May 18th.

Speeches in book form have become a reliable cash cow for publishers. The usual formula is this: Find a commencement speech that's gone viral on YouTube, publish it with illustrations in a small hardcover format, and watch as it gets snapped up by the target demographic (in this case, that would be "people who realized they forgot to buy a present while driving to their nephew's high school graduation").

David Amram On Piano Jazz

Apr 22, 2017

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'I Basically Ran On Adrenaline': A Staffer Remembers Obama's White House: Alyssa Mastromonaco worked in the West Wing for six exhilarating and exhausting years. She describes that era in her new memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In the early days of the 20th century, the United States Radium Corporation had factories in New Jersey and Illinois, where they employed mostly women to paint watch and clock faces with their luminous radium paint. The paint got everywhere — hair, hands, clothes, and mouths.

They were called the shining girls, because they quite literally glowed in the dark. And they were dying.

A legendary airplane that helped America win World War II is being reborn at age 75. The B-17 bomber "Memphis Belle" flew 25 missions against Nazi Germany and then came home to help sell war bonds and raise spirits.

In recent years, the Belle has been undergoing a patient and precise restoration at the National Museum of the Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio. I went to see the work in progress and talk with some of the many technicians and volunteers.

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