Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

Smokers High Life / flickr

We know movie and wine critics, but what about a career as a pot critic?

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

Do you have a tattoo? Why did you get it, and what does it mean to you? 

Photo by John Pemble

The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation is using a city bus to display new art.  Painter Alex Brown is the first of four artists to have his work photographed then printed on a vinyl seal surrounding the bus.  Brown says his paintings are comprised of aircraft and faces that are hard to make out at close range, but they become clearer from a distance.

“I was playing with the registry of things sort of slipping and being out of focus,” he says. “Kind of a varied combination of things that my eye was attracted to.”

L.C. Nøttaasen / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr

The profound words of another can have a profound impact on our lives.  JFK inspired a generation with, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

South Dakota Historical Society Press

Laura Ingalls Wilder completed the original draft of her autobiography, Pioneer Girl, in the spring of 1930. It was never published, but it led to one of the most beloved series of books of all time.

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography is finally in print. Editor Pamela Smith Hill has painstakingly researched that original draft, sharing light on the events that Wilder wrote about, and painting a picture about a remarkable family that lived through momentous times.

Photo by John Pemble


The school year is well underway and hundreds of 4-H kids are working on projects to take to county fairs later this summer.

Richard Lem

Do you know a teenager who plays video games as if it is his or her job? Well, some of those gamers are going pro - playing games in front of an audience and occasionally, getting paid.

Paul Hamilton / Flickr

Most driver-to-driver hand gestures are decidedly unwelcome. But riding along a rural road in Iowa, you might encounter a friendly one--the farmer wave.

University of Northern Iowa

Two Waterloo-area residents are in the midst of producing a series of five documentaries that chronicle the history of the city. The filmmakers are focusing their camera on a few locations that are key to Waterloo’s past.


Billy Collins has been called "America's favorite poet," and the former Poet Laureate will be visiting Iowa.

Ben Kieffer / Iowa Public Radio

For Veterans Day, join host Ben Kieffer as he travels to Washington D.C. with more than 80 Iowa veterans.

Clayton Parker / Flickr

The first snow fell last night and Iowa homes are starting to show where drafts and cold sneak in. 

There's a great deal of history to be found on most university campuses--but not just in the buildings and the libraries.

Kansas State Historical Society

Six years before the Civil War officially began, shots were fired in the Kansas Territory in the fight between pro-slavery settlers and free staters.

Iowa Public Radio

Six Iowa chefs will compete Thursday at West End Salvage in Des Moines for the second annual Iowa Public Radio Battle of the Chefs. They're all out to win. 

Terry Ballard

Mark Twain was an incredibly prolific writer. He published more than 30 books and pamphlets, and thousands of newspaper and magazine articles.

stpaulgirl / flickr

New York Times bestselling author and Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate, Justin Cronin, takes us into the post-apocalyptic world he’s created in the newly released second book of his highly-acclaimed vampire trilogy.

JD Hancock / Flickr

While Iowans will see superheroes and villains out trick-or-treating tonight, University of Iowa students will be seeing them in their textbooks this spring.

Haunted Iowa

Oct 30, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Looking for a haunted house to visit this Halloween? 

Halloween can almost generate a dictionary of its own.

wader / Flickr

When you stand in front of the mirror and look at your image can you see yourself as you really are?

Diana Thomas / Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa

One day, while out on a run, Molly Barker had a breakthrough. Ten years later, “Girls on the Run” is a nationally known after school program for girls. 

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

When her husband died, Brenda, an Iowa City resident, struggled to explain the death to her four sons. So she turned to a person who handles death for a living: her husband’s funeral director.

TEDxYouth@Austin / flickr

When Alex Sheen’s dad died he made a promise to do something to keep his father’s legacy alive.

Rob Dillard

When the Iowa Department for the Blind threw a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of White Cane Day, it called on a former client to provide entertainment. 

courtesy: University of Iowa Museum of Art

This hour, we hear about the two-year restoration of the University of Iowa Museum of Art's most important holding: the mammoth (8 X 20 feet) 1943 painting "Mural" by Jackson Pollock.

Fan of classical music? Most likely, the answer is no. Pianist George Lepauw is trying to change that.

John Bollwitt

Traditional, big American breweries are in the midst of a global identity crisis. Meanwhile, craft beer microbreweries in the U.S. are flourishing like never before.

Photo by John Pemble

Historians and collectors gathered in Cedar Rapids last weekend to mark the 150 anniversary of the Civil War’s end.

Credit: Grinnell College

Grinnell College President Dr. Raynard Kington leads one of the nation’s most selective, academically challenging institutions of higher learning. He uses his family’s oppressed past to introduce social justice issues to students.