Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

Jan's List

May 23, 2013
Flickr / ChrisWarren1956

Jan Weismiller of Prairie Lights Books' Summer Reading List

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger

Paul's List

May 23, 2013
Flickr / ChrisWarren1956
Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

As she led reporters around displays of the pins she wore during her career, it was as if Madeleine Albright were introducing old friends at a family reunion.

With each pin came a memory for the former Secretary of State; crucial diplomatic decisions, casual moments in the White House, and tense meetings with international heads of state… including Kim Jong-Il. 

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

In the summer of 2000, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attended a summit with Bill Clinton and Russian president Vladmir Putin. At the time, Russia had invaded Chechnya, amid reports of human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Albright, who had become known for her decorative pins that carried symbolic messages in diplomatic meetings, wore a pin of three monkeys representing the proverb, “See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.”

She says President Clinton was skeptical.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

It’s with pride that museum president and founding member Tom Moore moves between exhibits at the African American History Museum of Iowa.

"My hero is Alexander Clark," he says with a grin. "Clark was very instrumental in integrating Iowa’s classrooms,"

In 1867, nearly a hundred years before the Civil Rights Movement, Clark sued the Iowa's public schools in Clark v. Board of Directors to allow his daughter to attend the school near their home. He won, making Iowa one of the first states to have a law for the integration of schools.

Photo by John Pemble

One of the biggest changes for the music industry is the shift from publishing music on CDs, to downloadable music files.  There are still artists who prefer their music be available on a tangible medium, even one as old as vinyl.  In Iowa the two year old label Maximum Ames Records, publishes all of its titles on vinyl, including H.D.

Trans Oral History Project website

This weekend in Iowa City, several events are planned around the theme of celebrating and understanding the lives of transgendered persons.

Andre Perez of the Trans Oral History Project in Chicago joins IPR's Sarah McCammon for a conversation about trans issues and workshops designed to gather the stories of transgendered Iowans.

For more information about this weekend's events at the University of Iowa, click here.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

The brewers at the Cedar Ridge Distillery are bottling and packaging a whiskey brewed with malted barley… if it were made in Scotland, you’d call it scotch.

They say it’s the first single-malt whiskey produced in Iowa.  

Iowa Digital Library / University of Iowa Libraries

Latino immigration has helped to shape - and re-shape - Iowa communities for more than a century. Dr. Omar Valerio-Jimenez, associate professor of history at the University of Iowa, joins Sarah McCammon to discuss "The Latino Experience in Iowa." That's the title of a lecture he's giving as part of a series on race and gender at Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids.

Photo by John Pemble

In the second half of the 20th century, native Iowan Norman Borlaug developed wheat seeds that increased crop yields in third world countries.  His work in agriculture led him to a Nobel Peace Prize, a Congressional Gold Medal, and next year he’ll be remembered with a statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection housed in the United States Capitol.  South Dakota artist Benjamin Victor is commissioned to create this sculpture and brought his work in progress to the Iowa Historical Building for a two week artist in residency to get the final details right.



 

Courtesy of Mary Rogers

The former Iowan who fathered one of the world’s most celebrated architects has been pulled from the shadows of his legendary son. The father was William Carey Wright, and Iowa Public Radio tells the story of his love for music and how it influenced the life of and career of his son, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Courtesy photo

Asian-American civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs has traveled from her home in Detroit to

speak at Grinnell College as part of the campus celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday. She tells Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank, she wasn't a fan of the idea when it was first proposed.  At 97, Boggs continues to be active with a program known as Detroit Summer.  It's a project that's been underway for several years involving the city's young people with activities such as gardening and renovating inner city buildings.

Steve Gola

Lost treasures were revealed when Lake Delhi disappeared two summers ago. We conclude our series on the status of the eastern Iowa lake.

If you grew up in a conservative Christian household any time in the last few decades, you may have seen a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” Otherwise, think B-movie horror flick – for Christian kids.  The movie was made in Iowa and turns 40 this year.

If you grew up in a conservative Christian household any time in the last few decades, you may have seen a movie called “A Thief in the Night.” Otherwise, think B-movie horror flick – for Christian kids.  The movie was made in Iowa and turns 40 this year.

This year’s official White House Christmas card features a painting by Des Moines artist Larassa Kable. She talks with Iowa Public Radio’s All Things Considered host, Pat Blank.
 

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An Iowa State University historian and expert on the 1930s dust bowl consulted on filmmaker Ken Burns’ newest documentary, which airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS.

Professor and chair of history at ISU Pamela Riney-Kehrberg is featured in the film, she says she assisted to ensure the film’s historical accuracy…

Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl, airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS

A keepsake from the Vietnam War will be returned to an Iowa soldier who lost it in 1971 on the bottom of Iowa’s Lake Delhi. John Jones’ gold, 25th Infantry Division ring came off while swimming. Two years ago, after the dam broke and the lake drained, a Chicago treasure hunter found it under the muddy lake bottom, and a veterans official was able to trace it back to Jones, who lives in Cedar Rapids.

IPRs Rick Fredericksen has the story.

Bill Schaefer / Gold Star Museum

A new photo exhibit honors living Iowa veterans at the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge. Most Iowans will recognize many of them. Exhibit opens to the public on Nov. 9th.

John Pemble

In India, motorized rickshaws serve as taxis for short trips. In America, these vehicles are rare but over the weekend you could see them in Iowa albeit for a different purpose. A Des Moines businessman organized a rickshaw race, called “Tuk Tuk Goose”.

Being in Iowa: Quakers

Oct 26, 2012

In the final segment of this week's "Being in Iowa," we meet some Christians who go by a couple of names. We know them as Friends or as Quakers. There are also two branches of this religion in Iowa, representing two distinct approaches to worship.

Being in Iowa: Hindus

Oct 25, 2012

The Hindu Temple south of Madrid is an eye-catching structure with plaster images of animals and deities carved all over the outside surfaces. It’s where 500 families pray to the God they call Brahman, which they say is found in everything.

Being in Iowa: Atheists

Oct 24, 2012

It’s impossible to put an exact number on how many people in the state describe themselves as atheist or agnostic. Many of them prefer to stay quiet about it. Iowa Public Radio correspondent Rob Dillard asked several Iowans who do not believe in a supernatural power about where they stand in a society that generally thinks religion is a good thing.

Being in Iowa: Sikhs

Oct 23, 2012

Iowa Public Radio is looking at how different groups of Iowans connect with God. Today, we examine the beliefs held within a 500-year old religion established in the Punjab region of northwest India and northeast Pakistan. In Punjabi it’s pronounced Sikhism (SICK-ism). Over the years, it’s been Anglicized to Sikhism (SEEK-ism). The practitioners at a Temple in West Des Moines pronounced it both ways.

Being in Iowa: Mormons

Oct 22, 2012

With a devout Mormon running for president, pundits have labeled this period “the Mormon moment.” But polls indicate half the American public admits to knowing very little or nothing about the religion. Rob met with some practicing Mormons in Iowa City to understand more about their faith.

John Pemble

Ballet Des Moines is trying something new this year: hiring dancers for a six month residency.  It’s the first time Ballet Des Moines has six full time professional dancers to perform modern and classic productions for an entire season.
 

Emily Woodbury / IPR

On Saturday, hundreds of Iowa residents gathered in Des Moines for the city’s fourth annual Zombie Walk, an event and fundraiser for the Central Iowa Shelter and Services. The walk was preceded by Iowa City’s zombie march that raises money for local Eastern Iowa charities.

These events were founded at the beginning of a so-called “zombie craze”, when obsession with zombies went from subculture to mainstream. But unlike similar horror-genre fads, like the vampire mania of a few years ago, zombie culture has persevered.

At the invitation of Iowa’s Poet Laureate Mary Swander, who is of Irish ancestry, the theatre troupe, Hob Nailed Boots of Renvyle, Ireland,  is visiting the state giving dramatic recitals from works about the Aran Islands, the Irish famine, and immigration. We reached the troupe’s Sean Coyne from his home in Renvyle.  Coyne says audiences are in for an emotional experience…

Hob Nailed Boots Theatre Tour of 3 Plays

Performed by Sean Coyne and Tegolin Knowland, written by Eamon Grennan

Oct. 15, 7:00 P.M.  Hearst Center for the Arts, Cedar Falls, IA     Emigration Road

John Pemble

An assistive service began this weekend in Des Moines allowing blind people to hear descriptions of what’s happening on the stage of a theatrical production. The Iowa Radio Reading Information Service, or IRIS, is providing audio description for blind patrons attending shows during the Civic Center’s Broadway series.

This weekend the Des Moines Symphony performed new music commissioned for their seventy fifth season inspired by art from the city’s two block sculpture park.

Video version of this story.


 

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