Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Black On Black

23 hours ago
Saba Taj

Artists of color share their thoughts on race and identity in a new exhibit at Raleigh’s Visual Art Exchange called “Black on Black.” A range of community programming expands the artist’s ideas beyond the gallery walls with educational events about music, film, justice, dance and preserving family history.

Cover image of Wedding Bell Blues, a new mystery novel by Ruth Moose
Courtesy Ruth Moose

An eccentric yet beloved, homeless bride-to-be, her freshly-murdered fiancé and an evasive white rabbit are some of the residents of Littleboro, North Carolina, a town where mysteries abound. They are also the conjurings of author Ruth Moose, that come to life in her new book “Wedding Bell Blues” (Minotaur Books/2016).

Host Frank Stasio talks with Moose about developing her cast of characters, and about picking up where her last book left off, a book she first wrote more than 25 years ago. 

PHOTOS: A Day Of Mural Painting In Durham

Oct 24, 2016
a woman paints a mural in Durham
Nicholas Byrne / WUNC

This past weekend, a collection of local artists gathered to paint graffiti and murals outside the Duke Arts Annex.

The event, know as Mural Durham, brought together local Durham artists and the Durham community for a day of mural painting, local food, music and fun.

wuncphotos: Share your North Carolina photos with WUNC on Instagram

Apprentice House

As a child growing up in Bristol, Virginia, writer Christine Hale says she was an unintended hostage to her parents’ abusive marriage and her  family’s dysfunction. When her second marriage ended in a bitter divorce she stumbled upon Tibetan Buddhism as a path toward making sense of her life. Her new memoir, “A Piece of Sky, A Grain of Rice: A Memoir in Four Meditations,” (Apprentice House Press/2016) weaves together memories from her journey toward acceptance.

Kooley High

The Raleigh-based hip-hop group Kooley High started nearly a decade ago after its members had spent years trading rhymes with each other on campus at North Carolina State University.  In 2004, some of Kooley High's members started a hip-hop club on campus called "H2O" and helped spark a grassroots rap scene in the city.  

A view of the Blue Ridge Parkway on October 11, 2016 north of Devil's Couthouse in western North Carolina.
Jennifer Mesk /

Jennifer Mesk’s love for photography started out of as frustration.

"I always loved taking pictures but grew frustrated not being able to capture the images I wanted to," said Mesk, an Asheville resident. "I'd see photos and think, 'I'm sure I could do that. I'm going to teach myself'."

Instagram: @JenniferMeskPhotography

A drawing of a hand paying a stork with a bundle.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

People can become parents in the usual ways: by birth, by marriage and by adoption. But in this week's Criminal podcast, we hear from Melinda Dawson, who learned as a girl that her parents had secretly purchased her from a clinic doctor many miles away.

1622: Veterans Day 2016

Oct 19, 2016
Abbas Mousa
Brian Powers

Ted Hartley and his fellow pilots struggle to to complete their first landings on a ship.
  Taniki Richard is forced to provide for her parents and siblings.
Abbas Mousa
flees Iraq and becomes a translator for the US Army.

The 2016 North Carolina State Fair kicked off last weekend and the list of bands playing this year is quite impressive. Here's a list of our top picks.

(Hear music by these bands and more on WUNC Music, our new streaming and HD2 music channel.)

Wednesday, 10/19
Dorton Arena, 7:30 PM

An image from Bright's series '#1960Now' that explores the parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and the current  #BlackLivesMatter movement today.
Sheila Pree Bright

Photographer Sheila Pree Bright first picked up a camera in search of a means of personal expression. After her first public exhibit, it was clear that not only did she have a gift for making beautiful images, but her work also sparked thoughtful and unexpected conversations about race, politics, and justice. Bright first came into the national spotlight with the series “Suburbia,” which explored black suburban life in Atlanta.

Moving to Harlem with Marcus Samuelsson

Oct 18, 2016
Marcus Samuelsson (Photo: Bobby Fisher)

What motivated Marcus Samuelsson to move to Harlem and open Red Rooster, his acclaimed restaurant? He tells The Splendid Table's Melissa Clark that 9/11, his mother, and the Great Migration all played a part. He also discusses the challenge of making fried chicken in the same neighborhood as legendary spots like Sylvia's and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken.

Melissa Clark: How did you end up with a restaurant in Harlem?

PHOTOS: Opening Night At The NC State Fair

Oct 14, 2016
A family poses for a picture at the entrance on the opening night of the NC State Fair in Raleigh on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Brianna Ladd / WUNC

From the midway and horticulture exhibits, to new rides and food, the North Carolina State Fair kicked off this week with usual fanfare.

The 11-day celebration includes old favorites, as well as the premiere of its first permanent ride this year: the State Fair Flyer, a ski lift-like ride that transports fairgoers across the midway and offers an aerial view of the grounds.

NC Jazz Musicians Host Reunion Shows

Oct 14, 2016
Black and white photo of renowned jazz singer Nnenna Freelon.
Chris Charles

Jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, and jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer, cut their teeth performing as a duo in listening rooms, bars, and even hotel lobbies back in the 1980s. Over the past decades, their individual careers have taken off, bringing them Grammy nominations and leading to collaborations with artists around the world. Both artists settled in the Triangle and are now pillars of the jazz scene in the state.

Lopez, Kristina

On October 15th, Chris Thile steps on-stage as the new, permanent host of public radio’s venerable variety show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” with the blessing of mentor Garrison Keillor.

Chris cut his teeth playing mandolin for bluegrass bands Nickel Creek and The Punch Brothers (he’s won four Grammys). But he’s a musical omnivore and — according to the MacArthur foundation— a musical genius.

The Posts Teach You How to Take a Compliment

Oct 14, 2016

Rico Gagliano: Each week, you send in your questions about how to behave. Often, we ask them willy-nilly to totally unqualified celebrities, but today, we’re calling in etiquette reinforcements.

Lopez, Kristina

Hard to believe that while the East Coast was hammered with disastrous rains recently, Southern California is still enduring a drought.

Kyle Kinane’s Guide to Getting Loose

Oct 14, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Kyle Kinane has earned a following with gravel-voiced, self-deprecating stories, often about what he ate or drank– or wished he didn’t. He’s appeared on Netflix in Judd Apatow’s series “Love,” and you can also hear him on Comedy Central, where he’s their voice-over announcer. His new special premieres on that channel on Oct. 15. It’s called “Loose In Chicago.”

Kelly Reichardt’s Labor of Love

Oct 14, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Director Kelly Reichardt’s minimalist indie films like “Meek’s Cutoff” have won loads of critical acclaim and a devout following. Most are shot in the Northwest, and focus on characters on the fringes of society.

Her new movie “Certain Women” is no exception. It features an all-star cast including Laura Dern, and it’s based on short stories written by Maile Meloy. The movie examines the lives of very different people in modern-day Montana, and what happens when they collide.

David Bedford (Photo: Dave Hansen)

If there is such a thing as a superstar apple breeder, David Bedford is one of them. He and his team at the University of Minnesota are responsible for game-changing apples like Honeycrisp, SweeTango, and Zestar. He joined Lynne Rossetto Kasper in The Splendid Table studios for an apple tasting, including the Rave/First Kiss, which will be released in 2017.

[Ed. note: You can check out The Splendid Table's apple recipe collection here.]

Andrew Solomon
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Earlier this week, #mentalhealthday was a trending topic on Twitter. To end the stigma and breach the loneliness, I hope our attention goes beyond this — very successful — one-day event.

To do just that,  I sat down to talk with the remarkable Andrew Solomon for the latest episode of The Civilist podcast. Solomon, a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia and the author of "Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression," recommends that people come out about their depression, when they can and when it’s safe.

An image of folk singer Leadbelly
Public Domain

Rock music has roots in many different musical forms. It is shaped by the blues and jazz. Meanwhile, the narratives in rock songs can be traced back to English ballads.

Courtesy of Perfecta Visuals

What happens when women get up on stage dressed to the nines and are judged not for their beauty, but for their strength? Groups of women around the country have been exploring just that with competitive arm wrestling leagues. Two of these leagues are based in North Carolina, the League of Upper Extremity Wrestling Women in Durham (LUEWWD) and the Greensboro Arm Wrestling League (GRAWL).

Molly Yeh (Photo: Chantell Quernemoen)

How does a Juilliard-trained musician end up writing a cookbook from her farm on the North Dakota-Minnesota border? David Leite asks Molly Yeh all about it (and gets the recipe for Fried Cheesy Pickles).

David Leite:I want to start off by talking about this journey that you have taken. You were a Juilliard-trained timpanist living in New York, and now you are the farm wife married to Eggboy [Ed. note: her husband Nick] on his family's farm, raising sugar beets, all the way out in Minnesota. How does one go from there to here?

Tunde Wey (Moyo Oyelola)

Tunde Wey is using the food of his native Nigeria to start conversations about America and race. He tells Von Diaz about his own immigrant experiences and what he thinks his Blackness in America dinners can accomplish.

Von Diaz: Tunde, you were picked up by immigration enforcement some years ago. Can you tell me what happened?

Adam Ruben is at a loss when it comes to buying Christmas gifts.

Pierre Epstein is a little boy tracking the progress of his Uncle Igor's escape from Nazi-occupied France.

Ed McCarthy break sinto the house he grew up in to rescue a precious box of Christmas decorations.

Katie Fales
 grandfather is a rancher who was to rescue a bunch of stranded steer.

Catherine McCarthy finally admits she's homesick during Christmas in Thailand.