Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Secrets and Séances
JULIENNE ALEXANDER / CRIMINAL

In this week's Criminal podcast, we hear the story of a Scottish woman named Helen Duncan, who was put in jail during World War II for practicing witchcraft. The British government believed she was a threat to national security.

Tim Fain playing violin
Courtesy of Tim Fain

 Violinist Tim Fain is a classically-trained musician, but his talents extend far beyond a classical repertoire. 

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge sits down with Mandolin Orange to revisit their song 'Wildfire,' which recently passed 10,000,000 streams on Spotify.

 Pastor Mack Wolford’s rattlesnake slithers around his neck at an outdoor service, Panther Park, West Virginia, 2011
Test of Faith, Lauren Pond

Serpent handling is a religious practice where individuals hold and wear poisonous snakes during worship services to prove their faith in God.

President Harry Truman with his wife, Bess.
National Archives and Records Administration. Office of Presidential Libraries. Harry S. Truman Library. / Flickr - Creative Commons -https://flic.kr/p/bzswcq

In “The Gifted Generation: When Government Was Good” (Bloomsbury/2017), historian David Goldfield examines the baby boomer generation and argues that more than anything, the opportunities provided to them by the federal government created the conditions for unprecedented confidence and success. 

Movies On The Radio: The Magic of Animation

Nov 16, 2017
A screenshot from Disney's 1937 film Snow White shows Snow White surrounded by forest creatures.
Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr/Creative Commons

Who would have thought that a distracted mouse piloting a steamboat could usher in a whole new genre of film? But Mickey Mouse’s famous appearance gave momentum to animator Walt Disney and opened up a universe of movie magic that seems to increase in technical complexity each decade. 

The music for the live program in Greensboro was written and performed by Carmen Bliss. The Greensboro-based singer-songwriter combines rhythm and blues compositions with lyrical narratives. Listen to her perform the song "Around" below.

 

 

The Vietnam War

Nov 14, 2017

Dave Dillard and his company are trekking through the Vietnamese jungle when they hear an unusual sound.

Edie Meeks comes to face the carnage of war.

Jason Trieu tries to save his family as the U.S. Army retreats and Saigon falls.

In The Name of Love

Nov 13, 2017

Suzie Afridi is given an ultimatum: family or love.

Dan Larson comes to appreciate what it means to be lucky.

Gabriel Shea finds love with the help of Common and Questlove from the Roots.

Jim Obergefell takes on a supreme fight to fulfill his husband’s last wish.

DPAC, Durham, Broadway, Durham Revitalization
HuthPhoto

Durham taxpayers will get $1.6 million from the Durham Performing Arts Center, a figure down slightly from last year, but roughly equal to other years in recent history.

Zen Reyes, aka ZenSoFly
Courtesy of Zen Reyes / ZenSoFly

Growing up, Zen Reyes thought she would establish a career in the fashion industry. She spent some time studying fashion in New York City and figured she might become a designer one day. But eventually a different passion came calling and Reyes began producing and recording her own music under the name ZenSoFly. 

Not everyone loves pumpkin pie for dessert at Thanksgiving. So our friends at America's Test Kitchen came to the rescue with an amazing recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Pie. Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with Tucker Shaw, editor-in-chief for Cook's Country, about the ingredients used to make this seasonal treat: apples, steusel topping, and -- most importantly -- melted vanilla ice cream. Yes, you heard that right - melted ice cream!

Ted Leo

Nov 9, 2017

After a seven year gap, veteran rocker Ted Leo has expanded his sonic palette with his latest solo record, The Hanged Man. Written in the wake of emotional and financial turmoil, the album is perhaps his most personal work to date. Ted Leo joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot in front of an audience at the Goose Island Tap Room for an interview and intimate solo performance. Plus, a review of the new album from eclectic Las Vegas singer-songwriter Shamir.

Mark Bittman's Minimalist Thanksgiving

Nov 9, 2017
James Pauls / iStock / Thinkstock

The author of How to Cook Everything streamlines the holiday feast.

Last Thanksgiving, I vowed to minimize everything: time, number of ingredients and, most of all, work. Heretical as it may seem, I thought it might be fun for the cook to have enough energy to actually enjoy the meal for a change. My idea was to buy all the food in one trip and prepare the entire feast in the time it took to roast my 15-pound turkey - roughly three hours. And, with one minor exception, I was successful.

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, evening gown
Courtesy of NC Art Museum

In 1958, African-American women donned designer dresses and walked the runway for the first Ebony Fashion Fair. 

The charity fashion show was the brainchild of Ebony Magazine co-publisher Eunice Johnson and it showed African-American women as rich and successful. The fair ran for 50 years, and in that time it continued to be a space where African-American women could re-imagine their role in American society and reclaim their beauty.

Courtesy of Indigo Cox

Indigo Cox read many excellent academic books on women's reproductive health. But as a physician herself, and one who performs abortions, she wanted a book that told a story from both sides. 

Andy Ricker: The Key 3

Nov 9, 2017

Andy Ricker is an expert in Thai cuisine. He owns restaurants in Portland, Ore., and New York under the Pok Pok umbrella. In this installment of The Key 3, he shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper his recipe for steamed fish, as well as his techniques for perfect jasmine rice and boiled eggs.

Here are Andy's keys, as told to Lynne Rossetto Kasper:

Losing ground

Nov 9, 2017

In 1996, Eddie Wise, the son of a sharecropper, purchased a farm with a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Twenty years later, the USDA foreclosed on the property and evicted him. Reveal investigates his claim that he was discriminated against because of his race.

One of the handmade whirligigs at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park
Courtesy of Henry Walston / Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum

When Vollis Simpson began constructing his mammoth whirligigs out of spare machine parts, old paint and highway signs, he did not set out to create an artistic legacy. 

John Cleese
Courtesy of DPAC / DPAC

John Cleese is undoubtedly a comedy legend. Among his many credits: he is a founding-member of Monty Python, co-creator and star of the sitcom “Fawlty Towers,” and he wrote and co-starred in the film “A Fish Called Wanda.” Cleese recently toured the U.S. and Canada with his one man show “Last Time To See Me Before I Die.” 

Oreos, Heaven, and America's Most Wanted

Nov 8, 2017
Dare Kumolu-Johnson

Bethany Van Delft learns that her newborn daughter has Down Syndrome.
Bill Bernat goes into an “Oreo blackout.” 
Breeda Miller prints her mother a “ticket to heaven”. 
Josh Bond discovers that he has been living next door to James “Whitey” Bulger.

NOTE: When offensive or FCC-prohibited words appear, they are bleeped and listed in the Content Advisory.  Sensitive content will be given an on-air caution and will be noted here in the description. 

Courtesy of Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi has become less and less comfortable viewing the world through the prisms of sex or gender. 

Ron Stacker Thompson
Courtesy of UNC School of the Arts

Ron Stacker Thompson knew from a young age that he wanted to be a teacher. He grew up in Chicago, excelled in school, and loved his time in the classroom. He attended Illinois State University and went on to try his hand at teaching. But his work as a drama teacher quickly led to another career on stage.

The Paradise Papers

Nov 6, 2017

Remember the Panama Papers? It was a massive 2015 document leak that exposed a system in which offshore companies enable crime and corruption. The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that followed, led by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), was a collaboration among more than 100 newsrooms across the world. It led to a flurry of resignations and indictments and took down leaders in Iceland and Pakistan. This week, Reveal journalists teamed up with ICIJ for a new bombshell: The Paradise Papers.

Model Anita Taylor walks down a runway wearing a desgign by Desiree Hedrick during a fashion show for the kickoff of the exhibit, Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion, at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, N.C.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

In the 1950s and 60s, images of African-American beauty and fashion models in mainstream media were almost non-existent in the United States.

Holiday Special 2017

Nov 3, 2017

Peter Aguerro exchanges gifts made oF paper with his mother for the holidays. Tracey Segarra sends a Hanukkah card that her mother-in-law takes issue with. Steve Glickman attempts to escape a snowy Chicagoan Christmas for Puerto Vallarta. Dawn Fraser is tasked to find the perfect ingredients for a Trinidadian Christmas. Evan Lunt takes his grandmother’s menorah to college as a keepsake of her. Bernie Somers counts down to a first kiss on New Year's Eve with a romantic interest.

Soho Artists

Yasmin Levy is an acclaimed Israeli artist known for her twist on Sephardic songs. The musical tradition came from her father who recorded and preserved folk songs in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language that emerged in the territories of the ancient Ottoman Empire after Jews were exiled from Spain in 1492.

A drawing of plants under a microscope.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Botanists know all about plants, whether they're working in a forest or on a farm, but they can also identify plant matter after it's begun digesting. It turns out, that can be a pretty useful skill in solving murder cases. That's the topic on this week's Criminal podcast.

Chef Sean Sherman - who also goes by the name The Sioux Chef - has made a name for himself in the Upper Midwest by sourcing and cooking with ingredients originally used by Native American groups across the region. The result is an eye-opening and healthy take on modern cuisine. However, his interests are not limited to the native peoples of the Midwest.

How many times have you heard a mushroom described as “meaty?” It's true that mushrooms, such as portobellos, are juicy, have a bit of chew, and reveal a world of umami. But Liz O'Keefe wants us to think beyond the meatiness of mushrooms, and to consider their many other flavors and aroma attributes. She says they can be naturally fruity like apricots, taste similar to coconut, or give off the scent of cinnamon when seared.

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