Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Lavinia "Big Boss" Hensley
Leoneda Inge

The current state of the economy has shaken up countless careers, especially if you were in the housing construction business. But in a neighborhood outside High Point, one woman who used to build homes now uses her own home as a bakery. She said it was time to do the one thing she knew best and Big Boss Baking Company was born. Leoneda Inge has this report for our series, “Breaking into the Food Biz.”

Lavinia Hensley:  Hey come on in, how are you. You found us. See you weren’t too far.
Leoneda Inge: I know. I found it.

Doc Watson
Sugar Hill Records

Musician Doc Watson died on Tuesday. The 89 year old guitarist from Deep Gap, North Carolina, had been in a Winston-Salem hospital recovering from a fall and other ailments. Watson was an iconic North Carolina musician, he broke new ground in bluegrass, country and gospel. His legacy has fueled a generation of musicians.

Doc Watson: In the summer of 1934, papa made my first musical instrument, a little five string fretless banjo and he played me a tune on it.

LoMo
Leoneda Inge

Durham has a pretty tasty reputation when it comes to food.  Nationally ranked restaurants and a burgeoning food truck scene keeps food-types buzzing.  But moving in between the ice cream and burger trucks is a fresh food truck called LoMo Market.  The idea is to bring fresh food to busy residents who can afford it but may not have time to get to the store.  Leoneda Inge has the first report for our series, “Breaking into the Food Biz.”

North Carolina will host the best in Bluegrass music in a capital city festival starting next year.

Magnolia Grill Closing

May 3, 2012
Karen and Ben Barker
magnoliagrill.net

One of the most well-respected restaurants in the Triangle is closing its doors. Magnolia Grill in Durham has been a culinary powerhouse for 25 years.

Leoneda Inge:  Most people got the word yesterday that the award-winning Magnolia Grill is closing its kitchen for good.  Nick Powell says his family has never had a bad dish at Magnolia Grill.

Nick Powell:  We’re pretty sad to see it go.  Emilee gasped when she read the news.

Emilee Powell:  It’s one of our favorite restaurants.

In November of 2008 the Durham Performing Arts Center opened its doors to Broadway performances, and big name musical acts. By virtually all accounts D-PAC has been a success, welcoming more visitors and earning more money than many had expected. Now Greensboro is considering following suit. Residents, politicians and leaders of the arts community are discussing G-PAC. Supporters say the proposed 50 million dollar facility would boost the local economy and make the city a better place to live. But there are many questions: such as location, parking and would voters approve it?

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival begins today. Lovers of non-fiction cinema travel from all over the world to Durham to view this juried competition.

Leoneda Inge:  This is Full Frame’s 15th year.  As many as 12-hundred documentaries pour in from every corner of the globe.  Just over 100 films will be shown during the festival.  That’s a lot of films, ranging from “The Invisible War,” about rape in the military, to a family’s quest to eat local in Alabama.

Kathleen Cleaver Source
Southern Oral History Program

In the final installment of Voices for Civil Rights, we hear some reflections on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole.

Kathleen Cleaver describes a loss in intensity in the movement over the years, while Ruby Sales frames the movement as part of a larger fight for human dignity. Finally, we return to Jamila Jones, who recalls how as a child she struggled to understand the segregation on her daily bus ride.

El Anatsui
NCMA

A new exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art offers visitors an unprecedented chance to follow the 40 year career of one of Africa’s most celebrated contemporary artists.

In the third installment of our series Voices for Civil Rights, hosted by Eric Hodge, Seth Kotch shares excerpts of two oral histories conducted by the Southern Oral History Program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Freeman Hrabowski describes a clash with his parents over joining the Civil Rights movement in Alabama, when he was just twelve years old.

A Civil War artifact is back in North Carolina to help commemorate the battle of New Bern.

Jeff Tiberii: On March 14th, 1862 nearly 500 soliders were wounded at the Battle of New Bern. A Massachusetts made cannon began that day in confederate hands. It had been used in the early part of the Civil War in Eastern North Carolina. However, the Amherst Cannon was seized by it’s original Union owners in the fight. Dr. Jeanne Marie Warzeski is curator at the North Carolina Museum of History.

Jamila Jones
UNC Southern Oral History History Program

When the Smithsonian opens its National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2015, part of its collection will be oral histories of the Civil Rights movement. The project began with an American Folklife Center survey of hundreds of existing oral history collections around the country before the Smithsonian set out to conduct new interviews with those who participated in the movement.

An exhibit about Roanoke Island's role in the Civil War opens at the Outer Banks Visitor Center today. Curator Kaeli Schurr says capturing the island was an important part of the strategy for both the confederacy and the union.

Kaeli Schurr: After a long summer of both sides training troops and devising military strategy, both knew that whoever would be able to control the supply lines would control all of eastern North Carolina. And that led then to being able to disrupt the supply lines from Wilmington up to the Confederate capital in Richmond.

Ten veterans in North Carolina received France’s highest honor in a special ceremony yesterday. The French Consul General in Atlanta awarded the Legion of Honour to a group of World War Two veterans in a ceremony at the old state capitol building. The retired service members say they were lucky to survive a war that changed their lives forever.

The future of food, farming, and sustainability are topics at a symposium today and tomorrow at UNC and Duke. Jaqueline Olich is from the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at UNC; she's also one of the coordinators of the event. According to projections from the United Nations, Olich says food production will have to increase by up to 100-percent by the year 2050 to sustain an estimated 9 billion people.

Katie Ricks
Church of Reconciliation

One of the first openly gay ministers in the Presbyterian church will soon be ordained at a Chapel Hill church. Katie Ricks is the first openly lesbian pastor in the nation to gain approval since the Presbyterian Church began allowing homosexuals to serve last year. She met with the church's local governing body before its vote last weekend. She says she addressed some members' concerns that same-sex relationships are not accepted by God.

Old Time Fiddler Joe Thompson has died at the age of 93. Thompson was one of the last of a generation of African American string band musicians in North Carolina. As a young man he played for square dances in Orange and Alamance Counties. Thompson told WUNC in 2008 that those dances got wild at times, and made him question whether a good Christian should be playing this kind of music.

Organizers of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte are looking for the Nation's best barbeque sauce. All month long, the host committee is welcoming proposals of vinegar, tomato and mustard based sauces. The best sauce or sauces will then be sold in gift packs to help off-set the cost of the political event. Jackie Bateman is Grassroots Finance Director for the convention's host committee. She says sauce was a logical place to start.

Duke's Nasher Art Museum in Durham is combining traditional sculptures with more contemporary pieces at a new exhibit today.

Jeff Tiberii: More than a dozen mobiles from late American sculptor, Alexander Calder will be on display. His works will be complemented by contemporary sculptures from seven other artists. The Nasher's Wendy Hower Livingston says the gallery feels different.

A task force of civic, arts, and business leaders says the arts can be an economic engine for North Carolina. The panel has released recommendations as part of the SmART Initiative. It's mapping out ways for communities to use the arts to increase jobs and quality of life.

Several African-American historic sites across Durham are being considered for historic designation. Preservation officials say criteria include sites where significant events took place, buildings with architectural significance, and homes of prominent African-American families. Bob Ashley is the executive director of Preservation Durham. He says there are quite a few contenders for designation.

Comparing The Carolinas

Jan 20, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

The South Carolina Republican primary is tomorrow. It's the best chance for southern voters, especially southern conservatives, to weigh in on who will become the Republican candidate for President. One reason South Carolina is so important is because it's so different from Iowa and New Hampshire.

Leoneda Inge

It’s Friday, the end of the work week. This evening, a lot of people will head over to their local “watering hole” for relaxation with friends.   In North Carolina a growing number of people are opting for a home-made beer, a craft beer. Micro-brew-style pubs are steadily opening.  But in order to keep growing, they’re hoping for a tax break from Washington.

Pickles, possums and fleas will help bring in 2012 across rural North Carolina.

Jeff Tiberii: The city of Mount Olive expects more than 2,000 visitors for its 13th annual pickle drop tomorrow night. A thirty-pound wooden flea will drop in Eastover to commemorate the New Year. And in the Western reaches of the state a live possum will be lowered, not dropped, 18 feet inside of some Plexiglas. Clay Logan is the organizer of the alcohol-free, family-oriented event.

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition host Eric Hodge speaks with Freddy Jenkins and Keith Weston of Back Porch Music about some of their favorite folk and acoustic music of the year.

Keith chose Sarah Jarosz and New Found Road Live.

Freddy picked Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.

We also lost a number of artists this year

Here's some of note:

Kwanzaa celebration
townofcary.org

Kwanzaa is underway and the Town of Cary will observe the holiday with a celebration Thursday. Kwanzaa is held each year from December 26th through January 1st in honor of African-American culture and heritage.

Note, $20 and ring was found in a Salvation Army Red Kettle in Winston-Salem.
WXII12.com

The Salvation Army has been faced with record need this holiday season.   And some everyday citizens are meeting that need with donations that sparkle.

Be sure to tune in Christmas night at 6 for a special edition of the program Last Motel when host Eric Hodge and will be joined by the band Chatham County Line. They're a bluegrass-inspired band that has spent the last couple weeks criss-crossing North Carolina and Georgia with a holiday concert series.

MUSE Agent Sid Tripp in new Lab Rats Video Game
Lab Rats Studio

Video Games of all kinds are top sellers this time of year – and North Carolina is quickly becoming a major player in the industry. The Triangle has become a new mecca for gaming software and design.

Leoneda Inge: "So, you’re going to play the game for me?"

Shadie El-Hadad: "Yeah, I’m going to play the game for you. So this is MUSE the first episode, we are doing episodic content."

The Salvation Army staff in Wake County is celebrating a successful year.  But it was another close one.   Gifts and donations from the last couple of weeks made the difference, including a special donation over the weekend. 

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