Elizabeth Blair

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died on the set of Rust when Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun, is being remembered as a talented artist and a team player. Hutchins' credits include the superhero action film Archenemy, Blindfire and The Mad Hatter. She was 42 years old.

Updated October 7, 2021 at 5:58 PM ET

Stagehands at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. have voted unanimously to strike if the performing arts center's management imposes what the workers call "draconian cuts and changes to working conditions." According to a statement from the stagehands' union IATSE Local 22, which is part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, those changes include wage cuts of 40% and the elimination of jobs.

Comedian and actor A.J. Johnson has died. Johnson was best known for Friday, Menace II Society and The Players Club.

Anthony "A.J." Johnson, who played Ezal, a homeless man with drug addiction, in Friday and E.Z.E. in House Party, died on Friday. His death was confirmed by a spokesperson. He was 55. No cause of death has been disclosed.

According to TMZ, Johnson "was found lifeless in a store earlier this month in Los Angeles and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, Don Everly of The Everly Brothers has died. And if the name doesn't mean anything to you, the songs surely will.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE")

Bill Cosby called on Howard University to support former co-star Phylicia Rashad's freedom of speech after she expressed support for him when his sexual assault conviction was overturned.

In a statement, Cosby also lashed out at the media, comparing journalists to the rioters who stormed the Capitol in January.

"Howard University you must support ones Freedom of Speech (Ms. Rashad), which is taught or suppose to be taught everyday at that renowned law school, which resides on your campus," Cosby said in a statement provided to NPR by his spokesman Andrew Wyatt.

The news that Bill Cosby has been released from prison has enraged sexual assault victims' advocates and #MeToo activists.

Today the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces new grants for arts and culture organizations under President Biden's American Rescue Plan. The pandemic relief fund set aside $135 million for both the arts and humanities endowments, nearly double the amount that was available to cultural groups in President Trump's CARES Act. Eligibility requirements for NEA grants have also been modified to allow for a broader pool of applicants.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Kennedy Center honorees run the gamut. There's Debbie Allen, Dick Van Dyke, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks, the violinist Midori. This Sunday, CBS will air a special featuring tributes and performances. Here's NPR's Elizabeth Blair.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JOE HILL")

JOAN BAEZ: (Singing) I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night.

Updated May 25, 2021 at 6:07 PM ET

President Biden announced his intention Tuesday afternoon to appoint four new members to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the body that oversees design and architecture of federal buildings in Washington, D.C. Their positions are appointed by the president and do not need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Bob Garfield, host of the public radio show and podcast On The Media, has been fired. According to a statement from New York Public Radio, an outside investigation found that Garfield violated the company's anti-bullying policy. Garfield was the subject of a similar investigation in 2020 that resulted in, "disciplinary action and a warning about consequences if the behavior continued."

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Jim Steinman, co-creator of power ballads and orchestral-style rock by such artists as Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler, has died. Steinman was a composer, lyricist and record producer whose work with Meat Loaf on the 1977 album Bat Out of Hell catapulted the motorcycle-loving singer to stardom. The Connecticut State Medical Examiner's office confirmed Steinman's death to NPR. He was 73. Steinman's brother told the Associated Press he died of kidney failure.

British actor and satirist Sacha Baron Cohen is having a very nice year, as his fictional character Borat might put it.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Arbiters of good taste often disagree. That is certainly true of architecture.

Late Wednesday, President Biden revoked a controversial executive order that then-President Donald Trump signed in December called "Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture." The announcement from the White House was included in an executive order that revokes a number of Trump's actions as president.

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