Art and Culture

Art and culture

The North Philadelphia Juniors may not have been famous, but they could sing with anybody in gospel music!

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I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

The Redhead by the Side of the Road is the latest offering by Anne Tyler.  This story of Micah Mortimer is the life of a man living a well-ordered household.  He has a lady friend, but their interactions are on and off.  One day, she reveals she has been evicted from her apartment, but Micah shows no apparent interest in her problem.  Then, to make matters worse, a teenager shows up and claims he is Micah’s son.  Micah is not used to so much intrusion in his life. 


David and Art - "Moss Hart"

Jun 22, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

On this weeks episode of David and Art, a  mostly forgotten name from Broadway casts a long shadow on the art world.

Last week, in its “Broadway Fridays” series of free online offerings, the Lincoln Center Theater made available a play called “Act One,” taken from the autobiography of an American playwright named Moss Hart.  His name is largely forgotten these days outside of Broadway circles, but for a while, his was one of the biggest names in American culture.

Moss Hart was born in the Bronx in 1904 and grew up in poverty. His father immigrated from 

Katie Sankey's powerful, expressive voice elevates every song she sings to a new level, including the old standard "I Don't Know Why."

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I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

If you are a long-time listener to Likely Stories, you might know, Ian McEwan is one of my most favorite novelists.  Ian has a rapier wit when he needs it, and he is a writer of renown.  I have read almost all his novels, and I never—for even a moment—have lost the depth and expertise of his writing.  His latest novel, The Cockroach, is satire of the highest order.  If you are not familiar with McEwan, pick up a copy of any of his nineteen novels.

 

 

David and Art - "Art and Entertainment"

Jun 15, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

The difference between art and entertainment is a subtle but significant one.

I was talking to a friend who is a pastor recently, and he was telling me about the ins and outs of writing sermons.  It might be a little surprising to know that pastors get writers block, too.  Actually, it was a little bit encouraging.  He was thinking about the ways he tries to break through it when it comes.

He said that many times when he can’t find a nugget around which to build a sermon, he’ll turn to art.  He’s been inspired by paintings especially, but he’s also dipped into poetry, plays, and music. When he does so, he’s not as much searching for a topic as he’s trying to just get into a creative frame of mind.  “Creativity inspires creativity,” he said.  I wish I’d said that.  He told me the story of a Manet 

Hardie Clifton's emotional reading of "I Stood on the Banks of the Jordan" only hints at the remarkable story behind the song.

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I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

I recently received a book which opened the window on a frightening and horrific story.  Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South by Mike Selby.  Mike “is a professional librarian.  He received his MLS from the University of Alabama, which is where he first unearthed the story of the Freedom Libraries.  He has published over nine hundred articles about libraries, reading, and print culture—much of it covering libraries during the Civil Rights Movement” (Jacket).  The book recounts a number of anecdotes and the people who suffered and risked their lives to bring books to children.


David and Art - Opening Theaters

Jun 8, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

The world of live theater is a significant portion of the art community and in some places, an economic engine like all of the arts.  When it will open back up however is anyone’s guess.

Last week we talked about art museums that were cautiously opening, and the attitudes and procedures adopted by places like the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.  For the rest of the art world, questions about reopening are just as vivid and urgent, and arts backers around the country are rightly concerned about all the factors involved, from safety to finances to jobs.  For live theater in NYC, the date you hear 

A special 200th episode featuring the legendary The Mighty Clouds of Joy recorded live in Montreaux, France.

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A long time ago, I stumbled on an interesting story by a pair of Ph.D students who gathered up all their worldly belongings, and moved to Botswana to study African Lions and hyenas.  The adventure drew me to them as I read the story of their lives in Africa.  I still have that worn copy, and hardly a year goes by when I am rereading Mark & Delia Owens Cry of the Kalahari.  

I tracked down a signed, hardback, of Cry, and then came upon Secrets of the Savanna.  While not as exciting as Cry, it certainly had loads of interesting stories about Africa, its inhabitants, and above all, the wildlife.

In a prologue by Mark Owens, he wrote: “A heavy fog, thick and white, settled lower over the hills of Masailand in Kenya.  I eased off the power and slowed down but pulled back on the cyclic stick, giving up altitude grudgingly.  Our chopper’s main rotor tore ragged chunks out of the clouds underbelly and

Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

The art world is eager to open up from the quarantine, in part because the arts provide something to a society that it gets from no other source.

A couple of weekends ago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston became the first major American art museum to reopen since the country went into lockdown back in March.  On Saturday morning May 23, a score of museum devotees, all in masks and observing proper distancing etiquette,

The Rev. Curtis Watson has been bringing his raspy brand of gospel soul to the gospel highway since the 1960's. 

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On this weeks episode of Conversations With Creative Waco, host Kennedy Sam is joined by Ashley Stone, Founder and Director of Footprintz Dance Company. In the second half of the episode, she has a conversation with local musician, singer, and songwriter Melinda Adams.


Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen is a most peculiar story.  It begins with a tragic accident.  Jon is the author of two novels before Harry’s.  He was the recipient of an NEA fellowship for creative writing, and he was a cowriter of a film directed by Steven Spielberg.

Jon begins, “Oriana had lost a book.  It’s very special, Olive Perkins, the ancient librarian at the Pratt Public Library had told her.  Somebody had made it by hand.  When Olive gave it to Oriana, she almost couldn’t let go of it.  There was a look in the old woman’s eyes Oriana had never seen before, a fleeting indescribable expression.  Then Olive suddenly did the opposite, pushed The Grum’s Ledger into the young girl’s hands and moved her briskly toward the oak doors [of the Library].  ‘But there’s no due date,’ Oriana said.  Olive still stamped her books the old fashion way, with a rubber stamp on the Date Due slip pasted on the last page.  She was a tiny, bird-boned woman, but the stamp hit a book like John Henry’s hammer.  ‘It’s due when you’re done with it, child,’ Olive said.  She dropped her voice to a whisper.  ‘And remember.  You are my favorite reader, and now you are my

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