Artscape

Artscape
9:00 am
Sun June 5, 2011

Play tackles fears of young Native Americans after woodcarver killed

Young Native American actors portray prisoners in the Red Eagle Soaring production, A Right To Justice. The play aims to help youth work out their feelings about police since Ian Birk, a former Seattle officer, shot woodcarver John T. Williams.
Charla Bear KPLU

It’s been more than nine months since a Seattle police officer killed First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams, and tensions are still running high among Native Americans. They say the shooting brings up the long history of brutality Native people have faced.

The anxiety has also affected children, who’ve had a tough time putting Williams’ death in perspective.

This coming weekend, a local theater group will debut a performance to help young Native Americans move forward, starting with a look at the past.

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Artscape
7:00 am
Sun May 29, 2011

The art of disaster

HItler Teapot by Charles Krafft
Charles Krafft

When you think of porcelain, your grandmother’s fancy dishes might come to mind. The ones that are taken out of the cabinet only for Thanksgiving and other special holidays. Or maybe you own a beautiful china vase.

There are a lot of delicate dishes and trinkets in the home of Seattle artist Charles Krafft. But his pieces go beyond pastels and pretty flowers.

Krafft has made a career out of messing with our expectations of ceramic art. Pouring tea from one of his teapots or eating from one of Krafft’s plates might make you lose your appetite.

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ARTSCAPE
9:00 am
Sun May 15, 2011

Whidbey Island retreat provides solitude for women writers

Hedgebrook's website say that it "supports a growing global community of women writers from all over the world with residencies at our retreat." Left to right: Molly Smith Metzler, Radha Blank, Susan Soon He Stanton, Lisa Loomer, Alva Rogers.
Courtesy of Hedgebrook

On Whidbey Island, among the evergreens, sits Hedgebrook, a writers retreat solely for women. Nestled on 48 acres, women writers, like feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem, have been seeking solitude at the property since 1988. It's a piece of land that many say is a source of creative power.

Recently, young women playwrights have been honing their works with only the sounds of the surrounding forest to interrupt their writing. They've been invited to Whidbey Island to join in the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival.

For  KPLU's weekly Artscape series, I travelled to Hedgebrook to talk to two of the writers about their work.

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Artscape
9:22 am
Sun May 8, 2011

The art of karaoke includes singing - or not!

April Schiller "sings" to a standing-room-only crowd at the Frances Farmer Organ Karaoke Night at the Vermillion bar in Seattle. The FFOK is held the first and third Thursdays of every month.
Florangela Davila KPLU

Throughout Seattle, on any given night, you can find some place hosting karaoke, which means “empty orchestra” in Japanese.

There’s karaoke in friendly community halls in Greenwood; in swanky clubs on Capitol Hill; in private rooms underneath cutesy bubble tea houses in the I-D.

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Artscape
12:34 am
Sun May 1, 2011

The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Mike Daisey—pictured here in front of a famous monument to Deng Xiaopheng, in Shenzhen, China—returns to Berkeley Rep with an audacious new monologue: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.
Ursa Waz

Modern life can be difficult to live without help from our smart-phones and other gadgets. Apple is at the forefront of this technology and its users are often incredibly loyal. But a new show by monologist Mike Daisey at the Seattle Repertory Theater raises the point that all of this beautiful design and convenience comes at a cost to factory workers in China.

The production is called “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”

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Artscape
8:00 am
Sun April 24, 2011

Seattle's Langston Hughes African American Film Festival stands apart

The film "Butterfly Rising," written and directed by Tanya Wright, will close the 2011 Langston Hughes African American Film Festival.
Courtsey of Langston Hughes African American Film Festival

If we relied on Hollywood, we’d get a very limited view of African Americans. 

"There’s three models that we have of black people in Hollywood and none of them are any good. The ho, the gangster, the victim. And occasionally you get the saint."

That's Jacqueline Moscou, artistic director of Seattle's Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. And what she's talking about are films like "Booty Call,"The Book of Eli" and "Precious."

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Artscape
12:30 am
Mon April 18, 2011

"Taking Punk To The Masses" opens at Experience Music Project

Members of Nirvana (l to r: Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic) do their "Beatles wave" while boarding a flight out of Australia in 1992.
Courtesy of Shelli Hyrkas

This week marks the 20th anniversary of when an audience heard Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time. The band played it at Seattle’s OK Hotel near Pioneer Square and the rest as they say, is history. A new exhibit at the Experience Music Project called “Taking Punk To The Masses: from Nowhere to Nevermind” looks at all of the factors that led to Nirvana explosion onto the global music scene.

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Artscape
4:38 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

Humor in jazz: puttin' on the wits

Jazz great Mose Allison, one of the artists in this survey of humorous jazz songs.
AP

April is National Humor Month. So, Nick and I thought we'd explore the funny side of jazz.Here are  five jazz artists known for their wit as well as their jazz chops. 

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Artscape Encore
1:53 pm
Tue March 29, 2011

Ukuleles bring the islands to Tukwila

Students playing ukuleles is a common sight at Tukwila's Foster High School. The instrument is enjoying a surge in popularity.
Jennifer Wing/KPLU

The little ukulele is having a moment in the spotlight. It has come a long way since Tiny Tim tiptoed through the tulips. 

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Artscape
10:32 am
Mon January 24, 2011

Five songs that give the blues a modern-day makeover

Mississippi blues master R.L. Burnside matches up with rapper Lyrics Born for a new take on the genre, a melding of modern and classic styles.
zzazazz Flickr

I’ll admit I wasn’t a big fan of the blues before I started working here at KPLU. I didn’t know much about the music. But that changed when I started listening to the blues songs we play. I discovered I really like the blues and the bare-bones, gritty nature of it. So, why mess that up with a fancy remix, right? Wrong.

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Artscape
9:23 am
Sun January 9, 2011

Whim W'him means new, gritty dance

Whim W'him dancers Andrew Bartee and Lucien Postlewaite rehearsing "Monsters."
La Vie Photography

On this morning, Olivier Wevers is playing the role of costume manager, digging into a plastic bag and pulling out a pair of casual tank tops to give to his dancers.

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Artscape
6:56 am
Mon January 3, 2011

Boogie Woogie with a heart

Eric “Two Scoops” Moore is a big, gregarious man who's released seven critically-acclaimed CDs. The Washington Blues Society has honored him with numerous awards. Perhaps more than those accomplishments, the blues musician is better known for his musical spontaneity and his big heart. 

Despite life's challenges and some true hardships, he retains a keen sense of optimism. Flesh eating disease? No problem. His wife Amy's multiple sclerosis?  That's easy. You find out why when you listen to his philosophy. The wild look in his kind eyes starts to tell the story. His uncanny connection with a piano punctuates it.

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2010 in Review
10:49 am
Fri December 31, 2010

KPLU News favorite stories of 2010

An art installation at Seattle's old INS Building (now INScape) in the International District opened a new chapter for the historically-rich space.
INScape

As 2010 winds to a close, the KPLU News reporting team has been looking back at the stories they covered this year, and have chosen some favorites. 

The reports they selected aren't necessarily the 'biggest' news stories of the year, or necessarily on the reporter's beat. They are the ones that for each were memorable because of they exemplify the art, beauty and impact of the aural medium, the joy of radio storytelling.

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Artscape
11:07 am
Mon December 27, 2010

A new chapter in a new year

The late George Shangrow conducting Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" on April 6, 2007.
Photo by John Cornicello

A Seattle musical institution and its volunteer performers find strength in the memory of the group's founder, a man whose creative energy remains an inspiration to move forward following his death earlier this year.

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Artscape
9:27 am
Mon December 13, 2010

At MOHAI, it's all about the purse

One of hundreds of purses on display at Seattle's Museum of History and Industry
Courtesy of MOHAI

I’m one of those people who carries a bulging, heavy handbag, crammed with so much stuff that I can’t always find my cellphone. But heavy or not, it’s my attempt at making a fashon statement. It’s the color of a tangerine.

Walk into the galleries at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)and it’s impossible not to size up your purse.

Over here, from the '30s, a bag made out of Bakelite is the color of butterscotch. And from the 1990s, stylish Prada and Kate Spade bags.

There’s a century’s worth of purses, made out of sealskin, clam shells, cantaloupe seeds, even cigarette wrappers and aluminum can tabs. Purses meant to be worn under clothes or proudly shown off.

And purses from the turn of the century that weren’t even meant for one’s arm.

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