The Green Room

Your weekly dose of arts and culture, airing every Friday morning on IPR News Radio & Classical IPR.  

Jandy Sprouse tends to one of the Tibetan yaks that she raises at her ranch in Maple City. Jandy and her husband Brad are part of a growing local fiber movement, where customers are looking for locally made textiles for their clothing.
Matt Mikus

Jandy and Brad Spouse raise yaks on their ranch in Maple City. The yaks are a little smaller than a dairy cow, but they don’t look like one.

"They have a long fiber that comes down, and it looks like a skirt,” explains Brad. “They have a very long tail that’s similar to a horse." 

 


Grupo Ayé is a Cuban salsa band from Grand Rapids. They perform in Traverse City on Satruday night.
Grupo Ayé

Grupo Ayé is a Cuban salsa band from Grand Rapids. And even if you don’t know how to dance, there’s at least one guy who thinks you won’t be able to help yourself when you hear their music.

“You have to dance to this music,” says Robert Mulligan, the band’s founder. “When you hear it, your body just naturally wants to move.”


Over 50 authors will partake in events throughout the weekend at the 2nd Annual Harbor Springs Festival of the Book.
Harbor Springs Festival of the Book

A three-day book festival kicks off in Harbor Springs on Friday.

Over 50 authors from around the country will be there for panel discussions, readings and other events.

“We’re celebrating the culture of books in a beautiful part of the world, where most events are free,” says Amy Gillard, executive director of the festival.


An old mural on the Coburn building in downtown Petoskey was recently repainted by artist Äbby Kent.
Matt Mikus

If you walk through downtown Petoskey, you might notice some old advertising murals on the sides of a few buildings. 

One of them is on the Coburn building on Mitchell Street. The mural is a weathered patchwork of ads for companies that used to occupy the building, like H.A. Easton Hardware and Cook Electric Company.

The mural had almost entirely faded away, until a local artist decided to restore it.

 

A painting of Wilberforce Falls, which is located north or the Arctic Cirlce in Canada. Cory Trépanier was inspired to paint the Canadian north in his project, "Into the Arctic."
Cory Trépanier

When Canadian Cory Trépanier graduated college, he jumped into the world of commercial art. He did airbrush painting for ad agencies and magazines. A lot of work inside a studio.

Then when he was 33, he took a trip to Lake Superior to paint the natural landscape.

“That was a turning point for me,” he says. "All I could recall, with my wife in the vehicle, was talking about, ‘how am I going to spend more time painting my own work?’”

 

"Busted" is a new show at Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City. It features ceramic busts of women who were portrayed by well-known artists.
Dan Wanschura

Agostina Segatori owned the Café du Tambourin in the late 1800’s. The Parisian cafe was a popular spot with artists, including Vincent Van Gogh. One day, Van Gogh decided to paint Agostina.

Karen Curlee will bring her Broadway experience to the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee on September 8th, with a show titled "What is this Thing Called Love?"
Gabe Gomez

Karen Curlee says when you get to a certain age and you start wondering, “What’s it all about?” you should go back to do what you did at 13 years old. For Karen, that was singing.

“Nobody could sing like I could sing when I was 13,” she says. “There was no technique involved. It was just I knew how to sing.”

 

Michael Coonrod has been teaching piano at Interlochen Center for the Arts for over 40 years.

But after a horrible camping accident, his career was put in jeopardy.


Chase Hunt paints on a longboard in his garage in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Chase Hunt loves skateboarding and longboarding. But even more than that, he loves graffiti art. He says the two go hand in hand.

“They’re kind of the same people,” he explains. “You meet a lot of graffiti artists that are skateboarders.”


Jessica Masse has been tuning and caring for pianos at Interlochen Center for the Arts for eight years.
Dan Wanschura

Interlochen Arts Camp just wrapped up for the season. During the summer, over 230 pianos are on campus for the students. That’s a lot of work for a piano tuner.

“The only thing I can compare it to is having an infant,” says Jessica Masse. “And always having to just be at their beck and call.”

Transom stories: Line dancing 'just lifts you up'

Aug 3, 2017
Jacquie Gwyn practices new choreography before she teaches her line dancing class in Interlochen.
Maddy Russell-Shapiro

Jacquie Gwyn is 73 years old, and she teaches line dancing in Interlochen. 

“It just lifts you up; that’s the best way to put it,” says Jacquie.


Leonard Maltin is a renowned film reviewer and critic. He's a featured guest at the 2017 Traverse City Film Festival.
Becky Sapp

Leonard Maltin is one of the most recognized film critics out there. Why do his reviews resonate with so many people?

“I love movies," he says. "And I love what I do. People tell me that comes through...it’s honest, it’s genuine.”

Dan Wanschura

More than 150 young people are gathered in northern Michigan this week. They sing, dance and some play instruments.

They come from all over the world – Russia, Vietnam, Germany and northern Michigan. They all join together for what’s called the Children of the World in Harmony International Choir and Dance Festival. 

Julie Buntin is a featured author at this year's Harbor Springs Festival of the Book.
Nina Subin

“Marlena” is a novel about two teenage girls and their short but intense friendship.

Cat, the main character in the book has just moved to northern Michigan. She quickly latches on to her neighbor, Marlena, and acquires her habits and friend group.

Ansel Adams takes a moment to adjust his camera in Yosemite National Park. An exhibit  featuring some of Adams' most iconic work is hanging at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey.
Alan Ross

Alan Ross worked with Ansel Adams for about 10 years. Like Ansel, he’s known for his striking black and white photography.

Alan says a lot of people know about Ansel – the photographer – but fewer know him as a person.


Al Anderson shows off one of his Betsie Bay Kayaks. Al has been building the boats for over 30 years.
Andrew Bauld

Al Anderson owns Betsie Bay Kayak. Since 1984, he’s been crafting boats made from wood and fiberglass.

“There’s just something about a kayak,” Al says. “It’s like a magic carpet in a way.”


Holly Wren Spauldling arranges the poems in her series called "Lost Lexicon." The poems get their names from nature words which have been removed from the "Oxford Junior Dictionary."
Dan Wanschura

The "Oxford Junior Dictionary" is aimed at kids seven and up. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive book – that’s why it has a limited space for word entries.

So, when the publishers added words like "analog," "broadband" and "chatroom" – other words like "ash," "beech" and "crocus" got the boot. 

Jody Burns (left) acts in Shane Bagwell (center) and Michael Mittelstaedt's recent Cinemasports film. Teams only have 10 hours to write, shoot and edit their films.
Dan Wanschura

Cinemasports is an intense film event. Filmmakers have 10 hours to write, shoot and edit their films. Then the films are screened the same day.

“The value for the 10-hour, three-minute film?” asks Bill Dungjen. “Pretty much my entire philosophy of entertainment, which is, ‘Go do something.’”

Rebecca Childs works on a painting in her '99 Paintings for Evelyn' series.
Dan Wanschura

Rebecca Childs’ grandmother-in-law painted and sketched right up until her death last year. Her name was Evelyn Henry, and she was 99 years old. And Evelyn changed the way Rebecca thought about her own art.

“You can’t have an excuse if a 99-year-old woman is sketching in her bed, you know, the last week of her life,” she says.

In her most recent book, author Mary Roach talks about the unique ways science and war interacts on a more personalized level.
Dan Wanschura

‘Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War,’ is the newest book by author Mary Roach. And in it's pages, she doesn’t talk about what you might think of when you hear the words “science” and “war.” 


Jeff Kimpton concludes his 14-year presidency at Interlochen Center for the Arts on June 1.
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Jeff Kimpton is wrapping up his 14-year presidency at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Next week, he will retire and move to Minneapolis with his wife Julie.


'Hollywood and Crime' is a podcast produced by Jim Carpenter and Rebecca Reynolds of Leland. The couple is currently working on producing the second season of the podcast, which is due later this year.
Wondery

Rebecca Reynolds and her husband, Jim Carpenter are filmmakers from Leland, Michigan.  About two years ago, Rebecca had a conversation with a friend in Los Angeles. Together, they came up with the concept for a true crime and Hollywood show.


The cast of 'Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play' gathers for a rehearsal earlier this week. The show explores what a society might hold onto after an apocalyptic event.
Dan Wanschura

If there was an apocalypse, what would we hold onto? How about the TV show 'The Simpsons?'

That’s the case in ‘Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play.’

The musical comedy portrays a group of survivors who make it through a global disaster, which has left the world without electricity. 

 


Students at Leland High School rehearse 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' earlier this week. The musical incorporates audience participation to determine the outcome of the show.
Kim Klein

When Charles Dickens died in 1870, his last novel, 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood,' was unfinished. All we know for certain is that the title character, Edwin Drood, mysteriously disappears.

A musical based on that story assumes Drood has been killed, and the students at Leland High School are performing it over the next two weekends.

BJ Leiderman composes themes for NPR shows like 'Morning Edition' and 'Science Friday.' This May, he's coming out with his debut album, 'BJ!'
Mark Edward Atkinson

Over the years, BJ Leiderman has composed the theme music for lots of NPR shows like Morning Edition, Marketplace, Science Friday, and more.

But in early May, he’ll release his first album. And it’s a lot different from his theme jingles. While listeners might recognize him from his theme music, Leiderman says his passion is performing in a band.

 


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