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Feature Stories Archive

Date Title Producer
1/18/00 Zoo Art: It Lurks Here, Too Tamar Charney
Description
This spring, Grand Rapids will get its own version of the Chicago's attention-grabbing "Cows on Parade," except the animals that will be decorated by artists will be four- foot-tall rabbits -- Grand Rabbits for Grand Rapids -- and they will be at the zoo. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, this high-profile project may call attention to the art that lurks in many zoos. However, one Michigan zoo is doing more with art than using it for decoration. The Detroit Zoo runs what is called the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. It is a gallery and museum about the relationship between man and animal. Its goal is to teach people about how pervasive animals are in our culture and psyche with an eye toward showing the importance of conservation. Tamar Charney takes listeners to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids and the Detroit Zoo for a look at the art that lurks at the zoo.

Interviews
Brenda Stringer - executive director, John Ball Zoo
Ron Kagan - executive director, Detroit Zoological Institute
Gerry Craig - curator, Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, Detroit Zoo
Jane Ballentine - American Aquarium and Zoo Association

1/24/00 Clements: Women in History Tamar Charney
Description
The Clements Library at the University of Michigan contains original American historical documents from the 16th through the mid-20th century -- but there are still untold riches hidden in the archives waiting to be discovered. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton has a look at the Women in History Project at the Clements Library. Librarians are combing the archive reading, cataloguing and making letters, diaries, drawings and other first-person documents about women in history available to the public.

Interviews
John Dann - director, Clements Library
Rachel Onuf - director, Women in History Project, Clements Library

1/24/00 Orchid Pavilion: Rare Chinese Painting Tamar Charney
Description
The common complaint many people have about abstract art is well known. "I don't get it -- what does it mean?" But the "I don't get it" refrain is also heard in response to Chinese painting. A brand new exhibition called the "Orchid Pavillion Gathering" is hoping to change that. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, the University of Michigan has put together an exhibit of its rarely displayed collection of Chinese paintings, complete with explanations and translations geared toward unlocking the mystery of the art form.

Interviews
Marshall Wu - senior curator, Asian art, Univeristy of Michigan Museum of Art

1/31/00 Art Business: It Takes More Than Creating Tamar Charney
Description
The real world life of the artist and the businessperson really aren't that far apart. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney took a look at the business tasks artists spend a good 40 percent of their time doing. She also stops in at a class at Grand Valley State University where students are taught the marketing, packaging and networking skills they'll need to make it in the art world.

Interviews
Brett Budde - Dynamite Gallery Project, Grand Rapids
Jeri Hollister - sculptor, based in Ann Arbor
Shi Hora - art student, Grand Valley State University
Paul Wittenbraker - professor of art, Grand Valley State University

2/4/00 Garden Symphony: Inspired by MSU Gretchen Millich
Description
Many symphonies have been written with specific themes in mind, such as Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony that he called Recollections of Rural Life. Now, a new symphony has been written about the gardens at Michigan State University. Gretchen Millich talks with the composer and performers of the new work.

Interviews
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich - Pulitzer Prize winning composer
Dottie Withrow - patron who commissioned the symphony
Leon Gregorian - Michigan State University School of Music

2/16/00 Take My Picture, Please: Cultural Snapshots Tamar Charney
Description
At home, you probably have picture frames, albums and boxes stuffed full of photographs of yourself and your loved ones. All of these portraits and snapshots tell some sort of story about how you live and what's important to you. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, a new exhibit at the Cranbrook Institute of Science is asking people to take a look at what can and can't be learned about people and cultures from a photograph.

Interviews
Larry Hutchinson - curator of exhibits, Cranbrook Institute of Science

2/24/00 U.P. Life: Ski Jump - A Major Competition at a Historic Jump Tamar Charney
Description
The most that many of us know about ski jumping is the now classic agony of defeat footage from ABC's Wide World of Sports. But to really get a feel for the sport, the Upper Penninsula is the place to go in Michigan. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney has a look at the competitions held at the jump and the long heritage of ski jumping at Iron Mountain.

Interviews
Dale Ward, Kiwanis Ski Club

Description
The Detroit Institute of Arts is trying its hand at creating a blockbuster exhibition. For years, the DIA was struggling financially and couldn't even bring in a blockbuster, much less mount one. The DIA has put together a look at Van Gogh's portraits in conjunction with two other museums. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports.

Interviews
George Keyes - curator of European paintings, Detroit Institute of Arts
Graham Beal - director, Detroit Institute of Arts

3/9/00 Film Kids: Young Filmmakers Project Tamar Charney/Juliette Chiarella
Description
Every year since 1963, the Ann Arbor Film Festival has presented independent and experimental 16 millimeter films from around the world. Included in the festival this year are 24 films by Michigan teenagers. The festival hired a filmmaker from California to travel around to schools teaching 6th -12th graders in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Chelsea how to make their own 16 millimeter films. The Young Filmmakers Project teaches students the echnical skills of film-making along with some more fundamental lessons about communicating ideas to an audience.

Interviews
Alfonso Alvarez - filmmaker and Ann Arbor Film Festival artist-in-residence
Christina Hamilton - managing director, Ann Arbor Film Festival
Claire Mantel - student

3/20/00 Mining for History: Goin' Underground - Part 1 Tamar Charney
Description
The two things Michigan is best known for are the automobile and the Motown sound. But from the mid-1800s until World War II, Michigan had a different claim to fame -- copper. It was found on the Keweenaw Peninsula, the finger-like peninsula that sticks out of the northwest side of the U.P. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney has the first of a three-part look at Michigan's copper industry and the legacy it left behind.

Interviews
Richard Gersch - professor of mining engineering, Michigan Technological University
Larry Lankton - professor of history, Michigan Technological University

3/21/00 Mining for History: Not Your Father's National Park - Part 2 Tamar Charney
Description
From the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, Michigan was famous for its copper mining industry. In the late 1800s, mines on the Keweenaw Peninsula produced 85 percent of United States copper. But when the bottom fell out, the mines - and even whole towns - closed up shop. And nothing more happened. Buildings weren't torn down; they were just abandoned. A new National Park is now using these remains to tell the story of Michigan's copper heritage. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports.

Interviews
Frank Fiala - superintendent, Keweenaw National Historical Park
Ed Yarbourgh - executive director, Quincy Mine Hoist Association

3/22/00 Mining for History: When K-Mart Met Calumet - Part 3 Tamar Charney
Description
The Keweenaw National Historical Park on Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula at the top of the U.P. is working to preserve the remnants and history of Michigan's copper boom. But unlike Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and many other National Parks, the Keweenaw National Historical Park is not a piece of land set aside. Instead, it is park in the midst of a living community, telling its stories about the past as modern life continues forward. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney has a look at how historic preservation and modern development are getting along in the final part of our look at Michigan's copper country.

Interviews
Larry Lankton - professor of history, Michigan Technological University
Paul Lehto - supervisor, Calumet Township

4/21/00 The Mining Team: Historic Competition Tamar Charney
Description
The history of Michigan's mining industry can be seen in ruins and old mines in the Upper Peninsula. But the heritage also shows up in competitions. This weekend a group of Michigan Tech student athletes are off to compete in an international competition that pays tribute to mining. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney explains.

4/21/00 Tamales: Passing on the Tradition Tamar Charney
Description
Every year, the Michigan State University Museum gives out a number of cash awards to traditional artists and craftspeople. They use the money to teach their skills and knowledge to an apprentice. Among the winners this year is a Mexican-American woman in Lansing who is passing along her talent for making tamales, a traditional Mexican dish of spicy meat wrapped in cornmeal. Gretchen Millich has this report.
5/1/00 Bat Mine Tamar Charney
Description
As warm weather moves in, so too do mosquitoes, black flies, and other biting bugs. It may be hard to believe, but the bug situation would be worse if it weren't for researchers lending a helping hand to their natural predators. It's a project that takes advantage of Michigan's old historic mines Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports.

5/15/00 Techno Tamar Charney
Description
Throughout the summer, Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit is home to some of the largest free music festivals in the country. There's country music at the Downtown Hoedown; jazz at what up until this year has been called the Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival; gospel; world music; and more. This summer there's a new festival on the Hart Plaza line up. It celebrates the music Detroit is famous for around the globe. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, worldwide Detroit is known as the birthplace of techno.

Interviews
Carl Craig - artistic director, Electronic Music Festival, and musician
Carol Marvin - executive director, Electronic Music Festival

6/2/00 Lost n Found Opera Tamar Charney

Description
The history of art and music is littered with lost works -- paintings, symphonies and works of literature that no one will ever see, hear or read again. A 1940s opera by jazz and ragtime pianist James P. Johnson and poet Langston Hughes was one of these lost works. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, the lost work has now been found although it isn't quite in one piece yet.

Interviews
James Dapogny - professor of music

6/4/00 Genius Tamar Charney/Amy Clark

Description
The MacArthur Foundation announced its so-called "Genius Grants." One of the recipients is a professor at the University of Michigan. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, Susan Alcock is a professor of classics and archeology who is studying ancient Greece without digging.

Interviews
Susan Alcock - professor of archeology and classics, University of Michigan

6/7/00 Operation Religion Tamar Charney/Amy Clark

Description
Musicians, comedians, athletes, clergy members and volunteers will be paying a call on prisons across the state. It's called Operation Starting Line, and it is an evangelical program that will visit every prison in the United States during the next five years. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, Michigan is the second state to get the program.

Interviews
Thomas C. Pratt - president of Prison Fellowship Ministries
Randall Wilson - legal director of Iowa Civil Liberties Union
Matt Davis - spokesperson for Michigan Department of Corrections

6/21/00 Hi Tech Teaching Tamar Charney/Amy Clark

Description
In recent years there's been a big push to get computers into schools and classrooms. This past weekend education experts met at the University of Michigan to talk about how those computers should actually be used to transmit knowledge once they find their way to the classroom. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports.

Interviews
Linda Roberts - director of educational technology, U.S. Department of Education
Barry Fishman - professor of learning technology, University of Michigan
Juanita Clay Chambers - associate superintendent, Educational Services, Detroit Public Schools
Nora Sabelli - senior program director, The National Science Foundation

6/23/00 Ancestors' Clothesline Frida Waara

Description
We all have traditions for celebrating our heritage, but one woman in the Upper Peninsula is helping people celebrate their heritage by putting ancestors on the line ... a clothesline, to be specific. As reporter Frida Waara explains, clotheslines festooned with photographs, letters and other mementos are being strung to celebrate many Michigan residents' Finnish heritage.

Interviews
Mary Wright - installation artist
Beth Linna - Marquette resident Hans Linna - 13-year-old Marquette resident

7/3/00 Mailboat: Ties to Shorelife Tamar Charney

Description
For many of us, postcards and letters are still a way we keep in touch with friends and family when we're on vacation or traveling. But if you are constantly in transit -- if your job is, for instance, on a Great Lakes freighter -- how do you get your letters, your magazines or even your bills? You're not near a mail box. You're stuck day and night aboard your ship. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney has the answer in an audio postcard from the Detroit River.

Interviews
• Sam Buchanan - captain, J.W. Wescott II
• Jim Hogan - vice president and great-great-grandson of founder of J.W. Wescott Co.

7/3/00 Suess: Green Eggs and Grand Rapids Matt Shafer Powell

Description
The Grand Rapids Children's Museum has come alive in a tribute to one of the world's most famous doctors -- Doctor Seuss. Michigan Radio's Matt Shafer Powell reports.

Interviews
• Theresa Thome - executive director, Public Museum of Grand Rapids
• Diane Sevald - teacher, McFall Elementary
• Bill Rich - principal, McFall Elementary
• Sharon Green - parent
• Darren Hosmer - parent
• Various children at exhibit

7/7/00 Arta Fundi: A Fundraising Sculpture Tamar Charney/Amy Clark

Description
For years, one of the biggest challenges facing the arts has been money. Arts organizations are constantly fundraising, and artists are constantly trying to figure out how to make ends meet. One artist has decided to turn over fundraising duties to his art. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney explains, Detroit area artist Jim Pallas dreamed up the idea of a cajoling fundraising computerized sculpture named Arta Fundi.

Interviews
• Jim Pallas - artist

7/7/00 Rural Arts: A Forum Tamar Charney

Description
Leaders of arts and cultural organizations from Midwestern rural communities got together during July on Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. As Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports, they discussed rural arts issues.

Interviews
• Bill Ivey - chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
• Cynthia Cote - director of Community Arts Center, Hancock
• Carol Thompson - program director, Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies

7/21/00 Dr. Beaumont: Weird History Michelle Corum

Description
For many people in the state, the name Beaumont brings to mind the story of Dr. William Beaumont a frontier military doctor whose medical experiments are memorable. In fact, it is probably one of the oddest tales of Mackinac history. Now, Mackinac State Historic Parks hopes that a revamped exhibit helps the public "digest" the story better. Michelle Corum of Interlochen Public Radio reports from Mackinac Island.

Interviews
• Stephanie Kaskey - interpreter, Mackinac State Historic Park
• Phil Porter - curator, Mackinac State Historic Park Various exhibit visitors

7/17/00 Condom Man: A Creative Approach Mike Perini

Description
We hear a lot about HIV and AIDS. But in spite of the large amount of information, people are still getting infected. An outreach group in Ypsilanti has been using a fresh and creative approach to try to educate people about AIDS prevention. Michigan Radio's Mike Perini explains a play inspired a comic strip superhero named Condom Man to come to the rescue.

Interviews
• Dan Burns - outreach worker, HARC
• Gregory Button - professor, University of Michigan School of Public Health

7/24/00 State of the State's Libraries 1: Card Catalogues to Coffee Shops Tamar Charney

Description
The last decade has been a difficult one for libraries. They've struggled to computerize and keep pace with changing demands. And many of Michigan's largest libraries have had to reinvent themselves - changing both the way they are managed and the way they are funded. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney begins the first of a three-part look at the state of the state's libraries.

Interviews
• Sarah Stewart - writer
• Brian Stoutenberg - director, Troy Public Library
• Tom Genson - president, Michigan Library Association

7/25/00 State of the State's Libraries 2: End of the School Library Tamar Charney

Description
Over the past decade, libraries have been changing. Card catalogues have made way for computers. And many reference books aren't books anymore -- they're software. People still go to libraries for books; however, they also go to the library to use the internet and computerized research tools. But many of Michigan's larger libraries have had to reinvent their management and finances as well as their collections. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney has the second of our three-part look at the state of the state's libraries.

Interviews
• Martha Ferriby - director, Muskegon's Hackley Public Library
• Cynthia Faulhaber - attorney, Miller Canfield and Paddock
• Gloria Coles - director, Flint Public Library

7/26/00 State of the State's Libraries 3: Struggling in an Age of Wealth Tamar Charney

Description
Over the last decade or so, libraries across the state have been struggling to computerize, keep pace with changing demands, and repair aging buildings. And school finance reform meant many of Michigan's large school libraries had to reinvent themselves ... changing both the way they are managed and the way they are funded. In the final part of our look at the state of the states libraries, Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports that the state of a library all comes down to one thing...money.

Interviews
• Tom Genson - president, Michigan Library Association
• Cynthia Faulhaber - attorney, Miller Canfield and Paddock
• Saul Amdursky - director, Kalamazoo Public Library
• Joan Durrance - professor, University of Michigan School of Information

8/11/00 Wild Yards: Native Plant Design Tamar Charney

Description
A national conference held this year in Michigan is trying to plant the idea that everybody's yard doesn't have to be a lawn with formal garden beds full of exotic species. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney has a look at a different type of garden aesthetic.

Interviews
• Bob Grese - director, University of Michigan Arboretum, and professor of landscape architecture
• Trish Beckjord - president, Ann Arbor Chapter - Wild Ones
• Brett Rappaport - national president, Wild Ones

8/11/00 Steppin' In It Gretchen Millich

Description
The National Folk Festival features performing artists from all over the country and a few from Michigan. A Lansing-area band called "Steppin' In It" isn't officially in the folk festival, but they will be taking their music to the streets this weekend to make sure festival-goers hear their sound. Gretchen Millich reports.

Interviews
• Dominic Suita - "Steppin' In It" bass player
• Josh Davis - "Steppin' In It" lead singer

8/11/00 Los Bandits: Tex-Mex, Michigan-Style Gretchen Millich

Description
Los Bandits is a band from Kalamazoo that plays Tex-Mex music, Michigan-style. Band members Renee Meave and Guillermo Martinez both came to Michigan as migrant workers. Many of their songs deal with the plight of migrant farm workers.

Interviews
• Renee Meave - Los Bandits
• Guillermo Martinez - Los Bandits

8/25/00 Jazz for Thought Tamar Charney

Description
From time to time, many musicians are invited to perform in school auditoriums for kids. Often the performances are more than concerts; they are a chance for a little music education. But one Michigan band is teaching about more than just music.

Interviews
• Jeff Haas - pianist
• Student - Thurgood Marshall Elementary School

8/25/00 Tall Ships Matt Shafer Powell

Description
A flotilla of six historic "tall ships" have paid a visit to South Haven. Matt Shafer Powell has a look at the romance and appeal of the sea, ship and sail.

Interviews
• Barbara Kreuzer - executive director, South Haven's Michigan Maritime Museum
• Capt. Daniel Moreland - skipper of the Picton Castle
• Larry King - director, Greater South Haven Chamber of Commerce

9/8/00 Plants and Sculpture: A New Museum? Tamar Charney

Description
If you want to see plants, you go to a garden, and if you want to see sculpture, you go to a museum. The Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids has been known as the place to see plants in Michigan. It's home to the largest indoor conservatory in the state. Now the Meijer Gardens also wants to become the place to go to see sculpture. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports.

Interviews
• Joseph Becherer - Ssculpture curator, Frederik Meijer Gardens
• Frederik Meijer - patron and namesake, Frederik Meijer Gardens
• Erika Doss - professor, University of Colorado-Boulder, and National Museum of Art Fellow

9/8/00 One Room: U.P. Life 2000 Frida Waara

Description
While some students return to overcrowded classrooms numbering 30 students or more, reporter Frida Waara found a place in the Upper Peninsula where the public school is a one-room schoolhouse with seven students and one teacher. It's a public school maintained by a community committed to educating its own kids instead of putting them on a bus to the closest big school - an hour and 45 minutes away. A look at modern education in an old-fashioned setting.

Interviews
• Diane Trudgeon - K-6 teacher, Copper Harbor Public School
• Medora Stevens - 2nd grader, Copper Harbor Public School
• Joey Jedlicka - 6th grader, Copper Harbor Public School

9/14/00 Videoculture: Video Art Tamar Charney

Description
Video technology has brought us television news, MTV, wedding videos and even reality TV. It has also spawned art. This month, an exhibition at 11institutions in the metro-Detroit and Windsor area is surveying three decades of video art and video culture. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports.

Interviews
• Irene Hoffman - curator of exhibitions, Cranbrook Museum of Art
• Jermey Rigsby - program coordinator, Artcite & House of Toast
• Chris Doyle - artist

9/28/00 Lighthouse: Future of the Past Tamar Charney

Description
Lighthouses used to be the road signs of the transportation system back when goods and people were moved by waterways instead of highways. But as the Industrial Age gave way to the Information Age, the importance of lighthouses has dimmed. Now the U.S. Coast Guard has to figure out a way to preserve the structures it no longer needs. Michigan Radio's Tamar Charney reports.

Interviews
• David Gilroy - owner, David's Harborside
• Eric Hoerneman - Aids to Navigation, U.S. Coast Guard
• Chuck Clark - Benzie County administrator
• Dick Moehl - Great Lake Lighthouse Keepers Association

9/28/00 Archaeology: Digging for Roads Matt Shafer Powell

Description
Before bulldozers move a single mound of dirt, various groups are consulted, and their arguments are taken into consideration when the state decides to build a road. As a result, a highway construction crew contains much more than equipment operators. There are attorneys, horticulturists and zoologists. Michigan Radio's Matt Shafer Powell has the story on another profession you may not expect to see at a highway construction site.

Interviews
• Dave Ruggers - archaeologist, Michigan Department of Transportation
• Dean Anderson - archaeologist, State of Michigan
• Sharon Detz - Grand River Band of Ottawas

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