Laura Kennedy

Features Reporter/All Things Considered Host

Reporter, content producer and All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. Presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.

Astonishingly pale and a tad goth, Kennedy tends to sizzle if left in the sun too long.

In her spare time Kennedy nurtures her worrisome passion for cashmere, plays zither in her imaginary garage band, Dowager Hump, and sits slack-jawed in front of the television watching Turner Classic Movies.

Ways to Connect

Kate Fries / Flickr via Creative Commons

What important role did the Empress Josephine have in the history of rose culture?  Before you hand over a bouquet of roses to your loved one this Valentine's Day, let Murph fill you in on the fun details, plus the particular needs of this most popular of flowers.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

You know that old chair or rusty lawnmower by the side of the road that you  passed by?  Well, you may have missed the potential that artist Doug DeWitt thrives on.  DeWitt uses found objects to create original sculptural compositions, and his work is currently on display at the McLean County Arts Center.

minntz / Flickr via Creative Commons

You want your home to be a comfortable, welcoming place.  Well, it can be hard to achieve that if the place reeks of cat pee...or dog poo...or barf.  But don't despair -- there's plenty you can do about it!

Joe King / Flickr via Creative Commons

Polish up that bowling ball to aid a local nonprofit organization that helps folks of all ages who have developmental disabilities!

Liz West / Flickr via Creative Commons

Larry in Shirley, IL needs advice on when he should trim his apple trees, and Murph is ready with a time table.

  

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Time, light and nature figure prominently in Melanie Scott-Dockery's work.  The artist is showing an exhibition entitled "Then and Now" at the Joe McCauley Art Gallery at Heartland Community College.  Though her work is continually evolving, Scott-Dockery relies on one constant:   the ever-changing landscape in her own yard.

Ann Rosenquist Fee

A new stage show depicts the disintegration of a musical marriage.  Terri Ryburn is co-producing the live show, as well as filming it for the silver screen.

Sonny Abesamis / Flickr via Creative Commons

You can be the ruler of your own little world by creating a terrarium.  And according to Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, it's easy to create.

Joel Gillman / Flickr via Creative Commons

Admit it.  You like to do it.  Probably more than you should. And why not?  Increasingly, viewers are taking greater control of their entertainment consumption and indulging in binge watching.

Rhona-Mae Arca / Flickr via Creative Commons

One of the most common ailments our pets can suffer from is arthritis.  When our furry friends are in pain, it's tempting to just rush right in with pills to deal with it.  But there are other solutions at hand that don't come with the possible side effects of drugs.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Amy Wolfe, an art teacher from District 87, hopes to inspire her students by inviting a special guest to the school.   

Larry Smith / Flickr via Creative Commons

Ice -- great for cocktails, bad for plants.  When an ice storm hits, it can tear apart trees, especially when it teams up with wind.   Patrick Murphy talks damage control on this edition of GLT's Grow.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History is peering through the years of central Illinois history to spotlight the stories of the wide variety of people who came to call McLean County home.  This new exhibit is the first in a series of five that will eventually make up the permanent exhibit called "Challenges, Choices and Change:  The People of McLean County."

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Merwin Gallery at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington has been transformed into a space that invites exploration.  As the artist describes, it's an installation that truly comes to life when gallery visitors immerse themselves in the 'Den.'

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Fact and fiction mingle in the latest show from Community Players. The theater troupe is staging a searing drama that's based on a dark time in American history that's still relevant today.

Selena N.B.H. / Flickr via Creative Commons

Bigger is not necessarily better in the garden.  Shrinking your gardening ambitions down to size can be a charming alternative for those short on space or time.  Patrick Murphy and Laura Kennedy welcome a special guest to the studio to learn about miniature gardening.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr via Creative Commons

Cats are natural acrobats, capable of graceful leaps and landings all over the house.  But there's one place many cat owners consider off limits to their feline's gymnastics.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Usually, there's no parking allowed inside the galleries of the Peoria Riverfront Museum.  But an exception has been made for an exhibition featuring a unique Ford Model T that took a gaggle of central Illinois women on adventures across North America.  The girls met movie stars, charmed a titan of industry and became a depression-era viral sensation.

Claire Hedden / McLean County Arts Center

The McLean County Arts Center is spotlighting selections from its permanent collection in a new show opening soon.  Laura Kennedy has more in this edition of the GLT Datebook.

H. Michael Miley / Flickr via Creative Commons

There's just so much binge watching you can do every winter.  So Grow host Patrick Murphy says get up off the sofa and venture out to see some amazing gardens near you.

Mike Disfarmer

The work of an eccentric artistic visionary is currently on view at Illinois State University's Milner Library, featuring an unblinking look at the faces of rural America. In this GLT Datebook, Laura Kennedy talks with Illinois State University Art History Associate Professor Melissa Johnson.

Matthias Ripp / Flickr via Creative Commons

In the world of gardening, the sun gets all the credit. But while the moon can't help your plants grow, it can inspire you to plant a garden that takes advantage of its celestial beauty.  Grow host Patrick Murphy has some advice on getting started on moonlight gardening.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Watching fish swimming in an aquarium is relaxing and stress relieving, so much so that it can lower your blood pressure. But inside the tank, if there isn't harmony between the finned residents, there can be an abundance of stress.  Put the wrong fish together and  bullying -- or worse -- could be the result.  But careful selection and understanding of the needs of fish can result in compatibility. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Winter is underway, and through these dark, chilly days it's only natural to think longingly of summer.  That's the season that's very much on the minds of the organizers of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.  They've just announced their plans for the 2016 season, and it includes having a dame play the Dane.  Artistic director Kevin Rich talks about the decision to cast a woman to play Hamlet.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A Twin Cities author is celebrating the publication of her first novel, Badfish.  And it's a feat made that much sweeter by the independent path she followed.

Paul Pitman / Flickr via Creative Commons

If you're still searching for a lovely gift for the gardener in your life, Grow host Patrick Murphy has a list of suggestions you should check out.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The latest chapter in the Star Wars saga is set to open Friday with anticipated huge ticket sales and monster merchandising.  But all the fuss surrounding "The Force Awakens" actually started in 1977 with the release of the first Star Wars film.  Shari Zeck, from ISU's College of Fine Arts, talks with GLT's Laura Kennedy about how the movie came to be such a cultural phenomenon. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

When kids visit Santa's Station in Uptown Normal this holiday season, they'll find more diversity.

Dennis Hill / Flickr via Creative Commons

What's in a name?  Well, plenty, if it's a storm.  Grow host Patrick Murphy is naming names of weather systems and looks into why dubbing storms fascinates us.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Midwest Institute of Opera  helps young people appreciate and perform music.  But as founders John and Tracy Koch have discovered, the kids have a lot to teach them, too.  

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