Laura Kennedy | WGLT

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

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Straight from the deserts of Asia and the Middle East, the leopard gecko has become a popular choice for lizard lovers.  This edition of Animal House looks at why this particular gecko is considered a great starter lizard.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The animal kingdom inspired the latest exhibition at the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

IWU's Wakeley Gallery is currently showing an exhibition of self-portraits revealing the ravages of Alzheimer's disease on an artist who, despite the devastating diagnosis, never stopped creating.

dynamasquito / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Normal Theater is screening a film about a legendary detective that was made almost 100 years ago and, until recently, was thought lost.  Now restored, it takes its place among the huge canon of Sherlock Holmes films that prove the enduring popularity of the fictional detective.  Laura Kennedy chats with ISU professor Jan Susina about the man in the deerstalker hat.

davidd / Flickr via Creative Commons

Ol' Blue Eyes would have been 100 this year.  To celebrate, a local jazz group is hosting a concert in celebration of Sinatra.  Laura Kennedy has more.

Lori L. Stalterl / Flickr via Creative Commons

Warm weather  is gone and you're about to toss those potted ornamentals you've had on your patio all summer long.  Don't.  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, has a better idea.

James Naremore / University of Illinois Press

2015 marks the 100th birthday of legendary filmmaker Orson Welles. In honor of that, the University of Illinois Press has released a third edition of "The Magic World of Orson Welles" by film scholar James Naremore.  Laura Kennedy has more with the author, who says despite the great accomplishment of Citizen Kane, Welles's film may be a victim of its own luminous reputation.

Carrie Schneider

The pure pleasure of sitting down with a good book goes from a private diversion to a public exhibition at the ISU Galleries in Normal.  A new exhibition of works from artist Carrie Schneider is on display, made possible by grant money from the Warhol Foundation.  Laura Kennedy has more.

John Tann / Flickr via Creative Commons

Ornamental grasses lend a unique beauty to the landscape, plus they can give a hint of agricultural practices of years past.  Patrick Murphy has more on this edition of Grow.

din_bastet / Flickr via Creative Commons

Heartland Theater is staging a play by award-winning playwright Lynn Nottage.  "Intimate Apparel" is a work that truly lives up to its name.  Laura Kennedy has more on this edition of the GLT Datebook.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Joe deSousa via Creative Commons

Wonderful spots full of amazing plants surround us -- we just have to slow down and notice them.  Murph has some advice on noteworthy places to find interesting plantings.

Angel Ambrose

Get to know some of the artists in our community with the Annual Art Walk.  Laura Kennedy has more on the GLT Datebook.

Mark Garrett Cooper

  Just seven percent of the films coming out of Hollywood today are helmed by women.  There's no doubt that the film industry is dominated by men, but 100 years ago this was not the case.  Lois Weber, Ruth Ann Baldwin and Twin Cities native Cleo Madison were all successful directors.  Laura Kennedy has more with the author of a book that examines a unique era in film history, and a particular studio that, for a time, did not have a celluloid ceiling.

Photo courtesy Flickr user jimmy brown via Creative Commons

In this edition of Animal House, Laura Kennedy highlights the reasons why puppies and kittens aren't always the way to go when adopting a furry pal.

Sebastian Dooris / Flickr user via Creative Commons

A film that combined corsets and fishnet stockings with Sci-Fi/Horror musical parody celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  Laura Kennedy has more on the phenomenon of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Sylvia Shults

Paranormal author Sylvia Shults discovered a fascinating history of demons in her latest book.

Parker Knight / Flickr via Creative Commons

When you go plant shopping, you've got to keep your eye out for a healthy plant.  But GLT's Grow host Patrick Murphy says you need to watch out for other things, too.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A graphic novel produced by Illinois State University's Publications Unit brings to life the stories of children who have been trafficked along the Thailand-Myanmar border.  "Forget Me Not" was recently part of a presentation at a conference on child rights at the United Nations.  Laura Kennedy has the story.

    

Photo courtesy Flickr user Iain A. Wanless via Creative Commons

 It's hard to care for sick patients when they can't speak, other than to bark or meow.  But add in the danger of possibly getting ripped to shreds or eaten alive and you have a whole new angle to veterinary medicine.  Laura Kennedy has more on this edition of Animal House.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A theatrical work combining dance, singing, drumming and a shocking element of history is coming to the stage of Kemp Recital Hall on the Illinois State University campus.  Laura Kennedy talks with the creator of Walking With My Ancestors.  

Photo courtesy of Flickr user F.D. Richards via Creative Commons

  Neal in Kansas City, Kansas is searching for the perfect conifer for his yard.  The tricky thing is, the soil isn't great and the weather in Kansas City can be brutal.  Grow host Patrick Murphy has some suggestions for just the right tree.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

  A Twin Cities resident turned tragedy to triumph for animals in need.  Laura Kennedy has more on this edition of Animal House.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

  When "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest" debuted on Broadway in 1963 it shocked audiences and critics alike.  Based on a controversial novel by Ken Kesey, the play explores themes of individualism struggling against conformity.  Illinois State University Theater is staging the show, and  Laura Kennedy spoke with the director and lead actor.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

  Homecoming is more than just bonfires and football games these days.  Laura Kennedy talks with Doris Groves from the ISU Alumni Center about what  Illinois State University's Homecoming has to offer the campus and the community.

Dave Tanner

  Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, deals with two questions this week concerning trees that are doing poorly.  First, Kevin in Normal is worried his neighbor's sick trees will infect his own, and Dave in Kansas needs advice about his sickly Ginkgo.

Gangsters & Grifters / Chicago Tribune

Nostalgics, beware! If you're at all sentimental about the past, look away from the current exhibit up at Illinois State University's Milner Library. There's no way to romanticize an era full of guns, gore and gangsters. Laura Kennedy has more about the exhibit, and the book that inspired it.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The perfectly imperfect moments of family life are the focus of a new exhibition at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.  A popular website moves off the internet and into the gallery to provide a place for all of us to celebrate the Awkward Family Photo.  Laura Kennedy has more.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

  People of all spiritual beliefs are welcome at the 8th annual Pagan Pride Day at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bloomington.  Laura Kennedy has more on the GLT Datebook.

Photo: Brandy Hansen

  Brandy in Normal is distraught over her weeping cherry -- there's a strange sap seeping from the trunk!  Does that spell disaster?  Grow host Patrick Murphy has some advice for the gardener.

Photo: Mario Contreras

  A documentary filmmaker  reflects on his roots as an anchor baby and his father's dream that education brings opportunity in the film, "My Father's Knee," which is currently on view at the Jan Brandt Gallery in Bloomington.  Laura Kennedy talked with the filmmaker about his inspiration and goals for the film that takes the American Dream to heart.

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