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

Mark Gray / Flickr via Creative Commons

The 88th Academy Awards is coming up next week. There'll be celebrities in designer duds, splashy production numbers...and, once again this year, there'll be controversy.  ISU's Shari Zeck analyzes the Academy's issues with race, and speculates on who might take home an Oscar this year.

* Shari Zeck says The Academy is just a big club and that its demographics stack the odds against minorities getting nominated for the Oscar.

*The Oscar telecast is the granddaddy of all award shows and has a higher measure of glamor than any other award show.

Maja Dumat / Flickr via Creative Commons

A troubling problem among animal rescue groups is challenging them to overcome a particular prejudice that can have deadly consequences for animals up for adoption. Learn more in our regular series, Animal House.

Spyropk / Wikimedia Commons

The American Red Cross is calling upon a man of action to help them with their Evening of Stars fundraiser:  Captain "Sully" Sullenberger. Laura Kennedy has more in this GLT Datebook.

Peter O'Connor / Flickr via Creative Commons

There's no doubt that logs are utilitarian, but they can also add an artistic touch to your yard.  Patrick Murphy explores the artistic side of logs.

*Using logs as art is a great way to use the whole tree.  

*Some of the best trees to use for log art include oaks, sugar maple and other hard wood trees.  

*Another thing to look for are logs with interesting bark, like birch and pecan.  

*Let the log dry out first, then shellac to preserve it.

*Try making tomato racks out of bamboo canes.

A Genius Divided

Feb 12, 2016
Walter Rimler / Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts

A new biography of George Gershwin highlights the life of one the most important figures in American music.  Author Walter Rimler's book reveals a man torn between two worlds of music.

Jeff Golden / Flickr via Creative Commons

Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches. The Illinois State University School of Theater is getting into the spirit of things with a new production of  Shakespeare's  Romeo and Juliet.  Not only is it one of The Bard's most popular plays, it's also delightfully quotable, as director Kevin Rich explains.

Luke Wellman / Soundsations-Photos

Alex Wellman recently earned a silver medal in the intermediate men's level at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota.  As a member of the Central Illinois Figure Skating Club, Wellman began his career just a handful of years ago and is already achieving great success.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Illinois State University celebrates the work of its own with an exhibition at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal.  Check out the slide show of works featured on this episode of the GLT Datebook.

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.

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