Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

j van cise / Flickr via Creative Commons

Many, many years ago, prairie grasses covered much of the Midwest.  The grasses lost the battle to cultivated crops -- corn, wheat, soybeans.  But now everyday gardeners are trying to bring prairie grass back where it belongs.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Nobel Committee recently named musician Bob Dylan as the winner of this year's prize in literature.

The songwriter and sixties icon is known for his distinctive voice and delivery as much as for his lyrics and activism.

ISU Professor of English Jan Susina is a Dylan fan from way back and thinks this year's prize is a great choice.

Susina joined GLT's Charlie Schlenker to talk about Dylan's work. Susina says he and his tolerant family recently got to geek out on Dylan...

mcfarlandmo / Flickr via Creative Commons

Season seven of The Walking Dead just started, returning a terrifying vision of a zombie apocalypse to the small screen.  It's quite a departure from TV 40 years ago, when the supernatural was often depicted as funny and cute, like on the show, Bewitched.  At least that what it seemed on the surface. 

Kim McCord

Being a rock musician isn't just a young person's game.  An Illinois State University music professor wants to help people of all ages live the rock n' roll dream.

Debroah Carr Senger

A noted local medium and ghost tour guide has just published a book about the lively dead of the Twin Cities.  Deborah Carr Senger is the author of Haunted Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, just available on Arcadia History Press.

Atul Gawande

The end of life is automatically a stressful time for those who are dying and their families. And people in today's society are often more removed from death than those in foregoing generations.

A documentary film about medicine and end of life issues shows Tuesday evening at the ISU Alumni Center. It's called "Being Mortal:,Medicine and What Happens at the End."

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It's rare to find a child prodigy. It's almost unheard of to find a child who excels in two fields. But, Harmony Zhu played a piano recital at Carnegie Hall at the age of seven.

At age eight she was a world age group chess champion. She is the youngest ever winner of the Chopin International Piano competition at age nine. She plays with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra on Saturday.

Creative Commons

Historic Route 66 was not only a highway, it was a pie-way.

Let's hear about food on the mother road. Rob Dirks is a retired food anthropologist at Illinois State University.

Harry Pherson / Flickr via Creative Commons

The mother of all roads is turning 90 this year.  To celebrate nine decades of travel across the wide open spaces of America, Route 66 lovers are converging on the Twin Cities later this week.  The 2nd Annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference is Thursday through Sunday, featuring a variety of speakers, historic tours and more.  

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Witches and ghosts populate the plays of William Shakespeare, so it's natural that they'll be called upon to headline in what's become a new Halloween favorite in the Twin Cities.

John Schattel

Late bloomers can add some delightful color to our yards this time of year.  But a sudden turn in the weather can put the flowers in danger. Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow, said you've got to have your plant in the right space to avoid such problems.

Illinois Symphony Orchestra

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is spending this concert year auditioning potential new Music Directors.

First up is Vladimir Kulenovic.  The Illinois Symphony Orchestra performs tomorrow evening at the BCPA in Bloomington and Saturday night in Springfield.

Xavier Badosa / Creative Commons

Fans of musician Bob Dylan's win of the Nobel prize for literature include several members of the Illinois State University English Department.

Among them is Jan Susina, who says the decision recognizes that song writing can be poetry and is in Dylan's case.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A hometown musician has returned to the Twin Cities to share an extraordinary musical instrument that, despite a series of unfortunate events, he managed to bring back to life.  Last year, GLT's Laura Kennedy produced a story we called 'How Do You Mend A Broken Harp?' It detailed the long road that musician Ted Nichelson took to restore a rare 86-year old Lyon and Healey harp.

White Chapel Press

Today is World Mental Health Day.  It's also the birthday of Rhoda Derry, who was born in 1834 and is the subject of a new biography entitled 44 Years in Darkness:  A True Story of Madness, Tragedy and Shattered Love.   A local author relates the painful tale of the Illinois woman who suffered through decades of mental illness and disfiguring self-abuse while institutionalized.  

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The Normal Editions Workshop  is celebrating 40 years of work.  A professional print research facility located within the School of Art at Illinois State University, the workshop exists to bring students together with visiting artists so that they may collaborate on projects.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After forty years, and Illinois State University graduate and acclaimed artist Wonsook Kim has returned to campus to share her work in a new exhibition, and to lend a hand to the next generation.

BOjangles / Flickr via Creative Commons

Illinois State University Homecoming is October 3 through 9, with A Normal Tradition as the theme for this year's festivities.  

Liz West / Flickr via Creative Commons

Autumn offers many pleasures, from crisp weather to colorful leaves.  But one favorite thing about fall that Patrick Murphy can't get enough of is fall fruits.  There's plenty to enjoy, and now is a wonderful time to get planting.

anax44 / Flickr via Creative Commons

The organizers of a traditional Indian dance festival in the Twin Cities are throwing the doors to the event open wide in order to make this an event for the whole community.  What's more, they're putting a Bollywood spin on the traditional Indian festival dance forms known as Dandiya and Garba.

ISU School of Theatre and Dance

The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance has a diverse collection of plays to run this season, from old favorites to new and exciting works.  The  emphasis this season is on international playwrights.  

Paraclete Press

Adult coloring books have grown into a significant segment within the publishing market, and spirituality book publishers are picking up on the trend.

 Laura McKendree, national marketing representative of Paraclete Press, a spirituality book publisher in Orleans, MA, says doodling with crayons can be a pathway to prayer.

Nina Gordon

The Downtown Bloomington Artists present the second annual Art Scavenger Hunt for grade school children on Friday, Oct. 7 beginning at 5 PM in downtown Bloomington.  As part of the First Friday festivities, the scavenger hunt encourages kids to learn about art in their own community.

Mike Mantin / Flickr via Creative Commons

The pages of children and young adult's literature are strewn with the corpses of many a mother.  A new collection of essays examines the role of the mother in books for young people and finds that moms can be so much more than what is currently portrayed in a lot of popular fiction.

Public Domain

Women are the pivotal characters in a film festival launching Wednesday at the Normal Theater, but that may not necessarily be a good thing. Femme fatales, or fatal females, usually set the plot into motion. 

Easter Seals Central Illinois

The Bloomington Country Club hosts the 22nd Annual Grape Soiree, which raises funds for Easter Seals Central Illinois.  It's Saturday, Sept. 24 beginning at 5:30 PM and features art, wine and jazz.

Ben Smith / Flickr via Creative Commons

The hugely popular Netflix documentary true crime series, Making a Murderer,  just nabbed four Emmy Awards in the nonfiction category.  The much-streamed show tapped into the on-going national fascination with true crime stories, and a local professor's research indicates some interesting reasons for our lust for true crime, especially women's thirst for the stories.

Jeff Dunn / Flickr via Creative Commons

A Grammy award-winning jazz superstar is making an appearance this weekend in central Illinois to give  the second-ever performance of a new work that combines jazz with classical music. The Ramsey Lewis Trio is appearing with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Saturday at 8 PM in the Peoria Civic Center Theater to perform Lewis' Concerto for Jazz Trio and Orchestra.

Autism McLean

The annual Peace, Love, Autism Walk is Saturday, Sept. 17 beginning at 9 AM in Bloomington's Tipton Park.

Terry Presley / Flickr via Creative Commons

We all love a good laugh.  But can that laughter help us in our career? One local career counselor thinks so.  Humor is a great communication tool, said Becky Mentzer , and it creates a great work environment.

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