Arts and Culture

Orbis Books

For years, Tom Roberts edited Joan Chittister's columns for National Catholic Reporter. The two were friends and he says he thought he knew the Benedictine sister and spirituality writer well. That was before he began a series of lengthy and intense interviews with Chittister. Roberts' new biography plows some old ground, like Chittister's famous showdown with the Vatican over her support of women's ordination; her work on global human rights; her many books on monastic wisdom for contemporary readers, as well as her years as prioress of her monastery after the Vatican II reforms.

Courtesy of Benetvision

Joan Chittister, a Catholic sister and member of the Benedictine  monastic order, is considered one of the foremost spirituality authors of our time. She has written more than 50 books. Her latest book is about the men and women in the early church who retreated to the desert to seek God with an undivided heart. Chittister says the sayings handed down from them still resonate with people today.

Joan Chittister is a member of Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, PA. Her new book is "In God's Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics."

Lucia Getsi: Vanishing Point, read by Lucia Getsi. Music by Walter Parks and Amy Platt (Walt's for Tara from Oasis Instrumentals 3)

Solitude 12/15/15

Dec 11, 2015

Duke Ellington and Irving Mills: Solitude, read by Pearl Cleage. Music by Jethro Burns (Solitude from Swing Low, Sweet Mandolin)

Susan Bright: The Art of Pie, read by Claudia Schmidt. Music by Red Garland with the Miles Davis Quintet (Billy Boy from Milestones)

Poetry Radio: Afro Prairie

Dec 10, 2015

Black Santa Flies In 49 Years Later

Dec 10, 2015

Black Santa Flies Into Town 49 Years Later

Dec 10, 2015

Judith Valente

It took 49 years, but Normal's holiday festivities this December will include the town's first official African American Santas. In 1966, NAACP activist Merlin Kennedy tried to ride a float in Bloomington's Christmas parade dressed as Santa. He was threatened with arrest. At age 89, Kennedy is getting a chance to rewrite that story's ending.

History and Christmas Meet at Ewing Manor

Dec 9, 2015

A Very Ewing Christmas

Dec 9, 2015
Toni Tucker / ISU Ewing Cultural Center

This weekend is your chance to experience what Christmas was like at Ewing Manor in Bloomington, including a chance to see the type of car Hazel Buck Ewing prefered. WGLT's Jim Browne talks with Toni Tucker about what's planned at the Ewing Cultural Center on Towanda at Emerson in Bloomington.

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.  

Vandalized Menorah Replaced

Dec 8, 2015

A large menorah knocked over earlier this year outside a University of Illinois Jewish center has been repaired and rededicated. The center candle of the menorah at the university's Chabad Center was lit Monday by center director Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel and interim university Chancellor Barbara Wilson. A group of students lit two other candles, and many in the crowd of 150 people sang songs as they marked the second night of Hanukkah. Tiechtel says his community's faith has grown stronger following the Aug. 19 vandalism.

Exit 167

A local band that's found success combining elements of Indian and American music is staging a concert in the Twin Cities this weekend.  With Exit 167, the musical accent is unique and hard won.

Cecil Giscombe: Afroprairie, read by Cecil Giscombe. Music by Oran Etkin (It Don't Mean a Thing from Kelenia)

Emily Dickinson: Safe in Their Alabaster Chambers (1859 and 1861 versions), read by Robert Sutherland. Music by Lena Willemark and Ale Moller (Hornlat from Nordan)

John Firefly: Acousticity, read by John Firefly. Music by Mike Compton (Honky Tonk Swing from Climbing the Walls)

Bill Morgan: My Father's Cigarettes, read by Bill Morgan. Music by Joe Myers (Sunrise from Troubled Notes from the Hotel Chelsea)

Hear 14 of Bruce Bergethon's favorite poems from Poetry Radio's 23 year history on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays during December, plus 9 bonus poems.

During its 23 years on GLT, Poetry Radio has encompassed a wide variety of interpretations, from local poets and readers to internationally-acclaimed authors. In this last month of broadcasts, I've chosen some of my favorite episodes, including former Senator Paul Simon and songwriter Claudia Schmidt, plus works by each of the four ISU poets who co-hosted the program. But there's so much more in the archives, as the nine poems below display. As producer, Poetry Radio has always been a labor of love and learning for me, and I hope it's expanded your horizons, too.

A Fond Farewell to GLT's Poetry Radio

Dec 3, 2015

Curt White

Social critic Curt White has a new argument...and a new book. The retired ISU scholar talks with GLT's Charlie Schlenker about "We Robots: Staying Human In The Age Of Big Data." White usually falls into a topic because he has a strong reaction to someone else's work. This is no exception.

Walt Whitman: I Hear America Singing, read by IL Senator Paul Simon (1928-2003). Music of Charles Ives, "Variations on America," performed by the US Coast Guard Band.

Redolence 11/29/15

Dec 1, 2015

Aaron Anstett: Redolence, read by Aaron Anstett. Music by Mike Marshall (Gator Strut from Gator Strut)

ISU Galleries Mark World Aids Day

Nov 30, 2015
Elizabeth Hess / ISU Galleries

It was during the early 1990's that Illinois State University found itself the focus of the nations culture wars. David Wojnarowicz had a display at the University Galleries that depicted the apathy he perceived as AIDS continued to spread. Barry Blinderman is the Director of the Galleries. He says he wasn't prepared for the outcry against the artist's work.

Obama Library Position Hired

Nov 23, 2015

The Obama Foundation has hired a native Chicagoan and former aide to President Barack Obama for a key role in the development of his presidential library and museum. It says Michael Strautmanis will become its vice president of civic engagement in January. He's currently vice president for corporate citizenship at the Walt Disney Co.  

Strautmanis will be in charge of developing and leading outreach efforts and civic engagement for the Obama Foundation. He served in a number of engagement positions with Obama during the president's first term.

Compass Records

Alison Brown is the CEO of Compass Records. She's also a mom, an MBA and a musician. GLT's Bruce Bergethon spoke with the woman who's working to redefine her instrument of choice.

Ewa Chrusciel: I Buy a Sausage At the Airport, read by Ewa Chrusciel. Music by Lac La Belle (Lions of the West from A Friend Too Long)

Pages