Arts and Culture

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.

U of I Press

Our Christmas traditions were not always how the holy day was observed in Illinois. In fact Christmas was not much of a celebration until the middle of the 19th century.

GLT's Poetry Radio: 12/17

Dec 17, 2015

GLT's Datebook: 12/18/15

Dec 17, 2015

Pam Binder / Creative Commons

December twenty-first marks the Winter Solstice. It is the shortest day of the year, after which the daylight gradually begins to increase. Bloomington's Unitarian Universalist Church will be marking the event tomorrow evening(Friday December 18) with music and dance. Tonya Keach, one of the event organizers, says Winter Solstice has long been associated with spiritual introspection.

The Unitarian Universalist program begins at 6 p.m. and will include peace dances from various cultures, as well as a performance of ritual gong music based on an ancient healing service.

Every year, Acousticity host Bruce Bergethon keeps a list - of the favorite holiday songs by artists he interviews for the GLT Sunday night program. It's December, and Bruce has checked the list twice, tracked down the songs, and presents this medley of holiday treats, naughty AND nice, for your enjoyment.

Star Wars, The Cultural Force

Dec 15, 2015

Sound Ideas Preview: Star Wars, A Cultural Force

Dec 15, 2015

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. 

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)

Pages