Arts & Culture

Lost River Sessions

This month's Lost River Sessions radio show features JD Wilkes in a set recorded at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green.  In the second half of the show, Lucette performs at Hidden Homestead in Smith's Grove, Kentucky. 

As a bonus, we have a brief  feature spotlighting Dom Flemons in an interview conducted in Louisville earlier in 2016. 

Kenneth Hayden

Some state cultural leaders are concerned that a Kentucky arts agency restructured by Gov. Matt Bevin on Friday will prioritize commercial over creative value in the arts, diminishing their overall impact in the commonwealth.

The Kentucky Arts Council is designed to generate value for, participation in and benefit from the arts. Funding for the agency — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year — is provided by the General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

As the state partner of the NEA, the council receives matching funds from the organization to distribute within Kentucky. This year, arts groups such as Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Louisville Orchestra and Stage One received funding from the council. It also distributes funds to individual artists.

On Friday, Bevin dismissed all but four of its members and reduced the size of the council from 16 to 15 people. He also accepted the resignation of executive director Lori Meadows, although sources say she was pushed out.

In a news release, Secretary of the Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage Don Parkinson wrote: “The new arts council will focus on ensuring that Kentucky artisans have the skills and knowledge to develop and successfully sell their products.”

Stacey Biggs

Our third Lost River Sessions LIVE! concert at the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green Nov. 17th also marked, to the best of our knowledge, the first live radio broadcast from the historic theater. It featured stellar performances from The Pennyrilers and Billy Strings. 

Southern Kentucky Film Commission

The cameras are rolling in Hart County for a Hallmark Channel movie that’s expected to wrap-up filming on Nov. 19.  Local officials are hoping the movie signals a long and profitable relationship with the film industry.

The film called “An Uncommon Grace” is about a military nurse falling in love with an Amish man.

Hart County Judge-Executive Terry Martin hopes it’s just the beginning of the region’s focus on a new segment in economic development. Martin says when filming began in October, it was the spark that led the county fiscal court to create the Southern Kentucky Film Commission. He says the benefits are obvious.

“This film right here, being a small-budget film, like one-and-a-half-million-dollars compared to the big budget films, they’re still spending around a half-million-dollars in six weeks in Hart and surrounding counties.”

Lost River Sessions

Eva Ross performs in the chapel at Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green in this month's episode of Lost River Sessions on the radio.  Ross is a native of Taylor Mill, Kentucky. Also this month, we hear from father-son guitar duo Eddie & Alonzo Pennington. Their set was recorded at the Pioneer Cabin at WKU. 

Longtime TV Host Bill Goodman Leaving KET

Nov 2, 2016
KET

The Kentucky Humanities Council has named longtime television host Bill Goodman its new executive director.

Goodman has served as host and managing editor of the public affairs series "Kentucky Tonight" on Kentucky Educational Television since 1996. He also has anchored the network's election night coverage and hosted the KET interview show "One to One with Bill Goodman."

The Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. is a non-profit affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Goodman says he will work to "support the history, heritage and cultural environment in the Commonwealth" in his new job. He starts Jan. 1.

Goodman replaces former executive director Ben Chandler, who left the position on Aug. 31.

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

An announcement this week from the Oxford University Press landed like a bombshell in the laps of Shakespeare fans and scholars.

The prestigious publisher revealed that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit the 16th century British poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays.

There have long been debates and controversy over whether the many plays, sonnets and other works attributed to Shakespeare were, in fact, written by him. The decision by Oxford University Press will likely further stoke the discussion.

WKU Public Radio spoke with Western Kentucky University English Professor and Shakespeare scholar Gillian Knoll about her reaction to the decision to credit Marlowe as co-author of the Henry VI plays.

Orchestra Kentucky

Orchestra Kentucky has hired a full-time executive director for the first time in 16 years.  Scott Watkins was introduced during a news conference Monday at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center in Bowling Green. 

Watkins credits the local orchestra with re-inventing classical music.

"In a day and age when you're losing a lot of classical music lovers, we're trying to reinvigorate and bring new people to orchestra," Watkins told WKU Public Radio.  "We bring in new ideas, new shows and new programming, which is something this orchestra does very well already."

Watkins comes to Bowling Green from El Dorado, Arkansas where he headed the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Before that, he managed the Dallas Symphony and served in leadership roles at Symphony Arlington, Corpus Christi Symphony, and the Las Colinas Symphony.

He says he’d like to continue efforts to introduce a new breed of classical music to the public while also increasing the budget and audience for Orchestra Kentucky. 

Watkins replaces Darrell Edwards who retired in August.

Lost River Sessions

Singer/songwriter Tim Easton plays the Crocker Farm Winery on this month's Lost River Sessions radio broadcast. Originally from Akron, Ohio, Easton traveled around Europe for seven years honing his craft. He now lives in Nashville. 

In the second half of the show, Harpeth Rising performs.  The group is made up of Maria Di Meglio on cello, Michelle Younger on banjo and Jordana Greenberg on violin. Their performance was recorded at the Kentucky Museum on the campus of WKU. 

Institute of Southern Jewish Life

A synagogue in Owensboro, Kentucky is preparing to hold services for the High Holy Days that begin at sundown on Oct. 2. 

The synagogue was built in 1877 by 13 founding families. There are currently seven member families, as well as a few non-members who participate.

The effort to keep the synagogue functioning is led by two Jewish members who open the doors for a Friday evening study session. Through those open doors have come several non-Jews drawn to the Jewish teachings.

“Come let us welcome the Sabbath. May its radiance illumine our hearts as we kindle these tapers,” said synagogue President Sandy Bugay, as she recently lit the candles that mark that start of the Jewish Sabbath that begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday.

Bugay led the Hebrew blessing for the half-dozen people gathered around a table in a meeting room at the synagogue:

Naomi McCulloch

J.D. Vance's memoir of growing up poor in Appalachia, both in Kentucky and Ohio, Hillbilly Elegy, has been on the New York Times best-seller list since it came out early this summer.

It's the story of his life, but also the story of white, working-class "hillbillies"--people he describes as having a very deep affiliation with Appalachia and the communities that make up the region.

Vance says the "elegy" in the book's title doesn't imply the death of the culture but it shows a "sad reflection" of parts of the area. "It's important to note it's not what's going on in every part of hillbilly country," he says. "There are some good things along with the bad. But there are some very significant problems."

Vance admittedly had a lot of things work out for him. He joined the Marines right out of high school, graduated from Ohio State University right after that and then onto Yale Law School. "This isn't a 'boot-strap' story about how one kid through grit and determination and brain power made it," he says. "It's more a story of how one kid got really lucky. People feel pretty kicked and down in this part of the world, the world has been tough in this area."

Bowling Green International Festival

Downtown Bowling Green will be a showcase for more than 50 international cultures this weekend.

The 27th annual Bowling Green International Festival is being held Saturday at Circus Square Park.

The event will feature information booths, musical performances, and food from more than 50 cultures. Festival board member Hannah Barahona says it’s a showcase for the many refugee and immigrant communities in Bowling Green.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to come learn about other cultures, and experience new things and new foods, and new music. But at the same time, we’re really unique in that we offer the international community here in Bowling Green an opportunity to showcase and share the things that are most special from their cultures.”

Barahona says the event has seen major growth since she started volunteering eight years ago.

Cheryl Beckley

The Carmonas, Misty Mountain String Band and Dead Broke Barons performed at the first Lost River Sessions Live! concert Thursday night at the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green. LRS Live! is a new monthly concert series presented by WKU Public Broadcasting. 

Between sets, emcee Barbara Deeb was joined on stage for Q&As with some of the musicians and Lost River Sessions TV producer Darius Barati. 

The next show is set for Oct. 27 and artists will be announced soon. 

 

Bellarmine University

This week, Bellarmine University posted a short clip on Facebook in which a man in a dark charcoal suit leads Mother Teresa to a table covered in a tangle of wires and microphones. She sits facing a room full of people, cameras flashing.

It’s 1982. At the invitation of the university’s president, Eugene Petrik, Mother Teresa had agreed to visit the campus and speak. The video captures a short news conference for local journalists. When asked if she had any statements, Mother Teresa said this:

“God has given you a very beautiful gift, having a chance to proclaim the good news. Make a strong resolution in your life that you will always write something beautiful, something that will always lift the hearts of the people, something that will help them to love one another as God loves them.”

On Sept. 4, Mother Teresa will be canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. She led a life of service — and along the way it turns out that she had an unlikely Kentucky pen pal with whom she practiced what she preached to that group of Louisville journalists.

This month's Lost River Sessions features The Howlin' Brothers, a Nashville trio featuring a mix of bluegrass and blues.  The Howlin Brothers are made up of Ian Craft, JT Huskey and Jared Green.  Their performance was recorded at The Arling in Franklin, Ky. 

In the second half of our show, singer-songwriter Mark Whitley.  His full-time gig is making furniture, but he also sings, plays the guitar and the harmonica.  His concert was recorded at the Brickyard Cafe in Franklin. 

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