Arts & Culture

The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center is joining a national charitable giving movement known as #Giving Tuesday.  The campaign capitalizes on the spirit of generosity during the holiday season. 

An anonymous donor is pledging to match up to $50,000 during the campaign for a total of $100,000.  Executive Director Jan Allan Zarr says the donations will be used to fund SKyPAC’s performances, galleries, and educational programs.

"Once of the things people don't understand is that SKyPac is a non-profit organization," Zarr told WKU Public Radio.  "We're not making profits on everything we produce, whether it's a show or the children's educational programs.  We rely a lot on those contributed funds that come in to help us."

When asked if SKyPAC is in financial trouble, Zarr said 'no', but acknowledged what he called bumps in the road, including the recent loss of Kentucky Stages.  Zarr said he hopes the loss in revenue can be made up through the #GivingTuesday campaign while SKyPAC looks for another resident company.

SKyPAC's #Giving Tuesday campaign begins December 2 and runs through New Year’s Eve.

nkybrotherhood.com

Some of the best gospel musicians in the Bluegrass State will be in Bowling Green Tuesday evening.

The WKU Cultural Enhancement Series is sponsoring the show called Kentucky Glory: Gospel Music from the Commonwealth.

“It’s going to bring together the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood, an acapella African-American group from Covington,” said Brent Bjorkman, director of the Kentucky Folklife Program at WKU, and a member of the Cultural Enhancement Series committee. “Also, Paul Mosely and his friends—he’s an award-winning thumbpicker, but they also play some sacred music as well. And starting out the show is our very own John Edmonds, from the Bowling Green area.”

Bjorkman says the music presented Tuesday evening is a kind that impacts many people in the region.

“Church, going to church, and worshipping is very much part of many peoples’ lives here in the commonwealth. So it’s a wonderful thing to bring together African-American and white churches. Everybody really has a connection to this particular kind of music we call gospel.”

The show begins at  7 p.m. Tuesday at the Downing Student Union auditorium.

Photo Gallery: The Making of a Horror Film

Nov 1, 2014
Abbey Oldham

It's the time of year when people are tuning into special Halloween themed episodes of their favorite shows and searching the horror section of Netflix for their annual haunted pleasure. But some WKU students aren't only watching scary films, they are creating one.

Amber Langston, a WKU film student, wrote and directed "The Milkman," about a milkman in the 1950s who kills his customers. Langston and her crew shot the film Sunday, October 26, 2014. 

Abbey Oldham

The Forgotten Girl is the latest book by author and WKU English Professor David Bell. Like many of his previous novels, The Forgotten Girl centers largely around family dynamics and unresolved issues from the past that rear their ugly heads in the present.

Bell came to the studios of WKU Public Radio to talk about his latest book, the book trailer that accompanied it, and whether or not he wishes he could change any part of his previous books.

Here are some excerpts from our interview:

WKU Public Radio: The Forgotten Girl opens with the character Jason Danvers having an unexpected encounter with his younger sister. Without giving away the ending, can you give us an idea of the dynamic between this brother and sister?

David Bell: Jason has moved back to his hometown because of a career change, and he has not seen his younger sister for five years. His sister throughout her life has struggled with substance abuse issues. So he and his sister basically reach this crossroads where he practiced tough love and said, “You’ve got to stay out of my life if you’re not going to have your act together.”

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The shuttered Kentucky Repertory Theatre in Horse Cave could be on the verge of coming back to life. 

The regional theater company Kentucky Stages has made an offer to purchase the three buildings that once housed the Horse Cave attraction. Mayor Randall Curry is thrilled at the prospects for reopening. 

"I've been in Horse Cave all my life," Curry told WKU Public Radio.  "I remember when the theater was organized back in the 70s and I'd like to get that relationship back into this community, people coming back here and sharing their talents with the people of south central Kentucky."

Once a destination for people all over Kentucky and beyond, financial problems forced the Kentucky Repertory Theatre to close last year. It was purchased at auction by Citizens First Bank in Horse Cave and has been for sale since then. 

Kentucky Stages hopes to close on the deal by the end of the year and open the theater for performances next summer.

Bill Luster

Looking back on his five decades as a newspaper photographer in Louisville, Bill Luster recalls an assignment that took him to a strip club called the Toy Tiger. 

The Toy Tiger was threatening to sue a nearby nursing home after some of its residents brought in an exotic dancer for a birthday party. So the nursing home thought a field trip was in order. The result of the assignment was a photo of three women from the nursing home and a much younger, shirtless man.

“This is my most fun assignment ever,” said Luster.  “Because, they were just having a good time.  Some of the women were a little apprehensive about it, but they enjoyed themselves.”

It’s just one of Luster’s photos currently on display at Gallery 916 in downtown Bowling Green.

An all-star tribute concert featuring the music of the Everly Brothers is set for Saturday night in Cleveland.  Graham Nash, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krause are among the artists set to perform.

Don Everly was born in Muhlenberg County and both brothers frequently returned to Kentucky during their childhoods and again for a series of homecoming concerts in the 1980s. 

This weekend’s concert is part of the Music Masters Series, put on in conjunction with the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. The Everly Brothers were members of the first induction class.

Downing Museum

A Bowling Green museum dedicated to the late renowned artist and Hart County native Joe Downing has reopened following a 2013 fire. 

Nearly all of the 1,200-piece collection was damaged, but most was salvageable.  A few of the pieces have returned to the museum, but many others face a long, arduous restoration process.

"If you took the canvass paintings to L.T. Smith Stadium, they would cover the entire grass area, so we have a lot of work to do," said Baker Foundation President Bob Hilliard.  "I've learned a lot about Joe Downing.  He was a workaholic and I think he painted everything he touched and Jerry Baker bought it from him."

Friends, family, and art enthusiasts celebrated the reopening Thursday.  Among them was Joe Downing's sister-in-law Harriett who was married to Dero Downing, the late WKU President.

"I've been so overwhelmed they were able to preserve as much," Harriet told WKU Public Radio.  "I know he and Dero both are up there in heaven looking down and saying thank you to all the people who put so much effort into making sure this was restored and saved."

The Downing Museum is located at the Baker Arboretum.  The estate is owned by Jerry Baker who has endowed the art collection, home, and grounds to WKU. 

In an announcement Thursday, officials said the estate has acquired 100 additional acres of land.  The Baker Foundation also plans to establish a collection of Downing’s work at the Kentucky Museum at WKU.

Photo courtesy of Philip Scott Andrews

When NASA called an end to the space shuttle in 2011 after 30 years, it really was "The End of an Era." That's the title of a photo and video display in the Mass Media & Technology building on WKU's campus through November 8th.

It tells the story of the shuttle through dozens of photos taken from the collection of Scott Andrews, who shot all but three of the missions, and his son Philip who worked with his father for the program's last five years.

Joe Corcoran spoke with Philip about the display and about his dad's career shooting history.

Joe Corcoran

A year-and-a-half after being closed by a fire, the Downing Museum in Bowling Green is set to reopen Thursday. 

The museum houses numerous paintings by the late artist Joe Downing.  The Hart County native was one of few Americans to have an exhibit shown at the Louvre in Paris. 

The fire, ruled electrical in nature, damaged nearly all 1,200 pieces in the Downing collection, though most were salvageable.  Museum Director Craig Cunningham says restoration work continues, but enough pieces have been restored to reopen the attraction, which will also include a special exhibit on the fire. 

"We have water colors that have a hole burnt in them that are in a shadow box and photos of our staff pulling paintings out of the basement while the building was on fire," explains Cunningham.

The museum’s reopening will feature some artwork previously not on display, as well as photos of Downing’s time in France, where he lived for most of his adult life. 

The Downing Museum is located on the estate of Jerry Baker, who has endowed the art collection, home, and grounds to WKU.

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