Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
7:48 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Five-time Grammy Winner Larnelle Harris To Perform in Bowling Green

Larnelle Harris graduated from WKU in 1969
Credit Larnelle Harris

It will be a homecoming of sorts Monday night at SKyPAC in Bowling Green as WKU alumnus Larnelle Harris performs at a Christmas concert with Orchestra Kentucky. 

“It’s going to be fun to get back and do this Christmas concert. It will kind of jump start our Christmas this year so we’re looking forward to it,” said Harris.  “And SKyPAC, this is a new auditorium and I think it’s going to be quite a living room and I think it’s a testament to how Bowling Green keeps moving ahead”

Throughout his four-decade career, Harris has performed at Carnegie Hall, The White House and even the Kremlin after the fall of the Soviet Union.

“All of those places have been great and to do the first concert at the Palace of Congresses at the Kremlin was indeed an exciting thing.  But I’ve gotta tell you, I enjoy being right here in Louisville and having the opportunity to go to my own church and sharing there has been a joy.”

Harris is a member of three Halls of Fame, and has won five Grammy awards.  Tonight’s Christmas concert is the first of two scheduled for Orchestra Kentucky this month. The group will also present A Rockin’ Christmas on December 14.

Arts & Culture
2:47 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Photo and Video Exhibit at WKU Explores the Stories, People of Owensboro

Clint Tucker, 33, Owensboro, Ky., offers bedtime kisses to his daughter, Savannah "Scooter" Tucker. Photo by Lexi Namer
Credit Mountain Workshops

A photograph and video exhibit on display at WKU’s Mass Media and Technology Hall is dedicated to documenting the stories of those who live in Owensboro and Daviess County.

Owensboro: An Old River City Discovers New Life features 40 photographs and 21 video narratives. It’s the work of those who participated in the 38th annual Mountain Workshops, a one-week hands-on workshop led by the WKU School of Journalism and Broadcasting's photojournalism sequence.

For five days in October a group made up of both student and professional  photojournalists made their way to Owensboro to find interesting people and stories that could be told through still and video images.

WKU Photojournalist-in-Residence Josh Meltzer, who  helps direct the Mountain Workshops, met WKU Public Radio’s Kevin Willis at the gallery to talk about how some of the images came to life.

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Arts & Culture
1:15 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

WKU Author's Latest Book Explores Dark Family Secrets

Author and WKU English Professor David Bell

It's been a good couple of months for author and WKU English Professor David Bell.

He recently won the Le Prix Polar International de Cognac, a prestigious French literary award given to the best crime novel published by a non-French author, for his 2011 book Cemetery Girl. His most recent book, Never Come Back, was published in October.

Never Come Back tells the story of Elizabeth Hampton, who--in the book's opening pages--arrives at her mother's home to find police detectives and crime scene investigators.

David Bell spoke to WKU Public Radio about the origins of his new work, and how Bowling Green and his parents have influenced his writing.

Where did you come up with the idea for your new book?

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Arts & Culture
2:33 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

SKyPAC Discards Plans To Restore Historic Church Building

The Taylor's Chapel A.M.E. Church (left) sits adjacent to SKyPAC

The future became a little murkier for a historic church building in downtown Bowling Green on Friday.

In August, the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center posted a $250,000 dollar winning bid for the vacant Taylor’s Chapel A.M.E. Church.   But SKyPAC says a 90-day window to find a donor to finance the restoration of the church building has come and gone without anyone stepping forward.  SKyPAC says it will let the purchase agreement expire and has no plans for the building. 

SKyPAC’s Executive Director and CEO Tom Tomlinson says the organization won’t use operating funds to restore the church building.  

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Arts & Culture
3:12 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

WKU's Hunley Puts Words at the "Forefront", Releases New Collection of Poems

WKU English Professor Tom Hunley
Credit Kevin Willis

Tom Hunley is out with a new collection of poems entitled Scotch Tape World. The associate professor of English at WKU was nice enough to stop by our studios Thursday to talk about what it’s like to get poetry published these days, why he chose poetry in the first place, and the inspiration behind Scotch Tape World.

Here are some excerpts from our interview:

Scotch Tape World was published as a chapbook. What is that, exactly?

"A chapbook is a sort of intermediary step for poets between publishing poems in journals and publishing a full-length book. So they're made in smaller print runs, and sometimes they're handmade."

What is it like trying to get poetry published in the year 2013?

"It's pretty difficult to get full-length books printed, in particular. Usually you have to enter contests that have reading fees. There's no such thing as an agent in poetry. You're your own agent."

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Arts & Culture
12:08 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown Threatens Opening of Exhibit Featuring Work by Allen County Basket Maker

The Renwick Gallery in Washington, part of the Smithsonian Institution. A basket made by Allen County artist Scott Gilbert is featured on the yellow banner.
Credit Beth Hester

Two Allen County basket makers are in Washington D.C. to see their work featured in a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

But their plans could be ruined because of the government shutdown.

Scott Gilbert and Beth Hester are a husband-and-wife basket making team from Scottsville. One of Gilbert’s baskets is part of a Smithsonian exhibit scheduled to open to the public this Friday. That opening is in jeopardy unless Congress passes a measure funding the government.

Gilbert told WKU Public Radio he and his wife walked to the exhibit gallery Tuesday morning, only to find all the doors locked.

“Well, for a little while I was really mad about it. But when you’re standing here—we’re at the corner of I and 17th Avenues—and everything is hustle and bustle, and life goes on and the city goes on. I really don’t think they care much about the government here in Washington," Gilbert said with a laugh.

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Arts & Culture
8:06 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Kentucky Supreme Court Won't Hear Case over Use of Bill Monroe's Name

Bill Monroe is credited with being the "Father of Bluegrass Music."

The Kentucky Supreme Court has denied a request to review a case over how the name of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe can be used.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that means a court of appeals ruling stands. The panel concluded that county officials meant to grant the festival the legal right to use Monroe's name but failed to formalize the agreement in writing before a falling out occurred in 2004.

The battle isn't quite over yet, though.

Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Foundation of Kentucky Inc. Director Campbell Mercer said the Ohio County Industrial Foundation and Bill Monroe's son, James Monroe, obtained a temporary injunction in Tennessee to prohibit him from using the name.

Mercer says he hopes the Kentucky court rulings will help his case in Tennessee.

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Arts & Culture
12:35 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Author Michael Morris Loves to Find Eccentric People in "Small Southern Towns"

Michael Morris, author of Man in the Blue Moon.
Credit Kevin Willis

Michael Morris is a man with a passion for southern fiction. His latest book is called Man in the Blue Moon, and he is in Bowling Green Thursday promoting the new work, and speaking to different organizations around town.

Man in the Blue Moon was the fall selection for the SOKY Reads! program, a community "one book" reading project in southern Kentucky.

Morris stopped by the studios of WKU Public Radio to talk about writing southern fiction, and how he got into writing late in life.

Here are some excerpts of our conversation:

You're giving a writing workshop today at WKU about writing southern fiction. What's distinctive about southern fiction? What makes it stand out from other genres?

“I just think the way we speak is different, obviously. That stands out. There are other aspects to the south that you don’t find in other places in the country. A lot of it has to do with the food. You know, we plan a big celebration around our food—the Sunday dinners."

"You know, William Faulker said the difference between the north and the south is that in the north the crazy relatives are hidden in the attic. In the south, we put them on the front porch and let them wave to everybody."

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Arts & Culture
4:00 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Holt Home Event to Honor Breckinridge County Native who Presided Over Trial of Lincoln's Killers

The Holt Home in Hardinsburg, Ky.
Credit heritage.ky.gov

A Kentucky native with an important link to the Civil War era is being honored Saturday in Breckinridge County.

Joseph Holt served as Secretary of War in 1860 under President James Buchanan, and was named the country’s first Judge Advocate General by President Lincoln in 1862. Following Lincoln’s assassination, Holt served as the presiding judge in the trial of those accused of the murder.

Susan Dyer is president of the Friends of the Holt Home, which coordinates events at the house where Holt lived in Hardinsburg. She says many Kentuckians have never heard of the man who helped get the country through one of its most trying times.

“He had a lot on his shoulders because people wanted results, and they wanted somebody to pay," Dyer told WKU Public Radio. "And not only did the assassinate Lincoln, but it came close to wiping out Lincoln’s cabinet.”

The fifth annual Holt Home Community Day is being held Saturday in Hardinsburg, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Guest speakers include Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Minton, and two Judge Advocate General officials.

Arts & Culture
2:42 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Sedaka To Share Decades of Music With Bowling Green Audience

Neil Sedaka comes to Bowling Green this Saturday to preform with Orchestra Kentucky
Credit Neil Sedaka

To say Neil Sedaka’s musical career got off to a fast start would be an understatement.

“I started writing at 13 years old and had hit records by LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter and Connie Francis,” said Sedaka. “And then when I was 19, I decided, rather than give away the songs to other singers, I auditioned for RCA Victor as a singer-songwriter and they signed me to a contract.”

But as quickly as his star rose, it fizzled in the 1960s, a decade of upheaval and cultural shifts.

“I was out of work for 12 years.  You know, the music business is very trendy and fickle.  I had the opportunity to meet Elton John when I was living in England and he was starting a record company and signed me. The first single, after 12 years, was ‘Laughter in the Rain’ and it went to No. 1 on the charts here in America,” he said.

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