Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Keeping cowboy culture alive in Compton

Posted March 5, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]
fireonthehill

Southern California is an industrialized megalopolis, but its agricultural history continues in some unlikely places. One of them is the City of Compton, where a few cowboys still ride their horses — on trails but also through city streets.
For years, the center of cowboy culture was “The Hill,” a stable at Figueroa and 131st streets, until it mysteriously burned down 3 years ago. Since …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Light, movement, art: the creations of Moholy-Nagy

Posted August 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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The Santa Barbara Museum of Art always keeps people wondering, ‘what will go up on the walls next?’
Right now, adjacent to a room full of paintings by Degas and Monet, is a bit less conventional exhibit. László Moholy-Nagy (1895 – 1946) is known for integrating technology and industry into the arts. He also founded the New Bauhaus School of Design in Chicago, a descendant of the influential German Bauhaus design school. …

Arts & Culture »

Stories of aging out of foster care

Posted July 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Aging Out

There are 28,000 children in foster care in Los Angeles County. It’s a big number and the challenges are immense. Less than 50 percent graduate from high school and very few finish college.
Within 2 to 4 years of leaving the system, 25 percent of young people become homeless, many are unemployed and 20 percent end up in prison. Those are tough statistics.
In an effort to …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Mapping LA’s growing dance scene

Posted July 22, 2015 by and | 3 Comments | ]
Dance Map LA

Los Angeles is known as the entertainment capital of the world… for its creative output in film, theater and art.
But, the city’s reputation in dance is starting to grow as well.
At the high end, there’s a lot more programming at the Music Center of L.A. and at universities and art centers. But, there are also smaller companies cropping up all over town.
Now, USC is trying …

Arts & Culture, News »

On making ‘Live?Die?Kill?:Los Angeles’

Posted July 17, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Marty Michel at the VA Hospital in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy: Karen Michel

Pierce Brothers Memorial Park in Westwood Village has the so-called cremains of Merv Griffin, Farah Fawcett, Peggy Lee, Marilyn Monroe and lots of other TV and motion picture types and titans. It’s just walking distance from the first apartment my parents and I lived in.
Now, decades later, my parents Ellen and Marty Michel are back in their original hood; that is, their ashes are. …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Issues, News »

Film chronicles Stanford Prison Experiment

Posted July 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Stanford2

The Stanford Prison Experiment was a study done close to 44 years ago, that examined the psychological effects on students acting as prisoners and guards in a mock prison.
The experiment was funded by the U.S. Navy.
A professor at the Palo Alto campus, Dr. Philip Zimbardo supervised the experiment that involved about two-dozen students.
It was supposed to go one to two weeks, but instead was …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Breaking the fourth wall: alt. theater in alt. spaces

Posted July 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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For a small city, Santa Barbara holds a lot of venues. On most days, you can catch a flick at one of a dozen movie houses, watch a ballet or symphony at a historic theater or head inside a tasting room for an art show. But, despite the proximity to art spaces, artists are hard at work unearthing new spots to perform. It’s a factor of both …

Arts & Culture, News »

L.A.’s Mystery House on a Hill

Posted July 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Kenneth Hahn state park, in Baldwin Hills, is a place where two landscapes collide. The park covers a lush, green expanse of hills and hiking trails. But when you look out at the view from those trails, it’s anything but idyllic. The park sits right beside the huge Inglewood Oil Field. All around, industrial-looking oil rigs stretch for acres.
It looks like a slice of Bakersfield or West Texas …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

In San Pedro, a battle over “Sunken City”

Posted July 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Graffiti offers a splash of color on this stretch of Southern California coastline.

It might look like a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it’s in the city of Los Angeles. The ruins of Sunken City are part of the community of San Pedro, at LA’s southernmost tip.
Even though it’s closed to the public, Sunken City is a haven for graffiti artists and young people looking to party. Some residents want to open the area to the public during daylight …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

The World Cup of whistling comes to Pasadena

Posted July 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Carole Anne Kaufman, "The Whistling Diva."

While a lot of folks whistle while they work, or whistle in Mayberry, or just whistle happily, there’s more serious whistling going on.
People will be puckering their lips and belting out tunes this Saturday, June 11 at the Masters of Musical Whistling international competition and concert at The AHIAH Center in Pasadena.
The organizer of the event and two-time world whistling champion is Carole Anne Kaufman, …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News »

Walk of Fame says it won’t give Bill Cosby the boot

Posted July 9, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
cosbystar

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is resisting pressure to remove Bill Cosby’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Some local African-American activists led by Earl Ofari Hutchinson want the comedian’s star dug up from the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard and thrown onto the scrap heap. The activists sent a letter to the Chamber this week after the unsealing of a 2005 deposition in …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Santa Barbara »

Movie musicals under the stars: free summer series returns to the sunken garden

Posted July 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
UCSB A&L - Films @ the Courthouse 8/8/14 SB Courthouse Sunken Gardens

Free movie musicals begin playing this weekend, under the stars at the Santa Barbara Courthouse’s sunken garden. This is the 6th year UCSB Arts and Lectures has collaborated with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission to present the movie series. Roman Baratiak programs the event, and stopped by KCRW’s studio to give us this season’s rundown.

Here are some of Roman’s tips:

Come early and save your spot. Many people get there as early as …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Summer reads from Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times

Posted July 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
july4books

As the July 4th weekend begins, we asked LA Times staff writer Carolyn Kellogg to offer some recommendations of the best books to take with you to the beach.
She met up with KCRW’s Lisa Napoli at the Echo Park Boathouse to share her top three picks.
Wendell Steavenson, “Circling the Square”
Linda Rosenkrantz, “Talk”
Etgar Keret, “The Seven Good Years”

Arts & Culture, News »

How eating (grass-fed) meat changed one family’s life

Posted July 1, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Jared Stone wanted to get back to his roots.  Though he lives in southern California and works in the entertainment industry, he’s originally from Kansas.  He started thinking about what he eats, and realized that he knew more about the inner workings of his TV set than the origins of his food.
He could have planted a garden, but instead, he found himself driving north …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Nicholas Winton dead at 106, saved hundreds of children during the Holocaust

Posted July 1, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Nicholas Winton holds a child in a train station in Prague in 1939. Winton helped save more than 650 childen by getting them out of Czechoslovakia before the Nazis arrived.
Courtesy Nicholas Winton

British humanitarian Nicholas Winton has died. He was 106 years old.
Winton was a British stock broker in the 1930s, who organized the rescue of hundreds of mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
It happened right as Allied forces were getting ready to fight in World War II.
One of those kids was the mother of KCRW’s Kim Masters, who interviewed Winton about 7 years ago in …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Behind the brochure: a chat with UCSB Arts and Lectures’ master booker

Posted June 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Get your sticky notes and calendar ready. The brochure announcing UCSB Arts and Lectures’ 2015-16 season is out. But, for those with a fixed budget and an already stocked schedule, hitting them all is an impossible feat. To help navigate the season, KCRW’s Larry Perel spoke with A&L’s executive director Celesta Billeci about how she lands these performers, and her top musical picks.
Trust us, it was hard …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, News, Politics »

Disneyland makes growth contingent on tax breaks

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
disneyland

Disneyland is asking for an expansion of the happiest tax break on earth.
Okay, maybe not THE happiest, but still a pretty nifty deal for the Mouse House.
The Walt Disney Company has proposed a $1 billion expansion of the Disneyland Resort, with new rides, attractions and a massive parking structure. But here’s the rub: Disney is all-but demanding a 30-year extension of an existing 30-year …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Music in movies honored at inaugural film series

Posted June 23, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
bernstein

As word came in that film composer James Horner had died in a plane crash, a film series celebrating musical scores came to an end at the Granada Theater. The inaugural series remembers the late Elmer Bernstein, a Santa Barbara resident who composed music for films like To Kill a Mockingbird, Ghostbusters and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Songwriter and film composer Paul Williams curated this year’s …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

An artist and father explores the idea of sharing

Posted June 19, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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How do you teach your child to share? It’s a challenge that every parent confronts. After all, the word “mine” is one of the first words to come out of a toddler’s mouth, and children see their toys as extensions of themselves.
The artist Joel Tauber has been wrestling with this issue. He and his wife Alison have two kids: Zeke, who’s 5, and Ozzie, …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

As Solstice counts down, crunch time revs up

Posted June 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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It’s coming.
In two days, sci-fi inspired floats and performers will parade down State Street for thousands to see.
For the past two months, the Community Art Workshop, on the corner of Garden and Ortega Street, has been the dedicated spot for creation and construction. Now, it’s crunch time. KCRW’s Kathryn Barnes threw on her closed toed shoes and took a peek at the hustle.

Apart from the months …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Boyle Heights students honor their school’s namesake

Posted June 17, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Students Kimberly Espinoza and Ashley Lopez are among the contributors to the book

Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School in Boyle Heights is a living history lesson for the kids who attend it. Students learn about the Mendez family in Orange County, and their successful 1946 challenge to end segregation after their children were refused the right to attend their neighborhood school because of the color of their skin. The Mendez case set the stage for the more familiar landmark Brown vs Board of Education, …

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