Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Keeping cowboy culture alive in Compton

Posted March 5, 2015 by | 3 Comments | ]

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, Interviews »

Saving the animals after Katrina

Posted August 27, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

Ten years ago, after Hurricane Katrina struck the shores of the Gulf Coast, when the levees broke and the waters began to rise, the world watched in horror as New Orleans drowned.
Images of evacuees filled the screen 24/7. Tens of thousands of people who were forced to flee the city they lived in and go to higher ground. For months. Permanently in many cases.
But …

Arts & Culture, News »

Announcing the winners of KCRW’s 2015 Radio Race

Posted August 25, 2015 by and | 1 Comment | ]

We are excited to announce the winners of this year’s Radio Race. The quality and creativity that revealed itself in just 24-hours was inspiring! Thank you to all who participated.
This year’s top racers represent the reach and impact of great radio storytelling. We have winners from Mexico, Australia and Kansas City, MO. Congratulations!
1st Place:
Fountain City Frequency for The Time Travelers Ark

Produced by: Esther …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Food »

Making LA: Food

Posted August 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Will we see more urban farms? South Central Community Garden, was an urban farm and community garden located at East 41st and South Alameda Streets, which was in operation between 1994 and 2006. Credit: Wikipedia

Los Angeles is a culinary wonderland. New, exciting restaurants seem to be opening faster than one can finish a meal. But not everyone is sharing in this bounty. In this installment of Making L.A., Press Play takes a closer look at what’s happening with the food scene and food policy — and what’s going to happen to the street vendors?
“We’re such a layered population …

Arts & Culture, News »

TOP TEN KCRW Radio Race finalists

Posted August 18, 2015 by and | 1 Comment | ]

What a race! Teams from Mexico to Brooklyn to the UK picked up a microphone and, in only 24 hours, produced amazing radio stories. Ultimately, 118 pieces (!) were submitted as part of KCRW’s 24-Hour Radio Race. We judged them based on creativity, technical skill, and incorporation of the theme (“Time Change”).
The creativity, thought and production put into these pieces has been astounding. Listening …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News, Politics »

Lollygaggers: a musical comedy about climate change

Posted August 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

There was a lawsuit filed in federal court against the Obama administration for not responding strongly enough to the threat of climate change.
The plaintiffs – all young people – say the government’s lack of action is a threat to their generation and to future generations as well.
The White House points to the EPA’s Climate Action Plan as an example of something that the government …

Arts & Culture, News, Video, Watts Riots: 50 Years Later »

Video: Watts ’65 in pop culture

Posted August 14, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
From Wattstax. (L-R Schlitz Beer Rep, Jesse Jackson and Al Bell)

This week on Press Play, we’re using the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots to talk about what has changed in the South L.A. community, and what has stayed the same. 
The 1965 Watts Riots didn’t only influence politics and policy, its legacy seeped into pop culture.
In 1972, on the seventh anniversary of the uprising, the L.A. Coliseum hosted a daylong music festival called Wattstax. Referred to …

Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, News »

A tour of LA history through restaurant menus

Posted August 13, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]

Los Angeles has a rich culinary history, due to the waves of immigrants who settled in Southern California and brought their food traditions with them. The restaurants they opened can tell us a lot about how people use food to shape their own identities of community, culture and class. A new book and exhibit of old LA restaurant menus reveals how the city has …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Mail-order music company Columbia House goes bankrupt

Posted August 12, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]

The world of getting music is very different from how it used to be. And there’s news this week that one of the main ways you used to get music is on the outs.
One of the music clubs that would send you hit albums for extra cheap – with one caveat – has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Columbia House offered a dozen albums or more …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

New art exhibition explores human identity, in pixels

Posted August 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

A new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara deals with the interplay between technology and human identity. Then they form us plays off a quote by philosopher Marshall McLuhan, who wrote in the 1960s about how technology becomes an extension of ourselves, and influences our experience in the world.
In 2015, with smartphones, robotic cars and facial recognition, his wondering and worrying …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, Santa Barbara »

As classical season ends, renovations begin

Posted August 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

A world class institution for classical music here in Santa Barbara has been raising quite a bit of money lately. The Music Academy of the West is striving for $17.5 million, as part of their Capital Campaign. They’re at $11.7 million so far, and as the summer season wraps up, work is beginning to expand the campus and better train classical musicians. Music Academy President …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Spoken word with a message

Posted August 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Ise Lyfe

The act of the spoken word goes way beyond speech. It can involve rhythm and rhyme, though not necessarily. And more heart and performance than just words.
Marc Bamuthi Joseph and fellow spoken word artist Ise Lyfe are doing a show tonight – along with other performers – at the Skirball Cultural Center, as part of the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution show called …

Arts & Culture, News, Press Play: Making LA »

Making LA: Public Spaces

Posted August 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

Los Angeles isn’t known for its public spaces. Sure, there’s the miles of beaches, but get off the coast and we lack the parks and plazas of other dense cities. But that might be changing. A handful of new projects have been developing, from the L.A. River to Grand Park to Grand Central Market. Is Los Angles breaking out of its car-centric, backyard-loving shell and becoming …

Arts & Culture, Issues »

For some Samoans, a fight for U.S. citizenship

Posted August 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

The 30th Annual Samoan Flag Day kicked off last Saturday in the city of Carson with Samoans from across the United States and abroad coming to Southern California.
It’s an event filled with good food, a cricket tournament, and a stage for traditional dances. The eight-day festival celebrates Samoan culture and commemorates the day when a small group of Pacific islands known as American Samoa …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

Fiesta’s identity crisis

Posted August 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

It’ll be hard to roam around Santa Barbara this week without spotting colorfully ordained horses, flamenco dancing and mercados full of food, costumes and crafts. Old Spanish Days, known to many simply as Fiesta, celebrates the city’s heritage. But, what is that heritage? Is it Spanish, Mexican, Californian or a mixture of all three?
To help clear up the identity crisis of Santa Barbara’s biggest party, …

Arts & Culture, Santa Barbara »

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

Posted August 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
unnamed (3)

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 | ]

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 | ]
Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.32.11 PM

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 …

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