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Xiaphias / Wikimedia Commons

Spend just a few minutes with young children and you’ll marvel at their imagination. Maybe they’re pretending to be a dragon running a bakery, or they’re coloring the sky purple instead of blue. But somewhere along the way, most of those kids turn into adults who say, “I’m just not a creative person!”

This hour, we ask: how can we foster children’s imaginations? What is creativity, anyway? We talk with psychologists and art teachers to explore what we can do to keep our kids, families, and society inspired by a lifelong curiosity for the arts.

Connie Tsang

When you got to an art gallery, how much of what you see has been made by women? Women artists are underrepresented in most museums. But this year, a special series at the New Britain Museum of American Art will exclusively feature exhibitions by female artists. This hour, we talk with the museum’s director, Min Jung Kim.

Professor Michael Gerhardt argues that the impeachment process is legitimate, despite efforts by President Trump and his defenders to deny it. It is the president's conduct that is not normal.

Gerhardt was one of four law professors summoned by the House Judiciary Committee in December, to share their legal expertise on whether President Trump's conduct met the legal threshold for impeachment. Three out of four of them believe it did.

Also this hour: State Department witness George Kent's bow tie and Rep. Jim Jordan's jacket have their own Twitter accounts. Nancy Pelosi's dagger-like gold pin turned heads on the day she opened up House debate on the president's impeachment. We talk about the fashion semiotics of impeachment.

Timothy Norris / Courtesy: The Hip Hop Nutcracker

“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” returns to The Bushnell for its third holiday season this Friday. 

In this Thursday, April 27, 2006, file photo, Caroll Spinney, right, who portrays "Sesame Street" characters Oscar The Grouch, left, and Big Bird, arrives for the Daytime Emmy nominee party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.
Reed Saxon / AP Photo

For many, puppeteer Caroll Spinney and his iconic “Sesame Street” characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch are unforgettable. Longtime Connecticut resident Spinney, who passed away over the weekend, was one of the original cast members on the show and later wrote a book about his experience.

John Atashian

The nonprofit Judy Dworin Performance Project harnesses the arts to build social awareness, staging performances that draw on issues ranging from incarceration to immigration.

And it has been doing this for 30 years.

This hour, we sit down with Judy Dworin to reflect on this milestone. We also talk with performers and colleagues, and we hear from you, too. How has the Judy Dworin Performance Project touched your life?

Courtesy: The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

With more than 100 works of art, from sculptures and quilts to paintings and photographs, the Wadsworth Atheneum’s newest installation, Afrocosmologies: American Reflections, stands out as more than just an exhibit.

It’s an invitation to something curator Frank Mitchell calls a celebration.

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Avant-garde choreographer Alwin Nikolais was more than a modern dance pioneer -- he was a designer, an early multimedia artist, and a composer. Thursday in Hartford, dancers and historians will gather for a panel discussion on this 20th century icon, whose early years in Connecticut helped shape his later works. 

The Nobel Foundation / Wikimedia Commons

Eugene O'Neill doesn't get enough credit. His plays are a form of therapy. O'Neill forces us to watch the raw pain of our human condition, the disillusionment and existential fear that we push into the background.

O'Neill's plays are dark but there's a catharsis in confronting our deepest fears and illusions. 

Yale Center For British Art Welcomes New Director

Oct 30, 2019
Ryan Martins / Connecticut Public Radio

The Yale Center for British Art has a new director. Courtney J. Martin is a Yale alumnus, returning to New Haven after her tenure as deputy director at the Dia Art Foundation. Now, she’s leading one of the largest repositories for British art in the world, outside of the United Kingdom. 

Courtesy: The Wadsworth Atheneum

In conjuction with its newest exhibition Afrocosmologies: American Reflections, The Wadsworth Atheneum will host its Black Film Weekend featuring five films that celebrate and reflect stories of Black lives on screen. The films are a mix of fiction and non-fiction, from Toni Morrison and Harriet Tubman to two stories based in Jamaica, including the story of the island's national men's soccer team. 

Jeremiah Clapp and Calvin Leon Smith in a scene from On The Grounds Of Belonging, currently playing at the Long Wharf Theatre
Courtesy: Long Wharf Theatre

A big change is underway right now in American theater. More women and people of color are being appointed to lead theatrical institutions.

A recent survey called American Theater Leadership Change finds that of 85 artistic director positions that have opened since 2015, 41% have gone to women. People of color have been named to 26%. 

The Hartford Fringe Festival

The first Hartford Fringe Festival gets underway Thursday, a celebration of new and often edgier works in the areas of dance, theater, music and comedy.

Witney Browne / New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Has performing in front of a live audience been on your bucket list for a while? Well, you may be in luck. A modern dance group is holding a series of free workshops in New Haven this weekend. The workshops are for tailored anyone who wants to dance, regardless of age or experience. The end result will be a performance at next year's International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven.

Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

Not only is Charles Ives a revered American composer, but he is also Connecticut's native son. This hour, we take an in-depth look at Ives’ life and profound musical output, and we ask: What is his legacy today? 

Courtesy: Live Well

About 75,000 people in Connecticut live with dementia. And in a stage production in Hartford, five of them are telling their stories. To Whom I May Concern is a readers-theater style performance – and part of an effort to invite those living with cognitive change to educate others about what they’re experiencing. 

Courtesy: Seaview Productions

When it ran off-Broadway, the show Slave Play left audiences stunned. The provocative new script centers on three interracial couples – diving deeply into issues of racism, sexuality and love. Slave Play is now in previews and opening on Broadway in October.

Tim Wolf

A recent report paints a picture of the arts in Greater Hartford, a scene that’s both colorful and rocky.

This hour, we learn about the Greater Hartford Arts Landscape Study, and consider efforts to better support the region’s artists.

We also look back on the early years of hip-hop and breaking (a.k.a. breakdancing) in Connecticut, and hear how some young people are learning and performing these styles today. 

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Forty years ago, a film called Hair starring a budding actor from Connecticut debuted at The Cannes Film Festival. It was 1979, the Vietnam War was over as were the days of hippies and The Black Panthers. Yet then and now, the on-screen musical still has a way of reaching audiences from past and present.

Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

Not only is Charles Ives a revered American composer, but he is also Connecticut's native son. This hour, we take an in-depth look at Ives’ life and profound musical output, and we ask: What is his legacy today? 

TOM HINES

Ocean Vuong grew up in a Hartford that many of us don’t pay attention to. His family emigrated from Vietnam when he was two years old, and he came to know the area through the nail salons and tobacco fields where he and his mother worked. All the while, they struggled to create joy for themselves in the context of xenophobia, racism, and trauma from an American-led war that still weaves itself into our ways of knowing and living. 

His first novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, documents an American story that’s often erased — that of immigrant, war-torn, non-white, working-class life. 

John Voci / NEPR

After 50 years, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair is remembered for the crowd of some 450,000, the fields of mud from the intermittent rain, the historic rock 'n' roll performances by musicians that went on to become legends, and the festival’s logo: a white bird perched on a blue and green guitar neck against a red background. 

Jade Allen / Connecticut Public Radio

Pulitzer prize winning author Toni Morrison died Tuesday at the age of 88. As news of her death spread, tributes paying homage to her began pouring out on Twitter. Known for her striking command of language and vivid storytelling of Black life through multiple novels, Morrison's work left a mark on more than just writers.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The official Woodstock 50th anniversary concert was cancelled Thursday. Festival organizers had trouble locking down a venue and then, several artists that had committed to the event pulled out.

Lily Tyson / Connecticut Public Radio

In 1953 American illustrator Norman Rockwell moved from Arlington, Vermont, to the small town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on the Western edge of the Berkshires. While there, Rockwell developed a relationship with a prominent psychotherapist who came to influence the artist’s work. Their relationship is the subject of a new exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum: “Inspired: Norman Rockwell and Erik Erikson.” 

Tim Wolf

A new report paints a picture of the arts in Greater Hartford, a scene that’s both colorful and rocky.

This hour, we learn about the Greater Hartford Arts Landscape Study, and consider efforts to better support the region’s artists.

We also look back on the early years of hip-hop and breaking (a.k.a. breakdancing) in Connecticut, and hear how some young people are learning and performing these styles today. 

CT Science Center

Connecticut-based architect Cesar Pelli died Friday. 

His work is world-renowned – breaking out after being picked to redesign the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

File Photo

For generations, librarians assumed the threat of fines incentivized people to bring back books on time. But lately, that assumption has been coming under scrutiny, leaving many librarians to wonder if the idea of fines is one whose time may be past due. 

Hartford's Artists Collective is among the many arts organizations contributing to the Greater Hartford's "Arts Ecosystem"
Shana Sureck / WNPR

The Greater Hartford art scene is thriving in many ways, but challenges persist. That's the conclusion of a new comprehensive report.

The One About Joni Mitchell

Jun 14, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Joni Mitchell is a singer-songwriter from Alberta, Canada. In 1968, her debut album, Song to a Seagull, was released and since then, Mitchell has become one of the most influential, and greatest recording artists. Mitchell has won nine Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, countless musical awards, and her albums are considered as among the best ever made.

We’re big fans. It turns out we’re not alone.

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