Arts and Culture

TL/Unsplash

"A Sand County Almanac" was first published in 1949, but Aldo Leopold’s contemplative musings on conservation and land stewardship remain poignantly relevant.

Iowa PBS

Dean Borg passed away this week at the age of 81. Borg was a broadcasting legend in the state of Iowa. He is best known for his work on the Iowa PBS program Iowa Press, a position he held for more than 40 years. During that period he interviewed every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. Borg also spent 20 years as a correspondent with Iowa Public Radio.

Courtesy of Rachel Cox

Rachel Cox’s grandmother was a woman with a big personality and a keen sense of fashion. When Cox, a photographer and assistant professor of photography at the University of Iowa, first started taking pictures of her grandmother, she didn’t have any particular projects in mind. But as her grandmother declined over the course of a decade, suffering from a degenerative brain disease, she felt compelled to photograph her life and death. The result is the book Shiny Ghost.

Ramiz Dedaković / Unspalsh

When it comes to images in the media, it’s as much about what isn’t said and shown, as it is about what’s depicted.

This idea of “invisibility” sets the foundation for much of Barbie Zelizer’s work. Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and director of the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a former journalist.

Courtesy of Jonathan Govias / Iowa State University

The Iowa State University Symphony Orchestra is performing a Symphony of Diversity on March 6 at Stephens Auditorium in Ames. This program brings artists and composers to the concert hall to highlight some of the many cultures and peoples that make up America.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater / HANCHER

Set to spirituals, gospel songs and blues, Alvin Ailey’s modern dance masterpiece "Revelations" was first performed in 1960. It was unlike anything audiences had seen before, and since then it’s been performed continuously around the globe.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Iowa native Ronnie Favors of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater about her journey through modern dance and the troupe’s upcoming Iowa performance.

Universal Productions France

Jean Seberg grew up in Marshalltown. She became an international movie star and lived most of her adult life in Paris. Seberg starred in 37 films and is possibly best remembered for her role in the movie “Breathless,” the forefront of the French New Wave movement. 

In this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with the filmmaking team behind the documentary “Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg,” to give us their thoughts of the new film “Seberg.” 

Tanya Rosen-Jones Photography

Simply by his resume, poet and documentarian David James Savarese is exceptional. His poems and prose have been published in journals and magazines across the country, including the Iowa Review, and his 2017 documentary Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t Be a Lottery, which he co-produced, earned a 2018 Peabody Award and Emmy nomination.

Savarese is also autistic and nonspeaking. He describes poetry as his native language.

Greg Thatcher

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Fairfield-based artist Greg Thatcher, who has been making art inspired by yew trees for more than 30 years. Thatcher talks about his “Sacred Yew” exhibit at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and his multi-decade relationship with a single grove of yew trees in a small English town. 

What are the Rules? Can I Break Them?

Feb 20, 2020
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode (cropped)
Chris Clayson

  This program origionally aired on 5-15-18.

The laws, morals, and ethics which guide us, can also confuse us, and sometimes challenge us to improve or change the rules.

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe gets a look at the philosophy of rules with Scott Samuelson, a philosophy professor at Kirkwood Community College. He says that he's learned a lesson stemming from the life of Socrates that for the most part, rules are important to follow, and when they need to change, then sometimes civil disobedience is that way that is done.

The Actors' Gang / Hancher

Tim Robbins discusses "The New Colossus," a theatrical performance and story depicting the immigrant experience, with IPR's Charity Nebbe. 

Courtesy of Vero Rose Smith

What does it mean to create in apocalyptic times? A new course and public talk series at the University of Iowa seeks to answer this question while looking at the concept of large-scale endings through art, music, writing and other mediums.

Element5digital / Unsplash

Actor Jordan Whalen grew up in Ames and has been interested in the Iowa caucuses since 2007. Whalen has always thought the Democratic caucus process is naturally theatrical and has been thinking about developing a play about this political event for more than a decade. Now he is one of the leaders of New York City's Counterpart Collective, a theatre group whose mission is to create theatre derived from primary sources.

WNYC

Kai Wright is the host of "The United State of Anxiety," a podcast from WNYC Studios. The newest season of the podcast focuses on what it means to build a multiracial democracy in 2020 and if that reality is even possible.  On this segment of River to River Kai Wright joins host Ben Kieffer ahead of a live taping of "The United State of Anxiety" at the University of Iowa on Jan. 27. 

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me / WBEZ

The caucuses are a less than two weeks away, and that means Iowa is getting some pretty special visitors. This isn’t a reference to all the presidential candidates; Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is in Des Moines to record show in front of a sold out audience.

As a method for processing the end of a nine-year marriage with a gay man, Kellie Kramer has channeled her energy and emotions into a one-woman cabaret show, "All the Good Men Are Gay."  Kramer, an actor and singer who hosts Iowa Outdoors on Iowa PBS, pieces together the story of love and loss through songs that range from Judy Garland to "Weird Al" Yankovic. 

Jesper Aggergaard / Unsplash

Weightlifting didn't appear on Cynthia Martin's radar until age 64, when she picked up barbells for the first time through a Cross Fit program. Just a few years later, the Marion native won the 2018 National Weightlifting Championship in Buffalo, New York. 

Michael Leland

December in Iowa can feel like a magical wonderland of lights. January and February in Iowa can feel like a cold, dark wasteland. There are lots of wonderful arts events happening across the state this winter. Here’s a list of a few we think are worth leaving your house for, some of which are indoors and some that celebrate the winter weather. 

Courtesy of "Adore Us! Line" Production Team

From the creator of "Caucus: The Musical," a new song-by song parody of "A Chorus Line" showcases the 2020 Democratic candidates auditioning for Iowa voters. 

Composer, Playwright, and Producer Robert John Ford joins this edition of Talk of Iowa to discuss the opening of his musical, "Adore Us! Line." 

Pictured here: Poppy
Molly Wood

Photographer and 2018 Iowa Arts Council Fellow Molly Wood joins this edition of Talk of Iowa to reveal the inspirations behind her exhibit "The Poison Garden," which is on display at the Dubuque Museum of Art through Jan. 12. Her exhibit "Fatal Flora" is at the State Library of Iowa through Jan. 31. 

David Geiger / "Journey of a Bean"

Freshly harvested from cropland in Illinois, a single soy bean travels the world before ending up as part of a meal in Seoul, South Korea. Its long journey through the global agricultural and food industries paints a detailed picture of the real farm to table processes.

Charity Nebbe/IPR

This program originally aired on 9-27-19

All this week, Talk of Iowa has explored the question “Iowa: Is this home?” On the final episode of this Iowa Week series, six stories of finding, or perhaps not finding, home from Iowans originally from other parts of the country and the globe.

This episode origionally aired on  11-7-19

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was once believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia.  In the 1990’s, Khodorkovsky rocketed to prosperity and celebrity, but his fortunes drastically changed. He ended up serving a decade in prison, and became an unlikely martyr for the movement against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Andre Wright

News fatigue is real. As the year closes out with rising awareness of climate change, international tension, multiple refugee crises, constant political wrangling, and so many important but difficult stories, Talk of Iowa pauses to focus on acts of kindness and positive connections.

Leander Arkenau / Flickr

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, we get a rundown of some of IPR's favorite new releases from 2019 from classical, folk and blues musicians. Charity Nebbe talks with IPR Classical's Barney Sherman, the Folk Tree's Karen Impola and the one and only Bob Dorr, who hosts Blue Avenue and Backtracks on IPR's Studio One. 

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, IPR's Studio One hosts Mark Simmet, Tony Dehner, and Cece Mitchell share their top  albums of 2019. They take turns describing the value of each album and presenting short clips of music. Later on in the hour, we hear their favorite albums of the decade. 

Find the full list of the albums here. 

Guests:

Matthew Alvarez / IPR

Nate Staniforth is a professional magician. While he’s built a career by performing magic tricks in front of audiences, he also believes in real magic – the kind that keeps wonder alive in the world.

Associated Press / Gene J. Puskar

After starting out on WQED in Pittsburgh in 1966, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood made its national public television debut on February 19, 1968.  The final new episode was taped December 1st 2000, but the show lived on through re-runs even after Fred Rogers passed away in 2003.

Three generations have now grown up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood or watching children’s programming heavily influenced by his philosophy.

Rollins College / Flickr

On this edition of Talk of Iowa with host Charity Nebbe, guests and callers reflect on how the public television show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood affected their lives. The co-hosts of Iowa Public Television's Kid's Clubhouse Adventures, Dan Wardell and Abby Brown, share how Fred Rogers' philosophy has influenced their own children's show. Des Moines Register Storyteller Daniel Finney remembers how returning to Rogers' material changed his outlook on life and helped him through difficult times. 

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