culture

The Education Fund / Courtesy

Senator Jeff Brandes has been a leading voice in the Florida Legislature calling for drastic changes to the state’s criminal justice system. In late January, Sen. Brandes filed and sponsored Senate Bill 642, “Florida First Step Act,” a new law that would aim to reduce criminal sentences by allowing judges to depart from mandatory minimums for drug trafficking charges. The bill is modeled on federal legislation signed by President Donald Trump last year. Sen.

It turns out the Oscars telecast doesn't need a host.

The Oscars red carpet arrivals are often more surprising than the Academy Awards ceremony itself. While we can sometimes predict which of our favorite movie stars are taking home golden statuettes, good luck predicting what Lady Gaga will wear this year.

One thing's for sure: The red carpet fashions promise to be just as bold, glittery, glamorous — and even political — as they always are. Here's a photo recap of some of the most memorable looks at the 91st Academy Awards.

Marvel's Black Panther is up for seven Academy Awards this Sunday.

It could be the first superhero movie to win for best picture. Its costume designer Ruth Carter is an Oscar nominee. The film is nominated for best original score and best original song.

Karl Lagerfeld, the German designer who was the artistic director of Chanel and Fendi and also created his own brand, has died in Paris. For years, Lagerfeld sought to obscure his age; he was reportedly 85.

Lagerfeld worked with some of fashion's biggest design houses, showing a knack for reinventing classic styles with innovative flourishes. In the process, he brought Fendi to new heights in the 1960s and revamped Chanel after being named that brand's director in the 1980s.

Peter Cunningham

In the opening scene of Christopher Demos-Brown's play "American Son," a black woman sits alone in the waiting room of a Miami police station, desperately waiting for word of her missing 18-year-old son.

Demos-Brown says the impetus for the story was a number of deadly interactions between American police officers and young black men in recent years. But he says his past experience working in the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office gave him a glimpse of the relationships between law enforcement officers that eventually made it onto the stage.

Sam Turken / WLRN

The New York City-based Alvin Ailey Dance Theater held a public workshop Wednesday night, giving local dancers across South Florida a chance to learn some of the company’s iconic choreography.

During the nearly two-hour training session at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, more than thirty participants followed the steps and rhythms of two Alvin Ailey dancers. The workshop was a way for the theater—which is performing in Miami this week—to carry out the mission of its founder Alvin Ailey, said company dancer Jacquelin Harris.

Paul Kolnik

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is celebrating 60 years this season.

On a recent visit to Miami, Artistic Director Robert Battle said the company is rooted in a deep history of addressing social justice through dance. Dance, he said, is a form of both protest and celebration. 

In past works the company has explored the civil rights movement, black womanhood and mass incarceration.

Andy Sweet / Courtesy

Before the city of Miami Beach became a hotspot for nightlife and celebrities, it was home to a massive Jewish retiree population. It's estimated that 20,000 elderly Jews made up more than half of the beach's population in the late 1970s. This era in Miami's history and the experiences of the Jewish community is the focus of a new book of photography entitled "Shtetl in the Sun: Andy Sweet's South Beach Photography 1977-1980."

On Sunday night, the 61st Grammy Awards telecast did its best to balance several requirements — making amends to an entire gender, widening its palette of winners and honorees, and doing its best to award those who are affecting the mainstream now, not five years ago. Within the narrow lens of prime-time awards shows, it seemed to make some progress on each count, without drifting too far from its comfort zone.

Terence Price II / Courtesy

Photographer Terence Price II grew up at his grandparents' house in Miami Gardens. He was given his first film camera as a teen, and has been capturing the lives of people in his neighborhood ever since.

Price's photographs are black and white portraits and are meant to be capsules of time. He says his grandfather was an essential influence to his photography style: from how he decides to capture a photo to who he shoots.

Craig Morris / Courtesy

Frost School of Music associate professor of trumpet Craig Morris is nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Instrumental Classical Solo Performance" category, for his arrangement of influential composer Philip Glass’ "Three Pieces in the Shape of a Square," which includes moving around a geometric shape while playing his trumpet. 

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


In 1998, songwriter Kandi Burruss — on hiatus from her R&B group, Xscape — took a drive around Atlanta with a girlfriend, looking for inspiration. In the car, Burruss was playing tracks she'd gotten from a fellow songwriter, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, a few days earlier.

The Colony Theatre / Courtesy

A new play in Miami explores the implications of Cuban politics on art.

"FAKE" takes place in an auction house in Miami where curators have received an extremely rare painting from prestigious Cuban artist Amelia Pelaez. Immediately, they face questions about its authenticity.

Playwright Carmen Pelaez, the artist's great-niece, wrote FAKE to explore the lengths people will go to protect what they love.

"Art is the only real history that we have," Pelaez said on Sundial.

FAKE is at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach until Feb. 17.

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