culture

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.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the late 19th century, Key West was home to a large community of Cuban exiles. Poet and revolutionary leader José Martí visited the island several times to unite exile factions. On Monday, Marti made a return visit of sorts.

Courtesy of Antonia Wright

The Perez Art Museum Miami and ArtCenter/South Florida are hosting two days of panels and studio tours that center around what it means to create as a Latinx artist.

The Latinx Art Sessions will also explore identity and representation in the art world. 

WLRN’s Nadege Green spoke with Naiomy Guerrero, one of the event's organizers and a curatorial fellow at PAMM.

WLRN: Latinx is a fairly new term and one that has invoked strong arguments for and against it. What does Latinx mean to you?

Wilbert Simpson Jr. / WLRN

Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week is meant to showcase the city as its own art-worthy cultural destination. Artists' works will be on display across the city throughout this week, ending on Jan. 27.

A big part of the show — now in its third year — touts "the art fair on the water," designed for people to boat to empty multimillion-dollar properties filled with works of art on the Intracoastal. 

Russell Baker, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer who penned thousands of columns for The New York Times, and hosted the PBS television program "Masterpiece Theatre," died Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93.

Associated Press

"Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories" needed to be written, its authors believe, but wish desperately it hadn't.

The book by 43 students and teachers who lived through February's high school massacre gives a poignant, raw, and sometimes graphic look into the six-minute shooting spree where 17 died and its aftermath as a well-off Fort Lauderdale suburb suddenly found itself mourning in a global spotlight that has dimmed but will never reach black.

Eight best picture nominations emerged on Tuesday morning: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, Vice, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, Roma and A Star Is Born. They are comedic and dramatic, based on real events and conjured from the pages of comics, in color and in black and white.

Much-loved poet Mary Oliver died Thursday of lymphoma, at her home in Florida. She was 83. Oliver won many awards for her poems, which often explore the link between nature and the spiritual world; she also won a legion of loyal readers who found both solace and joy in her work.

In its first issue of 2019, National Geographic named a shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina "the world's most beautiful bookstore." NPR was ahead of the curve. Bob Mondello filed this report 18 years ago, shortly after the Teatro Gran Splendid was converted into El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

Bernice Sandler, the "godmother of Title IX" who died Saturday at the age of 90, is being remembered this week for her lifelong fight to reverse decades of institutional bias in U.S. schools and open new paths for women and girls.

It all started in an elementary school in Brooklyn, N.Y., when Sandler was a determined little girl nicknamed Bunny. She was offended by the way the boys got to do all the classroom activities.

"For example, running a slide projector," says Marty Langelan, who was Sandler's friend and colleague for nearly 50 years.

Tiny bits of blue pigment found in the teeth of a medieval skeleton reveal that more than 850 years ago, this seemingly ordinary woman was very likely involved in the production of lavishly illustrated sacred texts.

You'll find a lot of 2018 films more loved by critics than Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, but both have found enthusiastic audiences. On Sunday night, they were the big winners in film at the Golden Globes, in a ceremony that dragged 20 minutes past its scheduled time and occasionally felt as if it was rushing through a list of awards and trying desperately to get winners to wrap it up.

Think Tarzan and the Golden Lion needed a different ending?

Perhaps you want to adapt Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet into a graphic novel.

Or maybe you want to have a go at incorporating Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" into a virtual choir piece, as composer Eric Whitacre once did before encountering a copyright snag that killed the project.

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