Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

Before she was painted alongside Duke Ellington in a Washington, D.C. mural, Kelela was the daughter of Ethiopian parents, growing up in the DMV suburbs. As a kid, she took violin lessons. She soon moved on to experimenting with punk and heavy metal as well as singing jazz. Eventually, she settled on her signature electronic R&B sound.

Peter Sands took over this month as the new head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. But before he'd even officially taken his seat at the Fund's offices in Geneva, he was under attack for a new partnership with Heineken.

People might not think of winter as a fruitful season for foraging wild edibles, but nutritionist and expert forager Debbie Naha says there's actually a lot out there that you can find year-round.

"The beauty of a home in language is that it allows us to create a multiplicity of homes," writes Viet Thanh Nguyen in his introduction to Go Home!, an anthology of Asian diasporic writers edited by author Rowan Hisayo Buchanan.

Multiplicity describes the book as well, for while its stories, essays, and poems all center around the topic of home, there is no uniformity here. Asia, after all, is a vast continent; members of its diaspora are just as varied and complex as any of the countries they — and their parents and grandparents — once called home.

In the balcony of the Marquis Theatre on Broadway, Jimmy Buffett watches the final rehearsal for his new musical, Escape to Margaritaville. Down below, technicians inflate beach balls, which, in true Buffett fashion, are to be dropped on theater-goers' heads at the end of the show.

In 2015, when Ariel Pasternak joined Chaia, a seasonal, plant-based taco shop opening in Washington, D.C., she and her colleagues encountered challenges familiar to any restaurateurs — developing a marketing strategy, sourcing fresh ingredients, and ensuring bills were paid on time.

What they did not find in the city's budding food scene was a sense of community.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


It started with a GoFundMe campaign. Three months ago, 14-year-old Taylor Richardson created a donation page to raise money to send girls to see the movie A Wrinkle in Time.

"It has a female protagonist in a science fiction film," the 14-year-old wrote in her description on GoFundMe. "A brown girl front and center who looks like me in the role of Meg, a girl traveling to different planets and encountering beings and situations that I'd never seen a girl of color in."

Actor Danny Trejo came of age in the California prison system, doing time in a juvenile detention center as well as in San Quentin, Folsom and Soledad, on charges relating to drugs. He says that background prepared him well for acting.

"Standing on the yard in San Quentin, knowing that there's a riot coming, you're absolutely scared to death with every fiber of your body," Trejo says. "[But] you have to pretend you're not. You have to stand there and make everybody think you like it."

Fathers and sons. You could fill a library with books about the paternal ties that bind — or fray: Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, Philip Roth's Patrimony, Mario Puzo's The Godfather, and so on. And now there's Mark Sarvas' second novel, Memento Park. Dedicated to his father, who died in 2009, and his two grandfathers, who died decades earlier, it's an absorbing drama about a first generation Hungarian-American rooting around in his family's buried past in the hopes of fathoming his legacy.

Diana de los Santos, better known as Amara La Negra, is black and proud. She's also the breakout star of this season of Love & Hip Hop: Miami. Most importantly, she's an Afro-Latina singer who won't compromise her blackness for her Latinidad.

Alan Hollinghurst is an English novelist who likes to explore private, secret lives. His characters are often gay men — sometimes living in an earlier era, when they wouldn't use the word "gay" to describe themselves.

Update: On Wednesday, chef Jose Enrique was named a finalist in the best chef of the South category by the James Beard Awards.

Finalists for the James Beard Awards — known as the Oscars of the food world — will be announced Wednesday. Among those waiting to hear whether they made the cut are two chefs from San Juan, Puerto Rico, who are nursing their restaurants back to life six months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has that quintessential rock and roll swagger. The band is celebrating its 20th anniversary, but to say that the members celebrate things seems inaccurate. They're fighters. They're defiant, even a bit skeptical. All the pomp and circumstance of a 20th anniversary would be overly indulgent.

For more than a year now, journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn have been devoted to covering the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Last week, women around the U.S. collaborated to make batches of beer.

Here in Massachusetts, more than 20 breweries signed on to highlight women's increasing influence on what's been a male-dominated industry. But many women in the field note there are still challenges.

Both of the books I'm recommending today are each, in their own ways, about cold cases.

After all, what could be colder than the mysteries surrounding the life of that pre-eminent Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie? Christie, by some calculations, is the second best-selling author of all time (beaten by a hair by Shakespeare). She was a resolutely private person and, so, has teased the legion of biographers who have been chipping away at her sphinxlike silence ever since she died in 1976.

"I am authorized to perform acts of justice, power, and retribution, to deliver messages of comfort and healing," begins the angel that wrestled with Jacob in Mallory Ortberg's adaptation of the Biblical story, "Fear Not: An Incident Log."

A guide at the Jasper Johns exhibition at The Broad museum in Los Angeles smiles. Then she urges: "Go look at that one."

Brianna MacGillivray points at "Flags," from 1965. The painting is enigmatic, yet direct — much like the artist.

He's painted two rectangles on a gray background. The top one has black stars against an orange background; the stripes are black and green. There's a tiny white dot on one of the green stripes. Below this rectangle is another one, all gray.

If National Geographic's April issue was going to be entirely devoted to the subject of race, the magazine decided it had better take a good hard look at its own history.

Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg asked John Edwin Mason, a professor of African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia, to dive into the magazine's nearly 130-year archive and report back.

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A man who dressed some of the most glamorous women in the world has died. Hubert de Givenchy died at 91. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, he helped import French couture to America partly by way of Hollywood.


Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Do Backyard Chickens Need More Rules?

Mar 12, 2018

Last September, a cappuccino-colored stray chicken appeared in Katherine Rae Mondo's neighborhood in Oakland, Calif. After it hung around the same intersection for a couple of days, Mondo took it in — her house had a coop, and she was already caring for a housemate's three-chicken flock.

She named the stray chicken Terribad, since, unlike most hens, "she was kind of a wild woman who didn't obey the rules, and she could fly," Mondo says.

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One of the fashion world's most famous designers has died. Hubert de Givenchy styled some of the world's most fashionable women, icons like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco. NPR's Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley has more on his legacy.

Famed French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy has died at age 91, the couture house bearing his name confirms.

Known for designing the little black dress that Audrey Hepburn wears in the opening scene of 1961's Breakfast At Tiffany's, Givenchy was a trailblazer in the world of ready-to-wear fashion.

Born into an aristocratic family in the northern French town of Beauvais, Givenchy was a physically towering man who launched his first collection to immediate fanfare, as Reuters reports:

Siddhartha Khosla has tiptoed into the tear ducts of millions of Americans. He's done it with such delicate genius that even if you've invited the cast of This Is Us into your living room weekly since the show began, you might not have noticed Siddhartha enter along with them. But to watch the show is to feel his presence and to experience both his heart and his own sense of family.