Arts and Culture

Amanda Shires

While pregnant with her first child, Amanda Shires was playing fiddle on the road for her husband, the country superstar, Jason Isbell. Near the end of her pregnancy, touring got to be too much. So she stayed home, alone, for weeks… with nothing to do but write songs.More

 The Great Lakes mobile, by Melanie Ariens

Melanie Ariens has become known for her water-themed art, a focus of her combined loves of art and environmental activism. She uses mostly recycled materials to make art that makes people think about the Great Lakes, the rivers, and the water we drink.More

Tree

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” is overturning a lot of conventional thinking. It’s been called “visionary” and “monumental” — and it earned him the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.More

Jacqueline Woodson

Author Jacqueline Woodson writes the kind of “black girl narrative” that didn’t exist when she was younger — and she’s always wished she had to read.More

Potato gleaners in France

Influential French New Wave filmmaker Agnes Varda has passed away at 90. She died of breast cancer in her home in Paris. In 2002, Steve spoke to her about her seminal work "The Gleaners and I."More

Zoe Quinn

Game developer Zoe Quinn on how her game "Depression Quest" brought a torrent of harassment and abuse to her doorstep. She tells Anne about the steps she took to protect herself, and why she's still optimistic about the potential for living and working online.More

Avery Trufelman

Avery Trufelman hosts "Articles of Interest," a six-part podcast from "99 Percent Invisible" about some iconic items of clothing — from blue jeans to Hawaiian shirts to pockets. Anne wanted to know how that work connects to what she wears every day.More

Girls in pink, boys in blue

Historian Jo Paoletti speaks with Shannon about gender's ever-changing relationship with fashion.More

The many Angelo styles

Choosing what to put on your body is more than just taking something off a hanger and praying it fits. When you get dressed in the morning, you’re constructing an identity. That’s complicated, as producer Angelo Bautista discovered.More

agnés b

The most iconic designers have always done more than invent new looks — they help re-imagine our lives, our world. As Steve Paulson discovered when he met designer agnés b.More

Carolyn Smith

Could you trade the convenience of instant-purchase online clothing stores for a wardrobe you made yourself? Carolyn Smith went for an even bigger challenge: only wearing clothing she made by hand for a full year.tMore

Jeff Chang

Jeff Chang has long known that art can be a catalyst for social change. For Chang, a journalist and culture critic who’s written extensively about the political influence of hip-hop, artists play a pivotal role in helping society imagine new realities.More

Mariela Shaker

In 2013, violinist Mariela Shaker escaped the Syrian Civil War and relocated to the US, moving from Aleppo, a city of 2 million, to a small Illinois town of less than 10,000.More

desks

Young people seem to be feeling the pressure to be perfect more than anyone else. Social psychologist Tom Curran tells us how neoliberalism and the digital age created a generation that feels guilty about falling short of flawlessness.More

Kim on screen

Author Lucas Mann writes that calling reality TV a guilty pleasure is "the dumbest cultural cliche." We ask him about his new book "Captive Audience," which is about his relationship with reality TV and the person he watches it with — his wife.More

The creative mind

Novelist Siri Hustvedt knows how the creative process feels. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin knows what it looks like in the brain. Together with Steve, they explore the emerging science of creativity.More

The many Alma Mahlers

Alma Mahler inspired symphonies, poems and paintings. She was lover and muse to some of the most celebrated artists of the early 20th century. Novelist Mary Sharratt thinks she would have been a great artist in her own right – if she hadn’t been born a woman. More

"Junebug"

Nathaniel Mary Quinn was abandoned as a child. Today, he’s a celebrated painter, exhibiting around the world. He tells Charles his remarkable story about talent and perseverance in the face of enormous odds.More

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