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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture.

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Fresno readers likely know the name Diana Marcum from seeing her byline in the Fresno Bee. During her tenure there, her longform journalism brought insight into people’s lives with the narrative quality rarely found in newsprint. As her career took her to the LA Times, Marcum won a Pultizer for her coverage of California’s great drought.

LA Master Chorale

It’s being billed as the largest choral event in the history of California – 10,000 singers in six venues across the state, at the same time. It’s called the Big Sing California and it’s coming to Fresno’s Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall this Saturday. Anna Hamre of the Fresno Community Chorus joined us on Valley Edition to talk about this innovative statewide concert taking place Saturday at 2:00 PM. 

Ernest Lowe

A new exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum opening Friday July 13th, sheds new light on the history of rural African-American communities in the San Joaquin Valley. It features the work of photographer and journalist Ernest Lowe. From 1960-1964 he documented life in the communities of Dos Palos and Pixley, with fine art, black and white photographs.

Spectrum Dance

 

It’s been 76 years since Japanese immigrants and Americans were incarcerated, and sent to internment, also known today as concentration camps, during World War II. They were sent there by Executive Order 9066 from President Roosevelt. The action was under the pretense of defending national security on the West Coast. It wasn’t until the war’s end in 1945 that the government  began closing the camps. A new book co-written by Heather C. Lindquist and Edgar Award winning author Naomi Hirahara examines that period after the camp’s close, and before the redress in 1988, when the U.S.

Marshall W. Johnson / Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Seventy five years ago this month, the streets of Los Angeles turned violent in an event that came to be known as the Zoot Suit Riots. The cause is still unclear, but we know this: for 10 days in 1943, white service members attacked young Latino men on the streets of Southern California, while police turned the other way. The attacks are the subject of a new young adult novel by acclaimed children’s author Margarita Engle. In 2009, the Clovis author’s book "The Surrender Tree" won the prestigious Newberry Medal, the first book by a Latina to receive the honor.

Steve Yarbrough

The Central Valley has a rich literary tradition spanning generations. From Saroyan to Levine to Arax – journalists, poets, novelists and essayists have all found great inspiration in the valley’s soil, its people and the elements - good and bad - that make the region unique. The connection often extends even after a writer leaves the valley – as is the case with acclaimed novelist Steve Yarbrough.

Selma Arts Center

In the last 20 years, arts organizations in the San Joaquin Valley have seen major changes. Some big organizations have closed down, while other upstarts have forged new paths. Major funding streams have also come and gone. As the valley continues to grow and audiences and donors change, what does this mean for local arts organizations? And will a proposed new tax be the boost organizations need to help them thrive? We assembled a panel of three local leaders on July 18, 2018 to talk about these issues, with questions from the audience and Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore. 

University of Arizona Press

Five years ago, Valley Public Radio brought you the story of one man’s search for names that it seemed had been lost to history. Fresno author Tim Z. Hernandez was searching for the families of the 28 passengers who died in a plane crash in western Fresno County in 1948. The passengers on the U.S. Immigration Service flight were Mexican nationals en route from Oakland to El Centro.

Shervin Lainez

Pianist and composer Pascal Le Boeuf returns to northern California in late May with a nine-piece jazz-classical hybrid ensemble for a string of performances from his large scale work “Ritual Being.” This suite explores the differential manifestation of human behavior at micro (individual) and macro (en masse) scales, and how these "rituals" can be propitious or disastrous. FM89’s David Aus spoke with Pascal about this tour, his recent Grammy nomination, and what it’s like to compose for and perform with a jazz quintet and traditional string quartet.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Over 5,000 people came to the Central Valley this weekend to watch the first World Surf League team competition, live. The event took place at Kelly Slater’s world-class wave pool in Lemoore, and some think this surf ranch is the next frontier for the sport.

Chris Estep loves to watch surfing. He says he and his wife watch the competitions whenever they can, but always from their home in Fresno, via livestream video.

Valley Public Radio listeners are familiar with the work of writer Howell Hurst. The former Kern County resident has had several of his short stories featured on the station's program Valley Writers Read. Now he has a new book "I Can't Hear the Drums Anymore" which collects many of those stories. He joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his writing. 

Digital Delano

Many communities across the valley have rich histories. The challenge in many cases is preserving those stories, memories, photos and artifacts for future generations. In one Kern County community, a new effort is underway to do just that. We recently spoke with history professor Oliver Rosales about the Digital Delano project. The effort to collect and record oral histories and more is holding a special event May 1 at the Bakersfield College Delano Campus, and we learn about local residents can help participate. 

Madera County

Madera County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with a plan for a new cultural and performing arts center in downtown Madera. The project would create a joint powers authority to build the facility, which includes the City of Madera, the Madera Unified School District and the Madera County Arts Council. The center would be built where probation and the district attorney’s offices are now, and would include renovation of the historic county library. It’s unknown how much the project would cost.

Finishing Line Press

Fresno has long been a hotbed of poetry, from Philip Levine to Larry Levis to Juan Felipe Herrera. Now a new generation of poets is taking up the tradition of chronicling the region's land and its people. Ronald Dzerigian is one of those poets, and his new book "Rough Fire" captures a unique slice of the local landscape. Dzerigian is a Fresno State MFA grad, and the new collection is his first book, due for release on July 20th 2018 by Finishing Line Press.

In a few months, California families from Eureka to Calexico will begin hopping in the family car for that grand American tradition of the road trip.

Harper Collins

A new biography of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian tells the story of how a young boy from Fresno went on to become one of the richest businessmen in America. From airlines to film studios to the auto industry and casinos, Kerkorian was the consummate dealmaker, but he was also a quiet philanthropist, supporting Armenian causes through his Lincy Foundation. We recently spoke with journalist William C.

Rollin Pickford

A new exhibit at the San Joaquin River Parkway's Coke Hallowell Center For River Studies showcases the works of famed local artist Rollin Pickford. For much of the 20th century, Pickford was acclaimed for his paintings of the landscape of Central California. The new exhibit "Rolling Pickford: California Light" showcases works exclusively depicting the San Joaquin Valley. On display now through April 29th at the River Center at 11605 Old Friant Road in Fresno.

Google Street View

In 2010, architect Julia Morgan became the first woman to win the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects. It was a landmark achievement for the native Californian, who is most famous for designing Hearst Castle for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. It’s the institute’s highest honor, and one shared by icons of the industry like Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Ghery. Even more remarkable – Morgan was awarded the honor 57 years after her death. The award was an attempt in part to correct a longstanding omission by the male-dominated AIA.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno audiences will get a special taste of the classical world of art songs this weekend at Fresno State. The university's music department will host its first "Art Song Festival" Friday and Saturday at the music building, featuring performances by students, faculty and guest artists. Poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will also participate in the event. Professor Maria Briggs joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the event.  

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