Arts and culture

Jamie Lieberman w/Brenda Puska

The protagonist in our next "Three-Minute Fiction" contest is a familiar one: a retired guy who maintains an immaculate yard and relaxes with a beer after putting the tools in the shed.

While he's past middle-age, he's far from dead. Or maybe you prefer the old "there may be snow on the mountaintop" metaphor. However you put it, he likes looking at women -- especially those younger and more attractive than his wife.

His neighbor mows her lawn on Tuesdays and, lately, does so in a bikini. Our hero sips his beer and watches her, which coincides nicely with our story prompt:

Guy Stephens / WNIJ News

An NIU Art Museum exhibit examines America’s fraught relationship with guns. 

Susanne Slavick is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie-Mellon University and the curator of the exhibit “Unloaded.”  We’re looking at the piece that confronts you as you enter the exhibition.  Mel Chin’s 2012 work, “Cross for the Unforgiven: the 10th Anniversary Multiple,” is made up of 8 AK47 rifles, barrels cut and welded together.  Slavick says it’s a powerful piece.

Betsy Youngquist / BYArt

It’s a good time to catch up on paperwork for employees of state-run museums in Illinois. They’re closed to the public as the budget impasse continues, but employees are expected to show up for work. The mayor of Lockport is working behind the scenes to try to keep the Illinois State Museum art gallery in his town open. 

"Trick or Treat" by KOMU News / Flickr

"Don't go in there!"

How many times have you screamed that during a horror movie? Despite your protests, the hapless character opens the door and steps into the dark room or basement or tunnel -- alone.

Today's "Three-Minute Fiction" story has the same premise, but you'll have to read to the end of "The Last Adventure" to see what happens to the hero.

A Body, Transformed

Oct 6, 2015

The musician and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson has long made America one of her great themes; her panoptic, early '80s magnum opus was titled United States, and her work has shown enduring fascination, and disquiet, with the way our national culture conducts itself. But Habeas Corpus, a multimedia work and concert presented at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4, was remarkable even by her own standards.

Maria Boynton

In Greek mythology, the god Zeus orders a lesser god to create the first woman on earth. The god charged with this task, Hephaestus, makes a stunning beauty out of water and earth. Her name is Pandora and the Olympians shower her with gifts, including a mysterious jar which, through a translation error, became known as Pandora's Box.

Carl Nelson

Remember last month when we launched our first-ever contest for short fiction? We called it "Three-Minute Fiction," inspired by an NPR contest of the same name.

GK Wuori, a Pushcart-Prize winning author, issued the prompt, and agreed to be our judge. When the deadline arrived on Sept. 20, we had more than 100 submissions.

Stephen Sondheim is widely viewed as the greatest living composer in American musical theater. "Send in the Clowns," from the show A Little Night Music, may be his most famous work — and yet you might not recognize the song as reimagined for solo piano by Ethan Iverson of the band The Bad Plus.

A preview of the 2015-2016 Rockford Symphony Orchestra season with WNIU's Eric Hradecky and RSO music director Steve Larsen. An original WNIU Northern Public Radio production.

"Encore" on WNIU is sponsored in part by 1st Step Chiropractic and the Illinois Arts Council.