Arts

Arts and culture

The question of assimilation has been on my mind a lot lately. Living in this great country where individuality is embraced, our current obsession with assimilation for those choosing the U.S. as their new home seems like a strange paradox.

In Memoriam 2015

Dec 30, 2015

Many musical voices fell silent in 2015. We lost soul singers and opera stars, blues and folk guitarists, saxophonists and percussionists, plus composers, conductors, producers, and other visionaries. Explore their musical legacies here.


Diane Charlemagne

Feb. 22, 1964 — Oct. 28, 2015

In 2003, James McManus became the best-known storyteller about poker when he published Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs & Binion's World Series of Poker. The book recounts McManus's reporting assignment for Harper's Magazine, in which he covered the 2000 World Series of Poker from the perspective of a player.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

For the last several years, an arts group has decorated windows for various occasions in Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon.  This holiday season, it was Dixon’s turn. 

Ryuichi Sakamoto has been a film composer for more than 30 years. His résumé includes Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Wuthering Heights, and three films by Bernardo Bertolucci, including The Last Emperor, which won Sakamoto an Oscar. But he hasn't done an American studio film since 1992 — until now.

This Spring, the Illinois Reads program will invite residents to read dozens of new books by Illinois authors. One title on their 2016 list is our Winter Book Series selection Paris, He Said, by Christine Sneed.

The novel introduces us to Jayne Marks, an aspiring artist who leaves her New York City life -- friends, steady job, and boyfriend Colin -- for Paris, home of her new lover, Laurent Moller.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

2014 was declared “The Year of the Maker” by a magazine dedicated to Do-It-Yourself culture. President Obama even hosted the first-ever Maker Faire at the White House. And as 2015 draws to a close, there’s an invigorated push in Rockford to create a space where people can get together to share ideas and equipment.

Our Winter Book Series continues Monday with Paris, He Said by Christine Sneed.

The novel is about an aspiring artist, Jayne Marks, who leaves New York City for the "City of Light," home of her new lover, a gallery owner named Laurent.

You can hear a snippet of the interview in the radio promo below:

Christine Sneed is a visiting professor at the University of Illinois. Paris, He Said is her second novel.

Kurt Masur, a former music director of the New York Philharmonic, died Saturday from complications from Parkinson's disease at a hospital in Greenwich, Conn. His death was announced by the New York Philharmonic.

Lyrics tend to be what we remember most about Christmas music, but a song doesn't need to have words to evoke the holidays. In the case of North Texas-based musician Derek Rogers, all he had to do was put Christmas in the title of one of his rich, suggestive drone pieces, and suddenly these thoughtful waves of sound conjure chilly atmospheres and faded family memories.

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