Elizabeth Blair http://hppr.org en Actress Elaine Stritch, 'Her Own Greatest Character,' Dies At 89 http://hppr.org/post/actress-elaine-stritch-her-own-greatest-character-dies-89 Elaine Stritch — one of Broadway's boldest and brassiest performers — has died. With that gravelly voice — and those long legs — and that utter command of the stage, Stritch was a bona fide Broadway star. Not as a classic leading lady, necessarily, but as the hardened-yet-vulnerable performer audiences couldn't forget. Stritch died of natural causes Thursday morning at her home in Birmingham, Mich. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:53:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 34708 at http://hppr.org Actress Elaine Stritch, 'Her Own Greatest Character,' Dies At 89 In 'Little Engine That Could,' Some See An Early Feminist Hero http://hppr.org/post/little-engine-could-some-see-early-feminist-hero "Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong."<p>The beloved tale of the little blue engine — who helps bring a broken-down train of toys to the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain — has been chugging along for a very long time. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:13:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 34262 at http://hppr.org In 'Little Engine That Could,' Some See An Early Feminist Hero Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca http://hppr.org/post/pfizer-drops-119-billion-bid-astrazeneca It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. Tue, 27 May 2014 05:36:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 32366 at http://hppr.org Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca Remembering The 'Father' Of G.I. Joe http://hppr.org/post/remembering-father-gi-joe Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Now we're going to remember the man who was known as the father of G.I. Joe. Donald Levine was a toy industry executive in the early 1960s, when the iconic action figure stormed playrooms across the country. Levine died of cancer late last week. He was 86. NPR's Elizabeth Blair does this appreciation.<p>ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Donald Levine served in the Army during the Korean War. Mon, 26 May 2014 20:59:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 32359 at http://hppr.org Colbert Plans To Take Up The Late Night Mic For CBS http://hppr.org/post/colbert-plans-take-late-night-mic-cbs Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The coveted spot held by David Letterman for 21 years will go to Stephen Colbert. CBS made the announcement today. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 30297 at http://hppr.org Fans Of 'The Good Wife' Rocked By [Spoiler Alert] http://hppr.org/post/fans-good-wife-rocked-spoiler-alert The CBS legal drama <em>The Good Wife</em> centers on smart, attractive Chicago lawyer Alicia Florrick. She's "the good wife" because she stood by her politician husband when he cheated on her.<p>But the show's most compelling story line has always been between Alicia and another lawyer, Will Gardner. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 29545 at http://hppr.org Fans Of 'The Good Wife' Rocked By [Spoiler Alert] Smithsonian Institution Gets A New Director http://hppr.org/post/smithsonian-institution-gets-new-director The new head of the Smithsonian Institution was announced Monday. <a href="http://www.cornell.edu/president/about.cfm">David Skorton</a> will leave his job as president of Cornell University to become the institution's 13th secretary since its founding in 1846.<p>Skorton becomes the first physician to lead the Smithsonian. He's a board-certified cardiologist and amateur <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeuZY7uBSG4">jazz musician</a>. Most importantly for the Smithsonian, he's a skilled fundraiser. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:46:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 28886 at http://hppr.org Smithsonian Institution Gets A New Director For Top-Flight Animators, The Gag Is An Art All Its Own http://hppr.org/post/top-flight-animators-gag-art-all-its-own Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>The Lego Movie opened last night in theaters across the country. It's latest example of the magic of animation, filmmakers who bring plastic to life, make animals talk and send toys singing and dancing across a big screen. But animators also love to hurl our most beloved characters over cliffs. They blow them up with dynamite, flatten them with speeding trains. Sat, 08 Feb 2014 15:20:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 27766 at http://hppr.org Philip Seymour Hoffman: An 'Uncanny' Actor Of Stage And Screen http://hppr.org/post/philip-seymour-hoffman-uncanny-actor-stage-and-screen Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/02/270599816/philip-seymour-hoffman-oscar-winner-found-dead-at-46">found dead on Sunday</a> in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46.<p>Hoffman was steeped in his profession — in film, on stage, in the spotlight and behind the scenes.<p>In 2005, he won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 00:06:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 27490 at http://hppr.org Philip Seymour Hoffman: An 'Uncanny' Actor Of Stage And Screen In The Super Bowl Ad Game, One Small Business Will Win Big http://hppr.org/post/super-bowl-ad-game-one-small-business-will-win-big Super Bowl suspense is building — for the game and the commercials. With an audience of over 100 million people, advertisers covet this space, but at a reported $4 million a spot, only the mightiest corporations can afford Super Bowl exposure. This year, though, there's an exception. One lucky little business will get one of those primo slots — free.<p>Intuit, the company that sells software tools including Quicken and TurboTax, is sponsoring a promotion called <a href="https://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/" target="_blank">Small Business, Big Game</a>. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 21:27:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 27131 at http://hppr.org Foundations Keep Detroit Art Off The Auction Block http://hppr.org/post/foundations-keep-detroit-art-auction-block Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>A federal bankruptcy judge in Detroit has mediated a deal that could potentially solve two of the city's biggest problems. The plan would raise money for retirees' pension funds and keep masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Art from being auctioned off. NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.<p>ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: As part of bankruptcy, all assets are on the table. Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:31:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 26714 at http://hppr.org Detroit Needs Money. Can A 'Grand Bargain' Save The City's Art? http://hppr.org/post/detroit-needs-money-can-grand-bargain-save-citys-art Can wealthy art lovers help save Detroit's pension funds — and one of its museums?<p>The city is struggling to find ways to emerge from bankruptcy. One idea: sell the city's art to <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=248779484">save the pensions</a> of city retirees. The Detroit Institute of Arts, or DIA, has faced serious financial difficulties over the years, and yet it holds the city's most valuable assets: a world-class art collection that includes works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Matisse. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 08:20:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 26014 at http://hppr.org Detroit Needs Money. Can A 'Grand Bargain' Save The City's Art? What Do We Mean When We Talk About 'Latino Art'? http://hppr.org/post/what-do-we-mean-when-we-talk-about-latino-art When the Whitney Museum of American Art announced the <a href="http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2014Biennial">artists for its 2014 biennial</a>, people took to the Internet to chime in about who's been included and who's been left out; the last biennial had been blasted for ignoring Latino artists. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 21:32:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 24769 at http://hppr.org What Do We Mean When We Talk About 'Latino Art'? Charity Watchdog Shakes Up Ratings To Focus On Results http://hppr.org/post/charity-watchdog-shakes-ratings-focus-results There's one area of the economy that's growing faster than business or government.<p>According to the <a href="http://www.urban.org/nonprofits/">Urban Institute</a>, in the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent. But most of them aren't very good at measuring their effectiveness — at least, that's the conclusion of the nonprofit watchdog <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a>, which rates thousands of nonprofits to help donors make decisions on their giving.<p>Now, Charity Navigator is planning to change its ratings system. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 07:15:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 23253 at http://hppr.org Charity Watchdog Shakes Up Ratings To Focus On Results Congressional Impasse Leaves Museums Empty, Monuments Shut http://hppr.org/post/congressional-impasse-leaves-museums-empty-monuments-shut Federal bureaucracies aren't the only ones scaling back operations during the government shutdown. It's also meant that kids couldn't take field trips to the Smithsonian.<p>In fact most of the popular Washington attractions funded by the government are closed. That includes the Smithsonian's 19 museums and the National Zoo, plus Ford's Theatre and the National Gallery of Art.<p>Christy Agor is on maternity leave from her job at the State Department. She admits that as a federal worker she should have known the National Zoo would be closed Tuesday. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 22:10:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 22386 at http://hppr.org Congressional Impasse Leaves Museums Empty, Monuments Shut Disney Experiments With 2-Screen Experience Involves iPads http://hppr.org/post/disney-experiments-2-screen-experience-involves-ipads Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>I don't know about you, but I'm a little troubled when I hear about people who watch multiple screens. You know what I'm talking about. Maybe you're watching a movie at home while live tweeting, or while keeping track at a ballgame. At least movie theaters are a sacred space, immune to these changes.<p>Or not - I guess this was bound to happen. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 09:58:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 21981 at http://hppr.org Latino Buying Power Gets Movie Studios' Attention http://hppr.org/post/latino-buying-power-gets-movie-studios-attention One of the surprise movie hits this past weekend was almost entirely in Spanish. <em>Instructions Not Included</em> made an enormous amount of money per screen, more than $22,000, playing in fewer than 350 theaters. The boys in One Direction had the number one film, but they pulled in less than $6000 per screen. That's a huge victory for star Eugenio Derbez, a household name in Mexico, and for Pantelion films, which has been trying to find a Spanish-language hit in the U.S. Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:51:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 21142 at http://hppr.org Latino Buying Power Gets Movie Studios' Attention Comedian Hari Kondabolu On Diversity, Race And Burger King http://hppr.org/post/comedian-hari-kondabolu-diversity-race-and-burger-king Hari Kondabolu is a brainy comedian who cuts through the polite talk around race and gender. He's made a lot of key people laugh with his incisive anecdotes, including Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien and John Oliver.<p>A full-time writer on the FX show <em>Totally Biased</em> <em>with W. Kamau Bell</em>, he recently did a comedy bit on the National Spelling Bee, or "as I like to call it," he joked, "the Indian Super Bowl."<p>Kondabolu makes a fair point: For six years in a row, the winner has been Indian-American. Thu, 18 Jul 2013 07:20:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 18964 at http://hppr.org Toshi Seeger, Wife Of Folk Singer Pete Seeger, Dies At 91 http://hppr.org/post/toshi-seeger-wife-folk-singer-pete-seeger-dies-91 <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7pzic4mf7o</p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 22:04:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 18669 at http://hppr.org Toshi Seeger, Wife Of Folk Singer Pete Seeger, Dies At 91 'Me' Too: For Gru, Another Shot At Global Domination http://hppr.org/post/me-too-gru-another-shot-global-domination There will be hits and misses at movie houses this summer, but it's a decent bet <em>Despicable Me 2 </em>will end up in the that-went-well column.<p>The star, a would-be world-dominating supervillain named Gru, is a hulking, blustering figure with an appetite for mayhem — and a surprising soft spot. He'll boast that he's about to pull off "the crime of the century," then sit down to read his little girls — he's recently, reluctantly, adopted three of them, and they're <em>adorable</em> — a bedtime story.<p>Physically, Gru is quite a spectacle. Sat, 22 Jun 2013 09:03:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 17772 at http://hppr.org 'Me' Too: For Gru, Another Shot At Global Domination Plans For Smithsonian Museum 'Bubble' May Have Burst http://hppr.org/post/plans-smithsonian-museum-bubble-may-have-burst Call it the Smithsonian's bubble problem. One of the Smithsonian museums — the Hirshhorn museum for contemporary art — came up with an ambitious new design to add more space: Why not build <a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Real-Deal-With-the-Hirshhorn-Bubble-204127181.html" target="_blank">a giant, inflatable structure</a> that would be big enough for people to walk around in?<p>But some of the Smithsonian's trustees in Washington, D.C., haven't been blown away by the bubble.<p>Some say the windowless Hirshhorn museum on the National Mall looks like a concrete bunker. Tue, 28 May 2013 07:39:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 16564 at http://hppr.org Plans For Smithsonian Museum 'Bubble' May Have Burst 'Venus And Serena': An Extraordinary Story, Told On Film http://hppr.org/post/venus-and-serena-extraordinary-story-told-film It's Cinderella plus Jackie Robinson times two. When Venus and Serena Williams burst onto the lily-white world of tennis, they changed the game and made history: They were sisters. From a poor neighborhood. Who brought unprecedented power to the game. And both reached No. 1.<p>Their journey is the subject of a new documentary called <em>Venus and Serena</em>, showing in select theaters around the country.<p>"It's not just about sports," says co-director Maiken Baird. "I think of it as the great American story. It's rich with family, sisterhood, race, hard work and tenaciousness."<br /> Fri, 17 May 2013 21:50:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 16166 at http://hppr.org 'Venus And Serena': An Extraordinary Story, Told On Film In D.C., Art Program Turns Boys' Lives Into 'Masterpieces' http://hppr.org/post/dc-art-program-turns-boys-lives-masterpieces <em>This is the third in a three-part series about</em> <em>the intersection of education and the arts.</em><p>Life Pieces to Masterpieces is an arts program that's not entirely about the art. It's an after-school program based in a struggling neighborhood in Washington, D.C., that teaches black boys and young men what they call "the four C's": "Connect, create, contribute, celebrate." From ages 3-25, they learn to express themselves by conceiving their paintings together. And those paintings will often reflect what's going on in their lives.<p>Maurice Kie, 26, is a mentor with Life Pieces. Thu, 18 Apr 2013 18:41:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 14888 at http://hppr.org In D.C., Art Program Turns Boys' Lives Into 'Masterpieces' More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids' Creativity To The Test http://hppr.org/post/more-50-years-putting-kids-creativity-test <em>This is the second in a three-part series about</em> <em>the intersection of education and the arts.</em><p>Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?"<p>It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence. And it's not the only creativity test out there.<p>So why bother measuring creativity? Wed, 17 Apr 2013 21:37:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 14847 at http://hppr.org More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids' Creativity To The Test Familiar Folks Make Up A Play's 'Good People' http://hppr.org/post/familiar-folks-make-plays-good-people How we end up in life has a lot to do with where we came from. That theory gets a good workout in the play <em>Good People,</em> from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire. When the show was on Broadway two years ago, the trade magazine <em>Variety </em>proclaimed that "If <em>Good People</em> isn't a hit, there is no justice in the land."<p>As it turns out, justice has been served:<em> Good People</em> is the most produced play in America this theatrical season. Mon, 18 Mar 2013 04:48:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 13599 at http://hppr.org Familiar Folks Make Up A Play's 'Good People' In Moscow, Scandals Shake A Storied Ballet http://hppr.org/post/moscow-scandals-shake-storied-ballet It's a story right out of the movies: The artistic director of one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world is violently attacked. His attacker and the motive are shrouded in mystery. But behind these sensational headlines is a ballet company that is both legendary and plagued with scandals and infighting.<p>Last month in Moscow, Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director, was attacked by a masked man who threw acid in his face, causing severe burns and nearly blinding him. Tue, 05 Feb 2013 00:58:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 11919 at http://hppr.org In Moscow, Scandals Shake A Storied Ballet For Super Bowl Ads, More Social-Media Savvy http://hppr.org/post/super-bowl-ads-more-social-media-savvy <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfCm9P8naDQ</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmIGTTy8pI0</p> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 21:10:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 11816 at http://hppr.org For Super Bowl Ads, More Social-Media Savvy For Would-Be Sundancers, Kickstarter Can Fuel Films http://hppr.org/post/would-be-sundancers-kickstarter-can-fuel-films If you want to make a movie, you generally need a lot of money. And filmmakers have to be creative about raising it.<p>Just ask the filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, taking place this week in Park City, Utah. Fri, 25 Jan 2013 07:46:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 11510 at http://hppr.org For Would-Be Sundancers, Kickstarter Can Fuel Films World War II Exhibit Asks Visitors, 'What Would You Do?' http://hppr.org/post/world-war-ii-exhibit-asks-visitors-what-would-you-do For many, the stakes and the scale of World War II are hard to fathom. It was a war fought around the world, against powerful, determined regimes in Europe and the Pacific; some 65 million people died. Sat, 12 Jan 2013 10:34:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 11020 at http://hppr.org World War II Exhibit Asks Visitors, 'What Would You Do?' Remembering Fontella Bass, Voice Of A Soul Classic http://hppr.org/post/remembering-fontella-bass-voice-soul-classic Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The voice of a great soul classic has died. Fontella Bass sang the 1965 hit "Rescue Me." She was 72 years old and died from complications caused by a recent heart attack. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has this appreciation.<p>ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: It's a perfect song with a perfect voice.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RESCUE ME")<p>FONTELLA BASS: (Singing) Rescue me. Take me in your arms. Rescue me. I love your tender charms. I'm rather lonely and I'm blue. I need you and your love, too. Fri, 28 Dec 2012 21:18:00 +0000 Elizabeth Blair 10523 at http://hppr.org