Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Joe Moore - Valley Public Radio

Downtown Hanford is known for several things, like its historic town square, and ice cream sundaes at Superior Dairy. But one big part of the town's civic identity has been dark for two years - the historic Hanford Fox Theatre. Now the Fox is back, with a new ceiling and other features after structural problems closed the venerable landmark. Dan Humason joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the renovations, the theatre's history and some of the shows that are coming up at the venue. 

Grizzly Fest Facebook

At this year's Grizzly Fest in Downtown Fresno acts like the indie band Cold War Kids and the reggae fusion group Slightly Stoopid will take the stage. Fresno hip-hop artist Fashawn will perform as well as other local artists.

Fresno Philharmonic

Maestro Theodore Kuchar is set to conduct his final Masterworks Concert for the Fresno Philharmonic this weekend, after 15 years as the orchestra's musical director. We spoke with him and mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor about this weekend's concert of works by Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Kalinnikov.

Vanguard Records

Acclaimed author Gerald Haslam grew up in the blue-collar Kern County community of Oildale in the 1940's, a child of the Dust Bowl migration to California. He went to school with another boy with a similar background, a child named Merle Haggard.

Courtesy of Brad Polzin

Band posters usually give concert goers their first inclination of whether a show is worth attending. Fresno Artist Brad Polzin knows a lot about that. He's collected posters from Fresno bands for decades and now he's curating a show all about them.

"We've all seen the big San Francisco rock posters that are so famous," says Polzin. "The Fresno artists were in that same era and they designed their own special, unique versions of these posters." 

Polzin says people have submitted posters from all different genres, venues and eras. 

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a program from our archives featuring local author Jim Ashford reading his story "Ridge Runner."

Today on Young Artists Spotlight we feature performances by three students of local harp instructor Laura Porter. We will hear Aria Delgado, (Sanger Academy); Carter Williams (Fort Washington); Kimberly Klassen,(Kingsburg High) perform in the final Young Artists Spotlight program broadcast from the Bonner Performing Arts Studio.

 

Mai Der Vang

Last week Fresno Hmong-American Poet Mai Der Vang was awarded one of the nation's most prestigious book awards. The Academy of American Poets selected Vang, 34, as this years recipient of the Walt Whitman Award. Each year the honor goes to an emerging writer to make possible the publication of their first book.

In an interview with FM89, Vang says she was shocked by the news.

VANG: “I was just thrilled. I actually asked if they could double check to make sure it was me.”

COURTESY OF ANDRE YANG

A Fresno poet has won one of the nation’s most sought-after book awards. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

The Academy of American Poets has selected thirty-four year old Hmong-American Mai Der Vang as the winner of this year’s prestigious Walt Whitman Award. Each year the honor goes to an emerging writer to make possible the publication of their first book.

Vang says she was shocked by the news.

Courtesy of Good Company Players

It's always an exciting time for theatre in the San Joaquin Valley, but there's recently been some developments on that front in terms of new productions. Fresno Bee arts reporter and theatre critic Donald Munro joined Valley Edition Tuesday March 22 to discuss upcoming shows including a Broadway production coming to Fresno. 

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