Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

One hundred years ago this summer, a group of U.S. Army cavalry soldiers left the Presidio in San Francisco, and made the hot dusty trek across the San Joaquin Valley to both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Veterans of the Spanish American War, were charged with protecting the new national parks from poachers, timber thieves, and with building park infrastructure. They were in essence America's first park rangers. 

When author Anne Fadiman first visited Merced in the late 1980s, she says more than 10,000 Hmong refugees and their children were living there. At that time, about one out of every six people living in Merced was Hmong, she says.

The hospitals were overwhelmed by the new refugee population, she recalls. Medical interpretation was not legally mandated at that time, and Merced Community Medical Center had just one Hmong interpreter. It often fell to the hospital janitor, or a family’s young child, to translate sensitive medical information to a patient.

http://steveyarbrough.net/

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story titled "A Life of Ease" by acclaimed novelist Steve Yarbrough. John Grisham wrote of Yarbrough, [he is] "wickedly observant, funny, cynical, evocative, and he possesses a gift that cannot be taught: he can tell a story." 

Yarbrough's 2004 novel "Prisoners of War" was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and his 1999 novel "The Oxygen Man" won the California Book Award.  He taught at Fresno State from 1988 - 2009. Yarbrough's story is about a minister in a small church in Mississippi and his interactions with his parishioners. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, Fresno author Sally Stallings reads two stories about Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.  The author gives us a good look at what happened to both young and old—both backstage and out front at various Christmas performances of the popular ballet.  

This week on Valley Writers Read, our program revolves around the sport of golf with two stories by local authors. In Angelo Angarano's “Born Again Golfer,” we hear what happened to an avid golfer when he enlisted a Zen Buddhist golf pro to help him answer an important question. And in David Creighton's story “Golf!  A Four-Lettered Word”  the author describes what happened to a golfer who dumped three consecutive golf shots right into the middle of a lake.

When poet James Tyner was a child, he faced an uncertain future, including time spent homeless, and living in tough, gang-ridden neighborhoods in Southern California. He says two things helped "save" him: a love of literature and the city of Fresno.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear two stories from two local authors. Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco resides in Merced and reads her own story, titled "Military Cemetery." It tells us about an encounter between two young women and a couple of men they met at a bar, one of whom has a shocking announcement. The second story, "Leaving Rapunzel's Window" by Fresno author Anne Leath Biggs describes the author's childhood in a middle-class neighborhood on Michigan Avenue in Fresno.  

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by Tehachapi author Valerie Schultz titled "The Rufus Gene." The story is about a the adventures of family who move into an upscale neighborhood and their mixed-breed dog Rufus. 

This week on our program, Fresno author Ed Miller reads his story "Blur" is about a dinner date that went sour. Find out what happened in this intense edition of Valley Writers Read. 

Rebecca Plevin / Valley Public Radio

This weekend the stage of the Saroyan Theatre will be filled with hundreds of young musicians, with hundreds more in the audience. It’s all part of an effort by a Fresno composer to break down the boundaries between classical music and mariachi, and to bring young audiences into the world of music, in a fun, interactive way. Valley Public Radio's Rebecca Plevin reports.

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It’s Sunday afternoon and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra is rehearsing a new, mariachi-inspired song.

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