Arts & Culture

Valley Writers Read
7:08 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Gary Hill's "There's No One At Manubi, Only Flies" on Valley Writers Read

Gary Hill reads “There's No One At Manubi, Only Flies.”  This story takes place in the huge Gibson Desert of Australia.  A desert tribe desperately hopes a distant rain cloud will end the drought.  But it doesn't.  But just as they prepare to die of thirst, they see a water truck in the distance.  However, even if it saves them, some will not want to go to the mission with the truck but remain in their ancestral home.  

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Valley Writers Read
7:01 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Valerie Schultz's “Some Kind of Bee” and “Four Seasons and The Moon”

Valerie Schultz reads “Some Kind of Bee” and “Four Seasons and The Moon.”  Grandma is driving down the street when a bee blows in the window.  She's so distracted she loses concentration and wrecks the car.  Now all she can talk about is how old she is, just old enough to make funeral arrangements.  But she's in for a big surprise!

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Arts & Culture
6:26 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Masumoto: What Would Steinbeck Write Today?

David Mas Masumoto

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s tale of the Dust Bowl emigration to California – the Grapes of Wrath. Late last year, Cal State Bakersfield launched a year-long celebration of the book and its author, which includes an event taking place Wednesday night at CSUB titled “If Steinbeck was a Farmer.”

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Valley Writers Read
7:01 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Jim Benelli's “Big Joe and the Red Headed Hitchhiker” on Valley Writers Read

Jim Benelli reads “Big Joe and the Red Headed Hitchhiker.”  A beer-drinking, Buck Owens-loving truck driver is on his way to St. Louis with a load of tomatoes.  He picks up a red-headed  hitchhiker who knows all the words to Buck Owens' songs but somehow disappears after the truck has an accident out in the Mojave desert.  

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Valley Writers Read
7:41 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Debbie Everson Borofka's "Remembrance" on Valley Writers Read

Debbie Everson Borofka reads "Remembrance."  The narrator's father came down with bronchitis when he was just a baby.  So the grandparent put him in a tent with boiling water inside to supply steam.  Unfortunately, the water spilled over and scalded the baby's feet so badly that he lost them.  This accident affected family relationships for decades.

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Arts & Culture
6:10 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

'Buck 'Em!' Brings New Insights Into The Life And Music Of Buck Owens

The new posthumous autobiography of Buck Owens "Buck 'Em"
Backbeat Books

Buck Owens was one of the giants of country music, helping to define a rough and ready sound that will forever be linked with the city that Owens called home – Bakersfield. While Owens died in 2006, his legacy lives on. Now a new book titled “Buck 'Em: The Autobiography of Buck Owens” tells his story.

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Valley Writers Read
7:19 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Judy Ryan's "Whistle Stop" on Valley Writers Read

Judy Ryan reads “Whistle Stop.”  It's a story about Jennifer who for years didn't want to talk but only whistled.  She got pregnant, ran away from home, gave her baby up for adoption, and finally decided to look for her grandparents.  That's when she thought she found her grandfather—who really wasn't.  

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Valley Writers Read
5:04 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Masumoto Family's "The Perfect Peach" on Valley Writers Read

The Perfect Peach
Ten Speed Press

Three members of the Masumoto family, Mas, his wife Marcy, and daughter Nikiko read “The Perfect Peach.”  They tell us what it takes to grow peaches and grapes on their productive farm in Del Rey and describe how they tend to their land and how to enjoy the results of their labor—especially those delicious peaches!

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Arts & Culture
5:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Downtown Arts Complex Brings Momentum to 'M Street'

M Street Arts Complex
Credit M Street Arts Complex

Over the past decade, downtown Fresno's arts scene has blossomed with new galleries and studios, not to mention live-work lofts and an area filled with public art that's been dubbed the mural district. 

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Arts & Culture
10:40 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Dia De Los Muertos Altars Are A 'Celebration Of Their Lives'

Helen Rael's altar at Arte Americas honors Latino icons who died recently.
Rebecca Plevin Valley Public Radio

During the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead,) people remember loved ones who have died. Traditionally, they honor the deceased with altars featuring sugar skulls, marigold flowers, photos and their favorite foods and drinks. This month, Arte Americas, in downtown Fresno, is exhibiting altars in memory of local residents and Latino icons.

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Arts & Culture
4:19 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

New Novel Tells Story of Kerouac's Elusive 'Mexican Girl'

Bea Kozera held Tim Z. Hernandez's book, 'Manana Means Heaven,' a week before she died at age 92.
Courtesy of Tim Z. Hernandez

Albert Franco recalls his late mother like any son might. 

He says she was a wonderful cook, housewife, grandmother, and mother.

But at Bea Kozera's funeral, in a Fresno cemetery in late August, Franco described what made his mother's personal story extraordinary.

“Some of you are aware of my mom’s notoriety,” Albert Franco said. “She was a famous person, which we never knew - never knew, for about 60 years almost.” 

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Fresno Philharmonic
10:06 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Artist Interview: Pianist Inon Barnatan

Inon Barnatan

Pianist Inon Barnatan joins us at Valley Public Radio to talk about his new CD of works by Franz Schubert, and about his upcoming performance in Fresno, in the debut concert of the Fresno Philharmonic's 60th anniversary season. Barnatan will perform Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2, a rarely heard work by the Russian master. In this interview we discuss Barnatan's career, his beginnings in classical music as a young child in Israel, his approach to the recording studio, and much more.

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Arts & Culture
5:35 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Author Interview: Tim Z. Hernandez Talks About New Novel, Kerouac's "Mexican Girl"

Credit http://timzhernandez.com/

Author Tim Z. Hernandez's new novel "Mañana Means Heaven," tells a fictionalized story of the real-life “Mexican Girl” from Jack Kerouac’s "On The Road."  

Valley Edition Host Joe Moore interviewed Hernandez about why he chose to tell the story, how he met Bea Franco (later known as Bea Kozera)  and more. 

Here are some highlights from our interview with Hernandez:

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Zocalo Public Square
5:22 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

In Visalia, Pizza and Poetry Mix at Howie & Son's

Howie & Son's Pizza on Mooney Boulevard in Visalia hosts a regular poetry slam
Credit Howie & Son's

If you want to hear poetry on a Friday night in the San Joaquin Valley, stop by Howie & Son’s Pizza Parlor in Visalia.

You’ll find us in the back room, by the video game machines.

This isn’t your standard poetry reading. It’s poetry slam, the competitive art of performance poetry. We write our own verse and then deliver it, forcefully and in our own distinctive style.

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Arts & Culture
5:53 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Selma's New Arts Center Makes A Bold Statement

The new Selma Arts Center is a striking addition to the city's quaint downtown.
Joe Moore Valley Public Radio

The City of Selma opens the doors of its new Arts Center Wednesday evening with a ribbon cutting ceremony. And while the building's striking architecture is creating a buzz, its mission as a cultural center has captured the community's imagination. Valley Public Radio’s Joe Moore reports.

Dozens of painters, plasterers, and electricians were hard at work today in downtown Selma, putting the finishing touches on a new jewel in the city's downtown - the $2.5 million Selma Arts Center. 

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Arts & Culture
5:51 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

How I Started an Opera Company in Visalia

Credit Visalia Opera Company

How did I, of all people, end up starting an opera company? The answer has to do with being willing to forget about credentials and just take that first step. The answer also has to do with the open culture of my hometown.

I grew up in Visalia, singing Gloria Estefan and Selena songs at county fairs. All I wanted to do when I grew up was to be a pop singer—to shake my booty on stage and wear glittery outfits. I didn’t know the first thing about opera.

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Arts & Culture
12:34 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Fresno's Fashawn Overcomes Challenges in Rise to Hip Hop Stardom

Fresno's Fashawn is one of the top young stars in the world of hip-hop
Fashawn

One of today’s brightest young stars in the world of hip hop is from Fresno. His name is Fashawn. He’s been on the cover of XXL Magazine, he’s toured internationally with some of the biggest MC’s, and his own recordings and videos like the critically acclaimed “Boy Meets World” combine clever wordplay and rhythms with a message.

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Arts & Culture
2:27 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

For Dan Pessano, 40 Years of Keeping 'Good Company' in Fresno

Dan Pessano is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his "Good Company Players" theater group this year. The company is also the subject of a new book by the Fresno Bee's Donald Munro.
Credit Good Company Players

For generations Fresno residents have laughed and cried with the actors of the Good Company Players. Now celebrating 40 years on the stage in Fresno’s Tower District, the community theater company, and its founder Dan Pessano, are the subject of a new e-book from Fresno Bee features writer Donald Munro – called “The Company We Keep” – it’s available for download on the 

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History
11:36 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Yosemite's 'Buffalo Soldiers' Inspire Ranger Shelton Johnson, African Americans

Yosemite ranger Shelton Johnson portrays one of the park's "Buffalo Soldiers" in a weekly stage play
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. 

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Arts & Culture
10:23 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Fadiman: In 'Spirit,' "The Villain is Cultural Misunderstanding"

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.

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