Professor Robert Reich at Town Hall Seattle on Oct. 19, 2015.
Flickr Photo/Al Garman (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Robert Reich says he’s often stopped by strangers at airports. People walk right up to him, forego any niceties, and get straight to the question: “What are we going to do?”

Reich says that makes him optimistic, because it’s not just liberals asking.

Where's This Painting? 30 Years After Its Theft, Nobody Knows

Nov 27, 2015

Thirty years ago, one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century vanished. It wasn't an accident and it wasn't some elaborate movie heist. It was a simple theft — and it's still a mystery.

It was the day after Thanksgiving in 1985. Staff at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson were getting to work, just like any other day.

"It was almost 9 o'clock so the museum was gearing up to open the doors," says museum curator Olivia Miller. "The security guards opened the doors for one of the staff members, and two people followed behind."

Julianna Baggot's book, 'Hariet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders'
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about a book that both surprised and delighted her: "Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders," by Julianna Baggott.

Macklemore's latest effort with producer Ryan Lewis is "Kevin," a funk-flavored tirade against the ravages of addiction, with a particularly scathing indictment against overprescription of medication. The Seattle duo is joined by soul singer Leon Bridges for the hook. "Doctor please give me a dose of the American dream," Bridges implores. "Put down the pen and look in my eyes. We're in the waiting room and something ain't right."

Pacific Northwest Ballet company members in George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker."
Angela Sterling

You take a chance any time you swap out an old favorite for something new.

Make a change during the holiday season and a nonprofit arts group could risk a significant portion of its annual income if tickets don’t sell. But play it safe and there’s the risk of producing stale art.

What To Do With Underused Churches?

Nov 23, 2015
Nathan Marion stands on stage at the Fremont Abbey during a community concert.
Courtesy of Abbey Arts/ Eratosthenes Fackenthall

Bill Radke takes a tour of the Fremont Abbey with Abbey Arts director Nathan Marion, who explained why he believes community art spaces improve public health.

Stuart McLean on the 'Vinyl Cafe' Facebook page.
Vinyl Cafe/Facebook

"Vinyl Cafe" host Stuart McLean has canceled his public radio show's Christmas tour, including a Seattle stop, saying he's been diagnosed with melanoma and begins therapy next week.

Gloria Steinem and Cheryl Strayed at Benaroya Hall on Nov. 8.
Courtesy of Bre LeBeuf

Gloria Steinem doesn’t like being called an icon. She sees herself as one in a tide of women who made and make change, so she doesn’t want to be put up on a pedestal.

But she is called an icon, and has come to represent the modern struggle for women’s rights and equality.

Rainn Wilson: 'I was on the chess team. Model United Nations. Computer club. Debate club. I played xylophone in the marching band, and the Shorecrest High School Highlanders wear kilts.  So I was a skinny, xylophone player in a dress.'
Flickr Photo/Jens Schott Knudsen (CC BY NC 2.0)/

Rainn Wilson – Dwight Schrute on The Office – grew up in the Seattle area and attended the University of Washington. He spoke recently with KUOW Ross Reynolds about nerd-dom, the Baha'i faith and his new book, "The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith and Idiocy."

David Hyde interviews Seattle-based biologist Anne Bikle ad University of Washington Professor David Montgomery about their new book on the beneficial role microbes play in agriculture and human health called "The Hidden Half Of Nature."

'Sesame Street' has included children and a new character with autism.
Screenshot from YouTube

Jeannie Yandel talks to Dr. Wendy Stone is a professor of psychology and director of the READi lab at the University of Washington. Dr. Stone was a consultant for Sesame Street as they created their first character with autism, Julia. Julia is also a character in their digital storybook, "We're Amazing, 1,2,3!"  

Poet Rick Barot reads his poem "After Darwish."
Courtesy of Mara Barot

Washington state poet laureate Elizabeth Austen presents a "darkly beautiful love poem" from Tacoma-based poet Rick Barot.

In his poem "After Darwish," he gives voice to the perennial human longing for a love without conflict, without loss. His poem borrows a line from Palestinian  poet Mahmoud Darwish's "I Want From Love Only the Beginning." 

'The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?' by Dale Russakoff
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman gets the week's reading recommendations from Nancy Pearl, "The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?" by Dale Russakoff. This new book chronicles one big effort in Newark, New Jersey to improve its public schools. 

Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon, 1784, by Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Louis Rémy Mignot.
Public Domain

In 1777 Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette was a French aristocrat looking for military glory. Since the French weren’t at war, the 19-year-old crossed the Atlantic to join George Washington and other American revolutionaries in their fight with the British.

That’s where Sarah Vowell comes in.

A portrait of composer Claude Debussy painted by Marcel  Baschet, 1884.
Public Domain

Pop music has always  borrowed liberally from classical themes: think Al Jolson’s 1920 hit “Avalon” lifting Puccini’s opera “Tosca,” 1970s disco sensation "A Fifth of Beethoven” or Vitamin C’s more modern sampling of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major.”

But it's a two-way street! In fact, the first borrowing might have taken place on the classical side.