Arts

A tiny independent movie has been picked by one of Hollywood's biggest moguls to promote his latest venture. Robert L. Johnson created BET and now, the Urban Movie Channel — an online channel that's being called the black Netflix.

The first original film it has acquired is a gay interracial romance set in the Deep South. In Blackbird, the main character Randy is in high school. Everyone thinks he's gay, and they're totally fine with it.

Randy, 18, is fervently religious. Even though his best friend is gay, Randy's in denial about his own sexuality.

Ginny Gilder
Courtesy of Ginny Gilder

Marcie Sillman talks to Ginny Gilder, Olympic rower and co-owner of the WNBA's Seattle Storm, about her new book, "Course Correction."

Kurt Cobain, front man of the rock group Nirvana, is shown during a benefit concert at the Cow Palace in Daly City, Calif., April 9, 1993.
AP Photo/Sam Morris

Marcie Sillman talks with author and journalist Charles R. Cross about the new Kurt Cobain documentary, "Montage of Heck." 

Spectrum Dance Theater unveils a new "Carmina Burana" dance performance this month by its artistic director Donald Byrd.
Courtesy Spectrum Dance Theater

You may not know it by name, but you've likely heard Carl Orff's 1937 cantata, "Carmina Burana."

Chorale groups present it, commercials and films use it in soundtracks, and choreographers make dances to it. 

This spring, two Seattle dance companies will present works set to "Carmina Burana."

Regardless of our cooking prowess, all of us have undoubtedly spent some time in the kitchen. We all need to eat, and our preferences are intensely personal. Yet food is often overlooked in the biographies of anyone who wasn't a chef or gastronomic icon.

Marcie Sillman talks to author Christine Dupres about her new book "Being Cowlitz: How One Tribe Renewed And Sustained Its Identity." 

Flickr Photo/Joe Thorn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with librarian Nancy Pearl about a book she recommends that combines armchair travel, historical fiction and a good mystery: "The Strangler Vine," by M.J. Carter.

An obscure but riveting genre of theater is being revived in New York City.

They're called "anti-lynching plays." Most were written by black playwrights during the early 1900s to show how lynchings devastated African-American families.

An Orca performs at a SeaWorld location in 2008.
Flickr Photo/Jeff Kraus (CC-BY-NC-ND)

John Hargrove was an orca trainer for 14 years, mainly at SeaWorld. Shortly after quitting the company he gained attention for his part in the documentary "Blackfish." The film chronicles conditions at SeaWorld theme parks and the death of Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld trainer killed by an orca in 2010.

Donnie Wilburn, who is blind, and her husband Bob Wilburn observe a depiction of the Battle of Little Bighorn at the Seattle Art Museum with the help of a vivid description from museum docent laureate Suzanne Ragen.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Read this description, then imagine the art:

It’s a large ceramic jar, created in the 12th century by the Anasazi people who lived in the Southwest and the Colorado plateau.

The decoration on the jar is black and white, and there are stripes, likely to represent rain. Jagged embellishments could mean lightening.

“Then strange little hands, some with five fingers some with six fingers,” says docent Suzanne Ragen, who leads tours for the visually impaired at Seattle Art Museum. She has led tours at SAM for 50 years. 

Reinier Valdes, owner of the dance studio La Clave Cubana.
Courtesy of Reinier Valdes

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Reinier Valdes, owner of the dance studio La Clave Cubana, about his effort to bring Cuban dance to Seattle.

Author Sherman Alexie in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman talks with author Sherman Alexie about his novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," and its place on the American Libraries Association list of most frequently banned and challenged books.

Marcie Sillman talks with librarian Nancy Pearl who has a reading recommendation for those who have exhausted all of John LeCarre's thriller novels: "All the Old Knives," by Olen Steinhauer. 

File Photo: Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank at a USDA event in 2012.
Flickr Photo/USDAgov (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank about his new memoir, "Frank." 

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