Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

courtesy Dianne Hales

Visitors flock to the Louvre every day for a glimpse of her wry half-smile, but few people know the story of the real-life Mona Lisa. Author Dianna Hales tells the story of Lisa Gheradini, the likely subject of Leonardo DaVinci's famous portrait, in Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has the review for Hales' fascinating biography.

Detractors of modern-day Israel often compare it to apartheid South Africa, but how valid are those claims? Journalist Benjamin Pogrund, who has lived in both modern Israel and apartheid South Africa, examines the comparison in his book Drawing Fire: Investigating the Accusations of Apartheid in Israel. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

The play “Lincoln” will be presented Friday, July 24 at 7 p.m. at Thomas Duncan Community Hall in a benefit performance for the Linden Depot Museum. WBAA’s Jan Simon has this preview.

Ball State Artwork Now Party To Smuggling Investigation

Jul 20, 2015
David Owsley Museum of Art

A piece of art at a Ball State University museum is now involved in a controversial international theft investigation. The bronze sculpture is more than 1,000 years old and depicts the Hindu god Shiva and his bride, Parvati, the Hindu goddess of love.

But the U.S. Justice Department alleges the dealer, Subhash Kapoor, is one of the world‘s top art smugglers and temple raiders. He is currently targeted by a Justice Department investigation. Ball State Museum Director Robert La France says he’s already talked with federal authorities, but can't say much about the investigation.

Tomatoes are a summer staple,and Craig LeHoullier details absolutely everything about the fruit in his book Epic Tomatoes: How to Select & Grow the Best Varieties of All Time. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel shares his review of this beautifully illustrated guide to cultivating tomatoes.

When the musicians of Leningrad first performed Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, their city was under siege by Nazi forces.  The players were unsure they could finish the piece without collapsing. All of Leningrad was famished and frozen. Author Brian Moynahan tells the compelling story of how Shostakovich's ode to Leningrad made it to the stage, despite all odds. Leningrad: Siege and Symphony highlights the need for beauty and art in difficult times. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review.

Jan Simon talks with Larry Paarlberg, Executive Director of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum about the author of Ben Hur, upcoming events, and the restoration of the Study and Museum.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Kelley just wants to dance with her friends underneath the moonlight, but what she finds in the dark of night is sinister and strange. Hoosier author Aaron Galvin constructs a chilling tale of the aftermath of the Salem witch trials in his historical thriller, Salem's Vengeance. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has a review of the first book in Galvin's Salem Trilogy.

The L.S. Ayres department store was a keystone of Indianapolis for more than a hundred years before its branch stores closed their doors in 2006. Ayres was known for its decadent tea room, ornate window displays, and collection of high-end women's fashion. Author Kenneth Turchi fondly traces the long history of the store in his book L.S. Ayres and Company: The Store at the Crossroads of America. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has this review. 

WBAA’s Greg Kostraba talks to Bill Kissinger, Musical Director of the Lafayette Citizens Band, about the history and activities of the band. They also preview concerts this summer, including the Stars and Stripes Concert.

WBAA's Greg Kostraba recently sat down with Beth Hill from the Tippecanoe Music Teachers Association and her student Christopher Heern to talk about the Monster Concert, Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Lafayette.

Library's World Record Attempt A Balancing Act

May 29, 2015

The Hancock County Public Library hopes to kick off its summer reading club by setting the world record for having the most people simultaneously balancing books on their heads.

They need roughly a thousand people to complete the feat to beat a record set in Australia last year.  Catherine Riley, the library‘s youth services manager, hopes the event will engage young readers.

"We’re tying it in to kicking off summer reading because we have a superhero theme, and we thought that’d be a good way to have kids be super heroes by getting this world record" Riley says.

Before anyone got their news from Facebook or Twitter, telegrams made current events accessible around the globe. The invention's rise in popularity allowed the American Civil War to become one of the first conflicts to spark global interest.

The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War by Professor Don Doyle examines how the war was received in the rest of the world, and how both sides attempted to sway international opinion. West Lafayette Public Library Director Nick Schenkel has this review.

WBAA's Greg Kostraba recently sat down with Nick Palmer, Music Director of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra to talk about the orchestra's "Shredding with the Symphony" concert, Saturday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Lafayette.

The 42nd Annual Round the Fountain Art Fair takes place Saturday, May 23rd from 9 am to 4:30 pm on Courthouse Square in downtown Lafayette. Keith Austin, who sits on the committee for the art fair, recently talked to WBAA’s Jan Simon about the event.