Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Cheyna Roth photo
Jonathan Roth

Cheyna Roth used to cover the state capital for WKAR. Now a reporter for, she adds a new line to her resume today: author. Her book Cold Cases: Unidentified Serial Killers, Unsolved Kidnappings, and Mysterious Murders is out today. WKAR’s Scott Pohl talks with Cheyna Roth about her early career as a lawyer and prosecutor before turning to journalism.

NOTE: This interview includes references to rape and murder that some might wish to avoid.

Reba Rose Rau performing
Alyssa Keown

June 30 is the last day of Pride Month.

When you think about seeing a drag show, you might picture being in a dark bar or a dance club.

Of course, until just recently bars had been closed in Michigan due to the coronavirus pandemic, so where do drag queens perform in lockdown?

Monday on WKAR, we brought you an introduction to the newly announced 2020-2021 season of the Wharton Center of Performing Arts and their popular Broadway selections. Today, WKAR’s Jamie Paisley digs deeper with some more of next season’s selections, plus what the Wharton Center plans on doing, at this point, about coronavirus concerns and public health. 

Courtesy photo / Wharton Center - wikimedia

Today, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts on the MSU campus announced their 2020-2021 season. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley has more about the theatrical announcements scheduled to arrive in mid-Michigan. Spoiler: It'll be a late start to the season thanks to coronavirus.

Wharton Center at night photo
Courtesy photo / Wharton Center - wikimedia

For this April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR has been checking in with various arts and cultural leaders to see how they and their organizations are doing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and many cancelled performances in Michigan and beyond. Mike reflected on some of the difficulties involved with coordinating many shifting schedules, but also looking forward to a bit of hope, by way of preparing to announce the upcoming 2020-21 Wharton Center season next month.

Courtesy: Dr. Aubin

For April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR has been checking in with local arts and cultural leaders across mid-Michigan. Dr. Matthew Aubin is Music Director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and the JSO's Community Music School at Weatherwax Hall. He spoke with WKAR's Jamie Paisley about the challenges facing both organizations as well as the potentially extra-wise timeliness of the JSO's Weatherwax Hall. Plus, the delayed return of Maestro Stephen Osmond to the JSO podium.

Jim Forger at microphone
w.r. richards / WKAR-MSU

For April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR is checking in with various arts and cultural leaders across mid-Michigan. Dean James Forger heads up the Michigan State University College of Music and he spoke with WKAR's Jamie Paisley via Zoom to talk about the logistical challenges the college faced, as well as the postponement for opening the Billman Pavillion, a multi-million dollar project which was scheduled to open in mid-April. The conversation below broadcast on WKAR April 16th, 2020 at 1pm.

For April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, WKAR is bringing stories of local arts and cultural organizations in Michigan and how they are weathering this strange time in history. The Grand Rapids Choir of Men & Boys were in the midst of celebrating 30 years of performances, and the incorporation of a new concert series honoring a late young chorister, as well as a new Associate Director flying over from Belfast, Ireland for a concert, as director Scott Bosscher told WKAR's Jody Knol on this April 16th interview broadcast at Noon.

One this April 16th, Public Radio Music Day, we are checking in with arts leaders in the Mid-Michigan area and check up on them during this time to Social Distancing and COVID-19. So, Jody Knol reached out to a retired voice from WKAR, former host/Program Director - Gene Purdum. Original broadcast on WKAR April 16th at 11am.

Timothy Muffitt photo
Courtesy: Timothy Muffitt / Lansing Symphony Orchestra

April 16th, 2020 marks the inaugural Public Radio Music Day. Stations across the U.S. will be celebrating our local music makers. We at WKAR also want to know how these artists are doing during this very difficult time. The following is the interview Jody Knol made with the Music Director of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra which aired on WKAR April 16th at 10am.