Arts & Culture

News and information about arts and culture from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

Leann Rimes Takes Pride In Perseverance

Aug 15, 2014

Singer Leann Rimes exploded onto the country music scene in 1996 at the age of 13 with the hit "Blue." Now  31, she’s had 13 No. 1 singles, won two Grammy awards, and has sold millions of albums. Her latest album is called Spitfire, and she is the star of a reality show on VH1 with her husband called Leann and Eddie. She performs this Sunday at the Charlotte Pride Festival, and spoke to WFAE Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt.

Courtesy of Brendan O'Connell

Imagine you’re walking through your neighborhood Walmart and somewhere between the pet supplies and check-out lines, you run across a 40-something guy with a painting easel that's propped up on a shopping cart. That was the scene in Charlotte this week at the Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard. Contemporary artist Brendan O'Connell, wearing jeans and an un-tucked pinstripe shirt, was hanging out in the produce section. The paint was drying on his rendition of a cluster of bananas.   

O’Connell has been dubbed “Walmart’s Warhol,” he's been on the Colbert Report and he was featured in Time Magazine as “America’s Brand Painter.” WFAE's Mark Rumsey caught up with O’Connell and chatted with him about his Walmart live painting sessions and his vision for everyday art in America today.

Arts And Science Council Cuts CMS Field Trip Program

Jul 29, 2014
Thomas Bus Company

CMS students won’t be going to the museums this year, at least not on the Arts and Science Council’s dime, and a fund-raising shortfall is the culprit.


Sometimes a news story is best told in rhyme…so here goes:

There once was a governor named Pat
Who thought in verse this state should not lack
So he picked a poet
To be our State Laureate
But his pick others found out of whack.
Here’s Duncan McFadyen
To explain what has happened

Charlotte Organist Wins National Improv Competition

Jul 12, 2014
Duncan McFadyen

Charlotte organist Patrick Scott won the 2014 National Competition in Organ Improvisation, held June 26 in Boston. In addition to the competition's $3,000 first prize, Scott took the audience prize, which earned him an additional $1,500. WFAE's Duncan McFadyen profiled Scott earlier this year.

When you think of a church pipe organ, Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. But when organists give recitals, sometimes, they cut loose by improvising. Some take it further, actually playing in improvising competitions.


Comedian Rob Schneider is probably best known for his characters on Saturday Night Live like the Copy Machine Guy, or from movies like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, but he got his start in stand-up comedy, and he has recently returned to his roots. He’ll be performing at The Comedy Zone this weekend  in Charlotte. He spoke to WFAE's Kevin Kniestedt.

Slam Poets Take National Stage In Charlotte

Aug 9, 2012

The national championships of slam poetry are in Charlotte for the first time. Every evening through Saturday, poets are on stage Uptown trying to win over audiences with an art form that's as much performance as poetry. 

A Conversation With Ira Glass

Sep 28, 2011

Ira Glass This American Life host Ira Glass visits Charlotte on Sunday as part of WFAE's 30th anniversary celebration. He'll be at the Blumenthal's Belk Theater at 7 p.m. WFAE's Scott Graf spoke to Glass about what the audience can expect, and the effect This American Life has had on public radio. Ira Glass Discusses Georgia Story That Evoked Judge's Ire "For a long time, one of our big problems in getting stations to pick up the show was to simply explain to them what we were doing," Glass recalls. In fact, NPR rejected the show for distribution. NPR's loss turned into Public Radio International's gain.

ASC misses goal by nearly 40 percent

Mar 12, 2009

The arts and science funding organization had expected a dip this year. And President Lee Keesler sent notice to the groups it funds back in December to expect a smaller pot. He says, "As we kicked off and moved through the six week time period the environment actually seemed to be getting worse rather than better. so it just got tougher and tougher through the campaign." 

Force of Nature

Oct 12, 2006

A project involving universities and art galleries in North and South Carolina has brought Japanese modern artists here this month to create works about the relationship between humans and nature. As they create their works, many are getting up close with the local environment. David Boraks reports. For detail, photographs and a calendar of events, visit the Force of Nature project website.