National Medal of Arts

Podcasts

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Photo courtesy of Algonquin Books

NEA Literature Fellow, Big Read author, 2013 National Medal of Arts recipient

Twenty-five years ago, Julia Alvarez published In the Time of the Butterflies, which was chosen as a Big Read title in 2010. Set in the Dominican Republic, In the Time of the Butterflies is a fictionalized account of the Mirabal sisters, three of whom were murdered by henchmen of dictator Rafael Trujillo for their resistance to his regime. The girls were known in the underground by their codename “Las Mariposas,” or butterflies. Their story was very close to Avarez's own. She spent her childhood in the Dominican Republic, but her family got out. In this podcast, Julia Alvarez discusses how In the Time of the Butterflies came to be, the rich source material she finds in her family's immigrant experience, and how her life as a reader led to her life as a writer.

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Headshot of a man.

Photo by John Abbott

1983 NEA Jazz Master and 2010 National Medal of Arts recipient

The great tenor saxophonist reflects on his life in music.

Opera Singer and 2012 National Medal of Arts Recipient

The power of music to make us whole

Charleston Mayor and 2009 National Medal of Arts recipient

After 40 years, Mayor Riley steps down, leaving a legacy that demands art and beauty in the everyday.

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Ellsworth Kelly

Photo by Jack Shear

Artist and 2012 National Medal of Arts Recipient

Ellsworth Kelly: the gloriousness of color and form.

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Allen Toussaint

Photo by Michael Wilson

2012 National Medal of Arts recipient

It's a music-filled podcast with New Orleans composer, producer, and pianist Allen Toussaint who combines elegance with funk. [29:29]

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Tony Kushner

Photo by Joan Marcus-Hires

Playwright and 2012 National Medal of Arts Recipient

In the second of our two-part interview, talk about his latest play and his screenplay for the movie, Lincoln

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Tony Kushner

Photo by Gloria Wegner

Playwright and 2012 National Medal of Arts Recipient

In part 1 of a two-part interview, Tony Kushner talks about his early attraction to theater and writing Angels in America. [28:50]

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Laurie Olin

Photo © Sahar Coston-Hardy

Landscape Architect and 2012 National Medal of Arts Recipient

Laurie Olin on the work of landscape architecture—balancing nature and cultivation. [32:45]

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Joan Myers Brown

 

Photo courtesy of Philadanco!

National Medal of Arts recipient

Founder of Philadanco!, Joan Myers Brown reflects on what goes into building a leading African-American dance company and school. [27:29]

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