culture

Photo Courtesy of Sofar Sounds Miami

A typical night out at a live music venue usually comes with more than just music -- it also comes with live background noise. That makes sense, because many people go to shows mainly to socialize. For them, the music may be secondary.

But for some of us, it’s not.

Haitian Americans Joshua Jean Baptiste and Edson Jean grew up without any characters on screen that they felt accurately portrayed their Haitian background. So the South Florida natives decided to make a show of their own.

Updated at 12:50 a.m. ET

Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.

Roth's biographer Blake Bailey, who confirmed his death to NPR, says the author was surrounded by friends and family.

For decades, one of the most popular exhibits at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West was "lift a gold bar." Until eight years ago — when two men lifted it. As in stole it.

Fifty years after his LOVE painting made Robert Indiana a sensation, the artist has died at the age of 89.

Indiana's two-row rendering of the word, with its tilted "O," became one of the most recognizable works of modern art in the world. The famous design emerged from deep influences in Indiana's life, from his early exposure to religion to his father's career.

Isanusi García Rodríguez’s artwork reflects a timeline: different periods of recovery since 2012, when he suffered a stroke.

Rodríguez used to express himself through dancing. He danced in a number of productions with Miami City Ballet. The stroke left the right side of his body paralyzed; he was not able to communicate and had amnesia for months. During those months, many of his memories would reappear. That prompted him to pick up a paint brush and make the canvas his medium of communication.   

Danny Hwang

What does an orchestra for the 21st century look like? Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble has been asking that question for the past three years. Founded and led by conductor Jacomo Bairos and composer Sam Hyken, Nu Deco Ensemble is a genre-bending orchestra, both in terms of featured instruments and music.

The sounds of wind, crackling fire and sword fights are among the sound effects produced for a new fictional radio play inspired by real news events.

Director Zack Myers, playwright Anna Victoria and artistic director John Watts joined Sundial to talk about “Inspired by WLRN News," a play that uses WLRN news stories as inspiration. The project celebrates storytelling and life in South Florida.

WLRN: John let me start with you. Tell me about the devices we just heard. How are you making these sounds come to life? 

"I want to know who you are and how you came to be a slave." That was one of the first questions that Zora Neale Hurston asked 86-year-old Cudjo Lewis when she traveled from New York to Mobile, Ala., to interview him in the summer of 1927.

Atlas Obscura

Zora Neale Hurston, one of the best known writers of the Harlem Renaissance — and the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God — has a new book. Well, that's not quite right; it's actually an old book that is only now being published. It's called Barracoon, and it's based on a series of conversations Hurston had with Cudjo Lewis, who was brought to this country aboard the last ship that carried slaves across the Atlantic. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The public library in Key West just threw a farewell party — for a guy who left town more than 150 years ago.

Karime Arabia

What does it feel like to send your child off to war?

Harrison School for the Arts

Floridians have mythologized Publix. The supermarket is celebrated for its Pub Subs, chicken tenders, sappy commercials and catchy slogans.

The two most-nominated shows at this year's Tony Awards might sound familiar, even to those who don't keep an eye on Broadway: Mean Girls, based on the 2004 movie, and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, based on the long-running animated TV show, each earned a dozen nominations.

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