Arts & Culture

This week on The Reading Life: Jerry Mitchell, founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, talks about his new book, “Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Cases of the Civil Rights Movement.” And co-chair Cheryl Landrieu previews the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, coming up March 19-21.

American Routes Shortcuts: Leap Day

Feb 28, 2020
Sun Ra
American Routes

This week on American Routes, it’s a rare Leap Year show with Guilty Pleasures and Forgotten Treasures. As the 29th of February rolls around we take stock of our circles round the sun, just for cosmic fun, not so much to analyze but to imagine our years in space and time. We’ll have music from fellow travelers: The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, King Pleasure, and Sun Ra.


Truth and Power: Global Stories of Women

Feb 26, 2020
Betty Reid Soskin
Andy Benson

95 year old park ranger Betty Reid Soskin squares off with an intruder.  Purity Kagwiria chooses a name for herself.  Timothy Bell discovers that there are more layers to his mother than meets the eye.  Musih Tedji Xaviere attempts to get her first novel published.  Nya Abernathy discovers who gets lied to the most: pregnant women!

Photo Credit: Kate Elkins

This week on Inside the Arts, Carnival revelry kicks into high gear as Mardi Gras is here! 

 We’ll explore adventures along the parade route. Food writer Ian McNulty looks at a new variety of king cakes.  Reporter Betsy Shepherd has an eye on Fat Tuesday’s environmental impact.  And, WYES TV host Peggy Scott Laborde joins us with a preview of the LIVE broadcast of the Rex Ball and the Meeting of the Courts of Rex and Comus.  Airs Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., and Thursdays at 8:45 a.m. 

Dennis Guidry/WWNO

Whenever you think of Mardi Gras, you probably think parades, floats and beads being thrown in the air, but there is another side of Mardi Gras that’s not as widely known outside of the Cajun and Creole cultures of Southwest Louisiana. It’s called, “Courir de Mardi Gras.”

Going door-to-door, dressed in disguise, singing old Cajun French songs, chasing chickens, and collecting ingredients for your gumbo are all a part of the Courir de Mardi Gras tradition.

Live in Portland, Maine

Feb 24, 2020
Frederick Hauck
Greta Rybus

Paul Knoll must help evacuate a school to avert a tragedy.

Melissa Coleman deals with the loss of her younger sister.

Frederick Hauck leads NASA back into space after the Challenger disaster. 

Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer / Harry Shearer

With just a couple days left before Mardi Gras Harry Shearer brings us Dominion, News of the Goldy, News of the Warm, News of the Olympic Movement, News of Bad Banks, News From the Land of 15,000 Princes, The Apologies of the Week and great music centered around New Orleans.  

The NFL, The USFL & The Making Of The Saints

Feb 21, 2020
The Historic New Orleans Collection

The United States Football League was big news in the 1980s, but few realize the league was conceived right here in New Orleans in the 1960s. Local businessman Dave Dixon threatened to create this new league as a means to leverage the NFL into awarding the city a pro football franchise. In this edition of NOLA Life Stories, Dave’s son, Shea, looks back on this early history of the USFL.


American Routes: Cherice Harrison-Nelson

Feb 21, 2020
Cherice Harrison-Nelson
American Routes

Cherice Harrison-Nelson grew up in a high-minded family of readers. Her mother Herreast ran nursery schools. Her father Donald Harrison was a veteran and postal worker, interested in philosophy and art. He grew up in the Mardi Gras Indian tradition of honoring Native American culture by local African American carnival tribes.  The Harrisons have long been concerned about social justice.

This week on Inside the Arts, the 23rd New Orleans French Film Festival gets underway right after Mardi Gras.  It’s one of the longest-running foreign language festivals in the country.  We talk with the festival’s artistic director emeritus John Desplas.

And, the Contemporary Arts Center continues its run of a series of exhibits highlighting women artists, headlined by internationally acclaimed Brooklyn painter Mickalene Thomas.  We caught up with Thomas who will join us in our studio.