Five art stories from the week

Haven’t had a chance to catch our arts reporting on the air? No worries! Here’s a recap:

“Hip-hop often celebrates the hyper-masculine,” said rapper Kevin Moore. “But as a gay artist, my goal is to set balance to imbalance.”
(MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)

1.Rapper Kaoz believes there’s room in hip-hop for gays

When Kevin Moore steps up to the microphone as the hip-hop artist Kaoz, he “aims to speak the truth” – addressing everything from poverty to racism.

But for years the 35-year-old avoided “the whole gay thing.”

Worried about how his homosexuality would play in the hyper-masculine world of hip-hop, Moore kept his own reality out of his rhymes.

The pretense began to wear him down. One day he decided to truly be himself, and go on stage as an openly gay rapper. He started working his experiences into his writing. Read more…

Femi Kuti and The Positive Force perform at the 2013 African Summer Concert Series at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
(Photo courtesy the Cedar Cultural Center)

2. Cedar Cultural Center celebrates 25 years of hosting global music

What began 25 years ago as a place to hear Celtic tunes has survived and grown into a global music venue.

If you want to catch an Ethiopian funk band in Minneapolis, this is your place.

It’s also a good choice for second-wave ska, French electro swing or even Norwegian ice music, performed on instruments carved from the frozen water of local lakes.  Read more…

Stephanie Arado
(Photo by Ann Marsden)

3. Departing assistant concertmaster says Minnesota Orchestra ‘has lost its way’

Stephanie Arado, assistant concertmaster for the Minnesota Orchestra, is leaving the group after 22 years and a work stoppage.

Arado will become a violin instructor at Interlochen Center for the Arts, a prestigious boarding school for performing artists in Michigan.

In her resignation letter, Arado wrote that the Minnesota Orchestra had “lost its way.”

The orchestra’s prolonged contract mess — musicians have been locked out by management since October – was a key reason for her exit.

But she told MPR’s Morning Edition there were other reasons, too. Read more…

Claire Danes poses with the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for Homeland in the press room at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 27, 2013.
(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

4. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Homeland: As good as novels?

Are long-form episodic television shows challenging Hollywood features for storytelling quality and cultural dominance?

Thomas Doherty, Professor of American Studies at Brandeis University and Alissa Quart, author of “Branded” believe they are. Read more…

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley as star-crossed teen couple, Sutter and Aimee, in “The Spectacular New,” directed by James Ponsoldt
(Image Courtesy A24 Films)

5. ‘Spectacular Now’ director wants to save teen movies

Movies about teenagers are a staple of mall megaplexes, particularly during the summer.

But director James Ponsoldt argues the vast majority of them rarely depict the realities of teen life.

The movie industry falls so short of doing so, he said, that teenagers have a distorted view of their own reality.  Read more…