As WFPL's arts and humanities reporter, Erin Keane reports on the issues, trends, people and events that impact Louisville's arts landscape.

Every artist also develops a craft—those deliberate and perfected techniques and methods used to write a novel, shoot a film, create a sculpture or become a character on stage. 

On ArtCraft, you'll find reviews of plays, books and arts experiences, as well as the latest news and commentary on Louisville's arts landscape and a thoughtful exploration of how and why a particular piece of art works (or doesn't). 


Local News
9:00 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Comparing the Jersey Boys Film to the Musical

Credit Warner Bros.

It’s not hard to see how Clint Eastwood could be seduced into directing a film adaptation of the buoyant stage musical “Jersey Boys.” The Tony Award-winning history of 1960s pop legends Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits the musical theatre trifecta — it’s an incredible true story told by memorable characters performing iconic songs.

The show’s most rare quality, its tough-guy energy, must appeal to a guy like Eastwood. Conventional wisdom says an offer to adapt the show for film would be an offer he couldn’t refuse.

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Arts and Humanities
4:36 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Speed Art Museum Names New Curator of Contemporary Art

Louisville's Speed Art Museum has hired a veteran curator from New Orleans to manage its contemporary art collection when it re-opens in spring 2016. Miranda Lash, who currently works as the curator of contemporary works at the New Orleans Museum of Art, will start her new job next month, according to the Speed Art Museum. 

The Speed is currently undergoing a $60 million renovation and expansion project, which has closed the main museum building for construction until 2016. 

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Arts and Humanities
4:26 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Kentucky Shakespeare's Dynamic 'Henry V' Resonates

Matt Lytle as "Henry V."
Credit Holly Stone/Kentucky Shakespeare

Kentucky Shakespeare braved the rain last night to bring their second mainstage production to Central Park. Directed by Amy Attaway, the company’s strong, energetic “Henry V” is a dynamic, fast-paced study in leadership that resonates beyond its 15th-century setting.

“Henry V” runs through July 6 with performances Tuesday-Sunday at 8 p.m. at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre in Old Louisville’s Central Park. All performances are free and feature pre-show entertainment starting at 7:30 p.m.

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7:45 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Study Says Kentucky Arts Education Access 'Meets or Exceeds' Region, But The Sample Size Is Question

The Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville
Credit Jefferson County Public Schools

A regional study says Kentucky public school students have more access to arts education programs than students in nine other southeastern states, but Kentucky Arts Council officials question the data used in the report.

The report was released last month by South Arts, an organization that works to enhance the public value of arts in the South.

About 27 percent of Kentucky's K-12 public schools responded—near the average for other states involved in the study (29 percent). 

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Arts and Humanities
12:01 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Book News In 5 Minutes: Carmichael's Jacen Brown Talks 'Our Shawnee' and More

This week, Jacen Brown of Carmichael's Bookstore stopped by to discuss book news and offer some recommendations.

Here's a rundown of what we talked about:

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Arts and Humanities
2:27 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Louisville Underground Music Archive Puts All 'Burt the Cat' 'Zine Issues Online

Burt the Cat Fanclub Newsletter, a music-oriented 'zine published in Louisville in the mid-Nineties.
Credit Louisville Underground Music Archive / University of Louisville

Thanks to the librarians at the Louisville Underground Music Archive (LUMA), you can browse every issue of Burt the Cat Fanclub Newsletter, an off-beat pop culture 'zine produced in Louisville in the mid-'90s by now-respectable citizen and attorney Paul Curry, who named the publication after his cat.

The entire run of Burt, as it's known, was one of the first big scores by the archive. Headquartered in the University of Louisville's Ekstrom Library's Archives and Special Collections, LUMA is collecting and preserving anything related to Louisville's punk, hardcore and underground music scene, which Burt covered extensively from 1995-2002. 

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Arts and Humanities
11:32 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Watch the Trailer for Kentucky Shakespeare's 'Henry V'

Kentucky Shakespeare's production of "Henry V"
Credit Kentucky Shakespeare

Kentucky Shakespeare opens its second mainstage festival production Friday in Central Park. "Henry V" is best known for its rousing St. Crispin's Day speech, but it looks like Amy Attaway's staging (with fight direction by J. Barrett Cooper) isn't pulling any fight scene punches.

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Arts and Humanities
12:31 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Crazy In Love With Theatre [502]'s '13th of Paris'

Cory Hardin as Vincent and Ryan Lash as Jacques in Theatre [502]'s production of Mat Smart's "The 13th of Paris."
Credit Bill Brymer / Theatre [502]

Every family has its ghosts. They judge, they guide. They walk alongside the living, exerting their silent, inescapable influences over decisions large and small. In Mat Smart's beautiful and elegiac play "The 13th of Paris," the more we learn about the ghosts that haunt Vincent, a young man who flees his ordinary life in Chicago for the elusive magic of Paris, the more we understand why he has such a hard time recognizing happiness when it presents itself.  

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Attendance Soars for Kentucky Shakespeare, Can the Company Keep It Up?

Kentucky Shakespeare counted 707 in attendance on opening night of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the first of eight productions to run in Central Park this summer.
Credit Alix Mattingly / WFPL News

Kentucky Shakespeare's return to Central Park after an abruptly-canceled run last summer is an undeniable success. If the opening week audiences for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are any indication, the community approves of the direction new producing artistic director Matt Wallace is steering the company. This year's opening week saw a 70 percent increase over 2013, including 700 in the house for opening night and almost 900 for Saturday, June 14. 

(Update: The company is reporting a house of 1,200 for last night's performance, their largest yet.)

"I'm pretty speechless and happily overwhelmed by the success of the first week," said Wallace in an email last week. "I cannot begin to thank this community enough.  It really feels like a homecoming for many of us in the community."

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