Arts and Culture

From Toyota’s connection to the region’s food to how our brains remember song lyrics, Arts and Culture Reporter Ashlie Stevens has covered quite a range of stories this year. Below, Ashlie lists some of her favorites from 2018:

How Kentucky’s Toyota Plant Helped Shape The Region’s Food Culture

This story was an interesting look at how immigrant communities and industry are intrinsically tied to — and can completely reshape — a region’s food culture in truly unexpected ways. (Plus, I got to eat sushi for work. Dream job, right?)

How Many Songs Can Our Brains Actually Remember?

A lot of my stories stem from personal experiences, which is how this story starts: I couldn’t remember where I left my keys, but I could remember all the words to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”… and Ben Folds’ “Brick”… and numerous other songs on my commute once I finally did find my keys. I became curious about how many songs our brain could actually hold.

For Local Theaters, ‘Intimacy Directors’ Could Help Foster Safer Workspaces

Reporting this story clued me in to a part of theater productions that I hadn’t thought about before — how do you make something as uncomfortable as mimicking sexual activity on-stage look natural (and how do you make sure your actors are safe and comfortable while doing so)? For a lot of theaters, including Theatre 502 in Louisville, producers are turning to intimacy directors.

Quinoa Whiskey? How New Federal Definition of ‘Grain’ Affects Craft Distillers

On December 3, the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, also known as the TTB, released a 135-page document of alcohol labeling recommendations. And within that, they proposed a new definition of “grain.”

It sounds like pretty granular, boring stuff, but that TTB document is actually paving the way for craft distillers to make more innovative spirits — like quinoa whiskey.