Elizabeth Blair

Elizabeth Blair is a Senior Producer/Reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.

On a daily basis, she produces, edits and reports arts and cultural segments that air on NPR News magazines including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her recent stories explored the rise of public humiliation in popular culture, consumers' changing media habits and the intersection of the arts and education.

In this position that she has held since 2003, Blair's varied work has included profiles of actor Neil Patrick Harris, rapper K'Naan, and the band Pearl Jam. She has written and produced long-form documentaries on such cultural icons as Paul Robeson and Billie Holiday. Blair oversaw the production of some of NPR's most popular special projects including "50 Great Voices," the NPR series on awe-inspiring voices from around the world and across time in, and the "In Character" series which explored famous American fictional characters.

Over the years, Blair has received several honors for her work including two Peabody Awards and a Gracie.

For three and a half years, Blair lived in Paris, France, where she co-produced Le Jazz Club From Paris with Dee Dee Bridgewater, and the monthly magazine Postcard From Paris.

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12:48pm

Fri May 15, 2015
The Two-Way

Looted By The Nazis, Matisse's 'Seated Woman' Finally Finds Her Way Home

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 1:19 pm

Henri Matisse's Seated Woman was found in an apartment in Munich.
Wolf Heider-Sawall Courtesy of Art Recovery Group

Missing for nearly 75 years, a painting by Henri Matisse is being returned to the family of its rightful owner Friday. Seated Woman belonged to renowned art dealer Paul Rosenberg, who fled the Nazis in 1940.

The story of the painting's recovery reads like a historical crime novel.

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3:23am

Fri April 24, 2015
Art & Design

Slow Fashion Shows Consumers What It's Made Of

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 1:15 pm

The Zady clothing line sources cotton from the Texas Organic Cotton Cooperative in Lubbock, Texas.
Zady

If you're into "slow food" — the ethical response to "fast food" — you probably want to know how the animals were treated or whether pesticides were used on your vegetables. Now, the "slow fashion" movement is in the same spirit.

"It's about understanding the process or the origins of how things are made," says Soraya Darabi, co-founder of the clothing line Zady. "Where our products come from, how they're constructed and by whom. Slow fashion is really indicative of a movement of people who want to literally slow down."

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5:47pm

Tue April 21, 2015
NPR Ed

Teaching Students To Hear The Music In The Built World

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:31 am

Architecture professor Diana Agrest evaluates her students' work during a class critique at Cooper Union in New York.
LA Johnson NPR

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Diana Agrest believes architecture is so much more than a marriage of form and function. For more than four decades, she's been trying to get her students to believe that too.

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8:51pm

Thu April 9, 2015
Code Switch

Who Gets To Dance In 'Swan Lake'? The Answer Is Changing

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 11:47 am

Misty Copeland (left) and Brooklyn Mack play Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried in this year's Washington Ballet production of Swan Lake. It is the first time that two black dancers star in Swan Lake in a major American production.
Emily Jan NPR

Something rare is happening in the world of ballet: At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., two African-American dancers will be the leads in The Washington Ballet's production of Swan Lake. Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will dance the dual role of Odette and Odile, while Brooklyn Mack of The Washington Ballet will dance Prince Siegfried.

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7:26am

Sun March 29, 2015
The Salt

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

A Cheez Whiz ad from 1952.
Courtesy of Kraft Foods

Will Cheez Whiz survive the merger?

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3:10pm

Wed February 25, 2015
The Two-Way

Acclaimed Documentary Filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky Dies At 58

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 5:14 pm

Co-director Bruce Sinofsky attends the Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory press day at HBO Studios on Jan. 6, 2012, in New York City.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Peabody and Emmy Award winning filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky has died at age 58.

Sinofsky and his longtime co-director, Joe Berlinger, made such acclaimed documentaries as Some Kind of Monster, about the heavy metal band Metallica and Brother's Keeper, about four brothers in rural upstate New York. They are perhaps best known for Paradise Lost, a trilogy of films about three teenagers convicted of killing three little boys in West Memphis, Ark.

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4:26pm

Mon February 9, 2015
Music News

One Of Sam Smith's Grammys A Win For Tom Petty, Too

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 6:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Sam Smith won four Grammy Awards last night. And that was good news for Tom Petty. Petty and another songwriter will get royalties from Smith's hit "Stay With Me" because it sounds a lot like one of their songs. NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.

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5:40pm

Thu January 8, 2015
Pop Culture

And The Moral Of The Story Is ... Kids Don't Always Understand The Moral

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:28 pm

In the "Winter's Gift" episode of Sofia the First, Disney Princess Tiana (left) from The Princess and the Frog makes a special appearance to help Princess Sofia learn that a true gift comes from the heart.
Disney Junior

"Slow and steady wins the race."

"What's right for one may be wrong for another."

"Treat others the way you'd like to be treated."

Morals have long been the conclusion of fables and fairy tales aimed at kids. And today's TV shows and movies are no different — they often weave lessons for the younger generation into their narratives. But do children actually absorb these messages, or do these endings just help parents feel better about the media their kids consume?

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3:45am

Thu January 8, 2015
Analysis

'Charlie Hebdo' Laughed In The Face Of Violence; Will Future Satirists?

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:36 pm

Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Despite a 2011 firebombing at the Charlie Hebdo offices, and continuing threats and heightened security around the building, according to its editor-in-chief, the staff of the weekly never slowed down.

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3:23am

Wed December 31, 2014
Games & Humor

Banish 2014's Woes With Our Stand-Up Comedy Picks

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 11:49 am

NBC Ben Cohen/NBC

3:02am

Mon November 10, 2014
Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum

Whether Green With Envy Or Tickled Pink, We Live In A Color-Coded World

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 11:00 am

An employee at a frozen foods company in eastern Germany checks carrots for quality.
Michael Urban AFP/Getty Images

Red means stop; green means go. You live in a red or a blue state. You feel green with envy, or you're tickled pink. Colors alert, provoke, attract, divide and unite us.

Thinkers from Plato to Einstein to a new cottage industry of color psychologists have studied the importance of color in our daily lives. But, as Joann and Arielle Eckstut write in their book The Secret Language of Color: "Anyone who claims to be an expert on color is a liar."

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5:00pm

Mon August 11, 2014
Fine Art

As Museums Try To Make Ends Meet, 'Deaccession' Is The Art World's Dirty Word

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 5:57 pm

Deaccessioning — the permanent removal of an object from a museum's collection — has been a big issue in Detroit. When the city declared bankruptcy, it had to put all of its assets on the table. Turns out, the most valuable asset was the art collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Sometimes museums get in trouble. Deep trouble. Not because they damage art, or let it get stolen ... but because they sell it. The Delaware Art Museum is the latest target of the art world's ire — for selling one painting from its collection to try and tackle a debt, and for revelations in the past few days that two more paintings are up for sale.

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3:39am

Tue August 5, 2014
Television

From 'Good Times' To 'Honey Boo Boo': Who Is Poor On TV?

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 10:47 am

The Evans family from Good Times. Bern Nadette Stanis is second from left.
The Kobal Collection

Like it or not, television has the power to shape our perceptions of the world. So what do sitcoms, dramas and reality TV say about poor people?

In life and on TV, "poor" is relative. Take breakfast: For Honey Boo Boo's family, it's microwaved sausage and pancake sandwiches; for children in The Wire's Baltimore ghetto, it's a juice box and a bag of chips before school; and on Good Times, set in the Chicago projects back in the 1970s, it was a healthier choice: oatmeal.

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4:44pm

Thu July 17, 2014
Theater

Actress Elaine Stritch, 'Her Own Greatest Character,' Dies At 89

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 3:19 pm

Stritch first appeared on Broadway in 1944 — and was still performing occasionally even at age 89. She is pictured above in 1955.
AP

Elaine Stritch — one of Broadway's boldest and brassiest performers — has died. With that gravelly voice — and those long legs — and that utter command of the stage, Stritch was a bona fide Broadway star. Not as a classic leading lady, necessarily, but as the hardened-yet-vulnerable performer audiences couldn't forget. Stritch died of natural causes Thursday morning at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89.

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1:36am

Tue May 27, 2014
Business

Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:57 am

William Vazquez AP

It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. But for now, it's off the table.

Pfizer has withdrawn its offer to buy British drug company AstraZeneca for about $119 billion.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor and Viagra, has been circling its smaller rival AstraZeneca for months.

AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium and Crestor, has rejected every offer saying Pfizer undervalues the company, and that it wants to remain independent.

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