NPR Arts & Culture
For one family in Overland Park, Kan., it's not Christmas without Mrs. Lawrence. The tea cake, rich with butter and spices, is named for the neighbor who would hand deliver it every holiday season.
For centuries, British families have celebrated the Christmas season by attending "pantomimes," silly musical comedies of stories such as Aladdin and Cinderella. The tradition is alive and well today.
The details of wine and winemaking practices in biblical times are debated among experts. But we do know that vino in Christ's day was very different from what we imbibe today.
For generations, Italian-American fig growers in the Northeast have buried their trees in trenches for the winter. It's a tradition that preserves both flavor and ancestral ties to southern Italy.
Seen as indestructible in the West, fruitcakes are indispensable in the bustling Hindu city. Bakers of all faiths have the ovens running round the clock to feed Calcutta's appetite for the cakes.
Critic Bob Mondello reviews Selma, Ava DuVernay's film chronicling Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic voting-rights march in 1965. Mondello notes that recent protests make the film resonate today.
For the holidays, critic Alan Cheuse is making up a list of books to give to each of his family members. Only the best of 2014 for them. Here's his picks.
West End Cinema's Josh Levin, preparing to show The Interview, speaks with Audie Cornish about what sparked a decision to host the controversial film (Sony Pictures had canceled the release).
More than 30 years ago, David DeBoy wrote a hit holiday song about a local delicacy. Its success led to other Baltimore-themed Christmas songs, then to albums and finally to a live show.
Books, movies, television, things to read — we look back at 50 of the great things that entered our field of vision in 2014.
TV critic David Bianculli says that he's encouraged by how far TV has come. He picks The Good Wife as the best show of 2014, having "the deepest roster of really strong regulars and guest stars."
Film critic David Edelstein says in 2014 none of the great material came from Hollywood studios. But, he says, it was a "wonderful year" for indie films. He names Boyhood as the best of the year.
North Carolina named Shelby Stephenson its new poet laureate, just days after Ohio established a post for its own state poet. Massachusetts may not be too far behind.
Two classic Christmas dishes beloved by the people of Guyana are pepperpot and garlic pork. To get the flavors just right, you have to cook them and let them sit out for weeks.
This Christmas, images of Mary created over five centuries glow on the walls of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Curator Kathryn Wat says that, to her, Mary represents bravery and strength.
For more than 30 years, the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker has used sets and costumes designed by the author of Where the Wild Things Are. This year, the ballet is retiring the production.
NPR's Robert Siegel talks to film composer Justin Hurwitz, 29, about his first major movie score, for the movie Whiplash. Hurwitz talks about using music to heighten tension.
The podcast is a reinvestigation of the 1999 murder of Maryland high school student Hae Min Lee. Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed is serving a life sentence but has always maintained his innocence.
Cooking in 100-degree weather is no fun, which is why many Australians ditched roasts and other holiday mainstays long ago. Except for Christmas pudding, a tradition steeped in history — and alcohol.
A new study finds that people who read print books at bedtime fall asleep easier — and sleep better — than those who use an e-reader. Also: JRR Tolkien may have survived war due to a timely illness.