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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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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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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5:55am

Mon March 16, 2015
Television

Documentary Filmmakers Worry About Being Squeezed Out Of PBS Prime Time

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 7:09 am

The popularity of Carson and company on the hit show Downton Abbey is tough for PBS documentary films to compete with. Some major markets — including New York — are considering moving those docs out of prime time.
WGBH/PBS

As PBS enjoys the success of shows like Downton Abbey and Antiques Roadshow, documentary filmmakers feel they're being marginalized.

Two signature documentary shows on PBS — POV and Independent Lens — air rigorous, in-depth reports about difficult issues often set in minority communities. They also enjoy a prime time slot on many stations, including New York City's WNET, one of the largest PBS member stations in the country.

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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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7:23am

Sat February 14, 2015
Games & Humor

For Three Comedians, Valentine's Day Makes For One Big Joke

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 10:15 am

Marina Franklin says audiences can always relate to jokes about heartache. "There's nothing like getting an immediate response," she says.
Carlos Delgado Courtesy of Marina Franklin

3:41am

Thu February 12, 2015
Television

Miniseries Explores The Ugly Fallout Of A Disciplinary 'Slap'

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 9:09 am

Rosie (Melissa George) and barbecue hostess Aisha (Thandie Newton) comfort Rosie's 5-year-old son (Dylan Schombing) after another parent hit him.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

For a lot of parents, spanking your kids isn't an option. But not too long ago, many a child's bottom met the occasional switch. And while attitudes about corporal punishment have changed, it's still a provocative issue — one NBC is taking on in The Slap, a new miniseries that premiers Thursday.

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4:36pm

Fri January 23, 2015
Movies

'American Sniper' Exposes Unresolved Issues About The Iraq War

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 2:47 pm

Bradley Cooper stars in American Sniper, based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
Warner Bros.

The movie American Sniper is a surprise box-office hit, but it has also become a lightning rod. Some critics say the film, based on the life of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, glorifies war. Others say it doesn't accurately portray the real Kyle. Still others say the movie — and the reactions to it — are an example of the deep disconnect between civilians and the military.

The vitriol has been ugly, the story complicated. There is no one truth. But when it comes to war, the most credible sources are often people who've experienced it firsthand.

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4:09pm

Mon January 19, 2015
Dance

A Rare Bird: After 120 Years, Audiences Still Flock To 'Swan Lake'

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:39 am

Swan Lake is 120 years old and still popular. The Mariinsky Theatre's current tour of the ballet at BAM in New York City is nearly sold-out.
Valentin Baranovsky BAM

The version of Swan Lake most often performed today premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, 120 years ago this month. The ballet had been staged before, but it wasn't a hit until choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov revised it.

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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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