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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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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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

4:49pm

Tue December 30, 2014
Television

In 'The Honorable Woman,' There's No One You Can Trust

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 8:39 pm

Maggie Gyllenhaal says she had some reservations about taking on the role of Nessa Stein in the SundanceTV original series The Honorable Woman. Middle East conflicts are so sensitive, she says, "It's really complicated and it goes back so far."
Des Willie SundanceTV

This is part of NPR's annual series "The Ones That Got Away," in which we look at some of the best entertainment we didn't report on this year.


"Who do you trust?" are the first words the audience hears in the political-psychological thriller The Honorable Woman. And as it turns out, the answer should be: No one.

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4:39pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Movies

Studios Hope Holiday Family Movies Will Grab Slice Of Shrinking Box Office

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hollywood likes to roll out their big family movies around the holidays. This season the lineup includes "Big Hero 6," "Annie," "Penguins Of Madagascar," and the offbeat fairy tale musical, "Into The Woods."

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4:17pm

Tue November 11, 2014
Television

Despite The Dope, 'High Maintenance' Is About More Than Potheads

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 11:40 am

"The guy" (Ben Sinclair, left) delivers pot to two clients played by Tanisha Long and William Jackson Harper.
Courtesy of Janky Clown Productions

A guy on a bike making home deliveries in New York City. That might not sound like the most riveting storyline for a show, but this guy is a pot dealer in Brooklyn, and each episode of High Maintenance follows a different transaction, and then some. The show is Vimeo's first foray into original Web TV, and it's been getting raves.

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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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4:32pm

Fri November 7, 2014
Around the Nation

'Grand Bargain' Will Help Save Detroit — And Its Art

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 8:11 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:26am

Fri November 7, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Challenge Of 'Big Hero 6': How To Make A Huggable Robot

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:27 pm

Disney

"Dude, you had me at 'inflatable,' " is what Disney director Don Hall told Chris Atkeson, a robotics expert at Carnegie Mellon University, back in 2011. Hall was doing research for Big Hero 6, the movie that Disney executives hope will be a worthy follow-up to the mega-blockbuster Frozen. That's no small feat for Hall and his co-director, Chris Williams.

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