Elizabeth Blair

Elizabeth Blair is a Senior Producer in the Arts Information Unit 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 late night TV wars.

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. Blair is especially proud of her interview with Cookie Monster and her reporting on the 10th anniversary of SpongeBob.

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.

Pages

2:59am

Tue August 2, 2011
Crime In The City

Taking On Crime In A Racially Divided D.C.

George Pelecanos' 17 crime novels take place in and around Washington, D.C. Pelecanos has also written for HBO's The Wire and Treme, which take place in Baltimore and New Orleans, but he says his novels will always be set in D.C.
Mai-Trang Dang via Flickr

All 17 of George Pelecanos' crime novels have been set in his hometown of Washington, D.C. — but he isn't writing about politicians, lawyers or lobbyists. Instead, Pelecanos' stories look at the city's greasers and drug dealers; its working black families and its ethnic neighborhoods.

Read more

10:01pm

Thu July 21, 2011
Music News

Enterprising Young Musicians On The Road To Interlochen

Cellist Sara Page (center, right) rehearses with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen Arts Camp. Page is among the campers who made an exceptional effort to raise funds to attend the camp this year.
Sam Oldenburg for NPR

For young people who want a career in the arts, a handful of prestigious summer camps are a vital early step. Interlochen, in northern Michigan, is one of them.

Jessye Norman, Josh Groban, Norah Jones and Lorin Maazel all spent summers at Interlochen when they were younger. But with tuition ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the campers' age and discipline, does it mean that only rich kids get to follow in their footsteps? It turns out that some extra-resourceful young people are paving their own way. I went to camp to meet them.

Read more

7:52am

Sun July 3, 2011
Movie Interviews

Polar Opposites Attract, And Reflect History

Baya shows Arthur a scrapbook of former "fascists" she's converted to her left-wing causes by sleeping with them.
Music Box Films

Romantic comedies don't always delve into weighty issues like cultural identity or repressed memory, but that's just what two filmmakers in France have done with their movie The Names of Love. The film recently opened in the U.S. after winning two Cesar awards (France's equivalent of an Oscar), including the one for Best Original Screenplay.

Read more

4:00am

Mon June 13, 2011
Economy

Kansas Gov. Brownback Defunds State Arts Agency

The state of Kansas just did away with its arts agency, the first state in the country to do so. The arts community is up in arms about this, but there are some good arguments for government getting out of arts funding. Other states are heading in the same direction as Kansas.

12:01am

Tue May 24, 2011
Television

Oh, The Void Oprah Leaves Behind

Oprah Winfrey's departure this week from her long-running TV show leaves a gaping hole in daytime television.
Peter Wynn Thompson AFP/Getty Images

Radical changes are taking place on television — specifically, daytime broadcast TV. Soap operas are disappearing. And this week, Oprah Winfrey ends her tremendously successful run in syndication. According to the Nielsen rating service, over 7 million people tuned in to The Oprah Winfrey Show each week.

Nobody really knows what's going to happen to the huge hole Oprah leaves in daytime: Not TV stations, not advertisers, and not her fans.

Read more

Pages