Next year marks the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath. It chronicles the Joad family's trek from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression in their desperate attempt to find work...and survive. The Grapes of Wrath became one of America's most iconic novels, in part, because it spoke to the human conditions of challenge and hardship. In commemoration of the anniversary, a group of artists is retracing the journey of the Joad Family across America, including a stop in Flagstaff along historic Route 66. As Arizona Public Radio's Justin Regan reports, they're using theater and film to connect the historical and modern hardships of every day Americans.
At the end of this summer, Northern Arizona University President John Haeger announced his plan to retire at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. During his presidency, Haeger has helped grown NAU into a research-based campus with an emphasis on brining in first-generation college students and retaining them through graduation. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris recently spoke with Dr. Haeger about the changes he's seen at NAU during his 12 years as president, and what he imagines the university's future will look like.
The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra opens its 64th season this evening with “Lost in Space,” a program dedicated to the Solar System and other-worldly ideas. In addition to Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” and Nielsen’s “Helios Overture,” the program features a piece many Northern Arizonans may feel an affinity for – Pluto. The planet discovered in 1930 by Lowell Observatory astronomers and later designated a star, is the focus of award-winning composer, Margaret Brouwer. “Pluto” will be premiered tonight by the Flagstaff Symphony.
More than 100 trains pass through the town of Winslow every day. Most are hauling freight to the West Coast and don't stop. But recently, one very unusual train DID stop in Winslow...the Station to Station train. It's a moving, public art show that's traveling across the U.S., the brainchild of artist Doug Aitken - best known for his large, outdoor film installations. And, as Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, the stop in Winslow was a combination of art, imagination and mystery.
September is Civic Engagement Month. And kicking off festivities Sunday in Flagstaff is Peter Sagal, host of NPR's news quiz show "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!" Sagal is on tour talking about his documentary series, "Constitution USA" - a look at how the Constitution works in modern America. KNAU's Gillian Ferris had a chance to speak with Sagal from the "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!" studios in Chicago.
The gray shale badlands along the lower Fremont River in Utah are desolate - so much so that one group of would-be space travelers chose the area as a site for what they call the Mars Desert Research Station.
For several weeks this summer, a series of sexual assaults in downtown Flagstaff had many residents on edge. A suspect was eventually arrested and charged with more than a dozen counts. But, for the victims, the trauma is likely to remain.