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.

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10:01pm

Wed August 10, 2011
Arts & Life

World Art Managers Find New Funding Models In D.C.

Kennedy Center fellow Reem Kassem recently used her Kennedy connections to help organize an outdoor arts festival in Alexandria, Egypt.
Kennedy Center

Cultural diplomacy usually comes in the form of a traveling art exhibit or a celebrity visit to a war-torn country. But there's a deeper kind of diplomacy taking place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. For the past four summers, arts managers from around the world have been coming to D.C. for training on how to improve their organizations back home.

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5:00pm

Fri August 5, 2011
The Record

Free Concerts: In Washington D.C., They Happen 365 Days A Year

The Washington Performing Arts Society's Children of the Gospel Choir performing at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage July 31, 2011.
Courtesy of the Kennedy Center.

Over the next few weeks Weekend Edition Saturday will be producing stories about the business of putting on free concerts, how they work and what they bring to their communities.

In Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, audiences can hear opera, jazz, folk and hip-hop seven days a week, 365 days a year, at 6 p.m. sharp — and never pay a dime.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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